Joanne Stevens posted a note for Ron that says:
Ron, It's so good to hear from you - and to know you are doing so well. Send us some sunshine from Florida - snow and more snow here - I spent five weeks in Michigan - just got back from an area that had over 200 inches of snow so far this winter. Just had dinner with Carl and Bev - All is well - and we wait for your return! It's zero here now - -5 due in the morning. Good thoughts to you and your wife!
Steve and Aida Bond posted a note for Ron that says:
How are you doing? I just had my one year anniversary and have to say that I am so glad the worst is behind me. I haven't posted many updates (as I got very busy with work) but wanted to touch base with those fellow patients that we met along this journey. Hope you are doing well! And congratuations on Eric's marriage. What an inspiring your family is to ours.
Hi Ron, Just read your blog. You sound upbeat and positive even if you don't always feel this way. Ed and I are meeting for lunch at Wildberry on Meachum on Tuesday 4/16. We would love it if you and Adrienne could join us.
We are tired of the gloomy weather...and hope the luncheon will give us good news. I visitied with Diane and Gordon in Florida on March 24th..had a very good time and also saw Gordon's condo....very very nice. Take care and hope to see you at noon tomorrow. The crepes are waiting for you. Bye, Rita
This is Joanne - Carl and I were having coffee at THE Restaurant this morning - wondering how you are doing. From your late March blog it sounds like you've had some bumps along the way. We miss you - and hope you'll be able to come and join us soon. Carl's wife leaves for Italy the end of April - I head to Michigan for about a month this Saturday. Just wanted ot let you know we're thinking of you!!
Your Friend Joanne
Hi Ron, Glad to hear you are home and doing ok. Returned yesterday from 10 days in Florida......has diner with Diane, Tom,, Gordon, and Seena...really fun time.
thinking of you and hope you are improving bit by bit. Our next Steinmetz luncheon is April 16th, same place,,noon,,,,hope you and Adrienne can come too, Take care and know I am thinking of you, Rita
Hang in there, you will recover! I can tell you from first hand experience that it gets better. I am counting on you to get plenty of rest for me so I have the energy to snowboard every day this week ( yes, a short 3-months post open heart surgery!) since I do not have time to sleep in between runs. I did enough resting during my own recovery. You are doing better than you are allowing yourself to think you are. Hang in there and as Adam Pick says, 'keep on ticking!'
Glad to hear you are feeling better and everything seemed to go smoothly. If you want a ride to Panera please give us a call and we will pick you up. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Keep up the good work of healing.Take care,
Tony and Sandy
So glad you are doing well and going directly home instead of rehab...a healthier place to be physically and emotionally. You will continue to be in my prayers. Listen to your bosses, Adrienne and Eric!
I am so glad to hear that you are doing well and will soon be home. Good thoughts are with you from all the "gang" at Schaumburg Restaurant. Your updates mean a lot - you should consider writing a book about your experiences.
Good thoughts as always,
Glad to hear the good news that you are progressing well. I'm sure you have lots of uncomfortable, to say the least, moments but keep trying to think positive.
You and your family are in my thoguths and prayers. Now that we are in March, rermember it came in like a lion so it will go out like a lamb. Better days are ahead! Bye, Rita Coulombe
So great to hear that your progress is coming along and that your surgery went well. The first few days are pretty hard but we will continue to pray that everyday no matter what challenge you face you will be able to overcome.
Our thoughts are with you and with your family. God bless you Ron!
I said a special prayer for you this morning - and am so happy to hear that your surgery went well today. Know that all of us at the restaurant (Which we often call the Broken Home) are wishing you a stress free recovery - We're all snowed in today - stay warm and safe - good thoughts to you as always, Joanne Stevens
Thank you for the update Eric. We are keeping your Dad in our thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery and recovery. My husband Steve is almost 4 weeks post-op and slowly regaining his strength. I think it is wonderful that your Dad has you to look up to as his role model. He speaks of you often in his journals. We are all touched by your family's courage and strength during these challenging times.
You are in our thoughts every day. We are confident that you are receiving the best medical care available and will have a rapid and complete recovery. We are sure that we will see you next year in Florida at which time we will celebrate your return to good health.
I want you to know that you have continually been in my prayers since talking to you a few weeks ago. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers to you and after your recovery I am going to insist on you and Adrienne coming out east so we can spend time together and have coffee again (of course with a cookie) at the Trump Tower!
Love you and can't wait to hear from you!
Hi Ron! I just wanted to take a moment and state how happy that you will be my father-in-law in 10 months! Way before that, you will feel 100% and be by Eric's side as I walk down that aisle.
Good Luck Ron, I will keep thinking positive and pray for you. Your son has been a great help to me before and after I had my AVR. He always answered my questions and had positive things to say. Again good luck.
I am a 4 time Open-Heart survivor diagnosed with Tetralogy Of Fallot (congenital). My 1st and 4th surgeries were at UCSF Med Center and the 2nd and 3rd ops were at Stanford done by Dr. Norman Shumway. Dr. Azakie did my last one on April 19th 2010 in a 12 hour surgery to reconstruct the Ascending Aorta, Pulmonary artery and new valve, and replace my pacemaker. I was in full blown heart failure with 15 lbs. of fluid as well as having a Strep A infection on the pulmonary valves. Due to my past history it was believed that there was no surgical fix for the back flow into the pulmonary artery except ever increasing amounts of diuretics. It was a godsend when my Cardiologist Robert Heller reccommended me to Dr. Alison K. Meadows of Kaiser Permanente and UCSF and the Adult Congenital Heart Defect Clinic that had just been set up. I had no doubt that this was my only chance to lead a rather full and happy life (though there would be limitations from past surgeries, diagnosis, etc.). UCSF and there staff were excellent despite some setbacks post surgery and recovery. The team was at all times professional, honest, steadfast and hopeful and encouraging. While in the hospital I saw numerous acts of kindness and heroism directed toward me and other patients that still bring tears to my eyes. Because of all of them my mother still has a son and my father had a son able to take care of him this past year after having 5 Bypasses following 2 moderate sized heart attacks and having major Melanoma surgery all between Feb. and Nov. of last year. Charlie Rose, the talk show interviewer and host the CBS Morning Show once described Open-Heart Surgery as "like going through hell". I can only say from my experience that if you can get through it and do what the doctors tell you, you will get better. It will take time. There will be some setbacks, but you will start gaining your strength day by day. Make sure they find the right amount pain meds for you that keep you comfortable w/out causing too many side effects ie. nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, dementia, rash. Going w/out pain meds can slow down the healing process. Do not be afraid to ask questions or request help. Always try to do a little more than what the Doctor's ask of you in the way of exercise. Ask that someone be appointed to tell you what the doctor's concerns are regarding your case so that you know what they are concerned about. My rule of thumb is this is much more important than buying a car or a house. You seem to be on the ball with this. Praying for your good health in the future and eagerly awaiting your successful outcome. Mark D. 41 Years old(4 time Open Heart Survivor And TOF Patient)
A year ago today I was in the same situation after meeting with Dr. McCarty and Dr. Bonow for my aortic valve replacement surgery on Feb 14th. Let me tell you that you are in the best of hands with that team. I celebrated 1 year anniversary by going skiing in Telluride and am feeling great! You will be doing likewise before you know it!
I found the best source for information regarding valve disorders and treatments is the American Heart Association / American College of Cardiologists set of guidelines for treating valve patients. You can read about it and get a link to it (free pdf download) in my journal entry of June 30, 2012 titled "The Valver's Bible". If you print it out and take it with you for your consultations it will help.
I am meeting with my surgeon tomorrow afternoon to schedule my valve surgery. I am 66 and had bypass 5 years ago, and all arteries are good.
I knew the valve was going bad but it has gotten worse fast, so now I have to get it replaced. I will have Dr. Santiscoy who did my bypass to do my valve, It will not be a mechanical valve. This is thru Cleveland Clinic also @ Hillcrest Hospital. I go to Hillcrest because that is where the helicopter took me 5 years ago, when I had a heart attack. An emergency stent and bypass saved my heart from any damage. Lucky, except for the valve. We may be in the hospital at the same time.
I do not think I will recover as fast as your son. 4 weeks will be a minimum but I am just guessing. I went back to work 5 weeks after my bypass so anything is possible. GOOD LUCK! Have a good recovery.
Just checking in before I have my surgery. I hope all your answers and concerns are being answered by your cardiologist soon. You will know what to do when you hear all your options again and the reasons behind them. Please keep us posted. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. We're all in this together.
Hi Ron, Thanks for keeping me posted. Your decision is a big one and one that only you and Adrienne can make. I think back to my husband's illness...there was no choice nor time for wait and see. Sometimes that is better.
You really need to turn it over to the drs, recommendation and put yourself in God's hands. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Rita Coulombe
I understand your dilemma. A year and a half ago my 1st cardiologist took the watch and see approach. Fast forward less than 2 years and my condition is not better but worse. I spoke to my surgeon yesterday and he said that with my valve damage I should have probably had the operation sooner. However, here I am now and scheduled to have my surgery on the Jan 31st.
I also understand the frustration of getting two opinions from two trusted doctors. It sounds like you may need to ask your cardiologist why he/she is recommending the medication route vs. surgery and vice versa with the surgeon. It really helps to review all the information again. I know that it helped with my situation.
In addition, I also read Dave VanBuren's journal entries. He has done a fantastic job in getting research out there for us to read. If you go to his June 30, 2012 you will find 'The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiologists Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease'. It is technical but worth reading the guidelines for aortic stenosis, managment, and surgery considerations. I only read the parts that related to me. You may also take the guidelines with you to your cardiologist and ask him specifically about the timing of your surgery.
All my best to you! Let's stay strong for each other!
John and I are praying for you. We didn't know you were at the Cleveland Clinic until yesterday when Justine told us. Thank you for sharing your story. We didn't know all of your history. You have been through a lot.
hello ron........surprised and concerned to hear of your condition.......sounds to me that you are going to the place that can best serve your needs.......my thoughts and prayers are with you........ed