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San Francisco, California,
BAV with severe Regurgitation
The Patient's Guide
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A long awaited update!I know that some people have posted on my guest book asking how I was doing. Back in October a day after reporting that I won't need surgery, my cardiologist called me and told me she thought I still needed surgery and we needed to get another opinion. I had just told everyone I wasn't going to need surgery and I was very frustrated to find out that now surgery seemed likely again. I have been waiting for a long time to get the opinion from the Stanford Surgeon. I decided to wait until we had our plan until I posted again. I apologize for the delay but the ups and downs were upsetting and I wanted to wait until we had an absolute plan to post again. Finally we have a plan. I started an oral antibiotic regimen today and we will follow me closely for the near future in hopes that my infection does not return. Because my infection was suppressed so well with the IV antibiotics they think I should try this and hopefully I won't ever need to replace the valve again. I am very relieved and just really excited to finally have a plan. The last 4 months or so have been crazy and uncertain. I have not been able to work since August. I have been wearing my back pack with the IV antibiotics and pump in it. I have been asked if I was wearing a parachute! haha My little back pack can rest in peace! I will not miss it at all!! My docs say I am released to go back to work on January 1st. I am very excited to get back to my normal life and I just hope this infection doesn't return. The blessing in disguise has been that I have been able to spend everyday with my wife and my son. I have enjoyed being able to be around AJ as he has grown from a little baby into a baby that is almost walking! I have laughed and smiled so much and I cherish this time that I have had with them. I hope that I won't be needing to post on here anytime soon!! I appreciate everyones support and I have the greatest group of family and friends! I am also very grateful for the doctors that have been helping me. Although I was very anxious and frustrated at times, I realize that the doctors just want to make sure that they get everything right and sometimes that takes time. I hope that everyone on this site can gain perspective and support from fellow patients as I have. I thank everyone on here that has wished me well. I wish everyone the best of luck in their surgeries to come. Stay confident and positive. Open heart surgery is scary and it hurts, but it can also be very rewarding and positive if you let it be. Prayers and positive thoughts to everyone on here! Peace out again!!!
Unbelievable News!!!!!I went in for my pre op yesterday. I had a CT scan to see where my infection was. It turns out that they can't find any infection in the scan! My surgeon said that "I continue to amaze him"! He couldn't believe what he was seeing on my scan in August. He then said he couldn't believe what he was seeing on my scan yesterday. It doesn't mean that it is gone but it definitely a good sign. They never even thought that this would be an option but they want to hold off on surgery! I can't believe it. I am in a little bit of shock because I was mentally prepared to attack this. He said that we aren't out of the woods. I will need to be on IV antibiotics for another 8-12 weeks and the infectious disease doctor is coming up with an antibiotic regimen moving forward. So I don't know a lot about what we are going to do moving forward but I do know that on Tuesday October 29th I won't be going under the knife and that pumps me up! I am very fortunate for all the prayers and good thoughts! They have definitely helped! I really hope that this infection doesn't return. They said I need to be very aware of how I am feeling and don't try to be the tough guy if I start to not feel well. I am so lucky. Ok I don't know what else to say. I just wanted to update everyone that has been saying prayers for me and have been sending good thoughts. They have been answered and I am so grateful! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!!!
Two WeeksWith two weeks to count down to my second open heart surgery I have a lot on my mind. I am so blessed to have been able to spend the last three weeks and the next two weeks with my wife and my son. I feel like AJ and I have gotten very close. I know he is only 8 months old but I truly feel so close to him right now and each day brings some new smile to my face. He is so funny and learning so much everyday. I have also gotten closer to my wife and I am so grateful that I have been able to have this time off leading up to my surgery. I have very positive thoughts in my head and I am confident heading into this surgery.
Perspective Challenge!I know that a lot of people, like me, are very scared about our situations we are in with our health. It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves. It's easy to be overwhelmed and confused. It's easy to get down. It's easy to get negative. It sucks that they have to open us up and stop our hearts and fix them. It sucks that when you wake up it feels like you got ran over by a train! Yup it sucks people! Yes it's not fair but let me tell you something, WE ARE LUCKY!!!
Surgery again!!!!! UghhhHello again. I didn't think I would be making another entry to this journal but here I am again.
One week out of surgery!So I am 1 week out of surgery and I am feeling pretty good! I was able to go home on Wednseday which was nice. The whole surgery and the couple days after are a blur. I definitely went through a lot of pain the first couple days after my valve replacement. The doc said he had to cut through a lot of muscle to get there! haha I am a little bit gurthy. He said because of this and the fact that I am on the younger side that I was gonna be in a little more pain than most.
Surgery was a success!The day we've been anticipating finally came, and it was very successful!! Tony's surgery got moved up from 9am to 7am, so we arrived at the hospital bright & early at 5am! They told us the surgery might take about 5-6 hours, and by 11:30am they came in & told us that they were getting ready to close him up. We were all overjoyed & thrilled to hear that the surgery went well, and was done sooner than we expected. Within that next hour, we got to go up to the ICU & the surgeon (Dr. Pelligrini) came and spoke with us. He informed us about the procedure & what Tony's heart & valve looked like. Let's just say it was a very good decision to have the surgery done now!
Under 24 hours...Ok the day is almost here. I came into work today because what else was I gonna do?? I guess I could have gone to the track and bet on the horses...oh well. The good thing is, I am able to see all my co workers before tomorrow and all the players. I can't believe it is finally here! I feel like I have been in the on deck circle with the bases loaded and just waiting to go up and hit with the game on the line! I think its pretty close to the announcer announcing my name and I am ready to get the big hit!
Cath urgery and 5 days until the big day!Last week I went in for a cardiac catheter surgery to make sure all my arteries looked good. The procedure went well and everything looks good. The Doc just wanted to make sure I didn't have any coronary artery disease before we go in on Friday. I was sore for a few days but now feeling pretty good.
10 days to go...Ok so I have received a lot of questions from friends and family about my surgery. I will do my best to answer all of them.
2 weeks to go til surgerySo I am 2 weeks from my surgery date. I had a dentist appointment today to clear me for surgery and I have to pay about 1100 dollars out of pocket!! Not very excited about that. I am now starting to get antsy about the surgery. Bring it on! Lets do this! The reason I have decided to get this done asap is because I have a son that is going to be born in January. I want to get this over with and I can't wait to be holding him!! They said I could have waited to February but screw that. It amazes me how scared people get when you tell them you are having surgery. Not everyone, but a lot of people look at me like I am gonna die! And they feel sorry for me. I have been dealt a lot of great hands in life and I am gonna win this hand despite the sub par cards...I have a lot to be thankful for and I wouldn't want anyone else on that table then me! I only hope that I am making the right decision on which valve to use. If anyone has input on the difference between the ON-X valve and the St. Jude valve that would be much appreciated. The one thing I know that I definitely have going into this is an amazing support group. Especially my wife Heather! What a trooper!!!Thanks for all the support! Go Giants!!
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