For all of you awaiting surgery...our hearts are with you, relax and let the time pass, this is the hardest part.
To all of our family and friends, here is the update...
Hard to believe that yesterday was 3 wks from surgery and 2 wks 2 days since we have been home. It seems so much longer than that and yet when we take it all in, it's hard to believe it has only been 3 wks.
Andy is doing well, (in my opinion), he is walking between 2-2.5 miles a day and is walking hills as well. We live on a hill and he walks this to a degree, albeit a short way. I am thinking he will outrun me come this summer. Yikes! His incision is healing very well, knock on wood here, he is looking forward to summer and being out on the water. Our biggest issue, and it's not really an issue, is that we are now taking cholesterol meds as well as blood pressure meds that's we we're not expecting. I guess what we need to keep in mind is that this is not a deal breaker, just a surprise. We enjoyed the holidays and thank everyone for your well wishes and most importantly, prayers. He hasn't taken any pain meds since before he left the hospital and his INR is almost where they want it. A bit of a chess match with the INR, but overall, we are very blessed to have things going so well. We are very blessed to have the support of friends, work, and family.
Everyone needs to know how LOVED you all are!!!
Thank you Adam for this site and opportunity to share and opportunity to learn from others!!
Thank you to all who have left comments on Andy's quest book!
All of you out there waiting...you need to know how loved you all are!
Patty, (wife) and Andy-patient AVR 12-5-12
We are home! Andy slept ok last night, there were times of pain and discomfort, but he has not taken ANY pain meds for over 48 hrs. Due to the discomfort however, he has decided to take a pain pill before bedtime and most likely will sleep in his recliner tonight. We think maybe the discomfort was due in part to his prone position instead of the upright position at the hospital. He took a full shower and that made him feel GREAT! BP and heart rate are good here at home and there is a drawer full of meds we are working hard at keeping track of.
At any rate...all is very well, our thoughts and prayers out to everyone in the club. (as well as our support crew).
Thanks for everything!
All the days seem to run together now. He has a slight cough, but we think it is due to being in the hospital and not due to the surgery itself.
A little set back; unfortunately, Andy will not be coming home today. The IV site has become inflamed and they will be giving him an IV antibiotic onernight as a precaution. Bummer, he is disappointed. I had already moved all our belongings back to the car, good thing I didn't move the car to the hospital loading zone..
Andy feels bad for me, but I tell him this is like being on vacation for me, no worries! So Andy now has to fill out his food menu for tomorrow and I wonder what the cafeteria has to offer. Good thing it is a football day, he loves football and this will occupy him for the majority of the day.
Hanging in there!
Well, Andy is doing very well, he has walked about 10 mins (3) times today and will do another couple of laps before bedtime. We still plan on going home tomorrow. Eating at home will be a challenge to begin with because:
#1 he did all the cooking!
#2 his appetite is not back yet.
I will have to become creative and consistent with food offerings. Actually, I don't think it will be to difficult, things seem to progress rather quickly, as noted in other blogs. I also think everything at home will be a challenge for the 1st day or 2 just because we will be in a different environment from the last few days. I also forgot to mention, for those getting ready to go thru the surgery, that they removed his chest tubes early yesterday, it was a quick event, but he did say he felt it. Today they removed the incision dressing, his incision looks good, he looks like such a warrior!!! The only apparatus still in him is the pacemaker. That is the last to go.
To all of you getting ready...best wishes and prayers.
The OHS Fan Club
Here we are at Day 3. Dr came in and said Andy will be going home tomorrow! Things are stable, he is walking, and there is no reason to keep him here any longer. He is sleeping well and eating ok. Not using to much of the pain meds. All in all, things are good.
Andy has had a good day, he has continued to look better as the day wore on. He went on (2) walks doing laps around the nurses station and feels good. (5) minutes each time. The good news is when he finished with his walks, his heart rate was stable. Although, I must add he is taking medication to keep his HR stable. Ok with us. However, after last night, we don't want to get to excited about his progress. He is eating well, about 70% of the meals and we spoke to the nutritionist who reminded him that calories are required to enable healing. Her statement couldn't have come at a better time. I am glad we asked the nutrition questions...he is taking Coumadin, which it appears he will continue to take for 4-6 weeks. They also have him on Norco for pain, but right now, today, he has taken only (1) every 6 hrs. One thing that surprised us is that he was on Insulin and they are still taking his blood sugar levels. He is not Diabetic, but they explained "it is very common for your body to react like it is". So onward we go...
The body is am amazing thing!
All of you out there going thru this either as the patient or support system...our hats off to you! Prayers all around!
Ok, so for all the ups we had thru the surgery and Day 1, last night Andy had his heartbeat all over the place. They are giving him something thru an IV to get his heart stabilized as it has been. The staff tells us this is very common and not to worry, overall, he is very healthy and on the road to recovery. I would advise that whoever has the book, bring it with them to the hospital. I am fortunate to stay with Andy overnight, and I would have liked to have it here as a refresher for me. He is out of bed and sleeping in a chair, his movement from the bed to the chair is pretty seamless, he is a strong man!
Updates to follow.
Well, Day 1 is almost at an end. Andy was moved out of ICU this afternoon and he is doing well. He actually ate close to half of a full plate for dinner, turkey, stuffing and veggies, with peaches for dessert. Half a roll and lots of water! We thought he would go for a walk tonight, but the nursing staff decided tomorrow morning would be best. Andy did get up and get into the chair, he is moving around willingly, but it definately tires him out and he ends up taking his cat naps after the exertion. All in all, it is good.
To everyone out there that has their big day coming soon...hang in there! Now that we have experienced the "waiting is the hardest part", we see that everyone who made that comment is RIGHT.
Thanks again, (can never say this to many times), for all the prayers and well wishes!
On to Day 2!!!
We were told that the day of surgery is called "Surgery Day" and the day after is Day 1. So here we are at day 1. I got to the hospital just before they moved Andy to a chair. I was glad to be here for that, he is looking quite handsome, I am so proud of him, he is very brave. All of you folks going thru this are very brave! He is ready to be moved out of ICU, we are just waiting for a bed to open up. He is sleeping about 30 mins at a time soundly then wakes up and we chat for a few minutes, he eats a couple bits of jello or applesauce, then back to his cat naps. Things are going well.
End of a long day after all. Things are progressing really well, in my opinion. Andy was removed from the ventilator at 2:15pm and is mostly awake, although he did ask if we would be home in time to watch a movie! He will get a kick out of that tomorrow...his color looks so good and his pain is being managed quite nicely. We were told, most likely he will be moved out of ICU tomorrow morning, and they would be getting him walking as well. Now I am getting ready for some sleep, and we look forward to tomorrow.
Thanks for this site and best wishes to everyone!
This is both the Pre and post surgery report...Andy went in at 7:15 this morning very relaxed and ready for this piece to be DONE!!! The staff told me I had a long day ahead of me, so to go and grab something to eat and keep busy for a few hrs. They said to expect news around noon. So I dilly-dallied awhile and was in the cafe when I rec'd a call from the Dr. at 10:10 am...he is ALL DONE! Everything went well and I can see him in an hr. I always look at things thru rose colored glasses and the fact that he finished almost 2 hrs earlier than we thought, I take that as a very good sign.
I get to see him in an hr and look forward to that moment!
Thanks again for all the support and well wishes to everyone "in the que" and into recovery!
Will post again later today!
Here we are checked into a motel down the street from the hospital and ready for tomorow. We will be there at 5:15am with surgery scheduled for 7am. Surgery is expected to take 4-5 hrs, so we should be updated around noon. Andy is doing well, eager to get this over with and started with recovery. As so many of you have stated, this is the hardest part. Andy actually woke up over the weekend with a Sty in his eye and we were worried this would be another stumbling block, but we were relived to be given the go ahead.
So here we go!!!
Hard to believe 48 hrs from now Andy will be in recovery. Tomorrow we head to LA for Pre Op and will spend the night close to the hospital, as if we will get any sleep! As of tonight though, all is well, the house is clean, the fridge is stocked, laundry done, dishes washed, Christmas lights and tree up, we are ready!
Thanks for your support!
Surgery is on weds and we are in the "limited sleep before surgery" phase. We do as much as possible to stay "normal", but honestly, the surgery is never far from our minds. One foot in front of the other, right???
All in all, it pays to recognize that we are fortunate to be able to have this valve replaced, and fortunate to have good health, family and friends.
To all a good night!
Patty (loving wife) 😄
Surgery is now 8 days away. We have done some shopping in anticipation of the big day. We bought a blood pressure monitor, new thermometer, shower bench, and...a recliner! Walked a couple of miles today and did a light work out. Feeling good. I know that as the week wears on, a good nights sleep will be harder to come by, so I am grateful for how I am sleeping now.
Thanks for your support!
Today is Thanksgiving!! My wife is writing this blog, as I am old school...those of you over 50 know what this means!!
Andy is scheduled for surgery at Kaiser Sunset in Los Angeles on Dec. 5th. He has always been active and we are looking forward to next summer when he can resume his summer activities!!
He had a kidney stone which postponed his surgery from Oct 15th to Dec 5th. (He passed the stone Nov. 19th...whew!) So we, Andy and I, are ready to go. He is having a tissue valve replacement. He feels great! I appreciate any suggestions as we walk thru this piece of life together.
Thank you Adam so much for this website and the opportunity to read everyones story.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!