Hello everybody! It's been almost a year and a half since my aortic valve replacement, and about a year since I last posted. Lots of new faces (pretty much all new). I just want to tell everybody that is going to have heart valve surgery that it is nothing that you can't get through. Yeah, it hurts like a Mo-Fo for a couple of weeks afterwards, but by a month you'll be feeling a lot better. The hardest thing for me to get through was the psychological affect of having the surgery to begin with, so make sure you talk to someone if you have to. if you have to take Metoprolol afterwards, Watch for the side effects of that on your mood as well (I got off of that stuff as soon as I could). I feel pretty good though, feels good to breath, and really just grateful to be here. Getting back into working out, eating better, not drinking for at least the next three months( the holidays were brutal!) So, enough of my rambling. I wish everyone of you guys blessings, health, peace, and an extremely speedy recovery. Have a happy 2019!
Coming up on nine weeks post AVR and feeling pretty good physically on most days. No pain really other than in my back, especially in the evenings. Stills not back to work yet, because my employer refuses to get back to me, and I'm not sure if I can handle it yet. Yesterday I cleaned out my chicken coop for 3 hours( it was a mess, and hadn't been cleaned since my September 5th surgery) and drank a powerful beer afterward. Boy did I feel like crap! I won't be doing that for a while. I'm still wiped out today. Tomorrow I'm supposed to start cardiac rehab, but also have a friend that wants me to help plant garlic at his farm. Definitely could use the work, but afraid of overdoing it with my recovery.
I think this process is going to take longer than I want it to. It sure feels nice to breathe a full, deep breath again though and get everything out of it. Like I said, I'm feeling good, wishing it would go a little faster, but thankful to be alive and breathing .
Feeling ok. I was hoping that I would feel better than what I do by now, but I'll take what I can get. My heart was pretty enlarged by the time that I got in for surgery, so I'm chalking up my lack of energy to that. My surgeon seems to think it will take about a year to go back to normal.
Friday I went to the ER with a Right Bundle Branch Block, and was told that it was common and that I shouldn't worry. It seems to have resolved itself over the past few days( I hope 🤞).
One other thing is daily migraines, man they suck! I have some sort of headache every day. I read about Pump head, but I'm pretty sure that daytime television is the true cause of reduced cognitive abilities post OHS. TV is soooo bad!thank god I have books. I'm confident though that I'll get better, but it'll probably take some time because of my heart size issue. Yesterday I walked 3.5 miles spaced out through the day, and today I couldn't do half of that because I'm wiped out. Like Adam says though we're all unique in our personal recoveries, so I try to keep that in mind. Anyhow, my continued prayers and well wishes go out to everyone here who is both pre surgery and post surgery. 😁
So, I saw my surgeon on Thursday, about 3 weeks and 2 days post avr. I was given an all clear to resume normal activities as I saw fit and told to push myself some with my walking. With my new found confidence I walked an extra mile yesterday than my usual 2. I ended up in the ER with a right bundle branch block last night. 👍
Well, it's been two weeks now and I'm feeling ok. I can tell that I'm getting better, but the days can.be tough. Last week I was having PVC's every day for most of the day, but as of this Monday they went away for the most part. Appetite is going strong, but haven't been eating as good as I should. In the hospital I watched Forrest Gump, and now I want soft serve vanilla ice cream 🍦 all the time. Ate pizza last night. Good stuff right? Still beat a lot of the time but making progress. Still thinking and praying for all of you.
Well, I did it, and while not totally uneventful I feel like everything went well. I remember waking up in the ICU and seeing all kinds of stuff going on around me, and the breathing tube down my throat. One thing I can say though is that I didn't freak out, I knew that it was breathing for me( thanks to other posts that I've read about it on this site. My lactic acid levels were high for a while, but after copious amounts of fluids it went back to normal. A pneumothorax was also a visitor that I had that resolved rather quickly. I had the most painful breakfast of my life on Wednesday morning, but once I complied with taking my pain meds when I needed them, all my other meals were half enjoyable. Chest tubes came out Thursday and I felt like a new man. Sent home Friday .A little post operation depression, but I'm sure it's still from lingering trauma and medications. I can write more detail when I get a laptop in front of me. Typing a whole, in depth story on these phones is almost as painful as my sternum is. Thanks all of you who sent well wishes and prayers my way when I needed them most. Wishing all of you the very best!
Well tomorrow is the big day. I haven't been able to sleep very well, or relax. I guess that I have up until tomorrow to decide which type of valve I want to replace my aortic. I'm 37 and actually was strongly pro tissue, because of my active lifestyle, but now I'm second guessing that. The mental stress is nearly breaking me and I'm not sure if I can handle another surgery in the near future. Edwards has a new bovine valve being rolled out next year that is supposed to be for younger people, so it's too bad that this situation had to occur this year.
I went out for a walk this morning, and I walked a good 3 miles, taking in all the beauty that I have seemed to miss before this situation. I know this surgery needs done, because I felt fine on the way out, and not that great on the way back. Been reading a lot of stuff on the internet about complications after surgery and that can be scary too, but what is there to do about it? The way I see it there's a fork in the road, and one way is rocky, but the other way is a dead end.
Took a ride with my father to go see the old camp ground that we used to go to when we were both younger. it was different but looked the same too. We stopped in the old gift shop, and my father bought me a campground shirt. I started crying in the truck after and we were both crying together, while we looked at where we used to go.
Got to see family yesterday at a little get together at my parent's house and it was nice. I hope to see them all again soon, it's a shame that it took a situation like this to make me realize how much I love all of them, even with their quirks, I love them all.
I took the opportunity after church service yesterday to ask the priest for confession. He saw how upset I was and immediately brought me in to the confessional. it felt good to get the things off my chest that have been bothering me. I actually felt a sense of peace for a while and was able to take a nap.
I pray that we all have fast, uneventful recoveries. I'm glad that I found this site, it allows me to type out a rambling post just to get everything out. God Bless.
Hi everybody. My original surgery date of 9/17 has now become 9/5.
I awoke this morning in an instant state of anxiety, and I prayed for help getting through the next two weeks of worry.
For lunch today I took A ride with my family into a local village which is in a very rural area and no cell service is the norm. As we got out of our car I saw the last name of my surgeon on a license plate except that instead of DeRose it Said Rosie DE. I pointed it out to my family as a sign that I was going to be in good hands. While in the restaurant a call from my wife actually came through on my phone and it was clear. My surgeon couldn't do the original surgery date so I was offered an earlier date of 9/5. I took it! No use in trying to avoid the inevitable.
I wish all of you the best of luck with your future surgeries, and present recoveries. Throw a prayer out there to God when you can, because he's listening to all of us.
Pittsburgh Half Marathon 2014. Myself, My Wife, and My Mother in Law.
Update posted on...
August 28, 2017
Just had a cardiac catheterization done this morning to make sure that my coronary arteries are good to go. Still undecided as whether to get a bovine or a mechanical valve. I was leaning toward having the bovine put in first, and hopefully getting a good 10 to 15 years out of it, and then, if nothing better comes along, replace it with a mechanical. The funny thing about this whole situation is that I knew that this was inevitable, but was still surprised by the news from my cardiologist.