After replacing my stenotic bicuspid aortic valve with a 21 mm St Jude mechanical, I now have "mild aortic Insufficiency" (appropriate for mechanical valve). That's how the echo report reads. Does anyone have information about this? Since my Cardiologist said everything was fine, I am sure it's no big deal, but I did not have AR before surgery. Is this common and have others had the same echo results?
I met with my cardiologist today (3 mo. check-up). He told me my heart is back to normal-normal except for the mechanical valve of course. Very good news. He also told me the aorta should be fine because the valve has been replaced. I was born with a bicuspid valve and I thought that meant I could be prone to aorta problems with or without valve replacement. Is my doctor right?
Also,last month my primary doctor had set up my INR checks at 6 week intervals. I am 3 months out from surgery. It's nice not making trips to the doctor, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this schedule either. Any thoughts?
My recovery is going very well. I began cardiac rehab about 4 wks. ago. I enjoy the structured program and it has been helpful in trusting my heart again! I came down with a cold in June which caused a lot of coughing! That was painful. The sternum area continues to hurt when I cough or sneeze. I hope that stops soon. All in all, I think my recovery has gone very well. Last week I had an echo. I will be discussing the results next week with Dr. Moore. I was told that the valve is working fine. Hopefully everything else is back to normal too. A big surprise for me: my mechanical valve cannot be heard by me or anyone else. Even the echo tech was unable to hear the click without the echo. And to think I was worried the noise would be a nuisance!
I will continue to pray for those who are preparing for this journey and for all who are in recovery.
My recovery continues. Everything is healing as expected. My coumadin levels are not cooperating but we will get them up where they need to be sooner or later. I still feel tired. I look forward to future "high energy" days!! I was happy to wake up this morning only to realize that I had slept continuously...all night long!! That has to be a good recovery sign.
I will continue to pray for all who are preparing for surgery and for those who are on the mend.
Recovery is going better than I had imagined. Movement gets a little easier each day. For me-the pain can be described as a "drawing/pulling" sensation. Tylenol and an ocassional pain pill takes care of the problem. I expected the pain to be much worse! I am sure those who also have by-pass (or other procedures) have additional pain issues. But the lesson- the pain is managable. What a relief!!
I came home yesterday after a successful valve replacement on Monday by Dr. Milano. I came out of ICU on Tuesday morning. In fact, I WALKED over to the stepdown wing. The human body is amazing! Friday I completed 18 laps around the floor and that means I walked a mile on 4/6/12!
It's wonderful to be home with the family. We have much to be greatful for on this Glorious Easter Sunday. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes.
Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement. We will be at the hospital at 5 tomorrow morning- ready to go. We were able to enjoy another beautiful weekend. I hope Dr. Milano was able to relax too. He certainly deserved it!
Shortly after arriving at Duke this morning we were told that an emergency heart transplant was about to take place. So I have been rescheduled for Monday. I do not think preparing the 2nd time around will be easier.
My prayers go out to the heart recipient and to the family of the heart donor. A day of great hope for one family and enormous loss for another.
Leah (my daughter) and I are meeting this afternoon to have a manicure & pedicure. She thought it would help me relax. Of course having the nails done is always nice no matter what the circumstance! Tomorrow morning I will begin the pre-op testing. I was told it will include a lot of "hurry up and wait" time. Greg-my best friend and husband will be joining me.
Our out-of-town daughters (Shana and Jamie) will be driving in Thursday afternoon. Leah and Greg, Jr. both live nearby. We are all getting together at Leah's Thursday evening to celebrate Bryan's birthday (son-in-law). It will be a great way to pass the evening.
Thanks to everyone who offered support, insight and prayers. I am so glad I found this site. I have passed the book on to family. Both have been very helpful.
7 days to go! My AVR surgery will be at Duke by Dr. Milano. I am not nervous (yet), but I will be glad to get this behind me. I'm sure the nerves will kick in - in a few days. We have decided to go with a mechanical valve because of my age (56). I am not thrilled with the idea of taking coumadin for ever, but it is what it is.