It has been my dream for the last 6 years to one day conquer Lassen Peak @ 10,457 ft. Elevation, 2nd highest peak in Northern California! Yesterday that dream became a reality! The Lassen Summit trail is a 2.5 miles moderate uphill ascent. We Started our hike around 1:00 pm and managed to make it to the top in 4 hrs of arduously slow turtle 🐢 pace, frequent rests, lots of water, unwavering will and sheer determination to reach the summit. As always with any climb the hike up is long and the celebration up top is but mere minutes yet it was all worth it! I attribute my success to my little 3 y/o boy who won't let me give up, stop or rest 😅 And just wants me to keep going. Also, my husband whose encouragements were priceless esp. at marker .5 miles when I was about ready to turn back and hike down. To celebrate sweet victory is overwhelmingly surreal. I made it to the Summit and I'm in awe of the magnificent 360 degree view. You can see Mt. Shasta at a distance and all the other peaks. The hazy view of the valley below and several lakes spread throughout the landscape. It was truly an unforgettable experience and will be in the books of my memory to stay for a lifetime.
I am forever grateful to Dr. Trento and his team for fixing me up and giving me a chance to enjoy life more fully! The journey was laden with trials and challenges but the reward of reaching the destination is much sweeter! Thank you Lord for another chance at life to enjoy life changing experiences!
It's my birthday today! 1 year and 2 weeks since my surgery. I am not feeling too well. It's been a couple days I've been feeling tired, short of breath and I noticed my tummy looks bloated. I have been feeling great for the entire year that to feel crappy on your birthday is depressing. I might have to go to the ER to get checked. I'm not sure what's causing this 🙁.
My sweet son. He keeps me on my feet everyday. He is the reason I decided to get my valve fixed so I can keep up with his unending energy! 😅😍
What is wrong with me?
Journal posted on March 9, 2017
It's almost 8 months since my surgery and heartwise I feel pretty good. I'm working on strengthening my body thru exercises. I even got a membership at the local sports and fitness center which is awesome. Staying consistent is another story though esp. when energy is still up and down. I've been experiencing getting cross- eyed quite often since the surgery and the dizziness/lightheadedness .I also have tinnitus for the past 13 years and I learned to manage it to a point where it's not as annoying anymore. The main issue I'm dealing right now and for the past several weeks is my hearing. I noticed that on top of the ringing there's this constant humming and buzzing sounds. One or both my ears feels full at times ( the feeling when you got water in your ear after swimming). It's affecting my ability to focus. Too much noise becomes overwhelming (hearing wise☹️). I've seen an EENT couple years back and they said my hearing is good, no sign of hearing loss. I'm at my wits end on how to address this problem. I feel helpless. Could the worsening of this problem be indirectly or directly related to my heart disease or the surgery? Pls help I don't want to lose my hearing. 😢
Our humble home here in Northern California during the last Winter storm❄️☃️🌨
Catching a cold or flu?
Journal posted on January 12, 2017
My son was down with a cold and has just gotten better but I happened to catch it. I tried very hard to boost my immune system but it's the lack of sleep for about a week that got me. I have checked my temp and it's 100.6F, I have nasal congestion, chills and body ache. I have been more cautious now than before surgery of getting sick. Is this something I have to worry about. It's been 3 days I'm feeling really crappy. My son's constant need of my attention is not helping me the get the much needed time to recuperate. 🤒😷#sickmommahere
I have dry cough for 3 weeks now and this last week I've been coughing up some yellow phlegm in the morning when I wake up. Also, the past 3 nights I have not had good sleep cause it's interrupting my sleep. It's been 5 months and 1 week since my surgery and I have a tissue valve. Should I go in and see my cardiologist and get this checked out?
4 weeks post surgery! Getting better, logging daily mile walks! Minor setbacks with roller coaster energy level; neck, shoulder and back muscles stiffness and feeling restless at times! Overall, healing nicely. Cleared for cardiac rehab!
Special kind of day 🎉🎂
Journal posted on July 26, 2016
It's been 2 weeks since my surgery and also today I celebrate my BIG 4-0 birthday! Yesterday, I had my post-op follow up appointment and so far everything looked good. EKG normal sinus rhythm, X-Ray normal, HR and BP normal. My incision doesn't really bother me but along the incision is still very sore and sensitive. I'm happy I'm healing well and progressing smoothly but I'm aware too that this could be a slow process.
Now that my sister is back to work I'm by myself at her place and I'm beginning to feel bored. Thursday I fly to Sacramento then ride the shuttle home to Redding! I have a couple days to lounge around and kill time. We might go out today for my birthday dinner. A double celebration for my 40th bday and successful surgery!
Got a visit from a homehealth nurse yesterday. She checked my incision site and said its looking healthy and healing beautifully. My vitals are within normal limits. Heart rate 68, BP 107/70, lungs clear, no swelling. I do feel some pain on the upper left side of the incision which I think comes from muscle soreness in that area. I have used cold pack to help relieve it. I only take 12.5 mg of metoprolol twice a day, 2 81 mg baby aspirin and Tylenol only when needed. Everything is looking up and good. I haven't felt any palpitations yet since being home and am hoping I won't have to experience it. First time in a week I feel I'm back to my old self. I walk about .5 a mile 2x a day. I want to do more with my walking but I have to remind myself to take it slow, we're going to get there anyway sooner or later.
i have had a little scratchy throat while still in the hospital that would make me cough especially at night. Is that a normal thing? For 2 nights since I was home it has interfered me from getting a good night sleep, on top of that my restless leg syndrome has been acting up also. I keep waking up all thru the night when all I want to do is sleep. My heart pillow is my new best friend these days, I even took with me when I went for a walk since didn't want to cough without it on my chest. I also have some nasal discharge, got it the night I came home from the hospital. Are these normal stuff you deal with after hospitalization?
I'm 1 week post surgery, is it ok to go for walks by myself or is it necessary to have someone there with you just in case? Also, is it ok to use hot packs or cold packs on the incision?
Wondering how my other heart brothers (4) and 1 heart sister who went in for surgery the same day I did are doing. I'm thankful I have had a smooth, uneventful, successful surgery. I am home (away from home) now recovering. Im praying all will be well wherever stage you are in the recovery process. This too shall pass!
Finally met the awesome Cathleen Dewitt today! Thank you my friend!
Ready to be transferred!
Journal posted on July 14, 2016
Transfer order issued yesterday but since there's no available bed I have to stay put in the ICU last night. Hoping I will be in a private room today. Heart is doing well, it's on sinus rhythm, heart rate-83, BP is 107/76. Chest soreness not too bad. Pain tolerable with medication. I been having issues with nausea yesterday. Yesterday evening I walked for 300 ft. As I was walking back to the room my left ear started feeling full and I can't hear good then they sat me down and cold, clammy sweats started forming on my face/ forehead. My BP dropped, I had an episode of hypotension. Had to rest for a while on the chair until BP normalized. Last night, I was able to sleep for a good 5 hours i feel my energy slowly coming back. My nurse keeps reminding me to pace myself/ conserve energy. I was able to use the bathroom to urinate with a good 400 output and same thing in this morning. Also asked for a lower dose of Norco from 10 to 5mg, I'm praying lowering the dose will help the nausea to go away. Dr. Trento came by, ordered all lines out. Most likely I will be in a private room this morning. So far, progress is good except for a slight set back with the nausea. 🙏🏼 for an uneventful day!
Just recently discontinued radial arterial line. Sat up at edge of bed then transferred to recliner. Able to walk with PT and nurse 75 feet then 300 feet. Now on clear liquid diet.
This is Connie updating: they said I'm doing really well, chest tube wil be taken out later. When a room is available will be out of ICU. I'm super happy with my progress. Incision pain managed by pain meds well. I got nauseous after sitting on the recliner chair. Also while walking with PT became nauseous and vomited, I was surprised I felt better after. I'm excited I will be out of ICU after being here in just 1 day👍🏼😀 Thank you all for all the well wishes and prayers.
She went into operating room at 13:30 and was transferred to ICU at 18:30. Weaned from pain med Profolol to be extubated at 23:30. She is now able to verbally make needs known and moves all extremities without assistance. Pain in sternum/chest reported as moderate.
This is Edward, happy to say that Dr Trento came out to tell me procedure went well! Within the hour will be able to see her in ICU but still sedated and with breathing tube until they see she's fit to go without. Actual procedure only took an hour but a lot of hours to prep her and room for surgery and for post-op. All in all, will be roughly 9-10 hrs from pre-op to awaking in recovery.
Heading down to LA for my pre-op tomorrow and the surgery next Tuesday, July 12. Honestly, I feel numbed. I know this surgery is necessary and that's what I keep in mind. I decided to focus my energy on the end result . I can't wait to be able to do the things I love without feeling fatigued and short of breath!
i have a 21 months old son and I am conflicted on wether we should bring him with us to LA or leave him with friends. He has never been away from us esp. Me ever and I'm not sure how he would handle not seeing me/us for several weeks. My concern also is if we bring him along and when he sees me after surgery I'm certain he would want to come to me and I won't be able to take care of him. He is very active boy and I'm worried he would lunge/jump at me like he normally do now. I know of an incident where a mom had OHS and her toddler banged his head on her chest and it ended up costing her life. One of the reasons I'm doing this is for my children; I don't want to jeopardize my recovery, I know he doesn't have a full understanding of the situation yet. Do you think it's wise to bring him along?
This is it, July 12 is my surgery day. This is all becoming so real; no more turning back! When I got the confirmation I didn't know what to feel, should I be happy, relieve? I tried to fight off the anxiety building up. I kind of put my mind into high gear since it's only few weeks away before I head down to SoCal for pre-op 7/6 and will be till the surgery. I have a million things to get done 😳 but don't have the energy to do so.
Done with my consult with Dr. Trento last Monday. i walked in there prepared to defend my choice of valve but I was pleasantly surprised he was on board with my choice. I totally can see he is looking out for my best interest. The plan is to only replace the Aortic valve which has severe stenosis, calcification and mod-severe regurgitation (hence the symptoms) and keep the mitral as is. He mentioned putting in a larger size tissue valve for the possibility of doing a TAVR in the future. Im glad its not a double valve replacement. Now, just waiting for the confirmation on my surgery date, he has a full schedule and i'm hoping he can squeeze me in sometime july so i can be somewhat back on my feet before school starts.
Is there anybody here that had Double valve replacement for aortic and mitral valves with tissue valve? I noticed that most people who had tissue valves only had a single valve replaced. Is it recommended to go with mechanical when it's a double valve problem? Would like to read you guys' insights!
I'm kind of bummed when I got the call late Friday that the surgeon won't be able to see me on Tuesday. I was told he has 3 major surgeries on that day. I won't see him until June 6. I scrambled to make flight itinerary changes and cancellation. You know Flights are expensive when it's booked so close to date so now, I would have to take the 11-12 hr. Train ride to Los Angeles and fly back. I know it's an inconvenience time and money- wise but it's necessary so just have to push thru this. I'm also nursing a shoulder injury since October, gone to Physical Therapy but it didn't help much and may have gotten worse. I'm concerned it's a rotator cuff tear and now have to go to a shoulder specialist for a closer look. This shoulder injury might set me back with surgery. It has stressed me out somehow with all the things going on with my body. I try to take a deep breath and trust that the Lord knows what's ahead and he is with me all the way. I have to learn to take things one day at time, one issue at a time.
Called Dr. Craig Miller's office today and learned he is on sabbatical leave until Sept. My next option then is head to Los Angeles to see Dr. Trento. Tried to reach his office and hoping to get a call back today.
I walked into the surgeon's office today sure of myself I know my valve of choice but I left feeling deflated 😢. He did answer all my questions, explained the pros and cons. But I was a little disappointed that he really wants me to choose a mechanical valve. I understood his reasons why but deep inside I know I'm not ready yet to go with mechanical valve. He is giving me a couple weeks to think it through to decide before confirming the exact date of surgery. I just want to get this done and over with. I ended up shedding some tears in the car out of sheer frustration and the realization that how difficult it is to make this big decision.
Going to see my surgeon tomorrow and feeling a little anxious. Tomorrow I will find out the date of my surgery. Will be deciding on what valve to choose for my aortic valve replacement and hopefully just repair for the mitral valve. I'm leaning towards bovine valve. Last time I talked to my surgeon he was encouraging me to choose mechanical valve due to my age but I'm not ready yet to deal with taking Coumadin my entire life 😌
I've been reading a lot from this site even before I joined. I came across of an option that instead of using wire to close the sternum they use rigid sternal plates. According to this study healing is faster and pain is less. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/23103010/
What can you guys say about this?
I'm leaning towards bovine tissue valve but while reading Adams book he mentioned about "horse tissue valve". I had the impression that it's more durable compared to bovine& porcine due to the fact that it has very low concentration of phospholipids which is important in valve degeneration. Has any of you chose the horse tissue valve- specifically the ATS 3F aortic bioprosthesis? Any feedback about it? I would really appreciate your input. Thanks guys!