Hi Tony, Glad to hear you're up and about and walking a lot. I agree that it's very normal to want to nap after your walks. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. I too had trouble sleeping and getting comfortable. For me the noticable improvement has really been in the last few days (almost 1 month from surgery). Take care and take it easy. Lily Cardlin
It appears you're progressing at a good pace. I strong recommend having somebody massage your shoulder & back area. They took a beating due to the surgery. Being able to get in & out of bed plus sleep on my side was the biggest milestone for me.
Tony, Isn't it amazing how quickly you were able to get moving. Everyone, including me, was shocked about it. It might be slow and it might not be far, but it's significant considering what you/your body went through. For me, the pain has been very random. Sometimes it's fine and tolerable and other times, it seems so bad. I thought that the pain would subside slowly, a little bit every day but it didn't seem to work like that for me. So, be mindful of what your body is telling you and don't be a martyr like me. Take the medication if you need it. Lily Cardlin
Hi Tony, Just remember everyday is going to get better. It just takes time. Use your pillow to help hold it in. It was my daughters best friend. And using the spirometer will help in the neck and shoulder pain also, from what I have been reading. Keep up the good walking. But it sounds like you have been doing really good. Good luck
For the long haul
Hi Tony--Jim Smith's wife Donna here. I'm impressed at your walking that far so soon after surgery. Just keep following the doctor's orders no matter what (Jim wants to run now, 4 weeks after surgery and the doc says no way--yet.) They want the sternum to fully heal; you don't want it to heal in 2 parts. This takes 3 months, but for now, take it easy. No bouncing. Use your spirometer. Hope you can get the shoulder/neck pain eased--it seems like a lot of patients have this; Jim's luckily had it only a little. Have you asked about massage?
Hi Tony, I am one of Carolyn's kayaking friends. I learned of your surgery earlier this morning when petitions were offered for you during mass. I'm so glad to hear your surgery went well and that you are starting to get up and around. I wish you a speedy recovery, and aren't you lucky to have such a wonderful nurse :) Nancy Thome
Hi Tony, hang in there it'll be here before you know it. I know how you feel I am trying to get my date set for either the 20th or 27th of this month, scheduling dental work, it's just a lot to take in and still go to work and just keep up with all the everyday things.
I've got you in my prayers all is going to go great!!!
Hi Tony, First of all you just keep with the positive thoughts. Yes you can do this and you will be fine. God is good and he has been busy helping a lot of people getting better. This beats having something else that cant be fixed so we are lucky except for the waiting.Keep us all posted and it will be over faster than you think. God bless you and yours.
For the long haul
I have been pretty much thinking about you non stop since I heard you are having surgery. It is great reading all the encouraging posts on the site. Please know that you (and Carolyn and the girls) are in our thoughts and prayers! To a speedy Recovery!
I'll be going in about 10 days after you on April 17th. Same scenario…aortic aneurysm and an aortic valve replacement. I'm 47. I had the same dilemma about which valve to choose. Originally, I opted for the mechanical valve because I didn't want to have to go through the surgery again later in life. The first surgeon i saw didn't do a very good job of explaining my options, so I got a 2nd opinion and Dr Cohn at Brigham & Women's suggested I go with a bovine valve that should last 15-20 years. He said they're already doing transcatheter aortic valve replacements for high-risk patients, but that it should be common practice in about 10-15 years. So, when the time comes to replace it, they should be able to do it with a catheter rather than another sternotomy. As soon as the doctor explained this, I was certain the bovine valve was for me….no blood-thinner restrictions, etc…so, I think you made the right choice.
I wish you the best of luck. You are in good hands. Keep us posted and take care.
For me the "eery calm" did not appear until I was admitted to the hospital for the surgery. Each person reacts differently both pre- and post-surgery. There is no right way to feel --- but you have done the homework, and should be confident that you've made the right decisions for you.
Wishing you all the best
- Jim Smith
Six days and I'm excited for you! I look forward to follow your journey to surgery and during your recovery.
Your story is a bit like mine. My aortic stenosis was discovered because I was being treated for asthma, or as my regular doc called it, Exercise Induced Brochospams. I wasn't responding to the inhalers, so, I was sent to an asthma doc and he heard my heart murmur right away.
Long story short, I don't have asthma. Once I got the new vavle, I was doing circles around the nurses 4 days post-op.
I just got home today from my March 22 AVR surgery. I got a st judes mechanical valve. So far I can't hear it, I don't know about position during surgery, I had some soreness in my chest but it really wasn't too bad... I hope it goes as well for you,
Hi Tony, we all stress over the valve decision. Once you make it, never look back. Stick with what makes you the most comfortable. As you get closer to surgery, this eery calm settles in. Then you know you are ready. Good luck. - Mitch Friedman
I had surgery 2/6/12 for aortic stenois. My valve was replaced with an On-X mechanical valve. Studies are being allowed by the FDA to see if individuals who have this valve will need to continue medication of blood thinners. Check out there website On-X Life Technologies. If all is quiet in a room, I do here the valve. I am fine with that because I feel so much better!! You are the one who will make the ultimate decision and will be the right one for you. Take care.
The items to balance are blood thinners and how long the valve will last. Bio valve last a shorter amount of time than mechanical valves and blood thinners that are necessary with mechanical valves have their own problems.
I had my aortic valve replaced too. My vote for myself was a bio valve and no blood thinners. I'm 60 years old. The bio valve will last 15 years. By that time a new technology will be available, catheter based valves.
Thanks all. It is a very hard decision. Right now I am leaning toward the tissue valve. Everything I'm hearing is that the re-operation will be done with a much less invasive procedure. How many years were you told that the tissue valve would last. I know there are a lot of variables. I'm just curious. I am very glad I found this site. As great as my family / friends have been, it is nice to speak to someone who has been there, done that.
I have the St. Jude's mechanical valve. I'm four months since surgery and I can hear the valve clicking pretty much everyday. It's not a bad sound, it's not loud, it sounds like a small wrist watch. And I don't hear all day it comes and goes. But I can hear it. I find that I like the sound now, it gives me comfort. I've had two OHS first one I choose tissue valve and then this time I went with mechanical...let me know if I can help you in anyway...
Hi Tony, welcome to HVJ. Glad you fund this site, it is very helpful and supportive. I had am 47 and had AVR on 2/2/12 and went tissue because I preferred not to deal with Coumadin. Many on Coumadin will tell you it is manageable. I started my joutney convinced I would go mechanical.
So what do you do? Do your homework, get the facts and do whatever feels right to you. There is no right or wrong decision here, it is a matter of what you feel is right for YOU. Good luck. And keep asking the questions.
Research this decision and don't just go what you are told. One thing we learned in our research is that most doctors would do all they could to stay away from blood thinners if they were the ones facing this decision. Check out the risk of blood thinners vs. Reoperation. You will be great with whatever you decide. Just make sure it is YOUR decision.
Hi Tony, I know what you are going through I too am faced with that decision I do not have a date set for my surgery yet, I meet the surgeon on Thursday of this week. For me I do not want a mechanical valve because I do not want to be on blood thinners (I'm 44). So my options are the Ross Procedure or Tissue.
Best of luck to you while you try to make this decision, I think whatever decision makes you feel comfortable will be the right one for you.
Welcome to HVJ site!! Keep us posted on how you are doing and if you have any questions well this is one of the best places to ask.