Peter Willard posted a note for Cami that says:
Cami's it is great news you can do so much and I had a bovine valve put in FEB.2010 and I am now 72 and work out with weights 6 days a week.Cami's has any doctor said how long are these valves good for I hope for you and me and many others a long long time.
Matt O. posted a note for Cami that says:
Just waking up early on day 4 in the hospital, and I am truly amazed at how much things get better day by day. Sure there are little things that come up that make you feel a little uneasy, but every once in a while I am aware of myself sitting up watching TV and it occurs to me that I feel perfect.
Thank you so much for your support and help. I'm a big skiier, and would love to get back out to Park City again in the near future. If so, It would be an honor to take a few runs with you,
Sue posted a note for Cami that says:
I am so glad to see you are doing well. My grandson was told on Monday that he has Aortic Valve regurgitation. He is 26 yrs. old and never had any signs of heart problems or even illnesses. Just suddenly his heart started beating hard and he could feel a weird vibration, if his back or stomach as against something. Now he has to have Aortic valve replacement. They are so far saying open heart. The problem is choosing which type of valve. I noticed you choose Bovine, I am assuming Cow? He is very active and doesn't want to take the blood thinners with the mechanical but also, doesn't want to have open heart surgery every 10 to 15 years, with the pig or bovine, I personally would do the pig or bovine but I'm 70 not 26. He is very active and just got out of AirForce1 year ago and is going to college, very active, in sports and gym, what was your prognosis with the bovine valve?
V. posted a note for Cami that says:
Glad to hear that you recovery went well and you are going back to work and "to live your life" :-)
Reading your story a couple of weeks before my surgery helped me feel confident that everything was going to be fine, and that I was not alone on this.
My surgery was on 3/17/14. Today I am going to a f/u appt. with the surgeon. My recovery is going well incision and all healing well. Just a pain on my tight ribs that radiates to the back that I say it's holding my recovery as far as physical goes. I am walking 6 mikes a day 3 at a time. I am a Zumba instructor so I can wait to go back to teaching. I am thinking that the Madter up there sent me this pain so I could slow down a little. I feel with energy and want to go back to my regular life. The other sorta of hold is that the X-Ray showed some not much fluid on my L lung 2weeks ago that's why the appt. today to check is cleared. I pray it did.
Anyways just wanted to share part of my story and to thank you and the others that posts their stories.
Best wishes and hope you run that 5K by the end of Summer.
Matt Ovanes posted a note for Cami that says:
I'm so happy to see that everything has gone so well for you. Especially as a mom of what sounds like a very cute 5 year old (i read my wife the posting about the frosting and sprinkles and we got a big laugh!!)
I had a quick question for you, if you don't mind. I'm 41, and have been told that I need to start looking at surgery as well. Everything you read talks about a golden rule of going with a mechanical valve if you are under 60, but I noticed you went with a bioprostethic/ tissue valve. I have a friend who is a retired cardiac surgeon who said that he would go with the tissue as well.
So my question is this: Why did YOU go that direction? Were there conflicting suggestions with different people? And did anyone give you any sort of idea of timing and strategy for things down the line?
I appreciate the time, and wish you continued luck on your recovery.
Karen B posted a note for Cami that says:
So happy recovery is going well. As a fellow mom (2 daughters 12 & 9), I am also thinking about how they will do with my upcoming surgery. (MV repair - to be schedule in May/June). I also have a 5K goal when I'm on the other side of this process.
Brian F posted a note for Cami that says:
Happy to hear things are going well. I have a story about Lasix too....funny but then again not so much. I found a bunch of emails from you in my junk folder so alas I'm just catching up. Here you thought I was just being a crappy friend.
Cassie posted a note for Cami that says:
I hope you get to go home soon. When I was able to sleep thru the night, without nurses waking me up, I started to feel like the healing process really started. Day by day it will get better. Take care of yourself!
Tom in KC posted a note for Cami that says:
On the senod morning the surgeons partner came in a said "do you feel like you had a train wreck on your chest?".
So reading your message really made me laugh. Been there, done that.
Listen to the doctors, nurses and rehab team. Don't try and over do it at home iin the first month. But walk around e house ad much ad you can ( or as much ad they let you). Mine has been 10 weeks yesterday. Been back to work 2 weeks. Done with 6 or 7 weeks of cardio rehab. 5 weeks ofit to go.
Meredith Bray posted a note for Cami that says:
I feel better each hour that goes by! It gets better, I promise! Walk, walk, walk. I feel the worst part was the 24 hours before the surgery. But still, I hope I never have to do this again! Xoxo
Sue Lee posted a note for Cami that says:
Hi Cami & Jared
So nice of your husband to keep us informed of your progress...... glad that your surgery went well. I felt for you yesterday as I remembered my surgery. You will feel better each day! I am going to celebrate my surgery day as my unofficial birthday! Once again glad your surgery went well and hope you recover quickly.
V DiPietro posted a note for Cami that says:
Thinking about you a praying for a successful surgery. I've been reading your postings. Yes I think insomnia is a symptom of Aortic Calve Stenosis. I can't wait for your next posting after the surgery. Thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing how similar are my thoughts and emotions as yours. My surfer is scheduled for March 17th here at the Hospital of Pennsylvania. May The Lord be with you and His spirit be with all your medical personnel. ... V_
Yvette posted a note for Cami that says:
Prayers today my new friend!! I chuckle at your frosting and sprinkles... I have a friend bringing me a feather boa and tiara so the nurses will treat me like the Princess I am.... Gotta love the people in our lives!! We'll catch up on the flip side with both of our broken hearts fixed.
Susan Smith posted a note for Cami that says:
Hey, those are my questions for the cardio when I see him next Friday and I am a gramma. Take care and I will be praying for a successful surgery and a smooth recovery. We all have much to be thankful for and that is we can be fixed.
Clare posted a note for Cami that says:
Glad pre op went well. Sprinkles and frosting would be awesome! I have a five year old girl and she didn't think of that. She did make lots of cards for "momo"...not sure why but she is convinced that is the correct spelling for mom.
Will pray for a successful surgery and recovery.
Terri posted a note for Cami that says:
I haven't set a date yet. Just had my TEE on Valentine's Day. My VDay was just as "fun" as yours eh?
I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers your way on March 3rd. You will do great!
Terri posted a note for Cami that says:
Hi Cami- I had my mitral valve repaired last year and it's pretty much just like everyone said after surgery. The thing is, my repair didn't take and now I will need to get a replacement. I'm wondering which type of valve you are going for and how did you make that decision? I am leaning towards the Bovine, but the fact that they don't last that long is a huge obstacle in my decision. I have been on blood thinners for a year and am not excited about taking them the rest of my life. That is what makes me lean towards Bovine. Please let me know what you decided. You will do just fine and your daughter will totally mother you. My kids rose to the occasion last year and they are 9-11.
Sherry Stevens posted a note for Cami that says:
Hi Cami, It sounds like you have had quite a time getting to the basic problem, but it sounds like you are strong and determined. I had aortic valve replacement on Aug 12, 2013. I did my research, made the decisions that I could make, and in faith looked forward to having my strength back. The surgeons that are available to us now and the techniques they have learned make surgery for us now a much different thing than just a few years ago. I also had a congenital bicusbid valve causing stenosis. I was able to view a photo of my valve after surgery and was shocked that I managed as well as I did. I have no doubt that you will do well. Go into surgery having faith and a positive outlook and your recovery will go by faster than you anticipate; your healthier heart will provide you with your newer better life. I will be watching for your posts so let us all know how you are doing. You are in my prayers.
Peter Willard posted a note for Cami that says:
I had my aortic valve replaced with a bovine valve in Feb 2010 and I am 71 now and workout 6 days a week,you will be fine a I will say a pray for you.
Lu Anne Simpson posted a note for Cami that says:
I just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and your family and sending lots of prayers. You will do fine! It sounds like you have a loving and supportive family.
I had my surgery, soon be 6 years on May 6th. Life is good now!
Renee Brown posted a note for Cami that says:
Good luck with op. All I can tell you is to buy some sleeping bra's and wear them night and day and sleep on you back for 2 months afterwards.
18 months post op - Aortic valve replacement...
Lisa Obst AVR June 11, 2013 posted a note for Cami that says:
I had my valve replaced part of my aorta replaced and a small hole in my heart repaired June 11 of last year. The surgery was not near as bad as you think it will be. Not near as much pain as I expected. Just don't sneeze without holding your pillow to your chest tightly!! LOL The first 12 hours are the worst and then things seem to calm down very quickly as far as how you feel. You sleep through most of that time. Be careful with the ice chips, I ate to many and threw up. That's not good. I was so surprised that it wasn't near as bad as I expected. You will do fine and will be on your way to recovery in a week I was able to care for myself and my Mother after about two days out of the hospital so don't think it's going to be that bad. Don't fight the breathing tube when they remove it. That scared me because I didn't think I could breathe, but I could. I wasn't prepared for that. You will be fine and they will probably remove it before you are good and awake. Not painful at all just a little scary because you think you can't breathe. It's still breathing for you so just relax. That to me was the scariest thing because I didn't know what they were doing. If I had known I wouldn't have been scared. So now you know about that. Drain tubes aren't pleasant, but that's o.k. They come out quickly. The wires that are in your chest come out easily and don't hurt at all. As far as all the other things it was a piece of cake. No problems and not much pain at all. As soon as you can get off the morphine and get on Percocet or something like that do it. Works much better than the I.V. morphine. Second day you will be awake and up and feeling o.k. Not great, but o.k. I was in a chair by that evening of the surgery.
As for the insomnia, I had that for 2 months before my surgery. I think it is just apprehension and nothing else. I was able to sleep pretty well in the hospital except for them waking me up all the time!!! I had some problems with insomnia when I got home, but I think that was because I was uncomfortable lying on my back You won't be able to lay on your side for quite a while. Put a pillow under each arm and shoulder and prop yourself up high with pillows and you will be comfortable.
After the surgery your heartbeat will be very loud in your ears and you will feel it beating hard. That's normal. It's getting adjusted to the new blood flow through there. I had that for about 2 months before it got normal and I don't notice it now. That's about all I can tell you. It's not that bad. I'm not afraid to have it again if necessary. Just go in laughing and smiling and come out the same way!!! You will do fine. I promise. Just remember it's a piece of cake!!! Good luck!!
Ann Dreyer posted a note for Cami that says:
Hi Cami! You are brave, practical, and level headed. Hurray for your family gathering around! I had mitral valve repair and aortal replacement (but I still love bacon) on June 4, 2013. I know you have worries but things will go the way they should go, and worrying won't add a minute to your life. They will manage your pain in the hospital. You will definitely know you've had surgery. If you wake up a little early, like I did, and hear people talking about you, you've made it! You are in God's hands, the very best hands, so get back to sleep. Do everything they say to do. Choose to walk whenever you can. You will be weak at first. The more you walk, the more you will eat, and the sooner your body will get back on track. Beware tossing anything to the floor, because you'll have to get down there to get it. Be patient with your body as you heal. You have lots to look forward to. Keep your mind busy but understand you will sleep lots. Do a little, and then rest a little. I will never regret having surgery because now I can feel well. You will, too! Prayers for you.
Good luck with your surgery. I had mine on17th June and I am doing fine. I was out with friends 2 weeks after surgery. I had aortic valve replacement and a bypass. I had sleep problems too and I am sleeping much better now. Again all the best!
Tim Fallows posted a note for Cami that says:
I also had heart surgery and was terrified. I can tell you that you will be fine. We are young. You are going to be fine . I did it I was scared beyond belief . This is normal. I can only tell you that when you are young you are the dream patient for a doctor trying to pad his stats. The recovery is what you should look forward to and getting back to normal life. You can do anything after this. Woo hoo !! Run a 10k
Brenda Bopp posted a note for Cami that says:
I had AVR surgery just a year ago. I didn't have any pain before surgery n would describe my recovery as mild discomfort. Not nearly as bad as anticipated. Mine was all genetic junk. Bounced back quickly n feel great. Turned 60 2 months after surgery n haven't slowed down a bit. Had cow valve replacement.
Bob Eldi posted a note for Cami that says:
Cami - I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve - all was OK until about 65, when the stenosis set in - I was monitored for 6 years and then told it was time. So, last Feb 20(2013) I went into Columbia Presbyterian in NYC and Dr. Allan Stewart gave me a bovine tissue aortic valve with a minimally invasive technique - you can't even see the 4" incision, although at 71 who cares? My advice is this: you'll be nervous right up until they knock you out, but have faith in your surgeon. Exercise your legs before the operation to make walking easier in the hospital (I did 6 months of heavy exercising and was in great shape on D-Day). Listen to the doctors - the first 2 days are hard, but it gets better quickly. Do the rehab exercises faithfully at home and WALK, WALK, WALK - I was up to a mile a day 4 weeks after getting home. I helped a friend build a house in July & August and went back to teaching in Sept. You'll be fine - it's not a cake walk, but it's not that bad. Good luck - Bob Eldi, Amagansett, NY(I'll be 72 in 2 months)
Cassie Fairbourn posted a note for Cami that says:
Thank You so much for your thoughtful card and well wishes! I read your story and I think as a mother we just keep going and don't realize are bodies are not quite working right. Being a wife, mother of two and working full time outside the home is hard work. I feel your fear, pain and similar thoughts. It is hard to think about just taking care of you, but in order for Ellie to have you for a lifetime you need to take this small brief time for yourself and "get your heart fixed."
If you have more questions about the surgery from a recent surgery survivor (6 days post op!) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to chat and ease your fears.
Much love, prayers and peace to you and your family!!!