Had new aortic bicuspid valve put in on feb. 5th. Made steady progress. Back to work first week of May and achieved my goal of playing in my old man softball league opener on May 1st, about 12 weeks out from surgery! Good luck to all!
5 weeks post op- Doing well!
My coumadin levels have balanced out. The visiting nurses are decreasing their visits. I've seen my surgeon, my cardiologist, and my primary care doctor and all say I'm doing great. I'm off my pain meds (sleeping still a little restless) and most other meds besides coumadin for the artificial valve. I'm going to check on possibly getting a device to test my own blood/INR levels so I don't have to run to a lab every couple weeks now that the nurses won't be coming anymore. I'm slowly starting to exercise more and will be starting cardiac rehab in another couple weeks. Looking forward to getting back to working out and getting my strength back. I hope to be ready for my opening day of old man softball on May 1st. I just got the okay to start driving again, too!
My incision is healing nicely, although I did get a little skin irritiation
on both sides of the incision where some of my chest hair started to grow back. Not a big problem, though. I can hear my valve clicking on occasion, but also not a big deal. Better than the alternative. I did lose about 15 pounds with the surgery and decreased appetite and everything. My appetite is starting to come back but I have been much better about watching what I eat and drink since my surgery/hospital stay. I wish everyone the best who is having surgery or recovering. You can do this!
I've been home for 11 days now. a visiting nurse comes a few times to week to check my INR/blood levels so they can adjust my coumadin levels due to my new bicuspid mechanical valve. I can hear the valve whirring at certain times, especially at night. I often use a white noise sound machine to sleep. My incision wounds are getting better every day. It really hurt to get up and down off of the bed or a chair at first, but I have been having less pain everyday as it heals. I still have occassional abdominal pain like I have done tons of crunches or situps (I wish). I still take the pain meds occasionally, but not all the time. My weight was up immediately after the surgery due to the fluids, but after taking lasix meds for several days, my weight is now about 15 pounds lower than pre-surgery. My appetite is not 100% back to normal yet, but I can still eat in small portions. My family has been great helping me with everything. I still cannot drive for a couple more weeks. They also make you ride in the backseat with a pillow so you are away from the airbags. I've gone for one doctor's appt so far and things look good. I made it to my son's basketball game this weekend and friends were surprised to see me out and about so soon, but I really am taking it easy. Hope everyone is doing well. I will update when I can. Please let me know if any questions. I wish everyone the best with upcoming surgeries.
Good news is I went home today on day 6!
So happy to be home with my family. They've been so great.
I've been really noticing the clicking of my new mechanical valve, more so at night. I've always noticed more oddities at night with my body, some reality and some probably more perceived. My Coumadin clotting level was around 3.3 when I was discharged today. That INR level is supposed to be somewhere around 3.0, so pretty close. I've been having some aches and pains in my chest area around my incision and muscle areas. The hospital sends you home pretty loaded up on pain meds so hopefully that works itself out. One other oddity was I lost my voice after the intubation stayed in during the long surgery. It still hasn't fully returned but all are hopeful as this isn't terribly uncommon I guess. Hope some of this info proves helpful to new surgery candidates as they get closer to the day. I wish you all good luck. One thing I did do in the hospital while recovering was to walk a lot. I figured it could only help. I tried to make a lot of friends because you realize that so many of us are in the same boat. Many had little
Or no warning and many of us thought we were in excellent shape. It can happen to anyone.
The second day after surgery, they took out
My chest tubes and my wires. Not actually
Too bad in the pain dept (knock on wood).
They had me showering and walking the halls on the third day. My ING looked good today and yesterday, but they will check it
A third time tomorrow before releasing me. My older roommate had some really bad hallucinations to the pain meds. I felt bad for him. He was out of it but we all tried to comfort him. He went home to a rehab hospital today so hopefully We will all get some sleep tonight. Again, I want to thank everyone for your support. It constantly amazes me but makes less anxious. Thanks to Adam for starting this site!
Thanks for everyone's good wishes. My surgery was Thursday and they tell me it went great. Today I was walking the hospitals and stAirways with the OT. Chance I might go home tomorrow or Tuesday. They're trying to get my ING at the proper levels.
After a months delay from my initial surgery date, it looks to be finally happening tomorrow. New mechanical valve for my bicuspid at Beth Israel in Boston with head of cardiovascular surgery, Dr. Khabbaz. Little nervous and emotional but hoping for the best. Thanks for everyone's good thoughts and prayers.
I was happy to be home to watch my Patriots win the Super Bowl this past weekend with my family. My best to all of you!
Frustrating couple of days. Some of my pre surgery testing showed some possible oddities so surgery was temporarily postponed while they reviewed the results. Instead of my scheduled BAV replacement today, I received another echo and a bronchoscopy. Still awaiting results. Thankful for the good care and support I'm getting but thrown off by all the changes
And invasive testing. Will keep everyone posted. Nervous about test results too.
Here at Beth Israel in Boston with my family. Getting echo, cat scan and catheterization. Trying to keep it together for my kids sake although I do get emotional more when I'm alone and start thinking about everything. Lucky to have supportive family and great hospital staff!
Is it common to have the breathing tube still in when you wake up? I'm really hoping not.
Does the mechanical valve really make a loud noise at times?
Is there a risk to fly after receiving artificial valve?
Thanks for everyone's support and help. It is really appreciated.
Last day of work for awhile as middle school special education teacher in Boston
Suburbs. Almost got little emotional leaving work even though only a few people know I'm having surgery right after
The holidays. Always seemed far away but I'm starting to worry more as it gets closer.