Well, it's been an experience! I had BAVR surgery on 9-10-14, and according to everyone in CICU and my doctors, I did great!! Saw a doctor yesterday that told me that I handled this surgery like I didn't even blink. BUT...I did have a slight infection in my lower incision and it came open a few weeks into recovery. I took antibiotics, which helped, and put betadine on it several times a day for weeks. It has finally ALMOST closed completely. Just a little bit of surface skin that needs to finish up. Because of the infection, the open place became almost as large as a silver dollar in length. I felt that some steri-strips were needed, but the surgeon said no, to just keep it dry and keep putting on the betadine.
I got an okay to go back to work - I'll go for 4 hours a day next week, then back full time on December 1st. I'm grateful that I have a break of 3.5 hours during most of the day, working split shifts on Tuesday - Friday. Mondays are my long days at 10 hours. Not looking forward to that first full Monday! I do sit all day, answering the phone, but it's an extremely fast-paced day with a lot of stress. Hopefully, it'll work out, and hopefully, I can remember all that I need to. My memory is something that I've noticed problems with, as well as my vision. I'm seeing lots of "floaters" that I never really had a problem with before, and I have a gray cloud that fills an area of vision from time to time. Also, a really strange problem of small black flashes that come out of different places and make me think I've seen a bug or a mouse or something really fast. My cat was looking in the same place that I'd have sworn a mouse went through, and she didn't flinch....guess nothing was there. I've actually jumped back when I thought something was coming at me.....nothing there. Anyone else ever experience this?
Overall, I've done great!! My surgeon is awesome and my cardiologist and pulmonologist are too! And my primary care physician that realized I had a problem at age 55 is my hero!! I'd have probably died alone in my sleep if he hadn't realized there was a severe problem during a routine exam. God is truly good! And evidently, He's not done with me yet!! :) I have a reason to be here!
Ready to start not just a "new chapter" in my life, but a Volume Two!! Lookout world.....here I come!! :)
I've done "extremely well" according to the CICU nurses and medical staff at the hospital where I had my aortic valve replacement. I'm almost 4 weeks out from surgery and noticed a small area of my incision that has not healed as the rest of it has. Over the weekend, it appeared to be slightly infected, so I made a mental note to mention it to my cardiologist today at my appointment. He sent me directly to the surgeon's office, and they prescribed strong antibiotics, plus a betadine application several times a day. I see them again on Wednesday. I never once thought "infection" with this small area and never realized that it could possibly travel to the valve. A good wake-up call - small, inconsequential wounds or infections can be a major deal with an artificial valve. Prayers please, that this therapy heals the infected area before it reaches the valve. I've come too far now to have a glitch! Hope you are all doing well!
Surgery that was set up for tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) was rescheduled for Wednesday morning. I feel better about it now. I am totally exhausted and felt rushed. Now I know I have tomorrow to chill out a bit, finish up some stuff and get my thoughts together...I feel much better! Any positive thoughts or prayers would be greatly appreciated! I have a "simple" BAV with severe stenosis, but have an autoimmune disease that makes me a high risk patient after surgery. The doctor explained that my inflammatory response will go into overdrive when they hook up the heart-lung machine, and mine will really go haywire, from what they're expecting, making it dangerous for the valve. Hopefully, that won't be as bad as expected, and I'll be the "new me" very soon! :)