Patricia posted a note for Terry that says:
Hello Terry, Thank you for sharing your wonderful news. My mother had AVR surgery in her seventies and lived another 16 healthy years until her kidneys failed. Her new tissue valve served her well. My valve replacement was Nov 1 at age 73 and I am hoping to join the many like you and my mother who are given more happy years with family and friends. Thank you for the inspiring update.
don frantz posted a note for Terry that says:
So glad you are doing so well! We certainly can't complain about medical treatment, even here in Canada where my surgery was done. Got to give God the credit, tho'.
Terry. It is so great to hear how well you are doing. And in re reading your posts i am so touched by your comments and prayers for me. Thank you so much. I am doing well, but am due for my regular six month follow up in cleveland oct 30. So im reluctant to say too much until then. But so far so good, but its been a struggle emotionally. Ive learned to pray, and humbly accept your prayers. Youre a wonderful person. Ruth howell.....email@example.com
Congratulations on reaching the two year milestone and wishing you many more years of great health. I would be happier if I could get my blood pressure under better control. But all in all, we're all blessed to be alive!
Terry, thanks for the update. I had my aortic valve replaced two days before your surgery, as you doubtless remember(!), and I am feeling about like I did 3 or 4 years ago. The valve is working great, but because of setbacks caused by coronary artery narrowing, I am not quite where I would otherwise be by now. However, I am excited at age 78 to see a slight increase in what I am able to do every couple of weeks. (It has been about 9 weeks since I had a stent inserted.)
Have you had an angiogram since the surgery? I am wondering if aortic stenosis is usually accompanied by arterial sclerosis.
Love to you!
Terry, Thanks for sharing. I am post op 10 weeks and doing well. Not 100% but each weeks gets better. Yes, I agree, I had 2 days of migraines in hospital. I'm sure pain medication link plus stress of surgery. It is so good to hear how well you are doing. Thanks for letting us know...it gets better and better!!! Janis Kielbasa
Great to hear such a good report, especially from one of the "oldsters". I count myself in that category as I will be 73 in May. Second anniversary the 28th for double valve surgery. Some of my heart problems (enlarged heart and a-fib) were not resolved with the surgery as I knew they wouldn't be. But know I would not be as active as I am if I hadn't had the surgery. take care, stay healthy and know you will enjoy life.
Good to hear you are doing so well. I agree about the energy level after my surgery, it has increased a lot. I just celebrated two years after mitral repair surgery.Continued good health to you.
Happy one year Terry!
I love the window entry. I agree that the physical discomforts seem very far away now. I do not mind my sternotomy scar. On stressful days it is a reminder of what is really important to me.
I am reading your journals and appreciate your insights. Your wisdom is comforting. As the caregiver for Tim Lockard, who is day 1- post-op, after waiting 4 days to get his sternum closed ...and is in excruciating pain... I am seeking perspective. Hope you are enjoying sunshine and blue skies, in a real and metaphorical sense. (-: Thank you.
That one year mark is worth celebrating and hope you and hubby will do that. We have been blessed with excellent doctors and exceptional care to achieve heart health. A prayer or two along the way has also helped. Wishing you many more reunions to attend. Stay healthy.
Good to see your post.. YOU GO GIRL!!!!!! You are so right. Do not fear a sternotomy. Frankly, I feel it gives the surgeon better access, although my surgeon does not agree with me. A long a healthy life to you and all of us. Ruth Howell
Judging by John's postings Ruth's has been "the long and winding road". I have been following her journey as best I as possible what with my daughter and grandson from Indiana for a week and my Dad being admitted to hospital last week end. My cardio system was on overload, today mild chest pains but much improved.
I will continue to follow her journey. In Canada here I m going up the down escalator. Waiting list has increased from 155 to around the 200mark since I was listed.
Shortage of ICU nurses and beds, the young grads don't want the stress of ICU so they ditch to the states. Overall my condition is very stable and my life quasi normal. They have gauranteed me a wait of no longer than 180 days, so from Mar 10th that works out to Sept 10th on my calendar. I am blessed with great peace for my God will outlast this storm.
All the best to you Terri, I with you am praying for her full and complete recovery. She'll possibly have some substance for a book by the time she reads these entries plus post herown very personal version of your journey. She's a real trooper.
All the best to you Terri. You have a very warm heart.
Super window story, Terry. Thanks for sharing the story. Say, I told you how old Ellen Charnley is, but didn't notice you asked my age....I call myself the old(er) guy...68 in not that many days. Looking at your photo, I'm wondering why I have all these wrinkes and your photo doesn't show any....and, if I recall right, you have a few years on me. Last time I went streaking, someone had the gaul to suggest my suit needed to be ironed.!!
Terry, I think Ellen Charnley is 41, a young one. No, didn't hear about the bike racer guy. I would have done 50 miles on my bike yesterday...but gave in to the hard wind...felt like a wuss quitting, but I did anyway rather than deal with the 30 mph or so winds and the blowing sand and such as we get down in the valley..the river area....barry
Say, Terry. Let me tell you about real, real inspiration. There's a real athlete, not a wannabe like moi, Ellen Charnley, who had been training for a number of years to work up to do an IronMan Triathlon, consisting of a 2.4 mile swim in open water, then a 112 mile road bike ride, and then a Marathon run, 26.2 miles. She had completed five Half Ironman events and a year before her first Ironman event, signed up for IronMan Arizona. Then she found out she had a faulty atrial septum that had to be repaired. This amazing woman had her septum rebuilt by Dr. Mihaljevic, same doc that did my valve job...had her open heart surgery in March 2010....and this amazing woman completed her Ironman event 8 months later...Wow! She was good at logging her training and such, and someone convinced her to share which she did in a book released a short time ago, just in time for me to order a copy and get it to read on my way to the Cleveland Clinic where her doc was my doc, who autgraphed my book on page 22 where Ellen wrote about Dr. Tom. As he autographed the book for me he spoke about what a marvelous, good woman this lady is. Now, Ellen Charnley is the inspiriation one. Here's her Web Site address, if you are curious:
Also, I gotta tell you the IronHeart Racing Team is an inspiration. On their Web Site, www.ironheartracing.com, on the home page, on the right, is the founder's picture in a hospital bed just after his heart surgery. If you click on it, the video plays that is about many athletes that belong to our "valve job" club. In the background is the Nike song titled something like "Its Not How You Start, Its How You Finish". Now that damn tune is one that has one of those phrases tunes can have that get stuck in one's head, the phrase being something like "Everyone gets knocked down, how quick you gonna get up". When I woke up in rapid recovery ICU (with no breathing tube in my throat...how fortunate can a guy be..fortunate enough to have decent enough lungs the breathing tube was gone...I'll take it)..when I woke up that damn tune phrase was stuck in my head, running over and over and over and over...and I was up and walking...and doing laps around the ward...that phrase would not go away. I don't remember if I was walking on Sat (Surgery was on Fri), but I know I did a bunch of laps Sun, and Monday mornning I remember I decided I'd walk for 35 minutes, a lot a laps around the ward, passing other people, some with walkers, some with helpers..and I was on my own....and that damn tune phase would not go away. I am so appreciative that David Watkins, founder of the IronHeart Racing Team and an organization called Nick of Time, an organization to screen high school athletes for congenital heart disease before some of them die of heart attacks playing sports, like happend to a basket ball player a few weeks ago that was on National News, I am so thankful for David Watkins making it possible for me to have that damn tume phrase stuck in my head...and I get to share it with other athletes, like I did just last night, an Olympic Runner kind of athlete. So, what I 've just shared is about real inspiration. Oh, there is another hero I have to share who said "pain is temporary, quitting is forever" (Lance Armstrong)....and one of my really big local hero guys, who I remarked to once how his attitude regarding his chronic leukemia and the, let's just call it discomfort he endures from many bouts of chemo...geeezzze what discomfort that guy endures...remarked to him how impressive his attitude is....and he says to me...oh, so wise..."it is all attitude, Barry". So, there's where I get my inspiration. And, I'm gonna do that damn triathon on April 17th, I don't care how long it takes me..and I am slow, but I would bet money I won't be last.....Barry on the Mtn
I read your entry for March 24 and take heart from it that you feel so good after six months. I am due to have the same operation as you next Thursday 31 March. I should have had it by now but last week they called me and said that due to an emergency there would be a delay of one week. I now have to psyche myself up all over again!
I'm trying to be as positive as I can be but just on the odd occasion I get that 'sinking' feeling - I suppose this is natural. Anyway, I plan to re-read your journal entries from the time you had your surgery.
Congratulations, Terry and keep up the good work and progress. You deserve all the best with no additional health issues. I hope you are enjoying your warm weather and looking forward to spring/summer. It's still cold in Maine and still snow on the ground. But at least the days are longer and sunnier.
The Christian god — the external personality — has been replaced by the intelligence of the First Cause…the replacement of the old concept of God as all-powerful by a new concept of universal consciousness. The 'tribal god, man-shaped, fiery-faced and tyrannous' is replaced by the 'unconscious will of the Universe' which progressively grows aware of itself and 'ultimately, it is to be hoped, sympathetic'.
Hi Terry - I just read your Feb 12th posting. Wonderful - and such wise words. As one who is anxiously waiting for surgery April 7th. I thank you!!!
Glad you are doing so well - and lucky you in warm Florida. We are still cold and the snow has turned to rain here in the Northeast.
Thanks for the note.
No I have not been released for work. It is ok because there is no building work yet. The new home market is horrible right now.
I actually have been using my time to go back to school for nursing. In addition to a class at the local community college, I have been taking a class with the Red Cross to get my CNA (certified nursing assistant) certification. It is a very intense class compressed into 7 weeks: 4 nights a week. I am actually finishing this week.
I can not post this because my boss and co-workers have links to the blog. I am not ready for my boss to know that I will be leaving the company. My plan is to get a job with a hospital as a CNA and to finish my nursing degree. I already have a Bachlors in Fine Art so I have 2 years of science and med classes to plow through.
I decided when I was in the hospital that I had to do something more meaningful with my career. Not that building houses is not meaningful but I am ready to put my energy to helping people in a more personal way.
So, I am in no rush to go back to work because it has allowed me the time to start my new adventure. At 43 I am alittle amazed by the youth of my classmates but I seem to be holding my own!
My blood pressure is not quite where they want it to be but it is getting better. They are worried about the combination of high BP and strenuous work/lifting of my construction job. I am amazed how much I still feel pain in my sternum. The docs say it is normal.
I hope all is well in Florida. We still have snow up here in MA.
That's all good news, Terry. It is so uplifting to hear that things get better after the surgery. My energy level is getting worse by the day so I'm looking forward to getting this over with. Keep on feeling good and enjoy the sun. Huh? Sun? What's that????? I live in Maine!!!!!!
Hi Terry - it's so wonderful to hear that you are doing so well and I'm starting to read your story now. Another poster suggested I look at your journal as you did loads of research prior to selecting your surgeon. I'm in FL too, Port Charlotte, and am having a tough time finding one. Davinci Robotics would be great but I haven't found anyone in SW FL that does valve replacement with it. Thanks for any info. you can give me and I'm so happy for you that you are feeling good and healing nicely. What a great attitude you have. I can't wait to be at the point you are at now. Thanks again.
Congradulations on reaching the "normal" stage!
I recently went for my 4 month check up and was declared, "pretty close to normal".
I have to share something with you. A while ago you posted about your cardiologist telling you not to lift any thing heavy. I thought, well I will be able to lift sooner, after all, I lifted 50+ pounds on a daily basis before my surgery. So I have been weight training to gain my arm/chest strength back. I thought the doc would be happy to hear that I am up to 40lbs. Instead I received a stern lecture that I am not to lift anything more than 40lbs. and to do that carefully. I was surprised to see on the CT scan that my sternumn is still not completely healed.
So I slow down and practice patience.
But I'm ok - I had to come to terms with the desease - my cardiologist hinted at surgery for the past 10 years. So I knew this was coming.
I think the turning point was my meeting with the surgeon - a remarkable man in may respects, but what I really like about him is he really wanted to know what made me tick, pardon the pun. So I told him - physics.
So he started explaining things in alot of the technical details - this pleased me a lot - I felt involved - made the surgery an adventure instead of something to fear. I've only met a few people like that in my life - I'm so grateful to in his capable hands.
As long as I have a loving wife and daughter, can think clearly, and read the books I like - how can I not be a happy man.
What a great analogy! You brought home the point very well. My father suffered from PTS from WWII and would have nightmares and go flying out of bed looking for his gun to fight off the enemy. So I know what you're talking about. Never heard of a heart surgery patient experiencing anything like that.
If you know Gene Banks (on the HVJ) he is back in the hospital with fluid in his lungs and an elevated heart rate which they seem to be getting under control. I mention it because he said he had difficulty logging onto the HVJ today. It seems his heart rate remained high following surgery and didn't come back to normal. They have him on NSAIDs and it has now come down and they're watching the fluid.
Does anyone know what causes the fluid in the lungs to occur?????