Had my Aortic valve replaced on December 5, 2016 and am feeling great. The apprehension before the surgery was more of a brain drain then it was in actuality. I was out of hospital in 3 days and got a checkup with my cardiologist in on December 15 where he noticed a slight afib.
He decided to schedule me for a cardioversion (shock you back into sync - under anesthesia - simple 1 day outpatient procedure) in 30 days. Prior to that date, I was to go on coumidan to thin the blood and also reschedule a echocardiogram and another EKG just prior to the cardioversion. Good news is that I am back in rhythm prior to the cardioversion (cancelled - yeah!) but will be on coumidan for another 3 months ans well as amiodorone to make sure I keep in rhythm. Next checkup in 3 months. Looks like it took about 30-40 days for my heart to sync with the new valve. I also lost about 10 pounds post surgery but otherwise feel great and exercising daily. The path post surgery is not always straight but there is light at then end of the tunnel. Don't despair - just repair!
Red Zinger Tea that is. Ok so here's the story that may help you avoid a nice Afib incident like I experienced last night/early morning.
My cardiologist has me on two heart meds for the next 60 days ( I have never been on any prescription pills my whole life _ but that is another story). The meds are Metoprolol Tartrate to hold BP down and Amiodarone, that is used to restore normal heart rhythm and maintain a regular, steady heartbeat.
Well last night I had an irregular heartbeat, a pulse of 127 and close to normal blood pressure of 128/83. I couldn't sleep, settle down and didn't really know what to do. I had afib the second day in the hospital and the meds solved the problem then and they are the same as the one mentioned above except for a slight difference, the addition of the Red Zinger tea! I had a cup of warm tea (other teas like lemon, green, had no effect and are a good way to relax) after dinner and before bed time and the next 7 hours were scary and of great concern to the new druggy. I ended taking another Amiodarone about 4 hours into the battle and that eventually settled things down an hour later and about 20 additional BP tests with the monitor (which arm, is it high/tight enough? Lot of things go thru your mind at that time in the morning.- You know the drill). Today things are back to normal with pulse at 86. I was told to expect about 50% of people with AVR have Afib during the first 6 weeks so now i know what to expect but I will also ask the cardiologist next week if this experience is "normal". Anyway avoid the Red Zinger as there may be a reaction between the meds and the tea or it just may have been part of the AVR experience. Stay tuned, it can only get better!
Adam has a good question and answer video covering this issue theat, yes, is viewable at 3 AM - Thanks Adam!
My wife made cheese cake with cherries on top - sorry no picture - was gluten free with gram cracker type crust. That and some home made soup for the pre-surgery dinner.... Yumm.
Now for the special shower and then off to early bed. Getting up at 3 AM and to prebys Cario at 5 so catch you all in the next day or two. GL to all my other Dec 5 partners. we will make it thru this with the inspiratiuon of all the others who post here.
Well its less than 24 hours for Bob New Heart day and there always seems to be one more thing to do (or forget). Got surgical soap last night, had dinner with close friends at PF Changs (new menu and food was excellent - highly recommended for cardio patients and everybody else). Last Mai Tai for a while I think.
I think making lists for all the other people in my life circle is worth it. They all want to know what's happening so I invited over 40 people to this website to follow my progress. Now for other lists of stuff for people to do while I am away, getting all the heavy lifting items done, putting up the outdoor Christmas lights, etc. Luck I have lots of friends that will help. Don't be afraid to ask I keep telling my independent self - sometimes hard for me but I am getting over it fast!
Pun intended. Loved the Bob Newhart show too! Well next Monday is Bob New Heart Day for me too. Getting a new aortic valve replacement. Will be at Prebys Cardiovascular Institute) La Jolla next to Scripps Memorial Hospital) at 5 AM and probably out of surgery at 12 noon into ICU and look forward to Tuesday when I start to be a real human being again!
I like to plan my future so for the past week starting on Sunday (8 days before my surgery on Monday, 12/5) I have been visualizng each day 1 week in the future. Starting with the Sunday before I am scheduled, I have visualized what I would like to happen from the time I wake up and all the tiny tasks and acknowledgements for the many friends who are supporting me through this surgical event and subsequent recovery.
On Sunday before the surgery I imagined all the things I needed to do exactly one week in advance and what my friends can do to feel good about supporting me all the way from the preparations, to packing my bags, to the clothes I will wear and they people i want to call.
On Monday I imagined getting up at 3 AM, taking a shower with the special surgical soap, taking a baseline weight, BP and heart rate measurement for my log which I will keep for the next 3 months while I fully recover with my second chance on life. Then comes the checklist of all the things I need to take to the hospital including the chest xrays that seem to always be delayed on the computer. Then comes the trip to the Cardiovascular center, the parking of the car in the special place and arriving at the admission office by 5AM. Surgery at 6:45 and out of operating room by 12 and wakeup in ICU later that afternoon dry mouthed, weary and ready for some TLC by the nursing staff. My wife should be waitibg so I hope I don't gross her out with all the tubes coming out of my body. I probably won't notice the first day anyway.
Tuesday I will start my way on conscious recovery. It will be a challenge but the staff is great and very helpful. Visitors show up from family and friends. Its great to be alive with this support group. I take my first steps--slow but sure with lots of help. The doc says everything went fine and I have a strong heart working the way it should and it will last for many years.
Wednesday I am improving and getting stronger, challenging my physical limits. My humor returns to delight my friends and staff. All are very supportive. I walk a few more times then I thought I could feeelibg stronger each time, yet weary when I am done ready for another rest and then another round of exercise and the breathing machine.
Today is Thursday and one week from today I will be ready to go home mentally but probably not quite ready physically. I see a few more patients ready for their day one, and smile as I want to tell them they will get through this one step at a time like I am.
These visualizations I call my Future Diary as it helps me find the path and take away the fears and intrepidations I had a couple of months ago when the doctor said I needed open heart surgery. I remember when Marcus Welby said that to his patients on TV and the shock and awe of their reactions are still in my mind. But I got a grip on that feeling and now can visualize an awesome future by visualizing and writing out my Future Diary step by step the way I wanted to see my future with my friends and family.