Well, I cannot believe it has already been one year since my surgery. WOW!!! I am just sitting here today reflecting on the events of February 4, 2010. I am sure glad though that today is 2/4/2011 and NOT 1 year ago!
I am feeling great, my weight is back to normal (plus a few pounds) and I am really hoping for an uneventful & quiet year (medically speaking).
The prayers and concern that each of you lifted up to our Lord on my behalf last year were felt daily. God bless you all and your families!!
Well, the sun is finally back out here in North Texas and I think here to stay for the week. It has been great to hear from everyone. Again, THANK YOU all for your continued thoughts and prayers! Your notes and comments really lift my spirits, especially after the setback that I had last week.
I am feeling much better this week. I started driving again last Friday and yesterday went to my first cardiac rehab session. I think I will enjoy these sessions and getting to know some of the people up there.
Well, this Thursday will be 1 month since the surgery, hard to believe. When you are recovering and healing a lot can happen in 1 week...believe me I know!!
It has been confirmed that David has a bowel infection and that is causing the bleeding. The GI doctor said that he picked it up in the hospital after heart surgery and that 10% of patients get C.difficile after taking antibiotics in the hospital. FYI. We were praying that he wouldn't get a Staph infection or a blood clot after surgery, but didn't know to pray about C.diff!! It's weird, but the cure for this is more antibiotics!
Poor guy is quarantined to his room and is going a bit stir crazy. We hope he can go home tomorrow so he can get back to recovering. Give him a call! It would cheer him up!
Thanks once again to everyone for jumping in on short notice and taking care of me, the kids and David! We are so blessed!!
We love you all,
Dear family and friends,
We are back in the Heart Hospital in Plano. David's heart is fine; he is having some unexplained bleeding and they are trying to find the cause. He has had a CAT scan and as of now the docs are thinking it is either caused from the 325mg asprin he is taking or from a bacterial infection from his hospital stay. Those are guesses. More tests are being ordered to find exactly where the blood is coming from. (stomach, bowels, colon etc)
We will keep you posted and thank you for your continued prayers.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which supasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Well, its been 2 weeks since the surgery. Hard to believe its been that long but I am grateful to be on the "Post" side now. Every day truly is getting better in many ways. My appetite is returning, though I have lost another 10 lbs since I have been home (and I didnt really have 10 lbs to lose), I am almost off the pain meds AND Marjorie and I took a walk down the street yesterday afternoon (first time outside in 12 days). Gotta love that sunshine!!
I know my recovery road is still long and probably full of ups and downs but I am able to lean on the continued support and prayers of my friends and family. THANK YOU all for the special way in which you minister to my needs.
Fellow patient friends, what would we do and where would we be throughout all of this if not for the strength, support and I think most importantly PATIENCE of our wonderful caregivers. They are awesome!!
Marjorie has been great, so patient, especially when I ring my little black and orange (OSU colors) bell when I need something.
Well, I guess I had better wrap this up for now. Hope everyone has a good weekend. Watch those Olympics, Go Team U.S.A!!
I'd like to give a shout out to all the caregivers... Are we tired or what?
I am encouraged to see that at about the 2 week mark, most patients are turning a corner and sleeping better and in a little less pain. David and I are counting on that.
Believe me; I would never want to trade places with my husband right now, but can I just say - I am tired.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Well, I have resurfaced back into the computer chair and just felt the need to send out a note to everyone. It is still hard to believe and somewhat surreal that just this time last week we were wrapping up my pre-op procedure. Open-Heart surgery, really?? Every breath I take is a simple reminder.
Words truly cannot express the emotion and heartfelt warmth that has overcome me as I have read EVERY guestbook entry. So many names from the past, Livonia Baptist Church, neighbors from Novi Michigan, our entire wedding party from 20 years ago, my many friends at First Baptist Church Keller, family members throughout the country and my newest heart valve journal friends.
I know each day will get better for me, especially knowing that your continued prayers will be lifted up to our Lord God on my behalf.
Well, its getting late (for me that is) and I am sure there are some meds that I probably need to be taking, so Goodnight.
God's richest blessings to you all and your families!
We got home about 5pm and after I unloaded everything and got David comfy, our Sunday School class brought us another yummy meal. So awesome! We all ate together and it was great.
Dave had his shower and is now asleep in his new recliner right next to my bed. I hope we will all rest better tonight.
David parents will be here tomorrow evening and will stay with us until the weekend so I can go back to work on Wed.
I wouldn't be surprised if you hear from David in tomorrow's journal. He is really enjoying reading through the messages from the last 5 days. He said it all seems like a dream.
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the Lord delivers him in times of trouble. The Lord will protect him and preserve his life; He will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes. The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.
David just got the OK to go home this afternoon. Blood work and ultrasound look good and they are filling his 4 prescriptions now. Lots of pills to take!
He has had excellent care here at The Heart Hospital. Every nurse, PA, Therapist, and tech has been wonderful. He has really been blessed.
We will touch base tonight after we are settled. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with emotion!!
David had another good day. Like I said before, he is exhausted; but the docs and nurses keep saying that everything he is feeling is normal and good. The 3rd day is the worst because when you are finally able to get up and around, you do too much! He has passed physical therapy and respitory therapy and every possible fluid has been inspected and measured and everyone is thrilled with his progress! lol.
There is talk that he may go home Monday! Yikes, that makes me nervous, but God has gotten us this far; He will get us though at home too.
I put a few more pics up. Don't worry, they're not gruesome!
Will give you an update in the morning after I get the kids off to school.
The Lord is David's strength and his shield; his new heart trusts in Him, and he is helped. His new heart leaps for joy and he will give thanks to Him in song.
Psalm 28:7-9 (my version)
David had such a great day yesterday! Feeling good, walking 400ft at a time and visiting with family and friends. Today he is exhausted! The doc took out his last drain and pacemaker wires and he is free! Next he will take a shower and a 2 hour nap, says the nurse.
Since he over did it yesterday, we are asking for no visitors today; you all want to watch the Super Bowl anyways, right? I will be watching the commercials.lol
The doc says he can go home Monday or Tuesday; it's up to David.
We are just overwhelmed and humbled by everyone's support. The kids and I will be enjoying a yummy pot roast dinner tonight, thanks to our Sunday School class!
We love you all,
David's nausea is better this afternoon. The doc removed two more drains and the cath. Only one more drain to go and he has already been on severals walks in the hallway. Praise the Lord! I am encouraged!
He is surrounded by family and says he is up for a few short visits this afternoon or evening.
Words can never express our thanks to all of you.
Good Morning! Yesterday was tough for David. He's taking so much pain medicine and that makes him severely nausiated and just plain out of it! He wasn't able to walk more than a few feet yesterday and when I left him last night he was really loopy.
As for this morning, he seems a little better. If the nausea stays under control, I think he will have a much better day.
If you are thinking of visiting today, please text me first. It is a long drive and I want to be sure he is up for company.
Thanks for all the encouragement, support and prayers. I will update again this afternoon.
We love you all!
Dr Ryan just came in to see David and he explained again to David that the Aortic valve was really malformed from birth and had endocarditis/from infection and the mitral valve had a hole from infection. That's why he did the tissue valve now and that David can have the Ross procedure next time! I can't even go there now! Manna for today, Lord! One day at a time!
When I came in this morning, David was sitting in the chair and most of the tubes were removed. He still has a few! He is doing as well as can be expected considering the surgery. He is in alot of pain but is doing really well on his breathing treatments and spirometer. His nurse, Courtney, says he will walk around today. I just can't imagine how he will do it, but he will. He's a great patient!
I can't wait til he can read all the messages and prayers that he has. I read some to him yesterday, but he doesn't remember! lol
JD will be heading home from college this afternoon and David's sister, Kelly and family will be in from Houston this evening.
Please pray for safe travel, continued progress for David and strength for me.
Love you all!
But I call to God and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning, and noon I cry out and He hears my voice.
Well, we finally saw Dr Ryan! It feels like I have been waiting forEVER! Everyone's prayers have carried me these last 7 hours!
Dr Ryan tried to repair David's aortic valve twice, but he wasn't happy with the result. He couldn't do the Ross procedure because David's pulmonary valve wasn't suitable and may only last 5 years, SO David has a cow valve and a repaired mitral valve! Hopefully to last 10 years.
We are waiting to be able to see him and will keep you posted.
Please pray for David as he comes off the ventilator and for no blood clots or other complications.
Thank you SO much for all your support!
I left David about 7:45am in the holding room and I just got a call from his nurse that they began the surgery at 8:30am.
Please pray for Dr Ryan and the whole team caring for David today. She said she would call back in a few hours and then again when they close.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help ypu. I will uphold you with My righteous hand.
I am sending out tonight's journal while David talks on the phone. It has been ringing all evening with family and friends calling to wish him well! I think we counted about a dozen churches across the country, as well as all of you, praying for him, our family and Dr Ryan & his team. God has given us a peace tonight and we are ready for tomorrow morning.
We went to The Heart Hospital in Plano this afternoon for pre-op. All it was, was blood work, a chest x-ray and signing papers and turning in papers.
The hospital was very easy to find and we were surprised to find out that we did not need quarters for the George Bush Turnpike. They will bill you - FYI.
We have to leave for the hospital in the morning at 4:15am for a 5:00am check-in and 7am surgery. I guess we should try to get some rest. I don't think either of us will sleep, but maybe we can rest. Maybe we will unwind with a few episodes of "Seinfeld". I think we should watch "The Junior Mint" episode :)
Thanks again for everyone's prayers and support. I will update tomorrow morning from the hospital.
The Lord is David's strength and his shield; David's heart trusts in Him, and he is helped. His heart leaps for joy and he will give thanks to Him in song.
Well, its almost here! I am ready. I truly could not have made it through these last few weeks without everyone's love, support and prayers!
Marjorie will keep you all posted with daily updates, I am sure of that!
If I see you at the hospital and say something embarrassing, remember its not me talking, its the drugs.
Bye for now. Talk to you all soon.
May our LORD receive all of the glory!
Well, 1 week to go before the big day. I have been feeling very anxious and the tension is rising daily at the Heathcoat house.
I really appreciate all of the guestbook entries that I have received. I am not much of an online journal guy but I must admit it is quite helpful.
We will update again after the pre-op next Wednesday. Talk to you soon.
Good evening. Well, we received more information yesterday concerning my heart surgery. The surgery is confirmed for Thursday Feb 4th at "The Heart Hospital/Baylor Plano" at 7:30 am. Marjorie and I have to be at the hospital that morning at 5:30 am.....OUCH! Here is the hospital address:
THE HEART HOSPITAL/BAYLOR PLANO
1100 Allied Drive
Plano TX 75093
I have officially decided to go with the "Ross Procedure" for my aortic valve replacement. You can Google this procedure and it will tell you about the operation. The surgery should take about 5 hours.
We will of course keep you all updated with any changes or if anything new happens to come up.
I deeply appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers! I can definitely feel them all!