Hello. I am now 4 weeks post mitral & tricuspid valve repairs. I wanted to update and just say the waiting IS by far the worst bit. Yes recovery is a struggle physically and mentally but it’s all a constant path to recovery and at the moment I am so pleased I had the surgery. Already I am feeling the benefits and wonder if that’s also due to the improvement in oxygen supply I will now be receiving. Somehow despite the difficulties initially ie total loss in confidence in my body and extreme weakness, there is now more clarity too. The team at Barts we’re first class and helped me feel safe and put my trust in what they did. The main battle for me in the end was having to basically hand over your life to someone for a few hours. I seriously considered doing a runner. But they talked to me before surgery and gave me so much time I felt safe by the time I entered the prep room albeit terrified too and joking around In defence. I feel incredibly lucky to have been treated by these geniuses. Following hospital I was unable to return home directly because my brother could not stay with me as planned. Instead I booked myself in to a convalescence home and it was the best decision as I felt safe but was able to be independent too. I met some wonderful people along the way both fellow patients and professionals and that’s what made this experience so very special. I am beginning to make plans ie travel and work, something I found impossible before my op. I couldn’t think past it. The immense relief afterwards for me overrode any minor setbacks. I have had some episodes of flutter or arrhythmia and a numbing of my right arm and leg which only lasts a few minutes. These I later found out are part of recovery but at the time can be a bit alarming. So it’s good to be forewarned, any information helps. I just want to say a big thank you to all the people on social media who have helped me through, and I hope to help others in the future in return.
I was diagnosed with severe mitral regurgitation following a walking holiday in August this year. I am due my pre-op appointment at Barts in London on 29th Nov. I met my surgeon for the first time a few weeks ago. I have learned a great deal about the experience and procedure I am having through social media. Including Adams book. As a mental health professional I am astounded at how little information is given through the cardiac team. I have had too much time on my hands as I cannot work at present which is unfortunate but at the same time it has given me time to prepare as much as I can. The hundreds of accounts from other people have helped alleviate my anxiety and although the awareness is daunting of what I may or may not experience during and after treatment at least I will not feel alone. I want to thank in advance all the people who share their experience and hope I can help others at the same time. The most prevailing emotion at the moment is fear that I won't survive which I understand is normal. But that fear has helped me prepare things IF things go wrong which makes it easier for my family. People say ' you will never be the same' well already I am changed. Everything is brought into focus, highlighted. Things do or don't feel more or less important. You find out very quickly who really cares for you and realationships change, become more honest, which isn't always easy. Having been a very independent and active person I am learning to accept help and support. It takes you back to the very basics, the very bones of what's important. I feel already that I am on a very different journey now. I am looking forward to reading others accounts and being a part of this community.