I’m The Target! Please Criticize Me And My Blog!

By Adam Pick on July 29, 2008

Hey everybody,

Thanks for all your nice emails and comments. However, do me a favor… PLEASE CRITICIZE ME AND MY BLOG! That’s right. Fire away. I’m the target pictured below! And… there is no need to be nice about it.

“Why is Adam asking me to do this?” you may be wondering.

Well… I want to make this blog better. The only way I can do that is to ask YOU for honest feedback. So please, please, please help me out (if you have a moment). What do you like about the blog? What do you dislike about the blog? What other features would you like included in the blog?



I’m open to any and all suggestions. I really want to make this website a helpful resource for all patients and caregivers preparing for, or recovering from, heart valve surgery.

You can either leave a comment below or send me an email at adam@heart-valve-surgery.com. I’ll get back to you asap.

In advance, thanks.

Keep on tickin!

Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick, Heart Valve Patient Advocate

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and Medical News Today.

jerry says on July 29th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

It’s difficult for me to criticize your blog. I really appreciate your blog and book.

One suggestion is that the design says more “buy my book” than it does “credible blog about heart surgery.” And I understand that selling your book is probably a very important function of your site.

I really want to make this website a helpful resource for all patients and caregivers preparing for, or recovering from, heart valve surgery.

Consider then:
a) the nature of your readers compared to other blogs: you’re going for readers who are really going to be interested, in a panic, for a month, and then interested, but less so for six months, and after that? To get those readers, if that’s what you want, you may want to ally with the places they’ll be found, but apart from other medical issues sites, beats me where that is. You could consider broadening the nature of your posts here, or starting to blogroll and discuss similarish topics found at other sites and get other sites to talk about their good friend Adam, ….
b) if you want this to be a resource for your users, consider going web 11.0, uh, I mean 2.0 with obligatory Spinal Tap reference. Or rather, providing readers a forum where they can ask questions, or even a wiki.
c) your blog reminds me, and in a good way, of Glenn Sacks’ blog. Sadly for me, I’m probably going to be interested in Glenn’s blog for a longer time, but Glenn provides: a source page http://www.glennsacks.com/blog/?page_id=1000 in which he tries to place links and descriptions of the major pieces of reference material that he refers to.
d) Glenn is also pretty good about talking to reporters and getting known amongst them for being the goto guy on fathers’ issues. My guess is that there are reporters who would like to write on heart valve surgery (and may not know it yet.)
e) To the extent you have the expertise or interest and this makes sense, don’t leave out the folks that got here on a search for heart surgery but left when they saw it was about heart valve surgery and they are having some other surgery for a different reason.

f) Stupid pet trick videos? LOLCATS?

Niki Reis says on July 29th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Hi Adam,
Sorry I am not going to criticize your blog. Your blog and book has helped me tremendously. I am scheduled for valve replacement this Friday, Aug.01, 2008. All the emotions you addressed in your book are the same feelings I have had since I found out I needed this surgery. They say my valve is severly calcified but I am asymptomitic ( I exercized 3 days at the gym and 5 days on my treadmill) and I did question why was this necessary. My problem was found during a normal (every 2 year) echo test. I had heart surgery at the age of 10 for coartation of the Aorta. 12 years ago I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse but that is not a problem. The valve problem comes from being born with only 2 leaflets.
With only two days to go I worry if the surgeon is the right one and if I am making the right choice in choosing the pig valve. I have done research on both subjects but it is my heart and I can not change my mind after the fact. Any way thanks for all the info. I was able to ask questions I did not think about before and I made my surgeon’s P.A. a little crazy. My only regret is not finding out about your book until just a few weeks ago.

Winona Blake says on July 29th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Hi Adam,

I am very new to your website and blog. I am so grateful I found it, as I have been feverishly researching about mitral valve repair since I was informed that I need it done.

My only constructive comment would be that I don’t know how to navigate to find the different blog threads. Such as, I cannot find how to get to a thread from last night on profiles on surgeons.

Thank you. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of your book.

Winona Blake

DougR says on July 30th, 2008 at 9:48 am

I had my aortic valve replaced with a mechanical valve in 1991 at age 42, I was asymptomatic at the time and running 5 miles a day. In a routine physical they discovered regurgitation. The noise was so clear that every where I went for exams/tests, the Dr asked if they could bring in the interns to illustrate the type of noise they should look for for this problem. I should have charged for the show!
Anyhow, both my cardiologist and the surgeon that I chose recommended an artificail valve as the tissue valves have a limited life much shorter than the mechanicals and b eing in my early 40’s, they wanted the maximum time between replacements that they could get. Surprisingly, I agreed. Taking coumadin is a pain but it beats extra surgery.
I came to this blog now, because I’m having some symptoms that may indicate I’ll need to have this replaced again and I was looking for some inforamtion and experiences that people might have had around issues/complexity with replacement of an earlier replacement valve.

Becca Allison says on July 30th, 2008 at 11:28 am

While I’m sure there are things you can do to improve the techie side of this blog, on the personal side you are doing great! For those of us who faced surgery, your book and this blog were so helpful in calming our fears. And I am enjoying being able to help others who are facing the surgery through this blog.
I am one week and a day past aortic valve replacement, and I feel great – still some (manageable) pain, but getting better every day. I laugh every time I try to open a jar or drink bottle and remember your advice about having the family pre-open them! So practical!
Niki, I will be praying for you hard this Friday – don’t worry, it will be fine. See my advice to Rosie in the section “Were you Asymptomatic…?” Winona, you too! We are a bunch of tough broads and we are gonna be unbeatable with our replaced valves! Not to leave you guys out – love you, too!
Open heart surgery has been done for over 25 years – folks, they know what they are doing! Don’t worry – be happy! It’s well worth it!

Bill says on July 30th, 2008 at 5:01 pm

The only recommendation I have is to include a chat feature. I am now 10 weeks post op and doing well. It would be nice to log in and see who else is online and say HI…

Gayla says on July 30th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

It helped so much to read your book prior to my husband’s aortic valve replacement surgery. Thank you – thank you! Additionally, the promptness with which my order for the book was handled was phenomenal. The blog has many helpful comments, and I, like many others, cannot find anything negative to address. The insight that your book provides is invaluable. My husband is 4.5 weeks post op and that 4th week has been MUCH better.

Joan Keilman says on July 31st, 2008 at 9:45 am

Sometime you might include e-mails for patients who give you permission and are willing to talk to other patients anticipatring surgery or are in the recovery mode. Also you might put some guidelines as to how to choose a Surgeon and /or a hospital. I know some of this is in your book but I personally would like more info. I do like your reports on research etc. Keep up the good work!
Joan Keilman

Becca Allison says on July 31st, 2008 at 3:00 pm

I agree with Bill and Joan about finding ways we can communicate. I would like to see a scheduled chat, maybe once a week – to avoid being disappointed when there’s no one in the room. I’d be willing to talk to those anticipating surgery or just post-op.

Nancy says on July 31st, 2008 at 11:17 pm

Adam, I am so glad that I found this website. I will have the surgery in November 2008 and am so glad to hear from others that are asymptomatic. I still cannot believe this is happening to me. This blog will provide much support once I have the operation. The blog is great and you do a great service to us all.!! Thanks

Maribel says on August 2nd, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Dear Adam:

I think your blog is great!!! I like the fact that is very specific for heart valve disease, that gave me the confidence to buy the book when Sergio was first diagnosed. I navigated a lot of othe heart disease sites but none of them were so specific as your blog so when I found it I just stayed here. The chat feature will be great because even though Sergio is doing just fine now I still check out everything in your blog and I found myself comforting people with the same worries I once had and in the chat mode could be much easier than having to wait and see if they read your comment and answer it.

For Bill: I was so happy to see you are ok!!!! I had an ovary surgery the next day you had your heart surgery and I was thinking all the time how you were!! I searched the thread of you choosing valves but found nothing new. I hope youre having a good recovery and don´t be a stranger ok? Hope you see this.

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