Hi Lindsey, I had my surgery in Sept. I still feel some pain but I know it is the healing process. All the nerves have to heal and it takes time. Im not sure about a sports bra but I have a surgical bra that I was able to get from the hospital. It closes in the front with velcro and has helped a lot. I also still hug my pillow from the hospital. I hold that close to me and it feels really good with the support. Sometimes you just have to give in with a pain pill too. I also try and keep clothes away from the incision. Hope that helps you. Hang in there better days are coming but it does take a long time.
Linda H and Elsie AVR 9/19/12
I had my aortic valve replaced on 12/12/12 and then a pacemaker implanted on 12/17/12. I was in the hospital until 12/28 and have been home since. I am 32 years old and I get very impatient sometimes about my recovery. It feels at times like I am near 100%, then I move wrong or get up to walk and feel exhausted or in pain again. I want to drive, I want to be free of pain medications and I want to exercise normally already, but I guess it can take time. I think once I start cardiac rehab progress will be more apparent. Maybe the same will be true for you.
I've been wearing one since I got my defibrillator implanted. A must wear according to my wife and family. I cannot recall where I got my current one from but I know NOT to use americanmedical-id.com. I had one from them that kept falling apart. My current one I have had for quite a while. There are many different online retailers for these with multiple options. For running I have a roadie.com rubber bracelet. These are great for working out. In general up to you to wear them or not. I can tell you I had my road id on when I got shocked by my defibrillator in September and when the paramedics came I just handed them my bracelet which was great to have. I highly recommend one of these for workouts at minimum.
Ps - if you can't tell I am a bit stir crazy and spending my days on my iPad...all day on and off. I'm off to the surgeon tomorrow for my followup.
Glad to hear you are doing much better and moving around. It must be quite an experience to go through this so young. I have mine scheduled for the 31st of this month and hope it goes well.
As for your latest journal entry, my wife bought some tags for me a while ago through Amazon. As for what you should have on them depends on the type of meds you are on or any other things an emergency medical team would need to know. That might be a great question for your cardiologist.
I was told not to take a bath until the wounds stopped oozing. I had one that was stubborn so it was showers for a few weeks. Also, I suggest cardiac rehab. It helps to regain trust in the heart, health professionals oversee the program, and you share the room with other heart patients. It is good for the body and mind.
Going stir crazy myself! I know how u feel. Just get out and walk and don't feel like you have to stay in. I've been out quite a bit when the opportunity arises. But still have to take it slow as need to allow the heart the time to heal. Still keeping you in my prayers.
My surgeon gave me the go ahead at six weeks. I have to admit, I did go in the pool at around 4 weeks, but didn't stay in for long and dried off and changed out of my wet suit right away. I'm not so sure you should soak in a hot tub for any length of time though.
Glad to hear you're feeling well!
My cardiologist released me for driving, rehab, work , etc based on the surgeon's guidelines. Have you had your follow-up with the surgeon & cardiologist? I also had an echo at 2 mo and another followup with the cardio @ 3 mo.
Debbie AVR 4/2/12
Welcome home. I just got home yesterday myself so I know how you are feeling and just thinking about how to write it up. It is exciting to get out of the hospital but tough to adjust to home as well. I learned today I need to watch all the medications they stuck me in upon leaving as they caused my BP to drop too low making me feel worse then the last few days in the hospital. Take care of yourself!
Fantastic news and welcome to the zipper and ex-regurgitator club. Remember enough of that ICU leave it for the next patients.... Take all the pain meds they offer and your body will thank you and recover faster as it does not try to protect itself against your every move. Besides they are all legal ;-)
All the very best for an uneventful recovery and what a super present for the holiday season.
Paul R (MVP repair Fiday 13th July 2012.... ex - regurgitator and zipper club member)
Hi Lindsay, My iPad was invaluable, especially after midnight when I could not sleep - spent plenty of time updating my journal :-) Magazines or books with pictures in as it is really difficult to concentrate... A fellow patient looked to be reading all the time and confessed on leaving that he had actually only made it through three pages and many times at that and really had no idea what he had read !
Good luck with the op and look forward to seeing you on the other side as an ex-regurgitator....,
but sorry Go Pats....
(ex-regurgitator and zipper club member).
Mitral Valve Repair. 13 July 2012
Lindsey, you will do great! I would take a salt shaker or some restaurant salt packets. Yes, behave and be a good patient and if they say you absolutely cannot have salt, don't use it. But many times the hospital food is just no salt for everyone whether it is an issue for you in particular or not. Just a little salt on chicken broth can mean the difference between eating well or not. Looking forward to hearing about your post op progress! Sherry Bradford 10/23/2012
Hello Lindsey, Along with everything eles I brought I took with me one big bag of chocolate and one bag of suckers - I had everyone going the extal mile for me back in 2010 at the Cleveland Clinic, the Doctors, the nurses and even the cleaning people were coming by saying hello in the hallway and my room, It was a big hit. We had alot of fun - Everyone really appreicated what I brought for them - Good luck with everything.
I am 29 and had surgery in september. a few things I brought with me I was glad I had...pjs with buttons, button up shirt for the way home and strechy pants, slippers, robe, pillow, lotion, chapstick, dry shampoo and my ipod with headphones
When I got home I used the travel pillow to sleep and the heating pad was very helpful because I had a lot of back pain from the position they have you in duriing surgery.
graft placed in ascending aorta and repaired aortic valve 9/10/12
One thing suggested to me on the journals was a neck travel pillow. Along with my lip balm it was my constant companion for weeks! My neck was very sore and my head felt like it weighed 100 lbs. It was the first thing I asked for after they removed the vent!.. I continued to use it until my eighth week after surgery (when sleeping). I didn't use the pj's I took, just the hospital gowns. I also took very loose clothes for the 3hr trip home. I too gained 20 lbs, which took about 10 days to lose. You may be lucky and lose it all before going home....but just in case, I would be prepared!
Best of Luck to you Lindsey...I will be watching for your updates and will keep you in my prayers!
I am a caregiver, as a patient, my husband did not need anything. The clothes he wore coming in and the clothes is will wear going home. He is to be discharged tomorrow. He is not really interested in doing anything other than the walking and resting. Takes lots of cat naps.
As a caregiver, if your hubby's able to stay with you, he might appreciate having a sleeping bag rather than rely on the hospital bedding.
Good luck to you, God knows!
You don't need a whole lot. I didnt wear my own PJ's or slippers and was never allowed to take a shower. Lip balm was a must for me. I wore a surgical bra with hooks in the front home. I actually brought a bunch of stuff I never used. bring you cell phone and charger. I brought my iPad but was too out of it to use it.
If you bring pajamas (which i loved having) make sure you bring a top that buttons down the front. You will have so many wires attached to your chest that you won't be able to wear a t-shirt. I wish I had brought two sets of pajamas just because I was in there a long time and mine got kind of gross. Make sure you bring some lip stuff, and I would also suggest a comfy pillow. Your neck will be sore afterwards, and a good pillow really helps. You might want to bring an iPad or laptop too.....in case you get bored. Concentration won't be good after surgery, but it was still nice to have.
Godspeed and good luck.
Hi Lindsey Welcome to HVJ. You have come to the right place foranswers and friendships. You had a question about under garments. I asked the hospital for a surgical bra and it worked just fine. I had a seven inch incision and it did go over the bottom part of it but it didn't bother me at all. I work it 24-7. If it does bother you in any way you can put a little gauze over it and that helps as well. I also gained 20 pounds of water but lost it in a few weeks. Your appitite will get smaller for a while so you might loose a little more. Just keep the protein up. Hope this helps some. Good luck to you, keep you in my prayers.
Mooving all over
Linda H and Elsie AVR 9/19/12
One other thing no one told me about, is I actually had 20 more lbs. on me than when I went in. This was attributable to the IV fluids they gave me while in the hospital. This may not be the case with you, as I believe they gave them to me to counteract some low blood pressure I experienced. Just in case, however, you may want to make sure you take with you clothes to go home in that are larger than your size now and very adjustable (drawstring sweats).
After coming home, a girlfriend lent me her larger workout clothes so I had something I could fit as well.
It took about 10 days for all 20 pds. to go away, with the help of a diuretic prescribed by my cardiologist a wk. afterwards.
I live in Maui, HI, am 55 yrs. old, and just had aortic valve replacement surgery, in addition to a hole discovered sewn closed, on Nov. 19th (yes, this month)! My daughter's name is also Lindsey, however, she's 27. My son, who's 28, was born in Conroe, TX (we lived in Spring, TX).
My incision was a little over 4 inches (bigger than expected due to the discovery of the hole), however, I am totally amazed/relieved at the incision and how it's just not that noticeable now - just less than 2 wks. out!
I found this site and the book just a week beforehand, and it gave me some info. I don't think I'd otherwise had found.
I learned from going through this that while after surgery it is painful, they do have medications while in the hospital that they can give you to help. Specifically, due to the fact that my stomach didn't do well with the Oxycodeine nor other pain relievers, they gave me Dilaudid. I guess that's pretty unheard of, but I had an awesome male nurse who really knew what I was experiencing, so he talked to the doctor and that's what they prescribed. I do believe they want you to be as comfortable as possible, but also they want you to be awake rather than asleep so you're breathing is as deep as possible (which helps healing).
Also I learned to be sure to ask them to give you stool softener from day one so you don't end up constipated (as I did) which is unpleasant and unnecessary to add on top of the healing process. You need to be your own patient advocate, in a nice way of course, but be prepared to ask for what you need and to not be a hero. You need to relay to them (if applicable) that your pain is at whatever level it's at and you'd like them to give you medication to help relieve it. There's no shame in that.
Also, they mistakenly sent me home without any pain meds. (the physician's asst. just said take Tylenol and Ibuprofen). My cardiologist's nurse was livid when she learned this at my 1 wk. checkup, as she was an ICU nurse for over 30 years, and said due to the cartiledge and bone issues involved in this surgery, that a patient should never be sent home w/out prescription pain meds. She said I would not get addicted, but needed it to be able to properly deep breathe and let my body heal.
Less than 2 weeks out I am doing so well and am so happy. I was very scared like you, and had over 1-1/2 yrs. in which I knew I needed this surgery.
In the first few days, coughing was difficult, however, I found if I held my pillow to my chest, and just did little attempts at coughing, along with taking sips of water which helps the process greatly, that I got through it (and felt better once I was able to clear my lungs).
It's also very important to sit in a chair as soon after the surgery as possible (w/in a day), in addition to taking walks around the hospital corridor as often as you can (at least two to three times a day).
The waiting/anticipation/worry beforehand is truly is the hardest part, but you'll get through it. My email should you want it, is Debbie@ThatCardStuff.com. I'd be happy to answer any questions or just to listen to your concerns should you want.
I'll be going through it with you. I'm 2 weeks out from mine as well (Dec 13th) at Mt. Sinai in NYC, by Dr. David Adams. I'll have a 4in cut, sternotomy (no minimally invasive for me, just due to my risk level). Same questions as Nancy, surgeon, type, etc. I know the nerves you have, but I think I have gotten past those at this point. I put my faith in the Lord and know he is in control.
This is my first as well, I'm 34, but my peace beyond the Lord, comes from knowing this needs to be done, having read the book, and have a general idea for what to expect and a great support at home. Get your support group together. Talk about what you are thinking, nerves...It helps a lot. I tend to keep things inside my self till my wife really kept pushing me as she knew I had a lot on my mind. Feel free to email me, email@example.com if you have questions or concerns and keep us all update on your progress. I'll keep you in my prayers!
Brian Walsh (mitral regurgitation), planned repair, with support ring for mitral and tricuspid.
My six month anniversary since Mitral Valve repair will be next week.
It's normal to be nervous. How many people go through this? More than you think, but no one I had ever met. this site sia great resource, if not just a comfort to know you're not alone.
What approach will your surgeon be taking? I had a thoracotomy instead of a sternotomy. The incision was made under my right breast.
Do you know if you're having a repair or a replacement of your valve?
Give us some details and I'm sure you'll find someone who's story is close to yours.