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Rock and Roll Half MarathonI did it! I completed my 7th half marathon (but first in 5 years) yesterday with 25 friends from my neighborhood. It was an awesome, fun, emotional day. I felt great...slooooow, but great...the entire way, and the only thing that hurts today are my feet and ankles. I obeyed my heart rate monitor and my max HR the whole way, even though that meant losing a pack of friends on a really steep, long hill. Even the threat of slushy snow tonight can't dampen my mood today!!
6 months down!Hi everyone, I haven't posted in a looong time, but I do check in from time to time to read how everyone is doing. I try to post encouragement whenever I can as well. Last week I passed the 6 month mark. The best part? I didn't even remember it was my "anniversary." I am feeling great now with energy like I had 5 years ago. I am still not running more than a few minutes at a time, but that's OK because I get a great workout doing a few miles of intervals. I completed a mud run (walking around most of the obstacles) and two 5ks. I know I will continue to get better.
Happy Birthday to me!I think it is tacky to promote your own birthday, but this year I don't care! I have never been so happy to be another year older. I hope everyone else is enjoying this long (hot) Memorial Day weekend.
6 weeks downHi! I haven't posted in a while. This Wednesday was 6 weeks since surgery. Last week was hard, physically and emotionally. From Tues-Thurs I was feeling dizzy, kept getting those annoying ocular migraines, my chest hurt, and I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest at times. After much discussion and some poking and prodding, the official diagnosis? Take it easy. Now that is where the bad emotional part comes in...I felt that I not only was taking it easy but that I was positively lazy. I wasn't able to bump up anything at cardiac rehab all week and was taking 3 hour naps every day. I even burst into tears at rehab when the nurse told me to be patient. It doesn't help that rehab is on the 5th floor with a view of a beautiful area where people are running all up and down the streets. I figured I had no choice but to listen, so I managed to do even less for a few days and now I feel fantastic.
Started cardiac rehabHi everyone! My blood work came back and the only thing out of the ordinary was anemia, so they have upped my iron and the dizzy spells have almost completely gone away.
three weeks (almost)Tomorrow is three weeks since surgery. I had appointments with my primary care doctor and my cardiologist the last two days. Everything looks great (incisions healing, good ekg, etc) except for my still-too-low blood pressure and elevated heart rate. I am barely within normal limits on both counts, but the low blood pressure is enough that I do have symptoms, mainly dizziness. I had a ton of blood work done, so we will see what the results are. In the meantime I am supposed to take it easy. I can still walk, but slow pace. I am also supposed to drink Gatorade and eat salty snacks. The cardiologist said most people in his office never hear that! He really didn't seem too concerned though, and said he thought my body and heart were still "recalibrating" from the surgery. He added "I don't think you will need a transfusion or anything." Well geez! I didn't even know that was an option...thanks a lot!! I prefer to think I just need iron pills or higher dose of thyroid medicine or something else simple the blood work will reveal.
two weeks...wow time flies!Two weeks ago at this time my heart was being restarted and today I feel almost like myself again...amazing! I hit a few more milestones this week: sleeping in my own bed, almost flat; my first sneeze this morning; walking 20 minutes straight; going to my son's baseball game.
one week post-opWow, that week went fast! I went to the surgeon this morning about my lungs, and they said that while I do have some fluid it is not bad. I had already cleared up so much from yesterday with the extra breathing exercises and the Benadryl that no additional medication is needed. Also, it has rained all day so that should knock away some of the pollen.
little set-backHi everyone! I have had congestion ever since I left the hospital, and I think with the pollen count about a million I was doomed. I have been trying to cough even though it hurts and using the spirometer, but I still managed to get some fluid in my lungs. I had a chest x-ray today and it has 4 little arrows on it pointing to spots. I go to the doctor tomorrow at 8am. Any tips from anyone who has had this happen?
2 inches?I just re-read the journals my mom posted and had to laugh that Dr. Massimiano told them my incision was 2 inches. I guess he wanted to reassure them, but let's just say 4 minimum.
three days downI had my first full day at home :) No matter what you are feeling it is always much better to be in your own house. My friend Pam came by today with flowers and a card, and I had a couple of calls from family, but besides that it was a very quiet day. I actually watched all 8 hours of Lonesome Dove from beginning to end. Didn't think I would ever say that! I walked to get the mail and there was a Runner's World magazine...not sure if it is taunting me or encouraging me, but my mom said encouraging so I'm going with that.
hi everyone!that really wasn't too bad! Having my gall bladder out was much worse (at least too this point.) made two and a half laps so far today. Going to take a little nap. Thanks for all the prayer- I seriously felt them!
SurgerySorry I couldn't connect earlier. Daniel & I have spoken to the surgeon, Dr. Massimiano. He said it was a very simple surgery. There is a 2" incision & she was a perfect candidate for valve repair. There is now no leakage at all. We should see her in about 1 hour & she should be home by Friday. She is now being moved out of CICU to the step down unit. She was nauseous, but is feeling much better now.
The long awaited dayKerry is off to the hospital. From early childhood Kerry has exuded peace, calm and confidence. It is good to see her back in the zone.
tomorrow is the big day!I am so ready! I can't even explain how weird the last two days have been. I think I have taken the "eerie calm" to a new level. I have actually been in the best mood I can remember for a long time. My Mom got here today which is great and we enjoyed a nice lunch before she got her first dose of helping with our crazy schedule. She took Ryan to track while Daniel and I went to Matthew's baseball game (which they very nicely won 16-1 to keep any stress down, lol.)
Pre-op dayMy pre-op appointment was fantastic. The traffic even cooperated and I got there almost an hour early (for anyone who has ever driven on the Beltway in DC you understand what it could have been like and why I left so early...my least favorite road followed closely by GA 400.) Anyway, The nurses and staff were fantastic and they drew my blood without incident, which was an improvement! The nurse who did all my paperwork even gave me her cell number in case I thought of any more questions. I was so happy leaving there you wouldn't think I was there to get ready for heart surgery.
hospital necessitiesI know I've seen it posted on here before, but now I can't find a list of things you really were glad to have at the hospital. Can anyone on here post-surgery shed some light? Also, what did most of you go home in? I just realized today (with 3 days to go) that I do not own a single shirt that opens in the front OR a robe. I guess if I need to go shopping anyway feel free to pass along anything else you think I should have at the hospital or at home. Thanks everyone!
One week to go!I'm glad I scheduled my surgery as soon as I could, because these last couple of weeks have been loooooong. I appreciate all the people on here who have been posting the last few days about their successes. It actually makes me excited to get to recovery.
Mini pity party overI had a little pity party today over my lingering sore arm, rash on my entire torso from my apparent dye allergy I didn't know I had, and all my friend's facebook pictures of wonderful spring breaks where it is warm, sunny and surgeries don't loom. Luckily it was short lived thanks to a phone call with my mom and step dad and Daniel grilling hamburgers out on the deck. I love my family! :)
Cath is over, hooray!Everyone was right...the cath wasn't that bad. Too bad my iv experience was horrible. Did I mention I hate things poking in me? Well I can tolerate them if they are done correctly and serve a purpose. Yesterday the "best" nurse started my iv. It was very painful even after she took the needle out but I figured I was just being a baby. She mentioned something about that vein having a lot of valves she had to get past. Another nurse came in later and asked if it hurt because of the way I was holding my arm (I wasn't attached to anything yet.) I told her yes and she pushed down on it a little causing me to grab her wrist and yank it away...not earning any brownie points with the nurses! I heard them talking about it and after being reassured that it flushed cleanly the second nurse dropped it. Fast forward to me in the cath lab, on the table, already had the shots and incision in my leg and everything. I'm thinking I'm awesome because I haven't even had any "happy juice" yet and I'm not nervous or anything. They decide it is time to relax me a little and start the medication in my iv. Holy Crap! I've had two childbirths less painful than that. The next minute is a blur but I do remember being restrained because I guess I wanted to tear it out, I remember a lot of activity over by my arm and the head doctor telling them to stop it and cap it off. I was sobbing uncontrollably. Then the wonderful man had the brilliant idea to shoot the medicine directly into my artery where the cath goes. Instant relief. As they were finishing up I heard them talking about starting another iv. Even drugged I begged them not to, and I must have been a real mess because they agreed! I had to promise to drink fluids all day, etc. After finishing my bed rest a few hours later the nurse came to take my completely useless, never used iv out of my arm. She said "oh honey you bruise so easily." Actually, no, I don't, but at that point I was just glad it was over.
Cath tomorrow. Not quite as nervous.Thanks so much to my friends and new HVJ friends who have all helped to ease my mind about the cath tomorrow. For someone who has always been squeamish about needles poking a tiny way into my body for iv's, etc. the thought of something snaking it's way through my veins has been almost unbearable. Now I just want to hurry and get it over with. I believe it is like that with most things that you are nervous about. Ironically I talked to a doctor today who assured me it was no big deal, then confessed that he is supposed to have a TEE but has been putting it off. I told him that those were truly no big deal, so I think we helped each other out!
So very tired!Last night I got 9 great hours of sleep. I only worked 5 hours today (almost all of it sitting). Then I went to Target to pick up a few things. By now it is only 3:30pm and I am so exhausted I can barely drive myself home. After a little nap I am making dinner. So many people have asked why I don't seem nervous about the operation. THIS is why! Life has to get better when all your blood is pumping through your body like it should. I think I have been this tired for a while but was compensating with coffee. I quit drinking it about a month ago to help my heart, but it's sure not helping me, Haha!
Whoops!I am laughing at myself...I guess I had two photos saved under the same name because my profile pic has been my husband's friend and his wife! I didn't even notice :) I uploaded a new one with two friends but it is not switching over very quickly. So, if you ae just checking out my journal for the first time those are some nice people-but not me!
Met with surgeonYesterday I met with my surgeon (Dr. Paul Massimiano) and scheduled my surgery for April 11th. I liked him instantly and he did a terrific job of answering every question I had...even the silly ones. I told him I really want to run again, and he said I should be getting back to that about 3 months after surgery. Perfect! He also said I have a 90-95% chance of a successful repair instead of a replacement, so I am obviously hopeful that will be the case. The only real downer of the appointment was the news that I need to get a cardiac catheretization on March 28th. I didn't realize that would be done and was really hoping I was done with the poking and prodding until the surgery.
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