Just using the shock of Duane's news to take a moment out to reconnect with the friends I made more than a year ago on the website. Just to remind you that you were my inspiration and that I was so determined to look as glamourous as you in my photos on HVJ! I only managed a couple of games of golf last summer before the early snows hit so I am looking foward to next month when we are off to Spain for a week of R&R and sunshine! I really appreciated your note on my anniversary but would love to hear more news from you! If you have a moment please let me know how you are and what you're up to!
Love and hugs
I was so happy to hear from you, and understand why you have not been on here. I was glad to hear from you especially because your last update said you did not get a complete medical clearance and were trying medications,,,well it sounds as if the medication and your dedication to exercise has you on a positive track. I too have had an easy recovery compared to a lot of patients on this site. Lori B. hit us all so hard and I too will never forget her or her family.
I am doing great...am exercising on my own..treadmill, weights, bicycle etc. I AM NOT as disciplined as you are, but I am trying to improve this. I received a good report on my follow-up echo, and my medication is being reduced. I would love eventually to be off all heart medications. I wish you and your family an extra-special celebration during the holiday season. If you have time in the future, drop a line. Your positive outlook and dedication to exercise are an inspiration!
Wishing all the best for you,
I was just checking in to say a quick hello. I was wondering how you are doing? I have finished cardio rehab and am now exercising on my own. Are you still pushing yourself...you have such a great exercise routine....how is the golf? Well if you have a moment to update, I would love hearing from you.
Thinking of some of the dear people who I followed on the HVJ and hope you are doing well. i assume your heart rate is down. Are you still on the Coreg? My heart rate was very high post op and my cardiologist kept doubling my medication (metroproproal) till we got to a dose that worked. Am in rehab and doing well, am hoping at my 6 month check up (Sept)I will be able to get to a decreased dose. Anyway, just stopping by to say hope you are doing well and enjoying life. I hope Kimberly's recovery improves, she certainly is having a difficult time.
As you know, Kimberly is also at the East Carolina Heart Institute, and I just wanted to let you know that Sandra is one of her care givers and that she remembers you and your husband.
We were talking about the HJV and she remembered a patient and her husband who were here that was also using the same website.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you were remembered.
Glad to hear back from you. That is good news that your heart rate is coming down...mine is down some since I first came home, but I have been on medication the whole time. My cardiologist said he would eventually like to get me off all medications...that would be great. I do enjoy cardio rehab and am going three days a week. Because I had the fast heart rate, I liked the fact they take your blood pressure and keep track of your heart rate throughout the workout period. You are doing great with your exercising and raising your heart rate. I hope to continue on my own after my scheduled sessions are completed. Enjoy your visit with your son! It would be great to stay in touch.
I was just wondering how you were doing since you started on your medication. Is your heart rate lower and when will you have another echocardiogram? It is amazing that there are so many new members on this site, and that almost three months have gone by since my surgery. I hope all is going well for you...I can not believe how much better I feel.
This is Joanna Castlen, remember from the good ol AdvoCare days in TN. I found this site by Googeling your name. I am amazed by what you have been going through. Hope that you are doing well. I am still at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. Look me up on their directory sometime and sent me an email.
I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse as a teenager. I had my first echo in my early twenties and was told it was fine. After having my son, I started having the symtpoms and when he was 6 months old, I had my tubes tied and had some cardiac complications that led to my 2nd echo to find my prolapse had become moderate. So the cardiologist put me on two heart meds and watched me for a year. When I had my 3rd echo one year later (this past March), my prolapse had become severe and I was told it was time to fix it.
I just read your post for Kimberly. Did you have the minimally invasive surgery as well? I did to and my biggest pain was from the chest tubes. I am 5'3 and 177 lbs and still have soreness and occassional muscl spasms on my right side. It's been 4 weeks for me, but every week, the pain is less. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and look forward to seeing your updates!
Thanks so much for answering the question I had about the chest tubes. I can imagine it must have been more painful for you considering how tiny you are! I am also very thankful for the link you sent me. I will be reading those stories after this. I think the days leading up to surgery are the longest...of course I say that now, check back with me after the surgery:)
Happy Mother's Day!
As I am sitting here hiding on Mother's Day as I do on most holidays..it was meant that I opened this incrediable entry to see how blessed I am today.
I am so sorry about your dear friend as I have one so close in Santa Fe with MS and cannot imagine not talking to her daily.
My greatest condolence for another challenge in your life!
I am still here , caring and thinking about you. Keep on searching for what works for you internally with your doctors and know that all of us especally me feel very close to you! Love to you and your whole family.
Happy Mothers Day and Most of all happy friends day everyday!
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Life is hard to understand why things so senseless occur. I want you know I am thinking of you and saying a prayer for all the victims of these terrible floods.
First of all, I wanted to say that I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.
Thank you for writing to me and your suggestions were very helpful! Can I ask, how big were the tubes they put in your chest?
I just read your story and I too had the minimally invasive mitral repair. Dr. Owen in Greensboro, NC did mine. He trained, worked and taught under Dr. Glower at Duke. My surgery went well and my recovery is going great. I start rehab Monday. I hope you continue to do well also and pray that all will be ok. So sorry to hear about your friend.
I am sorry to read of the death of your friend. to die in this manner seems senseless, doesn't it? Apparently she was a very special, loving person and God must have a need for her. If you are a Christian you know she is safe and without fear, but it is those left behind to mourn who are feeling so much pain and loss. Just wanted you to know I care. Prayers to you and her family.
I just met with Dr. Chitwood yesterday and got my surgery date for the robotic mitral valve repair on June 3rd. I agree with you that he and his staff are amazing! The waiting is definitely the hardest part right now. I am very symptomatic and my quality of life has pretty much diminished right now. I will be 40 next month, have 3 children and have so much that I look forward to doing! My husband and I read your journal last night and it has been the most helpful thing to me I have read so far in letting me know what to expect. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration and I hope to start my own journal this weekend. Best of luck with your "new" heart:)
You definately get more information over there than we do, and maybe sometimes it can be a blessing sometimes not. Here we don't get told our EF and I haven't asked but if it hasn't made any difference to what you can do then try not to let it make a difference to how you feel. My heart rate is still faster than it should be and I AM on heart drugs (Digoxin and Verapamil)but I am hoping that the fitter I get and that as my heart and lungs recover from the trauma that I will get a better result as I wean off the drugs. We both have to keep reminding ourselves that we are only 8 weeks post op! Stay positive, lots of love and hugs Penny xx
Good Morning Amy,
Was about to write to you to see how you're doing! You have such a positive attitude,and your doctor is on top of things. Sometimes we shouldn't read the side effects of drugs. I was prescribed Ambien (not sleeping more than 2 hours at a time) and after reading the info sheet about possible sleep walking, sleep driving, sleep eating, sleep sex (still haven't figured that one out), have yet to take it. Of course that's a lot different than a heart drug. My heart rate is also high but am only 1 month post op. It's pretty amazing when you realize what our hearts have been through!!! Glad you are golfing and enjoying your activities. Post again, always like to hear from you.
Good to hear from you. I too have had a fast heart rate since I have left the hospital. I have been on metoprolol and the doctors also feel it is the trauma of the surgery and that it will eventually calm down. I am patiently waiting, besides this I have had an uneventful surgery and recovery.
Wow you look great. So glad to hear how successful your follow up appointment was. That robot is so interesting....would love to see how it is done. Did you give the robot a hug as well as the doctor???lol...Thanking everyone that you could must have felt so great...I think often of all the people I met in the hospital that were so kind to me. I will never forget them, and how each one played a part in my journey to get well. You are an inspiration to all on this site with your positive input and your push to succeed in your work out schedules. Good luck on the golf course....I am so happy for you.
Thanks for sharing the wonderful news and the photos of the robotic lab. You have a gorgeous smile.I too, had no idea how many "hands" do the work. How large or small, is each hand if there can be 7 of them in there at once? Your recovery has been remarkable and wonderful news about being able to golf. Will you start off doing 18 holes??
Duane and Peggy stopped by to visit this afternoon as they were on a mini vacation in this part of FL. I (we) were so pleased to have the opportunity to meet after all this time on the HVJ. He is a wonderful, spirit filled man and we are all blessed that Adam has brought us all together for this journey.
Am finally getting to catch up on journals. Thank you so much for your encouraging messages to me during my hospitalization and afterwards. Today is day number 13 and now that my diuretic has been doubled I have lost over 5 pounds of fluid weight which was making me short of breath. You have been my post op inspiration, so don't stop posting just yet. So glad you are doing so well. Have to agree the right hospital and surgeon make all the difference.Keep healing.
This is Amber your "Post-op night 1" nurse...how far you have come indeed! I am so glad everything has gone so well for you! I have been checking in to see your progress and I smile every time, marveling at how great you've recuperated. It really does help me, as a medical professional to see the big picture and how even the small things that we do can create a difference in our patient's post-operative course.
Thank you so much for sharing this process with others. My wish is for all patients to do as well as you! I told you, you are a superstar patient, and you've proven me right. :-)
It was a pleasure taking care of you!
Amber H., RN
PS: I'm considering implementing this website into our post-operative care plan for our patients and their families, and would love to get your thoughts on it. If you get a moment, can you email me? Thanks so much. Amber.Hazard@gmail.com
Hi Amy and Matt, just dropped in to say Hi. It's funny that in the aftermath of surgery everyones journals start tapering down as progress becomes steady. I'm nowhere close to your level of recuperation but I do keep you in my sights and in your latest entry it also reminded me of how stuff like showering, washing and cooking etc have become 'normal' activities instead of milestones, thank you for that! The weather has turned a little milder but with a really cold wind that cuts through you - but I will bundle up and get out today, you are my inspiration! Big hugs to Matt, love Penny (Scotland)xx
Nice site, great work on your recovery. I had an aortic valve replacement in June 2008, and have recovered excellently. Walking and swimming (we live on St Thomas, VI) are my best activites. Looking back, the progress in the first few weeks can be dramatic, as it seems to be with you. Do not be discouraged with occasional pain episodes as your bod adjusts to its new parts. An accupuncturist friend remarked that as far as your body knows, you were attacked by a saber-tooth tiger! Mending will take time. I am finding Network Spinal Analysis administered by a minimal force chiropractor to be particularly helpful.
All the best,
Adrian B firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Amy and Matt, you are both doing just great! I came home (again) last night and will update my journal tomorrow but didn't want to leave it to say a huge thank you for your sign ins over the last few weeks, Steve and Georgie always read them to me and they were so good for all of us. Amy, you are a tough act to follow (an hour - already?)but I am determined...
Hi Amy and Matthew
Good "rant" Matthew. This is scary stuff and all you are asking for is accountability and down there, YOU are paying the bill so they are working for YOU. Had something have been wrong - Amy's life was at stake. Good for you for following up and I'm glad everything is okay. Recovery is slow but as long as Amy is moving forward she's headed in the right direction. You too have been through a trauma and your reaction is understood. Cheryl, Ontario
Wow, what news, like a,rollercoaster. Glad the final news was that all is well. Walking an hour a day is awesome. Keep healing and thank you for your prayers. I report to the hospital at 5:15am tomorrow for 2 valve replacements and 1 valve repair! Pete will be posting for me.
I just found out! I am sooooo glad things are going well for you after your surgery. You look great! Please know you and Mr. Matthew (Husband) are in my thoughts and prayers! If you are feeling up to it, please let me know, I would love to talk with you. Miss you bunches, things aren't the same around here!
So glad to hear the good news about the heart monitor and surgery results. You and your family look great in the photo. I also have managed my pain with extra strength tylenol and a pain pill to sleep. The last few days I have not taken any tylenol. I think in my case the incision site is still a little numb and I have not suffered any severe discomfort. What does your doctor say about your pain? Maybe it just takes awhile.
Good hearing from you.