Well my 7th anniversary of OHS with an Aortic valve replacement has come and gone without me thinking about it for the first time. I always do a post on or near my anniversary and usually do something to celebrate the day. Last year I ran/walked a half marathon with my oldest daughter. This year it just slipped my mind. I was in the middle of a large project at the Lake and was doing physical labor like I haven’t done in many years. The lesson here is 7 years later and now at the age of 64.5 I was lifting heavy items, digging ditches, cutting and hauling trees away without ever thinking about my heart. My butt was dragging at the end of the day but I was able to do it. To all facing the day soon, know that it will be behind you and there is a great life ahead after. Take Care, Enjoy Life!
63 years young! Never thought I would say that, not because of the little pesky heart valve thing, just never really thought about life at 63 going on “When I’m 64”. It’s an old Beatles tune for you who don’t quite get the lyric. Well, here we are a few days past my real 6 year anniversary of my aortic valve surgery and I am sitting in front of my iPad feeling like crap, sore muscles, sore feet, feeling like taking a nap in the middle of the day. Just like I would feel if I had just ran a half marathon with my daughter and her boyfriend. Wait, that’s exactly what I just did. My daughter and I cut a full 15 minutes off of our time from last year. I try to write something every year to give you guys about to go through this a ray of hope from the Sunshine City. When I first joined this website I had no idea how much it would help me get through what I anticipated being the worse day of my life. Honestly, now I hardly ever think of that day or those 8 weeks after open heart surgery that is on your mind almost every minute for the year or so leading up to it. Thank you Adam. Thank you Cleveland Clinic. Thank you Dr. Marc Gillinov. Thank you Dr Peter Wassmer. Thank you to all that went through this journey with me, Jim, Lynn, GROG (Ernie) Aubrey and many others, and most of all thanks to my beautiful wife & my three beautiful daughters, Love to y’all! Oh by the way, Life is good, Life is fun and Life is very much worth fighting for post OHS. Until next year, when I hope to write I cut another 10 minutes off of my half marathon time!
Today is the day, Five years since aortic valve replacement. This coming Sunday I am taking part in a half marathon, (walking fast) my second since my surgery. Still married to the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth, Still working many more hours than the average bear but thinking about slowing down and smelling the roses in the next few years, life is short for all and way too short for many. Still walking quite a few miles every week, it is all good! Think about my partners in this often, Jim, Lynn, GROG (Ernie) Aubrey and many others, Hope y’all are doing better than I and I am good!
There is Good Life after surgery, Trust Me!
One Year Post Surgery
Here it is, the anniversary of what I thought would be the toughest thing that a person could go through. Open Heart Surgery – Aortic Valve Replacement –A Mini Sternotomy - Heart and Lung Machine- Pain Medicine – Constipation– Pericarditis – Collapsed Lung – Just Being in Cleveland in November, who in the hell thought that would be a good time to go have open heart surgery, it freaking snowed.
I celebrated today, my one year anniversary with a half marathon power walk, that’s right 13 miles. Actually ended up with 14.2 miles. You got that Jim and Lynn? Jim and Lynn are two fellow HVS champions that went through this, just ahead of me. We are “Fitbit” friends (Fitbit’s are electronic step counters) and we are in competition. I highly recommend that you find a couple of people that are going through this at the same time and you will have no problem doing that due to this site, get your own fitbit and enjoy a little “friendly” competition. However, I do not recommend that you do as I did, pick a former world champion runner from Mass and a trail blazing woman from Cali that says “oh did I really walk over 100,000 steps the last seven days”, “Oh My”. This past year I hit 100,000 steps during a seven day period …once, it takes effort. Lynn does it weekly and takes the seventh day off to rest, sound familiar?
Here was the plan, go into the office, attend an on line “Go To Meeting” at 10:00 AM and as soon as it was over leave my office and walk 13 miles to St. Petersburg Beach. Mary (my wife) will drive from our office, check into our favorite staycation hotel on the beach, get our stuff up to the room, relax a little then start walking to meet me and we would walk together for a few miles. She does not have an artificial valve like some of us so she cannot be expected to walk as far or as fast as us. After we got back the intent is to pass out, lay down in the sun, and after hydrating myself with a lot of water probably consume a Bloody Mary or a beer or six and just take in all of the beauty surrounding us. We will reflect on this past year that has brought us a lot of ups and downs. There are many Ups and Downs but the big Up for me was surviving open heart surgery, as I look back it was one of the easier things that this year brought. We lost my baby sister this year whom we cared for in our home for what was going on 22 years. She had Down syndrome and was like one of our own children, she died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. Then just a couple of weeks ago, we lost Mary’s Father, he was 88 and had a good long life that he lived on his terms.
So my message to all future HVS patients is: You will get through this. It is not near as bad as our imagination leads us to believe. Go slow in your Recovery. Walk. Love those that care for you and that you care for. Laugh. Play Naked Twister or read Ernie’s (Grog’s) Journal for an equally good time Walk some more. Spend no more than two weeks in Cleveland in the winter time, no offense to any Clevelandites. Read Adams Book. Visit Adam’s HVS website often. Be comfortable with your hospital and your surgeon choice. Walk some more. Buy a Fitbit or similar pedometer, walk some more. Spend a little less time at the office and more at the beach, the waterfront, the lake or wherever makes you happy. I am going to post a few pics from my 14.2 mile walk this afternoon. Enjoy!
Ten Mile Power Walk Early This Morning along the Beautiful St. Petersburg Florida Water Front.
I Wanted to do something to mark my six month anniversary and I decided that a 10 mile walk would be the thing so I got up early, drove downtown to my normal route and just did it. I do not believe that I have ever in my life, walked 10 miles before. It was not a record pace, I averaged 15.37 minutes/mile but I was not doing it to win a race, it was more of a lets see if we can do this, we, being bushwacker and me. It felt great, my feet are telling me that I walked ten miles, but I feel great.
Looking back I am soooo glad I did this, I am now confident in the fact that the replacement valve is doing what my original one was supposed to do, and I am on with my life.
I am here to tell you that it is not a piece of cake but it is not near as bad as you think. The Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals know how to get you through it with minimum pain and stress, you just have to listen to them, the people on this site, Adam Pick and his book. Thanks to all that helped me through this, I can only hope that those getting close to surgery are able to find people on this site that help them as much as my new friends helped me. Thanks to my wife, my surgeon, his entire staff and The Cleveland Clinic.
Yesterday was my 5 Month Anniversary.
I spent the day first going for a three mile walk, then an afternoon of much needed R and R. The needed R and R was not part of me still in recovery mode it was needed due to the last four months have been crazy busy at my office. We have been working overtime since December and this last month has been totally crazy with working up to 14 hous a day. With that said I was able to work 12 to 14 hours, six days a week. I am pretty sure that it would have been much tougher if not impossible to do six months ago, prior to surgery. I hope this gives any future HVS patients an idea that they will be ok. They can get through this. I had all of the same fears, anxiety and doubts that you are or may be experiencing at this time. Looking back it was not easy but it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it was going to be, thanks to all of the nursing staff, my surgeon Dr. Gillinov, The Cleveland Clinic as well as my local cardiologist Dr. Peter Wassmer. "Live Long and Prosper" "Run Forest Run" "Life is a Beach" Enjoy!
Have a minute while my bride is getting ready for us to go out to dinner with my oldest and youngest daughters to celebrate Mary's and my oldest daughters B-day's. Middle daughter has moved across the country so she cannot join us.
Twelve and a half weeks and I am still feeling great, really no issues that I could pinpoint.
I, as many of you, have been reading Rachel's progress and she is one amazing woman, I have been so impressed by her and her family.
Take Care Everyone!
Newbies, you can do this.
Hello Fellow HVS Friends - 11 weeks Post AVR Surgery
Journal posted on January 29, 2014
Just thought I would check in and let y'all know for me I am pretty much back to normal life at eleven weeks out.
I did not expect to be living life and never really thinking about the fact that I had Aortic Valve Replacement Surgery just a few short weeks ago. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone approaching surgery and the graduates that have traveled with me and the ones that paved the road before me. Thank You Adam Pick, Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Marc Gillinov and all of you!
Just read a post from our fellow HVS friend Jim Jones and it made me hop back on for a minute or two. I am doing well but have had a few ups and downs like all on this site. The latest being a partially collapsed lung, quite painful but not unbearable. Did 3-1/2 miles of semi power-walking last Saturday 12-28, woke up Sunday in pain again when I breath deep, chest xray on Monday, xray showed partially collapsed lung, decided to take it easy all this past week and today with no walking other than normal day to day. Maybe next week I will return to my Saturday power walk.
Other than that nothing major to report.
To all the newbies: You Can Do This!
To all the been there and done thats: Take Care and Enjoy Life!
First of all I would like to wish all my HVS.com friends A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
My middle daughter came into town today for Christmas so today is a good day! She is my favorite doctor, take no offense Dr. Gillinov, she is my daughter and you rank a pretty close second.
Now to the serious stuff, I went to my cardiologist yesterday. All is good. He wants to see me in three months. No problems noted, discussed all the normal concerns, exercise, target heart rate when exercising, blood pressure, resting heart rate, sex, drugs and Rock and Roll. No surprises on anything except maybe his favorite rock and roll band, Heart, can you believe it. I am a Beatles kind of guy, I just didn't picture him as a Heart fan, oh well. Really do not have anything interesting to tell you at this point, I am five weeks out, feeling good, working almost full days on most days, sleeping well in my bed on my side, life has returned to Semi-Normal, still have discomfort in my sternum but Life is Good!
Take Care all!
Ok, I think Ernie was right. I probably won't hear the end of that. That's going to be similar to saying you are right honey to my wife. My wife would be getting out the audio recorder but Ernie has it in print.
I think I learned a lesson in this. Last Saturday I walked four miles, I was already getting treated for some Pericarditis, but was feeling good, I had walked three miles on a previous day at that point but in one mile increments. Hey, it was a Chamber of Commerce day, the sun was warm, sparkling on the water, there were tons of people downtown due to the city's annual Christmas parade, I was on my old stomping (walking) grounds pre-surgery and I was feeling good. My wife and I walked at a nice pace, not near my normal but it was at a pretty good clip, four miles, one hour six minutes. We got back to the car and I am thinking next Saturday five miles, yes!
I woke up Sunday morning and thought that may not have been my smartest move. I was having to take shallow breaths and it hurt to take a deep one, kind of like it hurt the first few days after surgery. So I took it easy on Sunday...Monday.....Tuesday....started back to one mile walks on Wednesday with dog, so slow one mile walks. Thursday, here I sit feeling like I can breathe again, I can walk again, I am working about five hours a day without too much effort and Saturday is almost here. I can go walk the waterfront, it is going to be a beautiful day, the sun will be caressing my healing body and I am thinking two miles max with maybe a nice break sitting on one of St Petersburg's green park benches.
I just asked my wife how do you spell caressing, she asked me who I was writing to. I said Jake, Jake from State Farm....anyone that does not get that you have not been watching enough TV and probably are not current heart valve surgery family..... Good Night. Thoughts and prayers to all current HVS family with a boatload going to the UK for Rachel.
Ok woke up this AM not feeling my best, pain everywhere, joints, incision, etc. felt like I was getting old. Took one oxycodone and a couple of ibuprofen, went back to bed. Got up an hour later and was feeling pretty good again. Put on some shorts and a T-shirt woke up my bride and went downtown St. Petersburg for a walk along the waterfront. One hour, six minutes later we were back at the car, logged four miles. Nice steady pace 16-1/2 min/mile average. It was a beautiful, chamber of commerce day here. Finished the afternoon off with lunch at a local tavern that has the best Grouper sandwich in the world and then an hour or so in a chaise lounge pool side trying to get a little color back. All my northern fellow HVS friends, don't hate me because I live in Paradise! Prayers for Rachel and all in their different stages of this journey. Take Care Friends!
15 Minute Mile This AM. Getting there.
Just thinking this AM about how fortunate I have been to date. I am only three weeks out and doing a fifteen minute mile with out a lot of strain, I am feeling pretty damn good. Have had no pain meds today, so far........and if I do it will just be an Ibuprofen.
The issues I have had to date have been minor, very minor.
The best to all that have gone into surgery this week, we are all thinking of you!
Another milestone, did a 1-1/2 mile walk today. I feel good about that but, I am really missing my independence. DRIVING, I am feeling like I am 14 years old again (in the fact that I want to drive, not in so many other things) sitting on my Motorcycle waiting to pass the test that says, you can do anything now, now that you have a drivers license. This whole sitting in the back seat, driving Ms Daisy thing is not wearing well on me. My wife is great but it is such a pain in the a$& having to ask her or wait for her or ....
Seems to me I have seen people on this site getting permission to drive pretty early, has anyone got permission at say 21 days???
Wow, all I can say is life has not slowed down during this recovery process. Saturday or Sunday morning is my day to try and get in a long walk. Pre surgery (11-13-13) this would mean 5 miles at a good clip, probably average 14min/mi. Post surgery, well this morning was the first morning that I did not take my dog with me, on purpose, you see my dog is like an anchor literally when he catches a scent that he wants to commit to his nose he stops this causes a chain reaction that ends with my arm getting pulled out of my socket if I am not paying attention. This whole process of walking one mile with dog in tow allowing him to sniff most everything he wants creates a 28 min/mile. I think that has been fine for this first week home from Cleveland. I was getting out, I was not getting worn out, I was getting a mile of walking in, all was good. But I woke up this AM feeling like taking a real walk, not a 28 min/mi, certainly not a 14min/mi walk but a walk at a comfortable pace without stopping to sniff every scent along the way. Well I just got back and completed a 17.5 min/mile, 18 days post open heart surgery. I was not out of breath, I was not fatigued, just a nice walk working up a slight sweat. I could have gone longer but I keep on hearing Aubrey in my mind saying baby steps and I am doing my best to listen, so I stopped at one mile, it truly felt great. I am thinking I am at my peak chance to challenge Jim to a race, another month and he will be leaving me in the dust, but I think I can take him now.........Ernie this just may be enough to warrant a beer with this afternoons NFL, Yahoo!!
Everyone, enjoy your Sunday! Get out and walk, wait y'all don't live in Florida, oh well turn on the travel channel get on your treadmill and enjoy a nice walk through Paris, Rome or St Petersburg, FL.
Heart Valve Replacement Surgery -Days two and Three
Journal posted on November 29, 2013
Here is a short version of 11-13-13 & 11-14-13
11-13-13 aortic valve replacement surgery in The Cleveland Clinic by Dr. Mark Gillinov.
11-14-13 around noon I was moved to a private room for the balance of my recovery in the hospital. If you would like more detail of these first twenty four hours please read previous posts in my journal.
I arrived in my private room around noon with most tubes still attached to most of the available places that you could hook up a tube or a wire. It was great to be moved if nothing else than just for the satisfaction of knowing that I was making progress, that the surgery had been successful to date. Dr. Gillinov had stopped by the first morning in ICU to tell me everything had gone great but getting moved, sealed the deal. The new room had a window view, looking into the windows of the adjacent building, not sure what it was, but it looked like some kind of employee lounge of some type. It also had a place for my wife to stay if she wanted. That was a nice perk but she only ended up staying the first night in that room. It was not the most comfortable of places for her to sleep and we were paying for a room just a block and a half away anyway, to me it was a no brainer. Stay late but go back and get some quality sleep. My wife and I have been married for 38 years, we have spent more nights together than most married couples will ever experience, we married at 19 years old and have never looked back. So a few nights in different rooms in Cleveland in freaking November, when I am in recovery from Open Heart Surgery Is like forget about it. Anyway my first day in my new room was fairly uneventful. They did not push me to get up and walk which I was surprised at based on what I had read. At this point I still had an IV for meds, a chest tube for drainage, a couple of wires that were connected to my heart I believe, and my foley catheter. Some time Friday 11-15-13 they came in and removed the catheter and the chest drainage tube along with my pain pump. I was a little concerned when they took my pain pump, we had grown into what I thought was an inseparable relationship, little did I know. When they took my pain pump they put me on some form of oxycodone. I had no idea at this stage that I could feel this good, good bye pain pump, you will not be missed. Later that day PT came in about the time I was asking if I could go for a walk down the corridor, what timing. I made one loop past the nurses station and back to the room, other than feeling cold it was not a big deal. Y'all know how I feel about being cold. I returned to my comfy warm bed and probably took another nap, one of many these first days. Have I mentioned the food? No, I haven't and there is a reason for this, they had put me on a low sodium diet. Now I want everyone to know that I have always been conscious of my weight, not weird about it just aware, however salt is part of my DNA, I do not pile it on like some people that I have noticed in my life but let's say I use salt. They gave me packets of Mrs Dash, a salt replacement.....let's say that so far my valve replacement is working much better, Thank God, than the salt replacement worked for me. The first meal that I saw was some kind of pasta with red sauce. Remember I had begged for some jello in ICU and I did get some eventually, let's just say that my stomach was not the final resting place of that first couple of bites of Jello. So when I get to my new room get settled in they bring me lunch and it is a red sauce pasta it was not something I was willing to take a chance on staying in my stomach. I opted for plain chicken broth. It was not bad but it needed salt. The balance of my meals there were not bad but they all needed salt, and they needed it bad!
To be cont.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
I wrote and thought I posted a nice long heartfelt post last night while getting ready to turn in for the night. When I checked this morning it was not there. So now you get the short version. First of all check out my pics, but before you do, especially Ernie, remember everything in moderation my friends. I added a picture of my contribution to our Thanksgiving Dinner. A Honey Bourbon Butter Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Roast cooked Low and Slow on the Big Green Egg. Moderation my Friends, Please Enjoy your Day, Please include Rachel in your thoughts and prayers today. Love to Y'all!
Ok, 11-13-13 Cont.
As I remember I was awake for the most part in between my pain pumps, the drawing of blood and the checking of my vitals. Maybe I was awake due to the fact that I needed to hit the pain pump but either way I was not asleep for much of my 24 hours or so in ICU. My wife stayed in the room up until about 11:30 that night, feeding me ice chips, rearranging my pillow, rubbing my back which felt amazing during this time. I finally convinced her to go back to our hotel room and get some sleep, that I would need her more the next day when I was not drifting in and out of consciousness. About 2:00 AM I decide that I was getting hungry and had read on some of these journals that they would give you jello. I was beginning to feel weak, the weak you feel when you have not ate anything substantial for a period of time. I asked my nurse if I could have some jello, she said no and offered me ice chips but this time with a straw and the precious little water that had accumulated in the bottom of the cup which was soon gone. My throat was sore and the ice chips and now ice water gave me quite a bit of relief. I went back to my pain pump and ice chips and ice water. At around 7:00 AM there is a change of guard, my angel of a nurse was done for the night, she introduced the newbie and after she left, he asked me if I wanted to get out of bed and sit in a chair. I remember thinking have I got a choice, but I said yes. A few minutes later I was in a chair, not under my own power but I was in a chair sitting up. I then asked him if I could have some jello, he asked me if I had a preference of flavor, I said no anything will do hoping he would hurry up before someone told him I couldn't have it. Again I was feeling weak and I needed something to eat. I took the first bite and savored it for two seconds or so, I spooned up the second bite thinking that I must know more than these professionals, I shoveled the next bite into my mouth and swallowed, this is good, oh wait, what was that, about that time the first bite hit my stomach and the second was on its way, I'm thinking what, is this some kind of joke, Linda Blair came to mind, I paused,.. the jello did not, it just changed direction and rather violently. My wife came in around 8:30 AM, they came in shortly after that and disconnected me from a couple of the hoses, tubes and wires that were still connected and tell me I would be moving to a nice quiet room later that morning. I left the ICU around noon on 11-14-13 with the understanding that they have done this before and they absolutely know what they are doing. Ice Chips and Ice Water is all you need no matter what your body is telling you. That and the fact that I may never eat jello again.
Take Care Everyone. Positive Vibes to all HVS family getting started on their journey!
Maybe I do not have the depression thing figured out?
Journal posted on November 24, 2013
Ok all of the sunshine I wanted, Pool Side, Immediate Family at hand with exception of one daughter and still I had this feeling of sadness, I could not shake it. OK I will feel you, The Gators lost, not only did they lose they lost to Georgia Southern, nothing against Georgia Southern but was one of those games that FL was favored by 28 or so. Deep Depression as set in.
Enough football talk, it's depressing anyway.
Got up this AM and did my first outside walk in the hood.
3/4 mile, 23 minutes, not quite my normal pace but at least now I have something to compare to. Will try again in a little while. In the mean time, Enjoy your Sunday Football and may all of your teams win. ?
Decided not go to the hotel Gym this AM because I thought I would get enough of a post surgery workout from the days planned trip to Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was correct, the building is quite large and multi level. Great Day, spent about 4-1/2 hours there. I enjoy music and it was very interesting seeing and learning things about some of my favorite musicians.
Yesterday, I started the day with 20 minutes on the treadmill, and late in the afternoon I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike. Felt great. Sleeping has been fairly good, I have been fortunate in the fact that I have been able to sleep in our bed here at the hotel room, just have a huge wedge built out of about 6 pillows. Last night I found myself trying to turn over on my stomach but woke up in time to realize that was not a good idea nor was it going to happen. If it had not sure how I would have gotten out of that position, still arched up but in the opposite arch that I want anything to do with...yet.
Looks like a little snow heading this way tomorrow fortunately, Good Lord Willing, I will be in St Petersburg soaking in some sun and seeing two of my three beautiful daughters, I cannot wait.
I leave Cleveland with a new heart valve "Bushwacker" a feeling of great respect for the staff of Cleveland Clinic, they are the best, extremely appreciative of my surgeon Dr. Gillinov, he really is The Man, and last but certainly not least, a renewed sense of commitment to my lovely bride. She has been a great partner for the first part of this Journey, Thank You and I Love You Mary! I am now ready for another 38 years with this woman, ok maybe I am pushing it there. Take Care HVS family! Love to Y'all
Fellow HVS Brother Jim Jones recently posted his experience in ICCU. Reading his accounting further enforced the knowledge that we are all going down the same interstate but we are all driving different cars. He had a different experience than I for sure. Make sure you read his as it is much more detailed than mine but a few very clear differences. When I came to I had no breathing tube but here is the story behind that. As told to my wife by the time she got in to see me. It seems that as they were wheeling me in to ICCU, I started to come out of the anesthesia, and coming out fast, at which time I decided that it was time for the breathing tubes to come out,...now. She was told that they had four people trying to hold me down and at that point they decided that they did not have to wait to make sure I was awake enough to breathe on my own, not only was I breathing I was fighting. Now those who know me know that I am not a fighter, quite the opposite. I absolutely have no recollection of this entire process, the breathing tube or any of the first few minutes in ICCU. I do remember opening my eyes and seeing my wife and getting told they were hooking me up to my best friend for the next 20 hours or so, my pain pump. This was approximately at 2:00 in the afternoon 11-13-13. I will go forward in another post but first I want to go back to pre-op. My wife and I were sitting back in pre-op waiting, talking and I remember being fairly calm. I remember kissing her goodbye, telling her I love you, getting teary eyed and getting wheeled out. I am not a loud person, to be honest I prefer to listen and that is the only reason our marriage has lasted 38 years because my lovely bride likes to talk. I was out in the corridor talking to the nurses (answering their questions with one word answers), then the anesthesiologist with the same short answers, name, birth date, etc. Then they wheeled me into the OR, wow. You have to be impressed with the technology but it was Cold, I mean really Freaking Cold. I was already cold out in the corridor but this felt like getting plunged into a frozen river...naked, not that I know what a frozen river feels like naked but I do know what a river feels like... wait, starting to sound like our friend Ernie. Let’s get back to cold, I was shivering, uncontrollably shivering. When I am cold I talk less that I talk when I am not cold. They asked me if I was cold, I shook my head yes, I do not think I spoke, I was afraid of letting the last warm air out of my body. Later that afternoon when the anesthesiologist was telling my wife about the breathing tube episode he told her I was feeling a lot of anxiety prior to surgery, well I can tell you it was not anxiety it was cold, naked frozen river cold, period. Next time, if there is a next time, I will be more verbal on the naked frozen river type cold that this Sun Loving Florida Boy was feeling. I can still feel it and I am anxiously waiting to be sitting by the pool on Saturday afternoon sucking down a cold maybe non alcoholic beer or perhaps a non alcoholic Bloody Mary, in the warmth of the sun, the healing warmth. I can almost feel it now.....
Hi everyone, this is Mary hijacking Dan's page for a moment. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences. You are all amazing individuals and I pray for you everyday. You have helped us come through the anxious moments before surgery, and now the help continues as we begin the new journey to recovery. Adam has provided a great service with this site and his efforts are appreciated. The only complaint I have is that my husband can still beat me at backgammon even in a drug-induced stupor. Sugar,honey,iced tea! It ain't fair. Keep up the good work. Carol, hope you are home soon!
First of all continued thoughts and prayers for Rachel.
Blood work, EKG, Chest X-ray. All good, EKG not perfect yet but good. Got up early, went to hospital for final clearance to fly home, check, went back to hotel, took a nap, check, went out to Cleveland's west side market, check. The west side market is a cool thing, one side rows of fresh fruits and vegetables, this is where your doctor wants us to shop, the other side rows of MEAT, really good looking sausages, bratwursts, steaks, bison, pork, did I mention sausage OMG. This is where your doctor wants you to run from and run fast. Let me tell you that it was difficult to run away from a week after open heart surgery, it would be damn near impossible for a normal man but I am now "Strong like Bull". Did you like that Cheryl? We are going to hang out a few more days in Cleveland before we head back to home, try to check out the infamous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, maybe House of Blues......Have a great night fellow HVS Family!
Guys, check it out. Just posted a pic of me on the treadmill at the hotel one week after OHS. Are you kidding me? True I was going very slow, True only did 15 minutes, but one week ago at this time I was on the table, I know I am impressed, .....with the facility, my surgeon, and the entire nursing staff, not to mention my support staff here on Heart Valve Surgery. Com
I posted yesterday but it never showed up to my knowledge, could have been the drugs, also posted a pic but it ended up on the bottom of the stack, so I deleted it and will try to repost, it is a pic of Mary and I Day 3. Mary looks well because she went back to our hotel to sleep the night before. Enough about me for now but we are pretty sure that I am getting discharged today but we have to stay in Cleveland for a few days to make sure all is good with my new pet Bull part.
Prayers for Rachel, I know she is not far from any of our minds.
Good morning, everyone!
When I arrived at the hospital this morning Dan was sitting up in the chair, wide awake. Had some jello then a little nausea but better now. The chest tubes are out. Central line will be removed soon then we will be off to the step-down unit - our new home away from home for the next few days. Ernie, so sorry about the misspelled name but I love how it's always a competition with you guys! A friend of ours just told Dan he beat him with more stitches and staples so now we owe him dinner! Gotta love it! Thanks to all for the good advice as we move to the next level of recovery. Keep it coming. We are blessed with amazing nurses. Aaron and Ilene in ICU so wonderful. Ilene brought me home made pumpkin cookies and coffee last night and I snagged her recipe! So they care for both of us which is not necessary but appreciated. Coming to Cleveland was an excellent decision!
Hello everyone, this is Mary, Dan's wife. Surgery is over and I met with Dr. Gillinov. As he expected, all that was needed was a 4 inch incision vs. a 9 inch since yesterday's heart cath showed minimal plaque (either a result of healthy diet and exercise or daily shot of bourbon we don't know!) so no by-pass needed. His amazing surgeon simply said, "The plumbing is fixed." God bless him and all of you for your thoughts, encouragement and sense of humor. We particularly loved Earnie's description of the dangers of playing Naked Twister in the weeks following valve surgery. I never thought I would hear my husband laughing the morning of surgery, so thanks for that Earnie! Really, the advice and sharing of experiences is so helpful. I'm hiding the Twister game when we return home! I will update later tonight after I see him. Love to all!
Heart Cath showed no bypass required. It was a piece of cake really but the bad news was they did the one through the groin, which requires one to lie flat on your back without to much movement for 4 hrs after. But after tomorrow that will probably seem like a day at the beach in Maui. I was hoping for the wrist access where you are not required to do that. Water under the bridge. Probably will not post tomorrow, surgery scheduled for 6:00 AM, so Mary will try to update y'all after I get to ICU.
Congrats to Jim for scoring some good drugs in NYC, Hope Lise does not get arrested.
I want to thank each and everyone on this site for the help I have received, you guys are awesome!
Thanks to my family, my friends and our employees for all of the support. Love to y'all.
Cleveland Clinic is unbelievable. A battery of tests today but hardly any waiting, it was one right after the other. Dr. Gillinov is a real person, but somehow on the next level above us, well at least above me and I am thinking above most. I am so confident in his abilities after meeting him. He is truly a compassionate man, he is a golden fit for this top of the line facility. And this is before he operates on me.
Tomorrow Heart Catheterization, Hopefully through the arm, Good Night and Take Care.
Just a wee bit chilly. No Snow....yet.
Surgery has been moved to this wednesday.
Thanks to everyone on this site for helping me through this so far, I am sure I will be counting on y'all for alot more information after the fact. Next two days full of testing, now we are not sure if we are going to have time to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before surgery, we were planing on Wednesday night they are open till 9 on wednesdays, other days until 5 but that was before the surgery date got changed. Oh well might have to schedule another trip to Cleveland. Will see about that. Everyone have a great evening!