Had not realized it had been a month since my last post!
Journal posted on July 31, 2011
Time has flown by. Tuesday will be two months since my surgery and I feel great. I am thrilled with how well I feel and how quickly I am healing. I had an echocardiogram done about two weeks ago and my doctor said that everything looks great. Even the pulmonary hypertension that the surgeons were so concerned about has gone back to normal.
Monday August 1st will be my first day back to work and it will also be my first day of cardiac rehab. I think it may be an exhausting day but I am excited that life is going on and I am part of it!!!
Thank you to all who have been praying for me. God has answered your prayers. I am ever so thankful that He is so good to me.
Tomorrow is four weeks since my surgery. I am doing amazingly well according to those around me. I have been told that I sound strong and that my color is much better than it was before. The only real problem is trying to get my coumadin levels correct. But I think that will just take time. I went for a follow-up with my surgeon (Dr. Edward Savage) yesterday and he said I was doing great and that he didn't want to see me again. Now I just need to see my cardiologist here in Lakeland and find out how he wants me to proceed. I would like to go to cardiac rehab but they have not contacted me yet. I am very happy with my progress and can't wait to see how much better I will feel.
2 weeks ago today I still didn't know what day it was. It's amazing what can happen in a couple weeks. I came home Saturday June 11th and a home health care nurse came out on Monday. She checked all my vitals and my incision and told me it all looks good. Home health will continue to check on me for about 3 weeks.
I'm not sure what was expected during my recuperation? The people I have seen or talked tell to me how well I am doing and how strong I sound. I get up every morning. I shower, dress and have breakfast. I try to do a few things around the house and then I take a nap. Some days the naps are longer than other days. Then my husband and I will have lunch and run an errand or I might take another nap. I try to do enough to keep getting stronger but not so much that I set myself back.
Unfortunatley my INR is not Theraputic yet so I will probably not go home till Saturday. While this is disappointing at least there is now a plan. Bill is going home this afternoon to take care of some household things and then come back down on Saturday to get me.
My husband Bill has been wonderful. I'm really sorry he had trouble accessing my journal. I'm sure he would have kept you laughing during his updates. I truly appreciate him putting his world on hold to be here for me.
Here I am waiting...last Thursday it was to go into surgery. The lady in the staging area couldn't find a vein so they called someone from anesthesgiology to put me under. After that I only remember bits and peices until Saturday. I am doing well but because I live 4 hours away they don't want to release me until my coumadin level is higher. Yesterday it was 1.8 and it needs to be a 3. Unless it goes up faster today I might not be able to go home until Sunday or Monday.
Yesterday they brought me to a regular room. It is difficult to go from constant monitoring to intermitent monitoring. I've had a shower, taken a couple of walks. They tell me I'm doing and look great. There is a possibility that I will get to go home Wednesday or Thursday.
In 6.5 hours I will be heading to CCF. I met one of the ICU nurses today and got my heart pillow. I have confidence that I will be well taken care of. I have given my husband Bill access to my journal. I know he will try to keep you all updated.
Tomorrow morning I leave for Weston. A few pre-op things to do and then just wait for Thursday morning. My dad and stepmom will be coming down for the surgery along with my husband. I am so grateful for all my family, friends and journalites. This would be very difficult without you all.
It is Sunday night, Thursday is coming up fast. I'm trying to spend time with family, clean house and think of all the thing I need to get done before Wednesday morning when Bill and I head to S Florida. I wish it were just done so I didn't have to think about it anymore. Recovery could begin and I would know how things are instead of wondering how they will be.
I went back to Cleveland Clinic Friday, May 20th for pre-op. That is a long way to go for an EKG, Chest X-ray and bloodwork. Met with Barbara again, she is wonderful, I love her personality and she is so helpful. The next time I go will be June 1st for final pre-op and then the surgery bright and early Thursday morning.
I'm not sure what else I want to say other than to those that have been encouraging me and praying for me "Thank You"!
I guess when I made my journal entry on Thursday I forgot to say what day my surgery would be. I go back to Cleveland Clinic on May 20th for the 1st part of pre-op. This includes blood work, ekg, chest x-ray, pulmanary class and a mersa test. I have to be back down on June 1st for the second part which I don't remember what all it entails and then I have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am June 2nd for the surgery.
I went to Cleveland Clinic Florida on Tuesday May 10th. I saw Dr Savage after he reviewed all the records I brought him. I definitely have static pulmonary hypertension which makes the recovery from surgery more difficult for me. He told me that not only did my mitral valve need replaced but that I also leakage in my tricuspid valve and my aortic valve also showed some damage and leakage. His recommendation is to replace the mitral valve and after he goes in and looks at it to possibly replace my aortic valve to keep me from having surgery again in the near future. as far as the tricuspid he wants to place a ring on it just to insure that the leakage stops. This is not at all what I wanted to here but I did feel confidant in his ability to take good care of me Not only did he share all this wonderful news but he also let me know that I very possibly will have a longer hospital stay than most. Two to three days in ICU and seven to ten days overall.
Thank God that I have a wonderful support group that keeps me ever in their thoughts and prayers.
I made an appointment at Cleveland Clinic Florida with Dr Savage for May 10th. On the same day I made the appointment my original surgeon office called and had an opening for the same day. I know a second opinion is important but I hope that putting off the surgery doesn't end up being a mistake. It is so hard to know the best direction to go.
Okay, I am giving in to the get a second opinion theory. I'm not sure if I will get with Cleveland Clinic or not it depends on how long it will take to get an appointment but I WILL definitley get a second opinion. One of my concerns at the moment is how much longer I may have to wait to have the surgery. With the mitral valve regurgitation and the pulmonary hypertension I do not know how much more damage is happening every day.
I went to see my surgeon yesterday and aparrently I have static pulmonary hypertension. I had finally made the decision to go with a bioprosthetic with the thought that I could deal with a future surgery rather than spending my life on coumadin and constant monitering. However I have been told that if the pulmonary hypertension does not reverse after the surgery a future surgery may not be possible. The hardest part is that noone can tell me if it will reverse or not. Only time will tell. Do I change my decision and go with a mechanical valve or do I stay with my original plan and hope that over time the hypertension reverses?
I just posted my story and this is my first entry. I am home from work today because I had a heart cath yesterday to check the pressure in my lungs. Apparently it is not as good as they would like but not as bad as they thought. I also had an ultrasound of my arteries today and hopefully (or not) will have surgery by the end of next week. I thought I didn't want to know what was going to happen during surgery but I changed my mind and downloaded Adams book. Because of it I made an appointment with my surgeon to ask questions.