Hi Kathy Mancuso....just like Civita and Marie..I also had the fear of the breathing tube in my mouth. I have a mentally disabled daughter, so we prepared her for "my post-op appearance". In the end..because of the sedation, I remember waking up and feeling the device..then sleeping lots and next thingI knew it was out!! It's OK to be scared..all of us have been there!! Enjoy a quiet weekend...gather up a good book for in the step-down unit...rest......hugs!!
Six months post OHS. Lots of adventures..some good..some not. I feel much better..I've returned to my part time retail job..and am as busy as ever with quilting, yarn, and needlework!! And a new cat!! The biggest disappointment is that I now have diastolic heart failure. I will always be short of breath..taking diuretics(yuk!) and watching salt. Good news is that after surgery..I lost 30 pounds of fluid. Yes.. 30 pounds. Hey..I get to buy some new jeans!!
Four Month Update
Yes, it's been four months since I had my Mitral Valve replaced. I now have a new mechanical valve!! I also had the Maze procedure done during my surgery, since I had a-fib problems. After my surgery I remained in a-fib for a couple months. And, lots of rate control meds. After 2 months. I developed Digoxin poisoning, and was hospitalized. I had another cardioversion at the end of this stay..and it worked for a few days. I have since been hospitalized a couple more times for tachycardia with a bit of a-fib for interest. Docs have run out of "bullets" for the rhythm issue. The Amiodarone and Metropolol have had to be reduced so I could even function. All this time I have been healing and getting stronger. I have a disabled daughter to transport, and care for. I haven't been able to return to work..or do cardiac rehab. Why make the rhythm issues worse???..but I've been walking and working with my flowers and weeds. Also stitching, quilting, and knitting. I don't use my walker anymore..neither my classy cane!! I now go to the Heart Failure clinic at my local hospital because of the water swelling (edema) from the a-fib. The good news is that I've lost over 30 pounds of water weight!! I look and feel much better!! Currently, my electrophysiologist is talking to his cohorts at Northwestern and University of Chicago. Right now I have 2 options for heart rate control..since the drugs don't even work anyway. I can have an ablation to the top left heart chamber to " destroy " the electric circuits causing the a-fib and rvr. Going "in" over a mechanical valve is very dangerous. My regular cardiologist and family Dr. Say "no way"! The other option..much better sounding to me is a type of pacemaker where the bottom chambers would control the heartbeat. Sounds much better to me!!! Could we do this tomorrow?? I'd like to do Cardiac Rehab (if Medicare still allows me), and get back to work!! I'm mentally ready..my body isn't. It's been interesting 4 months. I feel so much better than before my surgery..I have had my scars heal well. I am sleeping on my side..not sitting up in my lazy boy. Lots of positives to go hand in hand with my trials. We'll see what July/August will bring!!
Hi Civita...one of my baby Quilts. Thanks for your great post re our "friend" Coumadin!! I have many of the same side effects!
Update posted on...
July 4, 2017
Fourth of July
Well, not the 4th my daughter and I were planning. We were going to work on patriotic Quilts, I'm back in the hospital, instead. A flutter. About 140 bpm. On a cardizem drip watching fireworks on TV. And knitting. Heart rhythm doc will be in tomorrow. See what's in store. For me. I had been hoping to be able to reduce the Metropolol Tartate down from 50mg twice a day. I get so tired from this stuff, that I shouldn't even drive. Now that would be a big change, as I am the caretaker for my disabled daughter. ...also a widow. There is no help from county, township, etc. Illinois is broke. Taxi would be transportation. This has sure been an interesting run almost 4 months out from surgery. Wanted to return to work..and do Cardiac Rehab ( too many AFIB episodes..docs don't want me to do rehab)....will just take things as they come..all I can do. Got a laugh from hospital kitchen when I asked for a beer with dinner!!
3 month anniversary of MVR
Well, spent my anniversary back in the hospital. Monday nite I went into a high heartbeat. Tuesday morning I came here..my heart was doing atrial flutter, so I ended up staying. A cardioversion was done Thursday, and a TEE. My heart valves are all ok!! Working good! Rate back to normal. now I'm waiting for my INR to be therapeutic. Then I can, at last, go home!!!!!! I've been walking. And had more physical therapy!! In the meantime, I had an Echo done..and, as the Docs suspected, I am retaining fluid around the heart. Sometime, I developed congestive heart. Morediuretics!! Not fun news. Scary.... I don't like being short of breath and walking shorter distances. Well. I've lost 30lbs of weight since surgery..I actually think my body has reached the place I should be. Scars are healed nicely..I've been sleeping lying down for about a month. Mostly have more energy all the time. Has anyone dealt with congestive heart?? Any good ideas , etc. ???? Thanks!! Cathy
Almost 3 months after Mitral valve repair. My daughter and I attended our yearly Needlepoint Guild retreat in beautiful Galena, Illinois. Fun with friends, good food (not heart healthy) !! Good shopping..and plenty of time to stitch , knit, stitch!!!!!
Update posted on...
May 22, 2017
Well, on Thursday, I had a cardioversion, finally, 2 months after my mitral valve replacement. Stayed out of AFIB for several days!! Wow!! Back in AFIB last nite. Went to ER. Only thing off was Coumadin.since AFIB in low 100's, just sent home. See the cardiologist tomorrow. Depressing!! Seems like I'm destined to be in AFIB on drugs as the new me!!..will get a note for 1 more month off work, as I can hopefully start cardiac rehab, and get stronger!!
Well...success!! Had a cardioversion this morning!! Was even afraid to ask the nurse if it worked when I woke up!! Wow!! After 2 months in AFIB after my mitral valve replacement..it was so pretty to see a normal sinus rhythm on the monitor!!!!! Will go home tomorrow..with less heart meds!! Thanks for all good wishes...
Interesting how things work out. As I shared earlier, the reason I was way overtired and nauseous was that my Digoxin level had become toxic. When I came into the ER With a heart rate in the 40's. .still in AFIB ..that was quickly discovered. The next day I was given a dose of anti-digoxin IV. And all pills were held. I felt better!! I can eat without nausea!! That evening I went into PVC's so my Dr. Gave me another dose of the anti-dixogin IV. Much better. I went back to higher beats per minute..still in AFIB ...but much better. Today only Metropol was given to me. Kind of weird not taking a cocktail of meds a couple times a day!! No nausea today!!! Since I'm here in the hospital..have lost 20+ pounds of edema from surgery..and am feeling better.....Dr. Has a cardioversion scheduled for tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure have my fingers and toes crossed that this could actually work!! Life would be so much better!! Back to no AFIB!!! Pls join my friends and family in a prayer that this works!!! Thanks.....Cathy
2 months since surgery........yes, today the 15th is 2 months since my mitral valve replacement,,, LOTS OF FEELINGS..GOOD AND BAD. I weigh about 25 lbs less than when I left the hospital...had lots of edema after my surgery. I'm still in AFIB...docs want to do a cardioversion..but waiting for the edema to go away!! 2 diuretics a day!!.. I can walk fine..been driving for a month..doing lite housework. Even finding. Time for my quilting and knitting and needlework!! But.....in the last couple weeks, the nausea has increased. Tiredness, too. Been blaming it on the AFIB. Drs. Took me off one diuretic to see if that would help. Well. Saturday and yesterday I was super tired and dizzy and vomiting. Noticed this morning that my heart rate was in the 40's...so..cardiologist sent me to the ER. Answer....my Digoxin level is way high!! Here I was blaming the nausea on every other drug!! So..I'm in the hospital overnite for observation. Heart meds will be held. .. see what docs figure out in the morning. At least now I have an answer !! 2 steps forward..one step back!!
Hi All....Happy Mothers Day to all of us gals on this forum!! We have been the Mom helped by kids..or the kids and grandkids that helped our "Mom" with surgery!! Even though my Mom has been dead several years...her prayers helped me thru my surgery.....the day before surgery, I attended my needlepoint guild meeting. Good thoughts and prayers were passed on to me...One of the gals gave me a gift bag. Inside was a prayer shawl she had knitted. It was..lavender!!! She could not have known that lavender was Mom's favorite color!! My Sister and I cried about this over the fone later that evening. That shawl remained with e in the hospital!! Every time I had it on my lap..I could feel the gentle touch of my Mom..and the prayers of so many!! It has been almost 2 months since surgery, so now I take my naps with this blessing!! May we all be blessed.....
Hi Heart friends. The person with the wound vac isn't me!! I'm not quite 2 months out..of mitral valve replacement. I belong to a quilt group that makes Quilts for veterans. Our. "Resident Marine" John helps with lots. About 5 weeks ago, he had his aortic valve repaired, and 2 previous by-passes repaired. So..he has incisions on his inner thigh. These haven't been healing. He has spent time in the hospital, for Pneomonia..and controlling the edema in His legs. I The scars on his thighs were weeping..so Drs put in a wound vac. Has anyone had experience with this??? I know he's tired of being house-bound. And unable to do garden work. Visiting nurse coming 3 times a week to change vac unit. Has anyone had one of these??? Thanks for any help......
Water weight edema.
Hi...I'm just about 7 weeks out from surgery. Incisions and I doing well. I'm back to my needlework and quilt guilds!! Still sleeping upright at nite.
Walking a little with a cane, but mostly on my own. Doing more each week. Can't wait till I can get back to yard work here in. Illinois!! Home
Health Care Team is done with me!! I see my cardiologist Tuesday, so I hope to get the "go" for cardiac rehab.
Maybe they can get another cardioversion in the w.orks, as I'm still in.
AFIB, post surgery!! . My biggest problem has been the edema in my legs. I am now on 3 diuretics, have lost about 22 pounds since I came home from the hospital. Has anyone else had this happen??? Did you have to stay on water pills?? Thanks for ideas.....
Wow!! Time flies during recovery!! I was in the hospital for 10 days after my surgery!! I had started to accumulate fluid on my lungs because my Mitral Valve failed so fast. I was on oxygen for all that time!! The people in ICU and the Cardiac Floor were great!! I usually took 4 small walks everyday..and sat in my chair with my feet up. Then, I transferred to another local hospital for 10 days of physical therapy....great decision!! I got so..so..much stronger!! When I came home, my Sister stayed with us for a week. Such a help!! Now I am finishing a couple weeks of Home Health Care. Great help, again!! They keep me busy!! My surgeon is happy, and said I could drive again!! Dangerous!! Now I can get to the grocery store and church by myself!! I even take a scooter at the store!! I am walking more and more without my walker!! Today I walked behind the shopping cart for support!! I am still in AFIB, and have edema still in my legs. Any hints. For the edema?? I take lasix and another diuretic....I am in very little pain. The chest wall hurts a bit!!! And my swollen legs hurt by the end of the day. I have also found one more side effect of major surgery...insomnia!
Hi Cathleen.....you mentioned in a previous posting about drinking protein shakes during our recovery. Do you mean Ensure..Boost..Special K protein shakes..or..do you have a "secret recipe"??? My iron levels are still low almost 6 weeks after my surgery. Thanks..Cathy
Hi friends, I'm home!! What a good day..weather was lousy..home and cat are cozy!! After 3 weeks of hospital food and coffee..I had real food and a real cup of Dunkin Decaf!! I was able to get much stronger in Rehab Center...much better. My Sister is here for the first week I'm home..great help!! What a journey!! My problems now are still AFIB and edema in my body!!
Hi day 17 update. Getting stronger everyday!! I have been on the rehab floor of a local hospital, after being released after mitral valve replacement, I have been learning so much to stay stronger!! My lungs are fine, at last. The valve failed so fast that my lungs were filling with fluid. I am still in post surgery a-fib😒😒. And I have edema, I hadn't counted on...But...I get to go home, and heal more next Wed. Amazing journey..I've been helped by so many caring hands
16 days out..I'm feeling stronger and better each day. My big problem is the edema...My feet are like footballs..my family got me bigger underwear!! As I'm in a comprehensive physical therapy program..I haven't been home yet..soon!! Anyone else have this edema?? How long??
Day 12 update. I'm at physical therapy!! Took a few days of waiting.. today I'm here!! I am using 1/2 liter of oxygen now. When I left ICU for cardiac care.. I was on 4 liters of oxygen. I feel much stronger.. better than before my valve replacement. I think that mitral valve just collapsed!! I think tomorrow will be interesting..an assessment day. What an. I learn to heal stronger?? Bad thing is I've stayed in AFIB since the surgery. Scary, too. That's what is slowing me down. I can say Ive been helped by so, so many caring hands...
Hi. This afternoon I had a TEE and a cardio version. Well. The heart. Looks great..and will stay in Afib😒Started me on another drug this evening.......will talk with my team tomorrrow morning! I am stronger, and all say I'm walking well. I should go to rehab , with oxygen , tomorrow or Saturday. Forward and backward steps.
Hi friends, been a busy few days here on Cardiac Care unit. Been walking, doing PT meeting with friends and staff. I'm going to rehab tomorrow. Shouuld ne for. 7-10 days. Docs and friends Are happy. I can be even stronger to finally go home! My daughter and friends have the house and living figured out...that helps!! What a difference a weeek makes!! I had 10 IV bags out of surgery..now I have one! I have stayed in AFIB since surgery. So, this afternoon, I'll have another TEE..and another cR
Well, yesterday afternoon Things happened! I had a long cardiac ultra sound..and then the nurses said I could move to the cardiac step-down unit. Way to get rid of more IV's and Lines!,, got here at dinner time. I have a room with a pond view!! Nice!! Today I found out the ultra sound looked good! Was worried about that. I've been in AFIB since my siirgery..and retaining some water. Then a friend stopped by, she is an elder care planner.. so I started the steps to go to rehab after my dismissal here. Will be hard asking my friends to continue taking care of my daughter. But she wouldn't have the emotional strenth to do the first couple weeks back at the house. Lots of care to get started with. Meanwhile, I'm getting used to using a regular walker..and testing how independent I can be!!
Hi All, thought I was posting some info from my phone..not so'! Techie stays to tablet! I ended up having. The mitral valve replaced. Dr was repairing..but valve was leaking. So..I have another piece of metal in me! It was so wonderful to get that throat tube out on Thursday!! Saturday my chest drains came out, and today an arterial line in my hand came out!! I might get to go to the cardiac step-down unit more like Tuesday. Started out with double the IVs I have now. My appetite isn't..and I wish I could do better with my breathing toys!! Asthma is letting me know it's there! Tonite I will try sleeping in the recliner., but all in all, I seem to be stronger every day. My friends and family have been so much help for my daughter!
Hi All, good wishes and prayers for all of us having surgery this week!! Thank you to so many whose words have helped me thru some dark moments. Took a needlework class this weekend, saw old friends. Had my furnace fixed today ( goodbye tax return)!! Tomorrow is a quilt guild and a needlework guild. Trying to have as normal day as possible. Wednesday morning, I show up at the hospital at. O-dark-thirty!! Life keeps changing..I need to be well again....
Well, today was a full day of tests and Dr.'s. I started the morning with blood tests and a chest x-ray. Then in the afternoon, I met with anesthesia, ( apparently my hospital has a practice of patient and anesthesia meeting for review, etc). and saw my family doctor. Unless one of the blood tests is way off..I'm good to go for surgery on Wed. In between all the docs, I stopped by church and received the Anionting for the Sick. Things are "becoming real". I have help arranged for the pets and mail. My daughter has help for the time I'm in the hospital..I had my house cleaned real nice a couple days ago..extra easy meals already in the freezer. ..scared, but I know I need to get this done. I have no strength to walk a lot anymore. Shortness of breath is really bad. All that's left to do is pack up my small bag... Hang in there!!
Hi friends. Well,, surgery supposed to be next Wed March 15..I don't think so. I woke up this morning with a stuffy head, etc. and cough. Nurse practioner checked out my lungs..clear!! Pulse ox. at 98!! No fever!! But, I have a bad history of colds going into my lungs. Surgeons office says keep him posted..family Dr. Will see me Friday. She talked with me today, already. I was being so-o careful!! Just feel disgusted. This waiting has been so hard on my daughter. Now to maybe wait longer.....I would think April, as I know the surgeon has Spring Break week on vacation. Meanwhile..continue on with everything. Had carotid ultrasound, and Friday I have blood draw and meet with anesthesia. Just keep going. All I can do. Ah...Winter and weather in the Midwest!! There is lots of stuff going around!! Even my family Dr. Was sick!!
Hi Heart girlfriends.....what did you wear for a bra around house and going out after surgery??? Some info says a front closure bra or a comfy sport bra. My open heart mitral valve work is March 15. Thanks.....
Hi All...had my Angiogram yesterday afternoon. Would you believe this 66 yr old gal has clear heart arteries!! And they used a kind of groin closure that I only had to be flat on my back after the procedure for 2 hours!! I was home in the evening. Now to prepare for valve surgery on March 15...
Good luck to all having surgery tomorrow..Natl Heart Valve Day!! I have my angiogram tomorrow...hope I can stay awake for some of the procedure..would be interesting!! Then wait for my surgery in March!! Nervous already!!
Got the final surgery date today. My angiogram is this Wed. 22, and my mitral valve surgery will be March 15. A friend from needlework guild will stay with my daughter Wednesday during the angiogram. That will be a great help!! This is so very hard for her. I think her mental age will regress even further during this journey. Glad we have her counselors and our stitching friends to help!!