I am roughly 5 months post op from my mitral valve replacement. I've had a relatively good recovery so far...I've nearly completed my cardiac rehab and had a minor case of pericarditis a month or so ago but what I have found to be the most difficult during this time, has been the mental recovery!
Perhaps its because I have had so many changes in my life over the last 8 months - a new baby, diagnosis of a heart valve problem, valve replacement surgery and recovery, and becoming a stay at home mom.
I feel like each one of those life changes are tough to adjust to on their own and I have been trying to adjust to all them at the same time - slightly overwhelming.
I just can't seem to stop thinking about the heart issues and anticipating future problems!
I'm also very conflicted on if I want to become pregnant again. At this point, I am very hesitant and nervous to put my body through that stress
Sometimes the stress of it all is very overwhelming. This is not typical to my personality and is definitely not the way I want to proceed with life!
I'm interested to hear how others have recovered from the surgery mentally vs. physically.
Is there anyone out there in a similar situation with a new baby?
Or anyone who had children after a valve replacement?
The 5 days following my surgery were full of ups and downs. I had no appetite whatsoever. My blood pressure took a dive on day 3 but was recified rapidly with a small amount of fluid. I walked 40 feet on day 2 and by day 5 was walking 2 laps of the floor at a time. I never thought that was going to happen. Every day got easier and better as tubes and wires were removed but the one thing that stayed...no matter what...was my anxiety and fear (STILL!) of going back into CHF. For some reason, I couldn't comprehend that my heart was fixed and that I wasn't going to go into CHF. I was just petrified and often times paralyzed with the fear....staring at the swelling in my ankles and blowing constantly into the incentive spirometer to open up my lungs. Healing hurts. And is scary. But time and faith are going to make it okay. I say this in the present tense because I'm still going through that. I'm 5 weeks post op right now and was discharged from my surgeon today! Literally a few hours ago! I've been cleared to drive, stop taking Coumadin, start cardiac rehab, begin picking up my son...a clean bill of health for all inents and purposes. But I'm still afraid. I had an exceptional surgical experience and my recovery thus far has been without incident. But I'm still afraid. Still unsure how to reconcile in my mind that I've had open heart surgery and with my choice of a tissue valve in order to become pregnant again - have signed up to do this all over again when the tissue valve fails.