Heather St. Pierre posted a note for Matt that says:
I've read your story , I am very inspired by your optimism and positive attitude throughout your journey.
I have just been diagnosed with the same thing you had.. I am an extreme active person, healthy ( or so I thought)41 year old. I am trying to remain positive as I too am blessed that my doctor caught my diagnosis early enough.
Question for you ,how did you overcome the fear and other feelings prior to surgery? Any suggestions?
Hard to believe it's been one year for you. There are times when I find it diffecult to believe what I went through last year. The build up to surgery, the time in the hospital, the weeks immediately after surgery........I feel like it was a dream. Do you have to feelings? Like you, I am greatful for a lot of things.
That's a great way to celebrate your 1 yr anniversary date. I'm looking forward to mine also.
The surgery seems like a small blip in my life now. I don't think about it. Although, when I'm doing a hard hike or a boot camp workout, I'm forever amazed at how great my breathing & heart changed for the best since July 12th.
It was a pleasure to have met you on this site. :-)
It's hard to believe that our summer of 2011 group is coming up on the 1 year anniversary. I think about you all and assume that everybody is fully engaged in their life with their fixed heart.
I've been trying to get a celebration event going for this summer, but it's proving to be a challenage. A few of us will be able to do it. If you & your wife can swing a trip out west, we'd love for you to join us.
May 12th will be my 10th month and I'm doing great.
Way to go Matt!! How's your energy? Are you doing the things you expected to do? Do you feel as good as you hoped, prior to surgery?
I hope so. I'm just about at my 10 month point. My energy is not what I had hoped for, but I'm 63 years old, so maybe that's part of the issue.
Great to read you're doing well. Going to Cleveland Clinic for a similar surgery on Tuesday the 18th of Oct (bicuspid valve repair or replace and aortic root/ascending replacement. I'm 40 too and even a June birthday. Played college basketball and was training for a half marathon when they found I'd need surgery. Best of luck to you and yours and thanks for the update. Bill McAllister
I was just looking at your surgery photos. I haven't had the desire to look at anything related to my surgery until now. I guess that means I'm much improved. I noticed you had some of your aorta replaced. Me too. That was a surprise, as no one had observed the aneurysm prior to surgery.
Do you feel your heartbeat more, since surgery? Can you hear the beat? I don't hear the click sound but hear the thumping sound.
I'm really feeling good and gaining confidence with the repairs. I'm still reluctant to lift things too heavy.
Hope you are feeling strong.
Hey Matt...Here is to 9 weeks post-op!! It is amazing how good I feel and that I can't make myself become out of breath. Had no idea what I was missing and what I couldn't do before.
I am so glad to hear you are doing so well and I agree...It is a new found appreciation for life and everything we have. What a wonderful gift!
Take Care and keep up the good work
Follow Your Heart
Hello I'm Jon from new york. I had a pulmonary valve replacement and atrial septic defect repaired at Boston Childrens on 7/7. Coming up on Friday, I got cleared to drive again. I didnt realize all the freedoms I had before the surgery. I'm pretty active to playin hockey and doing different kinds of activities much like yourself. I wanted to know when they told you that you could return to playing basketball cause they told me I wouldnt be able to play hockey until like december. Which is a good 6 months away.
So glad to hear of the great progress. What kind of cardio are you doing? Does it get a bit easier every time? I'm four and a half weeks post-op and feel like I can do a little more every day. I'm excited to be able to do more than pre-op.
Thanks Matt for your quick response. I am doing great and back to work full time. Doing cardio 4 to 6 times a week, and upper body exercises to keep my muscle tone every other day. As for weight lifting, there are no guidelines for people like us who had an aortic graft. Each center has different advice. It would be helpful to get the experience of others who had AVR and ascending aorta graft.
Glad you are doing well. How is your cardiac rehab going? I had a similar operation like you and now 4 months post-op. You said you like weight lifting, I am wondering what did they tell you about how and when you can resume it again. Wishing you a complete recovery.God bless.
Thanks for the info., I really appreciate it!
I got a second opinion per the suggestion of my primary cardio in Aug. 2010 at the Cleveland Clinic... and following an echo, TEE and cath. I was mentally prepared for the CCF cardio to say "it's time", however, I got a reprieve and was told it's early and to come back in one year. So I will return in early Sept. and am gearing up for round two. Adam's journal has been a great resource and I will plan to join it soon! Thanks again for making yourself available. Regards,
Matt, I'm so glad to hear you are doing so well. My name is, Mary, and I am Danny James' mother. He is the basketball nut who has had to have two open heart surgeries at age 20 this past year. He is an amazing athlete who lives to play basketball. You wrote a short message in his journal before your surgery and I have kept you and your family in my prayers ever since. I'm sorry for not responding sooner. Being the mother of the "Heart Patient" is very difficult, too. I actually started his journal to keep myself better informed how to help him through his surgeries. The information and support has helped me tremendously. It is nice to hear form a former Michiganian. My mother-in-law lives in FL, too. Danny just had a nice two week visit with her last month. He is doing well, too. Well, continued good health to you. Mary James
Hey Matt... I meet with my surgeon on Monday (tomorrow) as well. All is going really well and I actually feel pretty good minus being really sore. There is no actual pain just soreness and I assume it will just take time to go away. Just wanted to say Hi and hope all is going well. How are you feeling these days? I will be starting cardiac rehab probably next week. I think it will be good for me to get back in the swing of exercise again.
MATT AND RANDY SUE !!!!
HEY GUYS HOW ARE YOU?? MATT HOWS YOUR RECOVERY SO FAR. I JUST CAME BACK ON I DONT CHECK THIS EVERYDAY
SORRY. WOW THAT IS SO NICE THAT YOU BOTH HELP CHILDREN IN NEED.YOU BOTH ARE ANGELS.... I HOPE ALL IS WELL
EVERYTHING OVER HERE IS GREAT.... CANT COMPLAIN. MATT YOUR GETTING READY FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH DR. BADHWAR IT WILL GO GREAT!!!! I MISS YOU BOTH... WHEN I COME THAT WAY SOMETIME SOON I WILL LET YOU KNOW MAYBE WE CAN MEET UP. PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH. MAKE SURE YOU REST AND RELAX !!!!!! TAKE CARE. LOVE YOUR NURSE JULIE.......
Hi Matt, I know had to go to the gocery store then went to the cumindin clinic to see were I stood 3.9 so no pill today and go back next tuesday to have it checked. I to was totally wiped out and slept for an hour. how are your taste buds? Coffee sucks, trident chewing gum yuck, sprite and 7-up out. Kids got me several flavors of different pops to try. LOL It takes me 3 weeks to drink one of those small bottle Pops. My Friend said they can tell I'm alive when I sleep because of the ticking. LOL.
Hey Matt...Things are going well. I did have a little set back with fluid around the lungs, ended up in the ER and had to have almost a liter drained...hence the back pain. Now that the fluid is gone, my pain is mostly gone too. My appetite is getting back to somewhat normal....yeah :)
I just met with my physical therapist today and have walking and exercise guidelines for the next week. I am excited to get better. My first outing was Sun.to the beach for a quick dinner with my family and I too was wiped out but the fresh air feels good.
Every little pain and change makes me nervous as I don't want to end up back in the ER. I am trying to relax and allow the process to unfold.
Take Care Matt...Sounds like you are doing awesome. Keep up the good work.
You'll be happy to know the tigers will be in Tampa starting Aug 22nd for 3 games. Were starting our baseball trip on July16th at the Green Field Village in Dearborn, you know the vintage baseball games they have every weekend in the summer? Then on to Detroit, July 17th white sox vs tigers then I'm headed back to Cleveland for three games. White sox vs. Indians. By Aug 22nd you should be able to jog to Tampa. Maybe!!!
It's been comforting to read/follow your recovery. I hope you continue to heal and get stronger at this fast pace.
One question: How much help did or do you actually need from others? Do you need help with the simple things such as getting yourself dressed? Showering? I don't know how much help to ask for. I have the pets covered, getting grocery and my yardwork/watering, but I'm still unsure about me.
Would you mind sharing some details? Maybe a struggle I haven't thought of? Brushing your teeth?
Sounds like progress. You know why I say that it's because I've been there and done that. Sleeping on your side for the first time was a milestone for me. I've been doing it ever since. Wait until re-hab starts, you'll feel like a new man. Good luck with your follow up.
My husband, Kent Kersey, (journal on here), is scheduled for AVR and ascending aorta replacement on Thursday of this week! Your journals have been very inspiring and comforting to me as I prepare to go through this with him. Thank you for sharing this journey, and we will pray for your continued healing.
Here's to ticking along!!
:-) Terri Kersey
Matt and Randy!!
you both are too kind. i never knew that this
blog thing exsisted. Dr. Badhwar had forwarded it to my friend Brittany that works with him and she called me and told me
made my day!!!!! it is very nice to know that
you guys went out of your way to appreciate me if feels great to know that i am doing my job right. God made me a nurse for a reason to help ppl like you guys get through rough times now the questions is where is my help?????? lol manager name is jason furgoson and the chief nursing officer is jane forsythe email umm i would have to get back to you on that one. i was reviewing your pictures and i did not know you boht spend your days off woring with abused animals or resucue dogs correct?? that is soo nice. please keep in touch. remember that whatever comes next in your path you can over achieve it you have been through one of the toughest situations that goes for both sides. take care and i will get back to you soon with that email.
Mr. And Mrs. Fountain, (lol).. wow I cannot even express my gratitude on how much I appreciated that blog on your journal!!! You both are amazing ppl. God knew exactly what he was doing when u guys met 10 wonderful years ago!! I am so happy Matt your recovery is turning out awesome!! Randy how's the bedside nursing thing going on? ?? Lol you both have a very special place in my heart... Matt those specks of blood r fine no oozing :( .... btw I cried when I read that message it touched my heart! ! Please keep me. Posted n come back n visit one day! !! Take care much love from Julie ....
Hi Matt: Cardiac rehab speeds recovery and makes you stronger. It provides a good structure for getting back to your old activity level. Plus its fun and interesting to see the progress you make week-by-week. I'm in week 4 of mine. Recommend. -- DVB
Hi Matt, We have stayed in touch via phone. So very glad to hear your voice and love getting your text messages on a daily basis. Keep up the fantastic recovery !!! QQ's & CC's forever !!! XO
Hi Matt, glad to see you are recovering well. I knew you would. I believe the younger you are, the easier it probably is. Can't say too much about Cardiac Rehab but ironically I just returned from the first class of the CHIP (McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program) offered here in Montreal (http://www.chiprehab.com/). This one is highly recommended here. I started with the "Step Up Program" which is only 4 visits (Tues & Thurs) over a two week period. It only costs $20. I think I will also be registering for the "Home Exercise Program" to minimize travelling/traffic to Montreal (I am recovering near Mt.Tremblant in the Laurentians about two hours north of Montreal) after my two weeks in the Step Up Program. I heard the second program will run me $750.00 CDN but it is covered at 90% by my SunLife Group Health Insurance at work. This one is also highly recommended by my surgeon and cardiologist (http://www.chiprehab.com/english/homeex.html). I wouldn't even consider it if I had to pay out of pocket. So it seems they are expensive but hopefully worth it. I am doing quite well, a few aches and pains but speaking with others at rehab, we're all in the same boat; sharing stories with others (there are about 20 of us in this session) and all are about 1 - 2 months post op and the cardiac nurse talked alot about things never mentioned to me in the hospital. Overall a worthwhile experience, I would recommend. Give it a shot.... Eric B..
Hey Matt...I am one week post op for aorta valve replacement and the repair of my ascending aorta...glad they found that otherwise it would have meant a second surgery later. I agree...It is a series of ups and downs. Have you dealt with back pain since the surgery? 10 minute walks? wow...that is impressive! When did you start those? I am sure that after seeing my cardiologist tomorrow that my regimen of exercise will be discussed. You are doing great!
A little blood is not a big deal. Certainly, if you are at ALL concerned, you should talk to your doctor.
I so admire the way that you are handling this. You are an inspiration!
Be well my friend,
I too experienced very little specks of blood, no puss or heavy bleeding. When the scar starts healing that's when my specks stop. It took two maybe three weeks to stop. It's been ten months since I had my aortic valve replaced and today I see my cardiologist for a echocardigram. Hoping for the best and fearing the worst. Good luck and remember the first three weeks are the toughest. Welcome to the club!
i did see the link and adam's post of your story....thats really cool!! been thinking about you alot lately and glad to hear that things are going well....randy sue must be doing a great job!! the pictures were very interesting....did darrell see them? they definitely hit home. i had always wished i would have asked to have them taken as well. thanks for sharing yours!
as far as the specks of blood, i don't remember having anything like that. i may be way off, but, if i recall, the top of your incision may take a little longer to close up? that may be causing some leakage? i know i always erred on the side of caution and called a nurse. i know they were sick of me, but better safe than sorry.
You've been in my thoughts and I sent a big prayer up for you last week. My surgery is in 3 1/2 weeks (July 11)
I'm interested to know what you're doing during the day to recover faster....if that's possible. I have visions of pushing myself to the max as soon as I get home. Is that possible? Or are you still feeling the effects of the surgery/pain meds?
When do you start cardiac rehab?
Wishing you the best.