June 20th was 6 month post surgery.
Took our first trip to beautiful Lake Louise, Alberta.
20 weeks post op mitral valve repair.
Journal posted on May 10, 2018
Time certainly does fly by when you are having fun. So grateful to everyone who has shared this journey with me.
Have learned a lot from this experience:
1) How to be a better friend.
When someone has surgery, it is so nice to get texts, emails, home-cooked food, offers to watch pets during the hospital stay, cards, gifts, visits, AND offers to wash your hair when you can't do it for yourself!
2) How to be a role-model.
My Mother had this same surgery 20 years ago and showed me her "courage". So, it was my goal to show my family that with the right attitude, one can deal with the "bumps" along the road of life.
3) Life is good.
Certainly a quick attitude-adjustment to be told you need open heart surgery. All of a sudden, your well-earned facial wrinkles seem trivial.
4) "Knowledge is power."
By reading Adam's book, other posts on this blog, internet articles, I learned what to expect, how to prepare, what to pack, etc. Felt totally ready by the time December 20th arrived. Thank you, Adam, for this blog, your book, and thank you to all on this site for sharing their stories.
5) "There's always something".............
Met my cardiologist last week. Told him I felt great! I have no health problems at all.
He said I still have moderate regurgitation of the mitral valve, according to the ECHO done 8 weeks post op. He also stated that it takes a full year to recover from OHS, and it is possible that things will settle down as time goes on. And he also said, "We did a repair of your mitral valve, and in the future, if you need it, we can do a replacement"
Guess I will just wait and see what the future brings.
Thank you for sharing your very interesting stories!
My friend just had his AVR done last week and he called to say he had experienced a wonderful vivid colourful dream, and that it was a great experience.
My personal experience was not pleasant, quite scary in fact. It was very alarming for my husband and son, who had never seen me in a state of fear like that.
Once I was home recovering, I tried to determine why this confusion occurred. My biggest issue post op was not being able to breath very well, in spite of nasal oxygen running constantly.
Dr. Gordon Boyd is a critical care physician and associate professor at Queens' University in Kingston, Ontario.
He has recently written an newspaper article explaining a research study on delirium. Researchers feel that low levels of brain oxygen delivery could possibly be the cause of delirium. The goal is to find the cause so that it can be prevented.
Prior to my mitral valve repair last December, I received a booklet from the hospital entitled "A patient and family guide to heart surgery."
Similar to Adam's wonderful book, it provided a lot of useful information including what to bring to the hospital, what to expect before and after surgery. The topic on delirium was very informative, especially for someone like myself who had never had surgery.
Delirium is described in this hospital booklet as basically "a sudden confused state of mind" which can occur after an illness or after surgery. It states that possible causes may include medications, and being in a hospital environment.
After my surgery, I became confused, and restless. I also had dreams which seemed very real. This episode lasted only a few hours and then I was totally back to normal. But it sure seemed real at the time.
Tomorrow will be 6 weeks post op mitral valve repair.
If I can do it and feel great so soon after surgery, you can do it too!
Today is 1 month since surgery
Journal posted on January 20, 2018
Had my mitral valve repair on December 20th.
Recovery, so far, has been fast and uneventful.
Look and feel "normal" with no pain, able to go up/down stairs, walk about the mall, visit with family/friends. Scar is healing very well.
Only limitations are sternal precautions so no driving, no heavy lifting. Medications cause fatigue still, but not on these pills forever, so all OK.
So, for all those members waiting for your surgery, wishing you a successful procedure and easy recovery.
17 days post op.
Feel great! Race you to the corner:)
Life is good!
Journal posted on January 4, 2018
It has been 2 weeks since surgery, which was mitral valve repair done December 20th. Discharged from hospital, on December 27th.
Feel fine, not taking anything for pain. In fact, there has been minimal pain post-surgery!
Slept in my own bed last night for the first time. Still need help to get up from the bed, due to sternal precautions. Will send back the electric bed early, not comfortable but was worth having for the first week home.
Building up strength daily. Staying in the house, do not want a cold and the weather here in Ontario is really cold right now and do not want to fall on ice.
Mentioned before that my personal post-op issues were mostly respiratory. Had a difficult time doing the breathing exercises, even when on O2 by nasal cannula.
Right now, you could not tell I just had surgery, unless you wanted to race me around the block:) Looking forward to my next ECHO to see how well my mitral valve is doing.
Still have a bit of A Fib, but no big deal. On medication to deal with that.
Told my Grandson that I have a 20 year warranty on my refurbished/reconditioned heart valve.
If you are about to have your surgery, wishing you the best and a speedy recovery.
Just got a call from the hospital..................surgery date bumped till Friday.
Same thing happened to my Mother 20 years ago so not surprised but disappointed.
Hugs and prayers to surgery "buddies" Judith and Terry.
Hoping to receive a call tomorrow to confirm that I should report to hospital at 6AM on Wednesday. Packed and prepared for a 6 day stay.
Have decided to rent a hospital bed for a month. Originally planned to use lazyboy recliner for sleep, but several people suggested that an electric bed would help!
Have decided on what I will give the surgeon and the coordinator at the cardiac unit - copies of Adam Pick's book. Found this site by pure accident and want to promote this book and blog to other heart valve patients in the community. The professionals can do a fantastic job regarding surgery, but I am confident that many, many patients could benefit from Adam Pick's "gift" to us.
Just have a question about coffee consumption following valve surgery.
Do you find you must eliminate regular coffee, or can you safely enjoy a couple of cups per day?
I only consume 2 cups in the AM, and can live without it, but would rather have life back to "normal" if possible.
Got a call from the hospital, to meet with anesthetist next Tuesday to complete all forms for the surgery and discuss allergies, etc.
At this point, surgeon will try to repair mitral valve and tricuspid valve, but will replace mitral valve, if needed with pig valve.
Got confirmation that surgery date is still on for November 29th - YES!
My friend, Laura, already delivered a bathtub chair for use when I get home!
My friend, Idske, has provided me with creams and lavender to use while a patient.
Hospital bag is packed, including travel pillow and power cord for phone.
Read chapters 10/11/12/13 of Adam's book last night. Will read a few chapters now each night to complete.
*The experience Adam described as a patient in the ICU was so interesting as I have not been a patient in a hospital in the last 55 years other than to delivery 3 sons:) (Broke my arm as a 14 year old, so did have surgery then but who remembers that far back!
No longer concerned about post op Afib. after watching the video Adam has posted. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Adam, for all that you do to help patients on this blog. Greatly appreciated.
So, today I will go to my pre-op dental appointment.
Family physician has ordered my antibiotics to take 1 hour before, due to my diagnosis of "severe mitral valve regurgitation."
Have been thinking about my friend's husband, Norm, who passed away about 12 years ago. He was a very healthy, active man, never sick a day in his life, 57 year old engineer/private pilot/financial planner.
He was a husband, son, father, successful business man and philanthropist in our community. And, then..................
.....................................................................went to the dentist, temporary cap came off unexpectedly, thought nothing of it. Had the tooth capped, then experienced "flu-like" symptoms, and eventually died of sepsis. There was never an explanation given for his illness.
I am now convinced that he had an undiagnosed heart valve problem.
Get out your travel pillow to support your neck in the hospital and at home in the lazy boy.
Buy a good set of scales which will track your weight daily to ensure you are not retaining water post op.
Since there is a possibility of post op depression, ask hubby to look for this as I stay here all winter instead of travelling to Machu Picchu as planned. (have never had any depression in my life, but have never had OHS either!)
Remember that old saying........"You know that sound you hear when you are making plans.................It is God laughing" :)
And finally, every day thank your lucky stars that to date, you have had good health and happiness so this is just a blip in the road.
Certainly appreciate this blog..............................
Journal posted on October 26, 2017
Am finding it very helpful to read all the postings by patients throughout the world.
Bought Adam's book, and it is very informative.
Watched a great utube video by Barbara Walters called "A Matter of Life and Death" explaining her surgery for aortic stenosis.
Cannot be too prepared!
Just retired from my profession as an RN, after 47 years, due to feeling "tired" and thought it was time to get in better shape, as walking up the stairs left me so exhausted. No other symptoms, so never dreamed I had a heart problem. However, my Mother also had a mitral valve surgery at my age, so should have expected it.
I was at my MD's office to get a prescription renewal for arthritis medication. During that visit, he took my vital signs and sent me for an Echo as he thought he might have heard a murmur. The results showed severe mitral valve regurgitation and moderate tricuspid valve regurgitation. Getting tests done for upcoming surgery.