Hello, I don't have much to say except that surgery date is set for April 3rd. We have two weeks to get ready. I am focused, and calm, but also freaking out. Mostly, I am exhausted and ready to feel better. I have to have an MRI of my head and an ultrasound of my corotid artery. No CT scans since I had those done in 2017.
Since we are in the "getting ready" stage I would be grateful to know what people wish they'd known or had at the hospital or at home for post-op recovery and comfort.
Dr. Hemp's lovely nurse Michelle called me to talk through some of my medical history before my appointment on Monday. I appreciate the efficiency! We went through family heart history--lots of info there, but it's tough, b/c my mom died in 2001, and I don't know much about her history. I guess it doesn't really matter. It's my history now, bishes! I tried to get some of my 20 million questions answered but Michelle was masterful at saying, "Good question! Be sure to ask Dr. Hemp on Monday." Touche, Michelle. Touche.
The second call was to let me know insurance approved an MRI of my brain and two CT scans of my heart. I'm sure this is totally normal protocol, but it's like the minute medical people start talking to me, my ears go, "LET'S FILL UP WITH STATIC SO SHE CAN'T HEAR THIS!" I think she said CT of my aorta and a pulmonary CT scan, but who can say.
I guess I will just have to listen to Michelle and ask Dr. Hemp on Monday!
Question for other heart people here--I broke out in a rash last night. I am so itchy on my neck and chest! No new meds. Only new thing is a lovely soft blanket from dear friends. We are washing it to see if that is the source, and am hoping it's that and not an infection. Had dental work done yesterday and I know there's always a risk of bacterial infection from that thanks to DR. GOOGLE.
Was cleared for surgery by my dentist! Checking things off the list.
On Friday, March 8, 2019, I was told by my cardiologist it was time to see a surgeon because my bicuspid aortic valve, which had been holding steady at AVA=1.3 cm for 8 or so years deteriorated this year to AVA= .9 cm; peak velocity=3.5 m/s; peak (mean) gradient of 49 mmHg; aortic aneurysm measuring 4.5 cm. So, it's time for valve and aorta replacement and/or repair.
Since then I've been bounced around between my cardiologist and surgeon's offices and had my first major breakdown cry this morning out of frustration. Good news is that I have my first appointment with the surgeon on Monday, March 18 at 7 am. Progress! I've developed an annoying, but semi-persistent dry cough that reminds me of kennel cough! Ha. I hope it is unrelated to heart stuff.
I have a pretty intense work schedule with three trips (two cross country) in the next three weeks and I am wondering if I will be able to do them. Two of them are major opportunities for my professional development and I am mourning this timing!
I'm so grateful to have a place to post this. Thank you.
Hi! I am new here. Trying to figure out how this site works--is this like a care page but specifically for heart valve surgery? I am waiting for my first appointment with a surgeon, hopefully in the next week or two. Thank you. Claire