Duane Beeman posted a note for Karin that says:
Hey girl. You hang in there. You need not fear. What happened to me was a freak thing. If you're going to have any life threatening physical problem today the heart is probably the best one to have. They have people walking around without a heart, waiting for a transplant. I mean walking around their home with some portable machine pumping for them !! If you need a coach/friend through all of this, look me up on Facebook. I'm the Duane Beeman from Michigan. I'll walk down this road with you all the way until you pop out the other end. I promise.
firstname.lastname@example.org posted a note for Karin that says:
Hi Karin, Just wanted to follow up with you regarding your pending surgery. Hope that things are moving forward in a good way -- and that you are able to make the best decisions possible. Did they ever find out more regarding your cath results? Will keep you in my prayers! Have a great weekend...Sincerely, Maureen
Maureen Hoganson posted a note for Karin that says:
Hi Karin! Please forgive me for the delay in response as I need to check this site more often! I appreciate your note -- and can totally resonate with the decisions you are having to make. The decision whether to do a mechanical or prosthetic valve is a difficult one. I ended up doing a bovine valve (Trifecta) because I don't do well with medicines and the risk for complications, etc. was higher for me if I had to take blood thinners for the rest of my life. I am very active -- and was also concerned about bleeding issues. My iron levels tend to be low -- and I've had to deal with anemia on and off for most of my life, so for me, the bovine was the way to go. I also have a genotype "4-3-53" called the multi-susceptibility gene that makes me extremely sensitive to chemicals and molds and can't tag the "biotoxins" that get in my system. More reason for me to avoid unnecessary medications. The downside, as you know, is that this type of valve typically only lasts about 10 to 15 years -- and the more active you are -- the quicker you can wear it out. However, I am hoping that the surgical procedure to "update" my valve next time will be not as intense as this past time. (I had a full sternotomy.) Did well with the surgery, but definitely takes time to recover fully. I highly recommend physiotherapy after 6 months post-op! I'm happy to discuss more -- and will pray for you and your family as you go down this path.
Glenn Oden posted a note for Karin that says:
I'm 17 days post-op from AVR and aorta stem replacement. I've alway been a vigorous bike rider. When I was first diagnosed the dr. told me to keep riding, but to keep my HR at below 130. He said that my fitness had kept me from having problems earlier.
In recovery the nurses were all surprised by my core strength. They said it would make it the whole process easier for me.
I'm 69yrs old and have been walking 2-3 miles a day since I came home. It goes unsaid that you should follow your dr. instructions, but my experience is that the stronger you are the easier the surgery will go for you.
I wish you all the best,
Marcia posted a note for Karin that says:
Karin that is a good question one i can't answer but sure someone here will be able to. i'm active for the most part but nothing like you. I hope in the coming month i can ask my cardo dr just what i can do to increase my exercise out side of walking.I do have a bad knee so even walking is hard at times. I hope you find the answers and let us know.
DVB posted a note for Karin that says:
Hi Karin. Yeah, I was told to quit my exercise program prior to surgery for MV repair. I cheated some on that, still going for easy hikes and out on x-country skis. Smart? Maybe not, but its also not smart to lose all your conditioning going in to surgery. Many physicians deal mostly with "sick people" and not athletic people.
I am not a medical doctor, but here are some thoughts. Long duration cardio exercise does elevate blood pressure for long periods and so can presumably lead to further degenerative remodeling of your heart. Here are two things you might want to discuss with your doctor: first, how about high intensity interval training? Your BP is elevated only for a short period and the conditioning benefits are similar. Second, how about implementing an afterload reduction strategy while waiting for surgery? ACE inhibitors (a common and safe drug) have been used for this purpose and with some benefit - see my journal entry from October 28, 2012 titled "An ACE up your sleeve" for more info.
What you are facing is a common challenge - let us know how it works out.
Ernie A.S. posted a note for Karin that says:
My exercise physiologist from cardiac rehab told me to do brisk walk rather than rrun/jog. She said. "Ten years from now your joints will thank me". But, I still like a good jog. :)
Susan Smith, my real name...isn't it awful posted a note for Karin that says:
Hi Karin, I have the same dx as you and am pre-op. I am on a 6 month echocardiogram and cardiologist visit. Read my story when you get a chance. You might order the book as it is full of important information not only for you but for your designated caretaker after surgery. I am moderate to severe and the last visit with the dr. surgery was presented and the requirement of more test. I am in the throws of losing weight at the dr. orders. I have lost 35, but must get to 50 in order to make the doctor happy. I certainly want to keep the doctor happy! This Community is quite helpful and encouraging so please feel free to add your encouragement too. Do keep us all posted as your progress.
Jim Jones posted a note for Karin that says:
Welcome! You are sure in the right place. You have already seen that many members have had the same diagnosis that you have and have undergone surgery. You will also read of many members that are athletic, had to shut it down pre-surgery and have returned to various sports. My best as you form relationships thru this site and decide on a course of action.