Today I am 9 weeks post-op and I managed to go back to work (I do office work in my home) 13 days after surgery so my time was kept fairly busy. Besides, I have two grandchildren who play sports and we attend all their games. I spent my down time listening to music, reading, doing puzzles, writing thank you notes, keeping a journal and walking inside and out. Just keeping up with the notes on this site is fun and helpful.
I'm sure it's much more difficult to get motivated when you are alone so take that time and drop a note and just keep us all informed how you are doing. We are all interested as we've either been there or are "going" there!
Try and think positive thoughts and just count your blessings. Very soon you will see progress.
Ken is four weeks post op and still home...thank God he took out the optional short term disability at his job! I also luckily work from home. He does his share of watching TV but there is a routine..wake, shower, dress, walk out to get the paper with the dog, breakfast, walk(or indoor exercise-you don't have to have a machine about 2000 steps is a mile) then he has several things that fill the day.They are: folding clothes, reading, playing games on computer, he decided that he wanted to try origami for when he had enough of the TV..so find something you've wanted to brush up on (library is a good cheap source).....Hope that helps!
Joel is right if you swing a cardiac rehab program, do it. The only thing my doctors pushed was walking. The more you can walk the better. I'm lucky in that I live in the country so all the roads around here are in the woods or down by the beach. The closest rehab to me is over 1 hour away and with my kids schedules I could not afford the time, so I walk around here which I have found extremely pleasant.
You asked about "doctor prescribed exercise programs." I was concerned about being able to return to my work after surgery, so I asked my surgeon if a regimented program would help me recover faster. He thought there was a definite advantage to cardiac rehab programs, and set it up for me.
I attend a 1 hour session each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, and then supplement with another 35 minutes on my treadmill at home each afternoon.
My insurance company is covering the cost of 12 sessions. If yours doesn't cover it, then I think you could exercise at home with good results too. But if a cardiac rehab program is available to you, by all means take advantage of it.
Hi Joyce, glad you doing well. I think I was very lucky to get my valve repaired, not replaced. If you look at my pics you will see that my valve did not close at all. I did not have a good valve since I was a teen, 30 years ago. I had minimal invasive surgery and what I read here, I think I am doing as expected. My boob is still numb but "wounds" healing ok. I was severely dehydrated according to my doctor because of the meds. Now I am off everything except 81 mg of aspirin. I wish you well and speedy recovery. I am glad we have such a great technology to make things possible. That little piggy is your lucky star now. Take care, Helen N.C.
I'm happy to hear that your are doing well and recovering at home. I'm in the same boat as you - Mary and Jenny, my wife and daughter, have returned to work, so I am home alone most of every day. I spend my time reading, walking on my treadmill twice daily, doing light chores and projects around the house. Occasionally, I take a nap in the afternoons, depending on how tired I am from the activities of the morning! Like you, I feel great and want to be productive, but I still tire quickly. The days pass rapidly, however, and I see progress almost everyday.
Somehow I totally missed your first entry advising of your surgery date. I had a mitral valve repair on Oct 1/09 and while I've had some small glitches here and there, on the whole I'm gaining strength every day. Your strength will return in leaps and bounds in the beginning and then get into rehab and start working to rebuild your heart muscle. We are all so fortunate to be able to benefit from the magnificant progress in heart surgery. Continued success. Cheryl, Ontario
Thanks for writing in our guestbook. Ken is now two weeks post surgery. He is very surprised at how well he feels. I think my job now is to remind him that no matter how good he feels there are things he cannot do! We need to give the sternum time to heal and do not want to do anything to it while it is healing! He says that the hardest part was in the hospital and really it was just the first three days (ICU and all the tubes and lines) as all those things are removed and you are more able to do for yourself you will see and have more confidence in the fact that you will be just fine. At two weeks post surgery, Ken has felt well enough to walk the grocery store aisles with me and yesterday we even went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. (We live within a half mile of all of this so it is not a huge trip) basically anything that is within a 45 min.time frame is do-able for him. Now don't get me wrong his job is to heal and when he is not walking, or doing light normal daily activities (folding light laundry, unloading dishwasher etc..)he is in his chair resting. So maybe that is why he has not had the issue of fatigue as much. I just wanted to let you know that in our case just getting past the surgery and recovery in the hospital was the most difficult part but all in all having just gone through it, we would make the same decision again. I hope this helps relieve some anxiety..Good luck on the 20th!
I go in tomorrow morning, 11/18 for MV repair. I know what you are going through. Hang in there! Think only good thoughts and know that this is a 2nd lease on life. We will go through this at almost the same time. Feeling anxious is normal.
As you probably know... Your anxiety is completely understandable, common and appropriate.
I remember being in the exact same situation before my heart valve replacement surgery.
The most interesting twist occurred when my anxiety transformed into excitement the day before surgery. I guess the realization that my heart would be fixed had a very positive effect on my outlook toward the event.
Four years later, I'm doing great!
My hope is that you have even a better result than me.