Thanks for posting on Tom's page. It really helps ME to get through HIS ordeal!!!
I posted on Tom;s page and then figured out how to find people who post so this must be the best venue to say THANK YOU to you for posting! So happy to hear that you are doing so well! Teri and Tom Molz
Thank you for responding to my inquiry about the Ross procedure. I think I am thinking along the same lines as you regarding my choice for the valve replacement....I am leaning more and more towards the bio valve and I really don't want to be on coumadin for the next 20 years. I agree that the catheter procedure will probably replace all the others by the time we have to think about this again, but it was good to hear from you that the procedure you had was not that bad and if you had to do it all again you could.
Your story is very inspirational and I am very grateful that you are still looking to help new kids on the block like me with your experience and support. I am so happy for you that this is mostly behind you and you can move on with your life.
Congratulations on your victory and all you have accomplished.
Thank you again!
Thank you for signing my guestbook and your advice as well as others has really helped me in my recovery. Good news on your progress and I look forward to reading more about your journey.
Today I am five days post-op, off pain killers and primarily using Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I'm considering taking an oxycodone before bed, because it seems to help me with the pain in the night. In addition I have taken a number of supplements (Zinc, Magnesium, Iron and a homeopathic immune supporter) pre-op and continue to take them post-op. Supporting my body with minerals and eating well really helped me through this surgery. And as you suggested, I'm using my spirometer several times a day and able to reach the 2000 level. In addition I was able to get out today, meeting with friends and took a short walk to the mailbox. I intend to continue keeping up with my walks as recommended by my doctors and you.
Thank you as well for the nice entry in my guestbook. My appointment for second opinion tomorrow, is with coincidentally, Dr. Gillinov of the Cleveland Clinic. Getting references, 4 different unrelated people all referred to him, so I am confident he is the right choice and I am really looking forward to what he has to say.
Again appreciate your kind words, I will follow your progress!
Thank you so much for the great entry in my guestbook. It really did touch me and David thought it was very nice that you went out of your way to write those words of encouragement. Thank you for the prayers. I am so happy that you are doing so well! You definitely need to keep letting people know that there is a good side to this surgery at this time of the loss of Lori.
Keep getting better!
Thoughts and prayers,
Thanks for the kind note, Mark. You and I and I suspect many other HVJ people are now praying for Lori in Austin. We never really can be assured of the outcome of our surgeries, can we? Take care, let me know what your ejection rate is, if you know.
Here's another big fan of the CC (and Dr Gillinov) signing in. What a great update. Were you told what your new ejection rate is? I'll be curious to learn mine when I have my echo at my 6 week check up in September. You have been an inspiration to many on this HVJ site as I see your messages of encouragement to others. A positive attitude goes a long way, doesn't it? By the way, did you read that Capt'n Bill has a new dog who he named Gillinov? Take care.
Glad to hear everything is going well and that you don't have to go back to your Cardiologist for a year!! What a change from a few months ago! Today is my 12 week anniversary and except for some ribcage pain, I feel completely normal. Thank God for the Cleveland Clinic!!
I always enjoy hearing from you! Yes, you and I have had extraordinary recoveries and for that we are very blessed. I am almost embarrassed at times to write anymore in my journal because I have nothing to report.
You know, I think we both have big events we are looking forward to and that helps. You have your son's baseball events and, dumb as it sounds, my local golden retriever club is hosting our National Specialty at the end of Sept. I am in charge of hospitality and was VERY concerned how this pesky heart surgery would impact my ability to do my job. Our General Chair is VERY stern and I was afraid she might appear at my front door and personally rip my heart out with her bare hands if I wasn't performing. BUT as it appears, I will be up and at 'em in fine style. Actually, I am all set right now.
When my local cardiologist mentioned surgery the first time, Erik said "I know she is thinking of waiting until October." The kind doctor suggested that would NOT be a good idea. I truly never thought I would bounce back the way I have.
My night nurse, Shirley, and I talked about attitude and success post-op and she felt it had SO much to do with positivity (is that a word?). I hate to take any credit but I never felt anything BUT positive about Dr. M and CC. It was absolutely the smartest decision I ever made!
Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed for our continued success!!!
P.S. I also can feel my heart pumping at times. I just sort of smile to hear it - assume it's all a good thing!
Hi Mark. Thanks for the posts in my guestbook. After the last one, I got right up & got my spirometer & did my rounds. It's sitting here beside my computer as I type. The nurses convinced me it was a critical part of recovery too. I was rereading your last entry on your journal & noticed that you feel your heart beating quite a bit. I've noticed the same thing. When I'm still, in a chair & expecially in bed, I feel my body moving slightly as it beats. Kind of a strange feeling, but I'm guessing I'm just not used to having it pumping so well. Good to read your recovery is coming along so well. Take care, Joy Vera
Great to hear from you again in my guestbook. Yeah, I almost feel guilty that things are going so well. That isn't to say that I won't hit an unexpected roadblock but I have my hopes up.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Attitude going in to surgery is all important. I don't know if other places prepare you like CC does, but it is an amazing program. Between their meetings with me and Adam's book, there wasn't much I didn't know about what would happen before, during and after surgery.
I think I was so relieved when I got the surgery date that I was "all systems forward" from that moment. And that led to ANXIETY - ZERO!!!
Mark, Thanks for your reply to my question about being on a respirator....I have been
very afraid since I saw my brother on one after
his surgery. Adam did not say much about it in
his book, so I thought I should ask, and your
reply did help comfort me. I'm using the CD "Successful Surgery" by Belleruth Naparstek. Did you use any relaxation-meditation before and after surgery? Thanks so much for your reply....Lee
Good to hear that things are going so well for you Mark. How wonderful.
I had aorta valve replacement on June 2nd and I feel really well. I am experiencing the same thing as you, I feel my heart beat a lot more then before surgery. Especially when I lay on the left side. No skipping beats, no palpitations, just that the heart beat is stronger and I'm more aware of it beating, just as you explained.
Keep up the good work, Diana
Thank you so very much as I have aortic stenosis and need heart valve replacement and meet with the surgeon for the first time tomorrow after having had an angiogram this past Thursday. Your story helps so much as I am a young 58 year old who plays a mean game of singles tennis still and once this impacted my game last weekend my wonderful cardiologist said it's time as he has watched me for many years and has me coming in for echos every 3-4 months and has tried to prepare me. My prayers for your continued recovery and thanks for sharing. Lynn
Great update. I'm really happy that your recovery has gone so well and here you are now able to enjoy the summer ball season. Life is grand and yes, thank goodness for our very talented surgeons. Have a great summer.
What a great update. You've taken off and done so well. I too, was more aware of my bovine valve for a couple of months and now it's been 3 1/2 months and haven't noticed it any more. Think it just stopped beating as hard and ai wasn't even aware of it. Still get an occasional twinge in my sternum, doesn't last long and I assume that it's healing still going on. Sounds like a busy summer for you--enjoy.
My apologies for not getting back to you in time. I am guilty of not checking my journal enough. It would have been great to meet up and compare stories. If you ever are in the area look me up again. Hope your golf game went ok!
Hi Mark. Thank you for the note in my guestbook. You are right about my having confidence. It was shaken considerably earlier this year when a friend passed away after her valve surgery, but I just have a lot of faith in my surgeon & in the idea that things will turn out well. In my case, I could have had the surgery 6 weeks sooner, but opted to delay it to take care of some personal things &, in retrospect, I believe that helped me have time to get past the fear. Thank you for your encouragement & support. Take care, Joy Vera
Thank you so much for your recent post to my journal. While I am sorry for your post surgical ailment, and other people's complications post surgery; it helps me to know that Danny will be fine. I just can't help to be a worried mother. You are so right that I am LUCKY that Danny is doing so wonderfully. You would not believe how he runs around, gets out of chairs by himself and this is just day four. I saw a lot of sick babies and toddlers while at the Hospital and I know that we are truly blest to have Danny be so strong, so soon. Really, really appreciated your vote of confidence. Sincerely Mary James
You don't know how much it meant to read your note to me. I started writing to others in January when I first joined. I learned a lot from those who were ahead of me as I had to wait till March. If I can help someone in any way with what knowledge (hate to use the word, wisdom) then I'm happy to do it. In some of the journals the fear is so palpable and although I never felt that, I can see how some people's personalities predispose them to that. I always recommend some kind of relaxation/guided imagery tape as was made available thru the CC. I also pray for them as something I feel you also do. God is a great God and He will get us through. We are proof of that.I see your notes to so many people also and am sure the guys enjoy hearing from another guy. I suppose one of these days I'll stop the notes but for now it seems like the right thing to do.
How is your father? Hope he is doing well.
Have a great 4th. God bless.
Thanks for the upbeat post. It helps those of us who are behind you in the process so much.
I am amazed at how much better I feel already. Hardly any PVC's now where as before, that was practically the norm. No weird outbursts of a-fib and I don't lose my breath. It's only been 8 days since surgery for me.
Enjoy the CWS. GO BRUINS (both of my parents are UCLA grads). Could be their year :)
Thanks for the update. Seems like you have an excellent understanding of your heart and its' function. Isn't it an amazing organ that it can be sliced open,repaired, tweaked and whatever and it keeps on ticking. Even correcting itself in the future as yours is expecting to do. How can anyone think our bodies could not be created by God? After what Adam said about rehab I'm a little surprised you chose not to go. Hope your golf game will be great, assume it is a passion of yours.
Hi Mark - a fellow Texan here. I live south of Keller, in Georgetown which is closer to Austin. My first physician also steered me toward a mechanical valve. I've since obtained a 2nd opinion (as Adam recommends!) & not only am I not waiting for my stenosis to progress beyond the severe stage, as the first doctor recommended, but I have a surgery date in July & have opted for a tissue valve vs. mechanical. I'd just prefer not to deal with Coumadin. The second doctor showed me several valves & allowed me to make my own choice. It's a personal choice & I'm glad you stuck with what felt right for you. I'm also pleased to read that, for the most part, your recovery is progressing well.
Great news on your recovery, just remember not to overdo on the days you wake up full of energy. Like you, I was well prepared and even relaxed about my March surgery. It did make all the difference in the world. Like you, I had the best hospital and surgeon (Dr G). A few weeks into my recovery I had fluid build in my lung sacs and first time had 1/2 gallon removed and a week later a quart removed from the other side. Doing so much better now. Those who are waiting for their surgeries have to believe in positive thinking and prayer, but if complications do occur it wasn't due to a lack on their part. Sometimes things just happen, but there's always a solution. Just my input.
Good to see you are back home and obviously improving well. I didn't have all that bad a time of it either and think it's important to note we are all different in our mindsets and conditions so once in a while it's really nice to hear when someone virtually sails through (so to speak). I honestly believe trying to keep a positive attitude is important as to how we see things and how hard we fight against the feelings the surgery leaves us in. Surgery is definitely NOT a pleasant experience. Praying for your continued success as you recover.
It was wonderful to read your update. I am so glad to hear of how well your recovery is going and it definitely gives me hope for my upcoming surgery in 2 weeks...This site has been a Godsend for me in so many ways.
Thank you for sharing and my wishes for a continued smooth recovery!
What great news. So glad the fluid resolved so quickly and you'll be flying home to TX in a couple of days. Know you've lined up a wheelchair and you will get VIP treatment at the airline. They probably already told you on discharge that your sternal wires will not set off the alarms!!Hope you have a direct flight and don't forget to get up and walk up and down the airplane aisle. Your recovery will be easier when you are in your own home. The worst is behind you, I pray for an uncomplicated recovery.
I'm so happy to hear how well you're doing. My surgery is one week from today and your assurances that it's not so bad are very reassuring to me. (The closer the surgery gets, the more real it becomes . . . nice to hear about your positive experience!)
It has been many years since we have seen each other and I am not sure you will remember me. I am Mary Elizabeth (Dewey's daughter). Orphia has kept me updated on your surgery and recovery. I am so thankful that the procedure went so well and and was successful. I want you to know that you and all of your family have been in my thoughts and prayers before, during and after surgey and will continue to be there. I know your homecoming with your children will be the best ever. I will be thinking of you and yours and wish you the best always. May God be with you on your trip home.
Sorry to hear your dad is getting a little extra time at the CC but don't be discouraged. The fluid is such a pain but so many here have had to deal with similar things. This is only a little detour. Try to help him keep cheerful because once home, the real work is going to begin. He's where he's being watched and when in doubt, that's the best place to be. Keeping Mark in my prayers.
Don't be dismayed, there are no complications that the CC can't handle. You are in excellent hands. They'll sort it out and you are in the best place until all is well. Will pray this will resolve easily and quickly.
Hi Mark and family,
I wanted to wish you a speedy recovery...sorry to hear of the setback. Some others on this site have had problems with fluid build up..so maybe they can help you with their outlook. I will say a prayer for you continued recovery.
I received your picture today and I am simply amazed how well you look only 4 days after surgery! I know you are surpassing even your own expectations and Dad and I are both so proud of you. Dad brags everytime he calls to give a report of your progress to me . We love you very much!
What a wonderful Mother's Day Gift God has given us! We love you very much and hope you continue to improve at this miraculous rate! Hurry home - we miss you!
Good Morning Mark and Sara
Thanks fr the update. Dr Gillinov did my valve surgery in March and he's the best. Good news he's in his own room. Remember what a relief it was to be in a quieter environment and being able to spend more time with my family. I walked the same halls he's walking, hope he gets to look at the "Wall of Fame", as we called it. Clear sailing ahead.
Glad to know your surgery went so well! You and your family have been in our thoughts and prayers. It sounds like you're making progress faster than expected. So glad to hear that! Glad to know you are also getting some time to relax and catch up on your tv shows.
Sounds like you will be home before you know it!
Mar, Glad to hear things went well and you are regaining your strength.We all want you feeling better soon and at home.Nanny is taking good care of all in Texas-- so don't worry.We are planning a trip to Jones' tomorrow night and even though Randy is flying-- he has placed an order.Take care and do what the dr wants you to do and if you need anything let dad to call me.Love you,
Good to hear that things are on track there. One good thing about heart surgery is the amount of staff available to monitor and see to every need. They will be very aware of when he needs pain meds etc. so please feel confident in the care he is getting. I would imagine you'll soon be interacting with your dad. Keeping you all in my prayers.