4 days away from my 5 month anniversary. I can crank out hundreds up pull-ups, push-ups, run, play with my kids, cook, clean...I can do it all. I don’t say that to brag, but to simply say getting back to normalcy or coming out stronger is possible If you have faith and believe in yourself.
As you can see my 2.5 in scar is barely visible. Big shout out to Dr. Lamelas who fixed both my aorta aneurysm and replaced my BAV in that tiny incision. The only weird thing is the one chest tube I had is healing from the inside out so it appears to be open still but it’s not. I also have numbness around my right peck and groin from the canula but those don’t bother me.
Prayers for everyone with an upcoming surgery date...you will get through this...
Been a while since I’ve posted. Surgery seems like a distant memory and some days I forgot I even had it. I used to live on this site-waiting and anticipating my surgery date. I didn’t sleep well, had anxiety...what a season May/June of 2018 was.
Hope everyone with upcoming surgeries finds peace with all the great stories of perseverance on this site.
Waiting is the worst! Makes everyday filled with the ‘what if’s’ of tomorrow but I promise life does go on and you will get thru it.
Wishing every single one of you well-whatever side of the journey you are on...
Getting stronger by the day. Waking 5.5 miles daily BUT walking is only so fun for so long that I’ve started doing more stairmaster, elliptical and bicycle cardio. Typically I’ll do about 30 minutes of each. I can also do 300 body weight squats and today I’m going to get to 400. Looking forward to getting back into the push-ups, pull-ups and weights...
My first day back at work is next Monday. Don’t know if I’m too excited about that honestly but I guess normalcy also involves working for a living. I guess I’m blessed and thankful my surgery allowed me to get back at it after only 5 weeks of recovery.
Time is on our side. Some of us heal faster than others. Some have setbacks...I did but they haven’t stopped me from moving forward. That would be my advice today...don’t let today’s setbacks determine tomorrow’s success.
Here it is 25 days after the fact...
Had an aortic valve replaced and a 5.3CM ascending aorta aneurysm up the hemi-arch grafted as well. The band aid is covering up my one and only chest tube that I had and THAT is the one I hate...only because it’s hole.
Well I’m 24 days post op and up until yesterday I thought everything was in the rear view...but then at 2:15 yesterday afternoon captain A Fib showed up again. Went to the ER they slowed me down, upped my dose of lowpressor and prescribed a blood thinner for 30 days. If I don’t convert today sounds like tomorrow I’m having a fun filled day of TEE and cardio version.
Outside of the 2 A Fib issues I truly have felt great. I’m walking 5 miles daily, done some stairmaster cardio, squats/lunges and cut my grass.
As long as the A Fib issues are gone I am planning on a return to work July 30th. Cardiologist asked me if I wanted to go back last week but that of course was a negative-I am not quite ready.
My scar is almost scab free and I’ll post a picture once it is...my chest tube hole still likes to remain open and catch a breeze but I’m hoping it closes it up soon!
Was anyone else told that your tissue valve provides a murmur? I have been told that but 3 different cardiologist now-thought after surgery I would be murmur free...guess not. Also when I’m sleeping it seems loud at first and I’ve read that also takes time to go away because of scar tissue etc.
The Good: Thanks to my Heavenly Father I’m alive! Walking 4 miles daily. No more recliner needed for sleeping. I can drive and my lifting restriction ends today. Sneezing doesn’t hurt-my body waited 10 days before a sneeze and when it happened I totally forgot about trying to stop it. I’m out of A Fib and can hopefully stay that way. This is the longest streak of being home since my surgery ..hopefully that continues and no more hospitals. My wife has been my rock through all of this and I wouldn’t have made it without her and her support=much love Jin Purvis. My mom also played a huge role coming down for surgery in Houston and then flying back to Atlanta to take care of my kids=love you Mom! I don’t know if this is good but I still can’t cut my grass 😂 I think it’s good but my neighbors are probably getting tired of it.
The Bad: I did go into A Fib 8 days post op. That’s just part of recovery and it shouldn’t feel like a setback. I still have 2 more weeks before I can get into the pool-so I sit poolside in a shirt and a misting fan in hand to keel me cool. I love the pool and this is one of the things I truly miss especially because it’s so hot in the ATL. Still on lots of meds more now than before leaving Houston. I get car sick after a while and that’s still because of the anesthesia...it’s getting better but still ugh.
The Ugly: I’m still bruised all over even after 2 weeks but it seems to be getting better. My chest tube hole...that’s what it is-still grosses me out.
Aaron said it best. Time will heal and that is what I’m looking forward too-each and every day being better than the one before. I feel nothing but gratitude towards Dr. Lamelas, his entire team and everyone at Baylor St. Luke’s that took care of me during my there.
Prayers for everyone with upcoming surgeries and recovering!
Post-op week 1
The Good: Thanks to my Heavenly Father I’m alive. I made it it home Tuesday afternoon and got to see my kids after 12 long days in Houston. I walked 2 miles yesterday. I’m sleeping 8-10 hours every night. My appetite is coming back. I’m almost done with taking pain medication and that’s the ONLY medications I have. My wife, family and neighbors have been an amazing support group for me. I should be at 1750 on my incentive spirometer today and 2000 by the weekend.
The Bad: Traveling sucked. Sorry but it did...I felt like crap all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday because of cars and planes. Nurse said it was anesthesia related and I believe she is right. My advice-don’t watch a comic show after OHS because laughing is painful and then it also makes you cough=double whammy. Being tired most of the day is rather annoying when your used to never being on your rear end and especially taking naps=I haven’t napped since I was in Pre-k.
The Ugly: My body is currently under construction 🚧 from all the trauma. My legs don’t look good shaven- especially when you leave hair on my ankles 😂. My chest tube incision makes me want to vomit 🤢.
Wanted to add this as well. If your looking for a surgeon who can do a minimally invasive approach and your being told it can’t be done-call him. He fixed an ascending aneurysm and my valve in a hole that only measures 2 inches. I’m not saying size means everything but quality and quantity do-he’s done over 15k surgeries and since 2004 has been a pioneer in the minimally invasive ways of doing things.
There are a lot of great surgeons out there but I wanted to share my experience for others that are coming up now or down the road.
Suck! It’s bee a day full of pain. If your going in don’t be afraid to ask. My dummy self let the meds expire and take me to 8/9 which wasn’t smart. They also don’t understand that tugging on that box hurts as well...ugh
Looking forward to a better post day 2
Well it’s officially official-I have met the man that will save my life in less than 24hours. After all of the videos I watched, i was expecting a 2 inch incision in my pec muscle but now it’s 2 inches on the right side of my body along with a collapsed lung. I’ve talked with Susan and will again today but wondering if any other Mini T friends out there had it on the side vs the top and your experience. Another thought is how the heck do they place me during surgery-can’t imagine your laying on your back? While they operate on the side...
Anyone fly out for surgery with shortness of breath symptoms? I’m feeling like if normal is 100% I’m at about 85-90 and wondering how much worse I would feel flying. May just drive out...12hours isn’t so bad and we aren’t in a hurry.
2 more weeks until I get this ‘stuff’ out of me. Me and my wife fly out to Houston next Wednesday for a small mini get away before surgery. I will also feel a little bit more like things are rolling once I get out of Atlanta and away from the day to day grind of work, etc. I’ll miss my kids but they will be in great hands with family and I’ll see them shortly after I get out...
Counting down every day and geez don’t they just drag and drag and drag...
Anyways hope everyone is well!
Man this decision has been eating at me. Told myself if I had no blocks I would go to Cleveland for a Mini Sternotomy on June 12th. But I’m always going to wonder what would have happened if I had held out for a right mini thoracotomy when it becomes recovery time.
Well after my short lived ER visit yesterday my fingers are back to normal and the tingling is gone. So swelling of the hand/fingers and some slight tingling the day after a heart cath in the wrist are all normal. Just glad to have my dominant hand back-couldn’t get my socks on yesterday 😂
June 20th in Houston at Baylor St. Luke’s. Dr Joseph Lamelas will be my surgeon and replace my AVR and Ascending aorta aneurysm through a right thoracotomy(2 in incision in pec). I’m counting down the days and my wife and I will fly out June 12th for a heart cath Wednesday the 13th. I prayed for signs/guidance and me and my wife saw 3 Texas license plates within 5 minutes and my mom saw 3 as well. Random or not but believe that’s a sign from the LORD above.
Cleveland Clinic will do Mini Sternotomy if I have no blockages-won’t find out until the day before if that holds up. Surgeon in Houston will do a 2 inch incision and stent any blockages so guaranteed minimally invasive. Cleveland is next Thursday the 31st and Houston is June the 20th. You have severe aortic stenosis and a 5.3 Ascending aortic aneurysm . Surgeon says your fine to wait ....what do you do??
June 15th. I had to get something on the calendar for my peace of mind. It’s local(Northeast GA)but I should hear something from Baylor in Houston today in terms of go no go and CC submitted my file for an expedited review yesterday. So until then-blood work next Tuesday and Cath on Wednesday which I’m dreading.
I saw someone’s post that said they were told to bring an overnight bad during their hearth cath just in case? In case of what? No way in heck I’m going from a planned surgery to an emergency with some doc I don’t even know
Anna helped out yesterday with some negative publicity on CC but wanted to hear from others who had surgery there. Pain management, surgeon, nurses, information/question answered, etc. Got an email yesterday from a friend on our site and he mentioned TEAM and I guess I’m looking for that=the total experience from arrival to departure because they all play a key role in our success.
I know realiz their jobs are to save lives and complete these amazing procedures but man you can’t talk to them and it’s driving me crazy 😝. Luckily a PA called me and said I’m not worried so you don’t worry..easier said than done when you’ve got an aneurysm inside of ya. Yesterday was the day when I realized trying to get a date is a pain in the rear since they only see clients one day a week for half a day outside of surgery. I called Cleveland Clinic and she was like we can expedite the review and that’s takes a week. I need some #Urgency!
Well I was asked Thursday night to get a CT with Contrast and me being persistent pain- got it done yesterday afternoon. I tried to send the images as a file to the surgeon in Houston but that doesn’t seem to work. I was able to attach 30 images but I I’m not sure if it was enough for him to make a determination. Praying my aneurysm isn’t past my arch and that I can move forward with this surgeon and set a date!
My anxiety levels are through the roof! Can’t sleep-wake up every morning at 2:30AM and then my mind begins to wonder and wonder and then I’m awake the rest of the day. I’m hoping this gets better but for now it doesn’t seem that way...