Heart Valve Surgery Update 06/22/2016 (1.5 years later.....)
Journal posted on June 22, 2016
Hello to all! Life is great and I am doing awesome! Modern technology is an amazing part of all our lives today! The things they can do to "fix" us is unreal! I have been back at work since March 2015 and have not missed a beat! Other than having a little touch of A-Flutter last year it has been smooth sailing. I eat very clean, watch the intake of carbs, and sweets and still indulge in some good red wine and the occasional adult beverage. I have been working out 3-4 times a week at a boxing club and I really like that-the instructors push you hard and I have to remember that I am 56 and not 20 years old anymore! So, life is good and I am thankful for the doctors and caregivers at The Baylor Heart Hospital at Plano, Texas who took care of me and those who continue to take care of me for my check-ups and well-health exams. This is not easy to go through with this heart valve surgery or anything cardiovascular related but be thankful that this technology is there for all and the doctors and caregivers and truly lifesavers! Take care and God Bless you. Have faith, courage and be brave because you will get through this! Regards, Ben
Hello all! It has been seven months since my atrial and aortic valve surgical repair here at the Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas. I recently was diagnosed with A-FIB and had a electric shock performed on my heart by my cardiologist. He has me on a blood thinner called Xarelto. I have to take this until I have my Atrial Ablation performed. This is going to happen on September 17th and the purpose of this procedure is to reset my heart rate (pulse) so that I do not have to take this medication and to cauterize the nerve endings in my right atrium that are causing my heart to beat at these irregular rates. Has anyone else gone through this? I have been feeling great since my surgery; working out 4-5 days a week and back to living a normal and wonderful life again! I'd appreciate any and all feedback on A-Fib and how it effected you. Thank you all and God Bless! Ben
Hello everyone! Hope this finds you all well! I have a question and would appreciate some feedback. It has been nine (9) weeks since my mitral and aortic valve repair and I finish my cardiac rehab this Friday; (15 sessions). I am going to get back to working out at the gym and wanted to transition back into lifting some weight. I'd like some advice on what to do and not do giving my condition. Thanks.
Hello all heart valve family members! Today marks eight (8) weeks since my aortic and mitral valve surgery! I went back to work today and it was nice to get back in the swing of things……I left a little early so that I didn't have to deal with all the Dallas traffic! I am feeling great; I go to cardiac re-hab 3X/week and then work out at our local YMCA 2-3X/week and then Shelley (my beautiful wife) and I walk a couple times a week so I am getting my cardio in! I'm amazed at how fast I have recovered-I am not 100% put feel pretty darn good! I am going to continue to "pace" myself and get myself stronger every day! I wish you all happiness and heart-healthy! Take care and God Bless you all!
It has been seven weeks since I have my mitral and aortic valves repaired at The Baylor Heart Hospital by Dr. William Brinkman. I am blessed and fortunate in many ways. I have been doing awesome! Going to cardiac rehab sessions 3X/week and then working out at the YMCA 3-4 times a week. I feel great and my chest "zipper" is healing nicely! I am returning back to work on February 11th and am looking forward to it! It gets boring at home and I think I am caught up on my Netfilx viewing and novel reading! This website is a great library of information and I wish everyone on this site continued health and recovery and those who are about to undergo their procedures, I wish you all the best for a successful procedure and a speedy and full recovery! God Bless!
Good morning everyone! It has been four (4) weeks since surgery and I am feeling great! Actually am walking 1-2 miles everyday and feeling "normal" again! Off of all the pain meds and life is great! I still am tender in the chest from that 8" incision but other than that, all is well! I begin my physical re-hab today and I am looking forward to it. Also, I have targeted Feb 10th as my date to go back to work! I am getting a little bored around the house although I have been able to get some projects completed around the house and reading some good books! Thank you all for your posts and I wish you all the best for a happy and heart healthy 2015 and beyond! Regards, Ben
Good morning all! Hard for me to believe that it has been 12 days since I had my mitral and aortic valve repaired at The Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas. I am feeling great; walking unassisted around the block (made it two laps yesterday!) and navigating myself up an down the stair case like a mountain goat! The human body is amazing-it takes care of itself with the healing process! I am getting rest and taking it kind of easy-it is hard for me to sit down and not do anything, however, I am catching up on some reading and enjoying the daily cat-nap or two. The doctors and the entire nurse-care staff at this hospital were top notch! They took great care of me and I am just so grateful we live in a day and age where technology can improve our lives in many aspects. I wish you all the best (upcoming procedures) and for total and fast recoveries. God Bless, Ben.
Awesome news today-I was discharged and got to go home. My surgery went well; my cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Brinkman was able to repair both my mitral and aortic valves! The entire procedure took approximatley 4 hours. It all began at 8:30 am on Wednesday December 17th and around midnight (~15 hours later) I woke up in my room and asked the nurse in my room if we were about to get started-----he explained,"sir, it is all over and you are in your recovery room!" Those were some of the best words I've heard in a long time. The next days were spent getting prodded, poked, moved from bed to scale to chair to toilet, to chair and then to outside the room for my walks. In between taking more pills over a five-day period than I have taken in my whole life, I got to go home today! The Baylor Heart Hospital was awesome; facility, technology and most of all the "human factor!" The nurses and my doctors really gave you the feeling that they do care about you! It wasn't a luxury hotel however it was awesome, the service including the food was great! So, again, I am at home and my pretty wife Shelley is now my nurse and I think she is going to do a good job taking care of me! Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to you all, may God bless you and look over you and we will keep posting on this site to see how all of you are doing. Just think, we are so fortunate to live in a time where you get this diagnosed, then you have to act upon that and make a decision that will allow you to get back on track with you life! My prayers and thoughts are with you all! Take care and smile, it's going to be all right! Ben
This is Shelley, Ben's wife, and I just wanted to thank everyone again for your wonderful and caring thoughts and support. It helped Ben so tremendously get through this, and I'm happy to report that he is sleeping peacefully (and soundly finally) on the couch at our house while I write this. He is doing so well and I'm so proud of his amazing progress. He will write an update when he gets caught up on rest. Many thanks again and Merry Christmas and continued prayers for everyone recovering, in the hospital now and preparing for the upcoming surgery! Blessings!
Ben on Post Op Day 4. Doing great and hoping to be released on Post Op Day 5!!
Post Op Day 2
Journal posted on December 19, 2014
Ben is doing great with walking and breathing although today was a bit of a downturn from yesterday. There is nothing pleasant about heart surgery with the exception of the staff at Baylor Heart Hospital! Chest tubes are out as well as catheter and looking forward to a night with just a little less interruption! :) Hoping to be home a day or two before Christmas!
Hi All, an update on Ben's surgery …. it is complete and Dr. Brinkman just reported that he was able to REPAIR the aortic valve! God is good and I am amazed at the experience and skill of the Drs at Baylor Heart Hospital, especially Dr. Brinkman, to repair a severe aortic valve leak. Thanks again to those who are walking the same path as Ben for your awesome support and to wonderful family and friends as well. Now on to recovery!
Hi All, This is Shelley, Ben's wife. Ben's surgery started at 9:06 am this morning, and he was in very good spirits! Dr. Hoffman, Head Anesthesiologist here at Baylor Heart Hospital, Dr. Brinkman and Dr. Ryan to assist are all on hand and I feel blessed to have Ben in such great hands. Surgery anticipated to last 4 ½ to 6 hours. Thanks to all on this site, especially Adam for creating such a wonderful resource, for the great information, prayers and amazing generosity to reach out to Ben and others who came here with anxiety and gained such peace. Will keep you posted. Cow valve is the valve of the day. :)
Sunday night and my wife Shelley and I are about to have dinner at home. I am down to 2.5 days from my surgery. I am looking forward to waking up in recovery and seeing my family and friends. I am wondering how much pain I am going to be in…..and what my recovery is going to be like; time and challenges? I am feeling great and am anxious to get this accomplished.
Sunday, December 7, 2014 (73rd anniversary of Pearl Harbor D
Journal posted on December 7, 2014
Thanks to all who posted today. I am having my aortic and mitral valve repaired on December 17, 2014 and am getting anxious about the day. I am wondering if I the doctors will be able to repair my aortic valve or if I become part pig or bovine (with aortic valve replacement)? It's somewhat comforting to know and hear all of your comments. Have a great day! Ben