Hi Kellie. I just signed on to my journal & saw your note from 7/21. I changed e-mail addresses so I don't get notifications anymore & don't see a way to change it in my profile. I only get into the journals now & then these days so please forgive me for taking so long to respond.
Happy belated anniversary to you too. I'm so sorry to hear about problems in your personal life & hope things look up for you very soon. You survived your surgery because life is a wonderful thing. I'm sure it may not seem that way right now, but hang in there. You got through a difficult time last year & you'll get through this too.
Things are going just fine for me. I've returned to teaching yoga & stay very busy with that. My classes at the Sun City fitness center have been quite large this summer which is rewarding & fun. I took a special course in "Cardiac Yoga" this spring & recently taught a 5 class series for heart patients. I may teach more in the future, but life threw me a curve as well. Earlier this year, both of my parents had to be admitted to a nursing home simultaneously. They relocated to a nursing home here in Georgetown in June so my husband & I are essentially their caregivers now. We see them several times a week, do their laundry, taken them to doctors, that kind of thing. Gets a little intense, but you do what you must. Thank goodness this did not occur last year.
So, that's my story. My e-mail if you'd like to correspond apart from the journals is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As far as I know, heart enlargement is common to almost everyone who has valve disorder. You acquired it before you had your surgery because of the malfunctioning valve.But now that you have e good valve, time will come that your heart will restore to its normal size. I'm 6 mos.post op, until now I still take med for my heart, occasionally, I still feel that heavy feeling in my chest, but I'm not bothered because I know my heart is still enlarged.Just keep you bp in the normal level.Hope you are enlightened. Regards!
Your heart does not yet know that it has been repaired. It will take time to heal. My cardiologist said that the conditions you have before you go into surgery will be there when you get out except that you'll have a new valve which helps you heal so that your heart can go back to normal. Is it possible your heart was already enlarged before the surgery and they just reported on a standard condition not aware that you hadn't been informed before?
Just a possibility. Hope it all works out. Expect some aches and pains for awhile. They go away eventually.
Wow Kellie - I don't know what would cause this but hopefully your cardiologist can tell you what is going on. Keep us posted and my prayers are with you on finding out what is causing it and getting it all worked out.
Mine is almost six months post surgery.Upon waking up in the morning I still feel that little pain on my chest but subsides when I already get active. To be sure, ask your cardiologist about it. Hope you'll feel better! - Letty
Hi Kellie, yes I have this sometimes. My Cardio said it was related to the cartilage in between the ribs healing. It is mild and not there all the time and obviously eveyone is different but it happens to me
Do you recall lifting anything heavy in the past 48 hrs? Have you ruled out muscle strain? If its of concern then I would place a call to your cardiologist and try asking him over the phone what he thinks it might be? I call mine with many questions before making an appointment for a visit and most of the time he has an answer.
What a really lovely posting. You voiced something I thought about but never voiced. It was scary going to sleep sometimes. You are blessed that you have come through so well - as am I. Take care and stay in touch.
Hi Kellie. Love the story about finding the verse on your retreat. It was certainly there just for you. I'm glad to hear that your heart is doing well & that we are where we are in our journeys. I'm back to doing what I always did before surgery & more. Take care, Joy
Hi Kellie, thanks for thinking of me, you are so sweet. Isn't is funny how we think of each other so often?? I just posted as although I read often everyones journal I had not posted in weeks. I feel like a broken record that I just don't have the stamnia I want or feel I should have at this stage. As you can see my focus is sort of elsewhere right now, rehab is great and I am dedicated, 3 X wk. How are you??? I have made an appt with a PHD who is a friend of the author of the book I told you about who counsels many heart patients to keep my perspective in check. I think that between losing my long time job of a career that I really liked, to now the family congenital genetics reality check, I just want to make sure I am handling all OK, for the most part I feel like I am but I do not want it to sneak up on me. Keep in touch.
Hey Kellie: Thanks for writing back to me. I am just starting on this journey so its good to look to others for inspiration I just went to a hypnotherapist and it is helping me to calm down. My next hurdle is the angiogram. I know I have no choice -this isn't elective surgery. You sound like a strong person and having this journal is magical. Anyway I'll be reading your entries and praying for you. Peace JOAnne
Hi Kellie. I take metoprolol too & wish I could get off of it. I see zig-zaggy lines occasionally, usually for about 15-30 minutes, which is one of the side effects of a beta blocker. I also know someone who suffered from depression that she attributes to beta blockers - said it was a problem for about a year. Still, my heart rate is consistently above 100 so until that goes down, I'm sure my cardiologist will want me to stay on them. I hope your doctor finds something that works better for you. Take care, Joy
Hi Kellie, thanks for the note. I thought of you specfically today. Have been really physically tired last 3 days after activity. It is all over my face the minute I hit the wall, my husband is the first to notice. Today I drove to rehab 1st time myself, then made 2 stops on the way home, now I look like I have been up for 4 days. It seems like the more fatigued I get the less rested I sleep, and so restlessly. I am also contemplating seeing a counselor as I am dealing with my whole congential heart disease and my sons past repair and now his baby in utero, I thought I was over the herediary tendencies and dealing with no ones fault, but it sneaks up on me. Soo in support of talking to someone like you mentioned for panic attacks, by all means go for it. I just read a great book by Dr Wayne Sotile "Thriving With Heart Disease", as the nurse in rehab gave it to me today as I shared my worries. Dr Sotile spoke @ our class last week, very inspiritional! Take care and keep me posted as to how you are doing
Hi Kellie. I get out of breath sometimes & it makes me wonder if I'm getting fluid on my lung again. I gain a pound & I wonder if the fluid is coming back. I think whatever we've been through over the course of our recovery process tends to be what we worry about. Not to say that isn't valid - whatever you are feeling is 100% valid & talking with a therapist might be very helpful. Good luck & let us know how you are doing. Joy
Hang in there as it always to good to read your updates and encouraging words as well. I know that sometimes it is so hard to try to be normal, like what is that anyway. We all have been through a tremendous jolt in one form or another. I constantly am comparing myself to others and need to stop that game. We all heal differently and at our own pace. I to get so discouraged when I still have pain after 9 wks. One bit of wisdom that my cardiologist said to my husband and I 6wk chk up, "you have now hit a major milestone, surviving the surgery and being at home, now the hard part for you is the recovery which will take months" Sooo whenever I start wondering why I am so exhausted and need a nap and have trouble concentrating I remember what he said. Take care you are strong
Susan V North Carolina
Thank your for the kinds words in my guestbook. I feel so close to my many friends here and will most definitely continue to follow your progress.
I think we expect we should be up and running by the time we return to work but the big news is, that's not what happens. We are told 3-6-12 months recovery - but we aren't taking into account the different stages of recovery. You have recovered - great! But you still get out of breath and are tired - yep. Sounds about right. Give yourself a break and just try to accept the fact that you will be a while yet before you go a day without wanting a nap or get out of breath. That is where the constant exercise and training will come in. You now must train your heart to get physically fit and that takes a lot of time. It will eventually come easier Kellie but you have to be more patient with yourself.
You are probably experiencing panic attacks when you feel a palpitation or something to do with your heart. Often, I suffer violent palpitations and that's why I'm now on a Beta Blocker. I still get the palpitations but not quite as bad and hence, I read to try and take my mind off of them. Perhaps you just aren't quite confident that you are healed because you are still experiencing symptoms and that may just be what you will be left to live with. Teaching yourself to relax isn`t easy and you may just need a little professional help so embrace what you need and apologize to no one.
Hi Kellie. It must have been nice to see everyone at work again & begin returning to more of a normal routine. You've mentioned before that your job carries some stress with it so beginning part time is wise. Take care of yourself - Joy
Way to go Kellie, I bet it feels so good to have smoe normalcy in you life, sounds like you have come along way. Sometimes I am already have an identity crisis knowing that I cannot return to my 11 yr career, but I know that once Dr releases me hopefully by Jan after rehab that another door will open to a new stage in my life. I am so uplifted to hear you are doing well
So glad you are back working and moving right along in your recovery.I'll just bet that your co-workers are very happy to have you back as you must be a joy to be around with your kindness and caring.Thank You for the encouragement that you have given me..Pat
Hi Kellie. You are right - I do like rehab. Went to my first session today & met the only other woman in our group as I walked on the treadmill. We looked familiar to each other & it turned out that she usually attends an aerobics class that follows a yoga class I used to teach. So we must have seen each other coming & going. I hope you will be able to continue when you return to work. Have a good Labor Day weekend - Joy
I forgot to mention that the sweating is also normal after surgery for a little while.I've read of many people who had it including me, especially at night. It finally stopped:)
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
Thanks for writing. You can "vent" to me anytime:) I certainly do enough of it. In reference to your question about Lexapro, I almost mentioned before that I learned I had to take Lexapro in the morning because it kept me awake if I took it at night. I am on 20 mg. and actually like that it gives me a little boost of energy. I hope it also works better for you this way also.
Prayers and thoughts,
Hi Kellie, thanks for your guestbook entry on
my site. I feel soooo sick, it reminds me of
when I was pregnant!!! I'm also very tired and weak....I was glad to hear that you're doing well and getting ready to go back to work.....My blood pressure tends to be low....stay well, Lee
Years ago I did tally my sodium daily totals. Don't remember what they were specifically but they were way below the alotted amount. They may be even lower now. We don't eat bacon, hardly any cold cuts and so much of what has sodium in it. Lots of veggies, fruits, salmon, skinless chicken, etc. I know sounds boring but I'm told I'm a good cook. Keep at it.
Hi Kellie. Hey, that's great that you've lost all that weight. As for the salt, we cut way back on salt years ago & our palates adjusted. Using lots of other spices helps. Restaurant food & many prepared foods often taste too salty now. Take care, Joy
Thanks for stopping by and signing my guestbook. I think my cardiologist is being a pain in the butt really. They told me to monitor my BP, and if they aren't going to accept my readings, then why should I bother taking it. Drives me crazy!!! I have an appt. with my family doctor tomorrow morning at 10 am for a BP check. Like you, my cardiologist had my rehab figures right there in front of him and he still insisted I go have a check tomorrow. UHHHHHH! Doctors, gotta love them! He did tell me that I can take my water pill occasionally because I'm retaining fluid in my legs, so I'll do that tomorrow.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I'm sure we will chat again.
Great news about the weight loss, seems this should make a difference in your medication requirements for your diabetes (don't know if you're type 1 or 2). As for the salt. I gave up salt a few years ago without medical prompting as I knew it would help my heart and blood pressure. I missed it for a week or so but got so that when we eat out I will now comment to my husband that some food is too salty when he doesn't sense that. I do not add any salt in cooking or at the table, so Pete eats the same food, funny how sensitive I've become to it. Be sure to read the labels on all canned good, especially soups. Try lemon juice and different herbs, you'll be fine.
Kellie, thank you for your note wow sounds like you are really on your way nice feeling I am sure. I unfortunately due to corp policy after 11 yrs and a career I loved will be termintated in 3 wks from the company. Luckliy I have and will cont to have disabiltiy until full reovery that I elected and have contributed to for yrs, so I really envy your return to work. I remember 13 yrs ago when I had by second sternotomy with valve repair that when I returned to work I was able to cont with rehab and it was a tremendous confidence builder, so many emotions we go through, keep in touch and hang in there
Thanks so much for what you wrote in my guestbook. I was so happy for you when I read they gave you the go ahead to go back to work. You are getting your life back. I know you will miss rehab. Today is my first day and it is reassuring that they are keeping track of vitals.
Continue to keep us posted and I know you are going to do great!
Prayers and thoughts,
Hi Kellie, it's me, Letty Paz. Nice to hear you are doing well. I am really very thankful that I found this site that I was able to hear the experiences and success stories of other heart valve patients. There is still no final date of my surgery, but it will be done between Sept. 6-15, my doctor will ring me when the final date is settled. I am completely ready now, there is no other choice :-) Mine is aortic valve replacement for my severe aortic stenosis, a tissue valve will be used, I am 58 and it is most recommended at my age. I just submit everything to the LORD, whatever His will, but I am positive I can make it. I'll keep you posted. Regards to your family,take care and God bless!
I saw one of your postings in someone else's guest book and wanted to let you know that I was also put on Lexapro plus an antianxiety medication. I tend to have bad panic attacks. And I am on a full aspirin a day plus 2 other blood thinners. And half a lasix, plus nitrogylcerin and percocet for the chest pain I still experience. It is an overwhelming experience and many cases of cardiac depression. I find that I like the Lexapro. How are you doing on it?
Prayers and thoughts are with you,
Hi Kellie! I am pretty sure that you are the one who wrote me. I read your story. Gosh we really have a lot in common. I had gum disease and went through gum surgery a few years ago. Prior to going through my aortic valve replacement surgery I had to have a very deep cleaning. I do take a baby aspirin everyday and I am taking a small dosage of Prozac. So far it does not seem to be any complications with it. I have only been taking the prozac for 1 week. I will be following up with my cardiologist tomorrow. Feel free to write anytime... Beth Fox, CA
First of all I would like to thank you for writing in my guestbook. I have read your story and journal and I am so happy that things seem to have gone so well for you except for the bp part. I hope they are able to fix that soon. I have to opposite problem since surgery.Before I suffered from hypertension and now they can't get by bp up.
I see that we are the same age:) Never expected to be going through heart surgery or a heart attack this young.But I guess that can go with the quote "You plan, God laughs".
Prayers and thoughts are with you,
I am glad to hear you are doing well. I enjoyed rehab very much...it did so much for me physically and mentally. I hope your blood pressure issue settles down soon with the right combination of medication. Mine is the opposite tends to run low because of the medication I am on for a fast heart rate.
Hi Kellie. Glad to hear about your heart sounding good & rehab. That blood pressure is stubborn though, isn't it? You sure don't want to go back to a stressful situation with that. I hope he finds the right combo for you soon so you can get on with the rest of your recovery. Take care, Joy
Hi Kellie. Thanks for the note - I'm actually feeling better after the first dose of Lasix yesterday. The cardiologist hit the nail on the head as to what was wrong & it seems to be helping the cough as well. Here's to lower blood pressure for you & less fluid for me! Keep on getting better - Joy
Hi Kellie. I'd be concerned about the rising blood pressure too & was glad to read they upped your lisinopril to address it. I guess it's going to take some tweaking to get just the right combo but I have to think that the monitoring that occurs during rehab will help address just that. Take care, Joy
Hi Kellie. You know, lisinopril was a medication that my husband had to discontinue because it was causing him to cough so much. I think it's more often the culprit than the metoprolol. He takes Benecar now. Oddly enough, before surgery, I took lisinopril & had no problems with coughing.
Interesting that before your surgery your BP was not high & now it's higher. Enjoy rehab with all the guys. Hopefully they'll make you feel welcome.
Great news you're doing so well. Even though you'll be the lone woman in rehab, you'll enjoy it. As some of the old timers "graduate", maybe some females will join. I'm just finishing #30 session and my class has been about 50/50. I will miss the comraderie as I continue to exercise on my own. If you feel you're ready for work, hope the cardio agrees with you. Good luck.
Hi Kellie. For a while I was only aware of 1/2 of what needed to be corrected with my heart - replacement of the aortic valve. During that period, I asked my surgeon if the valve replacement would reduce or correct my high blood pressure. He replied that it probably would not.
Since then, I found out that I had a second condition (coarctation) which is a narrowing of the aorta & which is associated with high blood pressure. So, both conditions have now been corrected & my blood pressure medication changed to something weaker - Metoprolol 25mg 1/2 tablet per day. From what my surgeon told me, the reason my blood pressure went down is due to the coarcation correction, not the valve replacement.
I am over 10 mos post-op and I too thought my bloodpressure would return to normal readings without medicinal help and was told by my doctor - not necessarily so. I was put on medicine to reduce my blood pressure just before my surgery and have been told I will probably always be on it.
From what I have read, it takes little while for your heart to make the adjustment to the corrections made by the surgery. Following my AVR, aorta root rpair and myectomy procedure on May 5, my mitral valve has some new regurgitation which I hope will go away as the heart changes. In addition I was initially on a 25 mg beta blocker, Metropolol, 3X a day to manage my BP. At 8 weeks I was changed over to a time release Metropolol of 50 mg 1X a day. Has your cardiologist put you on a beta blocker? If not it might be worth discussing with him/her.
I hope your recovery continues to progress. I have my three month checkup on Wed, so I am hoping for good news on the MV regurgitiation.