I went in on Monday for an angiogram on my legs. My surgeon was able to place a stent in behind my left knee. He said that the vein had a cyst wrapped around the vein. He was able to expand area with a balloon and then place the stent. He said that in 25 years he had only seen 4 or 5 of them, the others on his team had not. So now they have. He could not say as to how long the stent would last a day, a week, a month or a few years nobody knows. On my right leg I have about a 3.5 - 4" hardening of the arteries in my thigh. He said lets see how the left leg goes and we can discuss the right leg at a later date. I do have 60% of normal and that lots of patients have gone on with their lives with only 60%. So hes thinking that I will be fine with it like it is. So here's to hoping....
Hello everyone and how are you all doing? Sorry I've not kept up but I was never really good at updates. Work has been going good. My supervisors won't let me do any heavy lifting, yeah for me. Work is still 7 am till done so that had not changed. So heart wise I am doing fine. On the other hand, my legs are in sad shape. I had had trouble walking before my heart valve replacement surgery and it was not getting any better. After surgery it was getting worse I could not walk as far as I could before surgery. I went in last Monday for an ultra sound on my legs. I was told it usually takes two days before they will have the results. I had it done between 2-4 pm. By 9 am Tuesday morning I was called by my doctors nurse who asked if I had ever seen a vascular surgeon and I said no and he said well, you need to see one we will refer you to one right away. It appears that i had sever clotting in my left leg. The blood pressures taken at the wrist and ankles, my right leg is 60% of normal and my left leg is 30% of normal. I go in tomorrow for am angiogram on my legs to identify how bad the clots are and what he might be able to do about them. I might be going into surgery right away or possibly within a week or two otherwise. Please keep me and Sandy in your prayers. I'll try to update you when I am able. Best of luck everyone,Michael. Still tickin...
I am now back at work. My Company would not let me come back to work until I did not have any restrictions. That ended on the first. Everyone is glad that I am back including some new guys that I am just getting to know. I guess the good thing and it might not be a good thing, is that they do not want me lifting anything. My Supervisor put me on the hyster and says if it's something you can pick up and move, or push with said hyster then ok. So pretty much just the hyster work. Loading and unloading trucks and checking stuff in with out picking it up and moving it.
I had went to my Primary Doctor on 10/28/14 he said I looked good asked how I was and set an appointment for 6 months down the road. I seen my Cardiac Doctor on 11/24/14 he said I was good to go with whatever I chose to do. Just use a common sence approach to it. He liked my sence of humor about being cut open and what had transpired. I had last seen him on 8/7/14, he asked on the 24th if anything had happened since he last saw me, I said why yes, I have this incision in my chest and a mechanical Aorta valve. I was puzzled about his comment and Sandy said a lot of people after having went through what I have just give up and that I was posiive about it. That's what the Doctor appreciated.
I did not get my unemployment after all. They sent me my decision on 10/24/14. I appealed the decision. I then had a phone hearing over it and was found to not have been eligible because of a state law that while I am on a leave of absence from work I'm not eligible. I was also found that after having received 2 weeks of unemployment in August that I such pay it back. I again appeled that decision and am waiting to hear back from the Industrial Comission on it.
So I think that about covers it. Till next time...I'm still ticking!!!
So I've been gpoing to rehab now for a coouple of weeks and working through new movements that my body has not done for a while. The class that I am part of is great, the staff are really sweet too.
I have a release for work for tomorrow but my company will not let me come back, it's a liability thing.
I was interviewed by someone from unemploymment last Friday about my case being in the investigative state. She talked with me for about 25 minutes and said she was going to call the company next to get their take on it. She said I needed to be sure when I talked to them today what their next step is after my FMLA is through. They will just put me on medical leave till I'm released to come back full time with no restrictions. Even though it will be a month past my FMLA I will still be going back to my former position.
On another note after having talked to the lady from unemployment I have a meeting tomorrow morning with my Veteran's rep to see what I might be able to do and to get help in the resume' department to maybe start putting in applications and seek ing work elsewhere.
Sandy is doing better. After she handed everything back over to me it has lifted a lot from her shoulders. But she still has issues and it's just part of who she is. I do love her.
On another side note I was able to get food stamps last Friday to help in the interium until I go back to work and make more than our monthly gross income is.
Sandy and I met with a socila worker yesterday who's on staff at the rehab facility. She asked questions and I answered them the best I could. She said she wanted to meet back in two weeks to saee if our situation has changed at all and to see where my stress levels might be at that time. I'm still tickin'...Michael
Today after my regular rehab session I seen the Cardiac Rehab doctor who is on staff. She says she likes to visit with everyone who comes through the program to make sure they are doing ok and to ask if I understand why I am here and asks if there is anything that the staff can do to help in my recovery. It was a very informative meeting it lasted 1 1/2 hours. We talked about the whole gambit of things. I now have a complete understanding of my hearts condition, one that until her talk I had no idea. But I'll mention that at a latter date. I have an appointment on Monday to see a social worker to see if they have any other options for help that I have not sought out so far, whether it be food or cash assistance from somewhere. In the 27th I have an appointment with the dietitian to help me with diet and portion size issues. On the 28th I go see my health care provider for my 8 week check up. Yes all this has been and continues to be stressful but I am managing as best as I can. Nobody to talk to except for the staff and you guys. Oh yeah I'm 6 weeks post op and doing very well. Incision looks very well too.
I went to see my Surgeon last Wednesday, has it been a week already sorry. Any ways he said he would release me to go back to work with light duty and as Sandy and I understood him with no restrictions. I would be able to go back to work on the 15th. I contacted my work and let them know I'd be able to come back with no restrictions. The next day I contacted his office to find out exactly when I could go back to work (date). At that time I was talking to one of his nursing staff. She was very nice and talked with my Surgeon about it and came back with the News that I would have a 10 lb lifting pushing or pulling restriction, which would be in effect from 10/15/14 through 12/1/14. I contacted my work and as Sandy and I already knew and feared I will not be allowed to go back to work until I am released from my restriction on 12/2/14. The restriction is to protect me as well as him. Me from hurting myself unintentionally, and him from liability which I do understand. I just wish I could go back and do something. Now I an on FMLA and my job is secure for 12 weeks which will be the end of the month. At which time I'm not sure what will happen. I will still have another month off of work. Cardiac rehab is going great. I am sore from exercising not used to the motion of using my arms. Up till now all I've done is walk and ride my stationary bike. So definitely going places I've not been in a while . Sandy is doing good. She is back to working as much as she can. We really need her paycheck as I have not gotten a ruling on my unemployment benefits as of yet. I was able to draw them up until my surgery, but since then they're supposed to be doing an investigation. I've called once on it since then they told me it takes about 5-6 weeks. Which is twice as long as it took in 2001, go figure. So when the 15th comes around and I am not allowed to go back to work it should make me eligible again for unemployment benefits. I guess that about covers it. I would like to say that Sandy's co-workers/boss have been very understanding and supportive with all that has gone on with us. They have been emotionally, spiritually, and financially supportive which is more than I can say about my work or co-workers just pisses me off. I received a text just before our quarterly inventory at the end of September from my supervisor wondering when i was coming back to work. I informed him that I was doing what I could to recover and make my way back to work. I had not heard from him before that or since then either. Oh well. My plant manager did text me when I was in the hospital I think only because I text-ed him. I have not received any since then from him. I'm just mad that they leave you hanging out to dry in a situation like I am in. No support and they do not offer any at all either. I just feel like I need to send a letter to the owner of the company and express my feeling about it. But all that he would probably say is well it's up to your plant and their protocol on how that works.
Thank you for letting me rant and rave.....a very saddened Michael.
Well it has now been 4 weeks and I seen my Cardiac Surgeon today. Was released to drive, Sandy had me drive the last half of our trip back home. It felt good, felt a little strange too. I am doing very good healing right a long. Sutures taken out from my chest tube area. Was given the OK to return to work on a light duty status in 2 weeks, if my company will let me other than that it will be another 2 months. My Surgeon does not want me to go back to heavy lifting until the 3 months after surgery to allow my sternum to heal properly because of the type of work that I do. So that about catches you up. Michael
Sorry guys I have not kept up with progress reports or anything else really. I went in yesterday and had my initial rehab meeting and a couple of pre-tests.I go in tomorrow to see my Surgeon for his follow-up appoint and to release me to my Doctor and Cardiologist. I should also find out about driving, which will help in the long run and free up Sandy to concentrate more on work and not miss as much work having to take me to appointments. I am doing very well on Warfarin I am now at being checked every 2 weeks. Wow, all this and It's only been 4 weeks since surgery. I've been experiencing chest pain which I've found out to be my nerves finally catching up to what's been done to them, they are healing as well as my incision. Over all I am doing just fine. Looking forward to going back to work, and then not either. I may know a little more tomorrow about when i might expect to be released for work. My Surgeon was pretty adamant about it being 3 months when i was released from the hospitol. So we will see if things have changed or not. Sandy is for the most part back to work but still worries about me. Not that I don't blame her. I do try my best to be good and not get into trouble. Haha! I guess that about catches you up till next time, Michael
My right arm is irritated red and sore from an IV drip of Amiodarone has anyone else experienced this. I do not have any problems which would associate it with a clot. The instructions given me by my surgeons office is to ice/heat the affected area that it can take up to a couple of weeks to go away?
Well I am back home again. Yesterday morning at about 9:10 am my heart went into afib, it was racing at 160 Beats per minute. After getting a hold of my surgeons office they had me come in to the office, after doing an EKG they decided to admit me to the hospital.They had put me on a couple of different medicine drips which brought my heart rate down to about 120 but then it would go back. Both my surgeon and the cardiologist said I was in afib with a flutter also. So they did a Cardio version to shock my heart back to a regular heart rate. It worked!! Yay for me and and Sandy who has been a real trouper during this very stressful and hard time. I know she is feeling the stress and I'm trying not to be a burden but this can not be helped.
My doctor and the Cardiologist said this is quite common after having had open heart surgery, about 30% of patients get it but usually while they are still in the hospital when it happens. It was explained to me by the Cardiologist that the reason for going into Afib was due to inflammation around heart triggering it. I was home just before 5 pm this evening. I'll catch everyone up tomorrow,ok
Today I got to go to Walmart. I rode around in an electric chair the whole time we were there, boy was that something, something equals I was tired by the end of our outing. Who'd a thunk you could get so tired, certainly not me anyways. Later on in the day I took a couple of more walks around our yard and sat out side enjoying the weather, it's in the 70's & 80's now. My wife Sandy is being patient with me. I'm a little concerned about her not getting enough rest. I keep telling her she needs to rest so that she can work also. But another good day for me, just tiring. I'm doing good with the spirometer I've been up to 2500, not steadily but working on it. That sneeze last night helped a lot with that progress too. Nighty nite everyone till tomorrow.
To all of my heart brothers and sisters an to my family, I am finally home. I arrived home about 3 pm my time I will take the rest of the day to settle in and resume writing tomorrow. I am doing great very little to no pain at all Thank you and good night.
Day 3 post-op finds me in good health and ahead of schedule for release tomorrow morning. Yay! I was doing my walks yesterday and nobody told me how far I was to walk so I was walking the amount for day 3 post-op. So I have done all 4 of my walks today and now it's just a waiting game for tomorrow morning. Whishing everyone to have the experience and little pain that I have had since my surgery.
I'm on my second d as you post op. Have the insulin drip removed. Have chest tube removed. Will come off of oxygen later today. My pain level has stabilized at 1. They say I'm doing very well as well as looking good too. Will journal a little bit later.
Well I finally moved to my new room,Yay! Thank you to my loving wife who has stuck with me all this time and supported me through this surgery. Iknow she has sacrificed a lot to be here.
I got into ICU about 11:30 on the 2nd. It took me awhile to wakeup and having sleep apnea it was hard to wake up long enough to get tube removed from my throat. Since then I've just went through the changes. got to do the spirometer, which is funlet me tell you. My pain level had been about 3. Then they gave me a sponge bath an had me stand pain went up to 5. About 30 minutes later Respitory came up and worked me for the first time on spirometer and pain went up to 8. Since that time pain hasn't went past 3.
I am feeling great and ready to rock and roll. For me it has not been a bad experience I know that I still have the recovery process to cover but I am fully ready to do so. That's about it for now. I'll journal later. Ask any questions that you might have.I'll be willing to answer them.
Thank you everyone for your prayers. I am on the other side. I have a new lease on life thanks be to God for his loving kindness. He saw to it that he sent the best surgical team to my rescue. I would like to thank my loving wife Sandy for her love and support with out much of this would not have been possible. I'll post more latter.
I am signing off for the night. I am looking forward to tomorrow. It will be an early start 5:45 am at the hospital. Wake up time 4:00 am at home. Shower and then fresh clothes and off to my procedure. See everyone on the other side.Michael
I had my pre-op surgery meeting today. Today because Monday is a holiday and rather than have me and the Surgeon wait another full day it was scheduled for today. Got most of my questions answered at my hospital level. Was unfortunate that the Nurse who usually does the patient briefs was out sick. The other COU nurses did the best that they were able and explained that to my wife and I. Did my blood work and everything came back just fine. Not that I did not expect it not too. But you never know they said. They did check or had checked for Mercers. Watched a couple of videos and then kind of did a little tour of where I'll be. Went to the Pharmacy to pick up a med then home. has been a very busy afternoon. Michael
I received a phone call for pre-op tomorrow, it appears that everything is right on time for my surgery on Tuesday. Bless my wife she has been busy trying to find things for me that I might need post recovery such as a shower bench and a hospital bed. I've been trying to get some things done around the house because i know I will not be able to for awhile. Any input as far as a hos[ital bed being a good choice or not?
I am still doing my daily walks. It appears to be getting easier. I had told myself before my diagnosis that I Had been getting enough exercise from walking at work, wrong. I am glad that my wife has helped me to push this out and make it an everyday thing. I am so thankful for her and her support. I am getting real anxious about my surgery. To say that I am mot a little scared would be wrong, I am but dealing with it the best that I can.
I've been walking every day so far since I've started. I still get real tight achy calves. They tend to loosen up a bit but seem to come back somewhat. I've asked my GP but no answers. My wife believes I just need to walk more. So that is what I am doing. I know I'll hurt enough after surgery so I am trying to get my calves used to walking again so they won't be another problem.
I had not done any walking for the past 3 weeks and so the last 2 days my wife has came walking with me. I needed to start to do something prior to my surgery. Starting to walk again is helping I just need to keep it up because it is going to be expected for my recovery. Feels good.
I am going to have surgery September 2, 2014. I would like to hear from others who have had aortic valve replacement , from those who have had biological-tissue and from those who have had mechanical. I must come up with a decision by my surgery date. Any thoughts or insight would be very much appreciated. Thank you.