Maria posted a note for Kathi that says:
Hi Kathi, my husband and I have been able to reduce blood pressure (after his heart surgery) dramatically by cutting out salt from our diet (we still cheat sometimes). It can be tough, since mostly all prepared foods have a ton of sodium / salt. I do the cooking, so I read the labels and buy foods containing the least sodium. Examples: baby Swiss cheese has lowest sodium; fresh fruits and vegetables; I bake fruit breads adding so salt, just the required baking powder, we use Mrs. Dash, onions, garlic for flavor, etc. Wishing you the best in your continued recovery! Maria
Beth Saunders posted a note for Kathi that says:
Your surgery is scheduled the day of my 4 week post-op. I had a bicuspid aortic valve also and it was replaced with a bovine valve. Before surgery I did not have bad symptoms so it took me a little while to get my mind right that I really needed the surgery. 2 Things convinced me I should go ahead. 1- they had been measuring the opening size of my aortic valve for several years and it continued to shrink from .81 last year to .66 this year. (Below .6 is critical!) and 2) my Dr. drew a long straight line that then curved straight down and he put an X right on the edge of the curve. He said " bicuspid aortic valves can work fine for many years, until they don't. It will continue to get worse at a rapid rate, so it is best to get it fixed now." I am pretty much a visual learner- and had no desire to continue going off the cliff- so I had the surgery! This site was very helpful to me also just no substitute for hearing from people who have actually experienced what you are going through. My new valve is working great and I am feeling better and stronger every day! Good luck to you! Before you know it the anxiety of surgery will be over and you can concentrate on your recovery! Prayers for you!
Duane Beeman posted a note for Kathi that says:
Kathi: Do yourself a favor and read my journal. Be advised that your hair may stand up while you're doing that, but I think you'll feel much better when you're done. I'm here writing this message to you two years after the fact. I made it through some rough times. You won't have those rough times because nobody but me gets to have that pleasure !!I I'm here to tell you that courage is nothing more than being scared but doing it anyhow. I'm going to check back soon to see if you're getting your mind right or if I need to tell you some more bedtime stories about the little engine that could !!!
Liz posted a note for Kathi that says:
Hello Kathi, I'm new to this website. How long have you been diagnosed with needing valve replacement for a bicuspid aortic valve?
I was diagnosed with moderate aortic valve stenosis (bicuspid valve) in 2014. I Never knew I had a heart murmur until then, but mine has now moved to the severe category. I Will be seeing a surgeon and getting information about a valve replacement soon. I'm glad I found this site as I've been feeling lots of anxiety about the unknown. Really interested in other women that are going through surgery and helpful suggestions for preparation and rehab through the process. Your surgery is soon. Sending positive energy and thoughts to you.
Katherine posted a note for Kathi that says:
Hi there--first, you need to change your name to reflect not scare but strength! In all honesty, the test was a breeze. Odd sensation but no pain, no need to worry. Absolutely! Had it before my Aortic valve replacement in May. You will be better than fine.
Catie B posted a note for Kathi that says:
Kathi, I'm responding to the post you wrote Julie M. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm also sorry you feel so afraid--I know it's super stressful.
I knew my day would come for more than 40 years, and I was still terrified. My aortic valve/root/aneurysm surgery was last September. By the time a surgeon tells you it's time, the balance has shifted to where it's becoming more dangerous to not have the operation than it is to go on and have it. I realize it takes time to wrap your head around it, but I hope you can gather your strength, get scheduled and see it through. I also hope you'll post more questions in your journal and hopefully find the support and reassurance you need. By the way, there's a chapter of Mended Hearts in Loma Linda. It's a heart patient support group. A lovely member of that organization graciously talked to me the night before my surgery and visited me in the hospital when I was in Cleveland.
Best to you!
Fran posted a note for Kathi that says:
You most likely will way weigh more than when you were admitted, all normal, so pants with an elastic waist will be best to wear home. Tops that button in front, may be hard to raise arms to put tops on. good luck.
Meredith Bray posted a note for Kathi that says:
Hi Kathy, I had my stenotic & bicuspid aortic valve replaced 18 months ago. Welcome to the site, there is so much information on here. When I first found the site I stayed up all night reading. Please ask questions, we love to talk about ourselves!