Hello to my heart brothers and sisters! I’m just checking in on this 13th day of September, the 5th anniversary of my mitral valve re-repair. I had my cardiology appointment in July and my echocardiogram indicated that all is well with my mitral valve. Praise God! I had been having some dizzy spells that concerned me so my cardiologist sent me home with a 48 hour heart monitor. Those results indicated that I was having more frequent PVC’s and PAC’s but not serious enough to do anything about at this time, but definitely something to keep an eye on.
I pray all of you in this support group are doing well and staying healthy. Prayers for those preparing for heart valve surgery and those who are in recovery from a recent valve surgery. Take care and God bless, and as Adam always says, “Keep on ticking”! ❤️🙏🏻❤️
Happy August to all my heart brothers and sisters. I pray you are all doing well and coping well during these trying times we are living through.
I will celebrating the 4 year anniversary of my mitral valve re-repair on September 13th. I just had my semi-annual checkup with my cardiologist and he said my heart sounds great and to keep doing what I am doing. My annual echo is scheduled for December and a follow up visit with him in early January to review the results. I’m confident it will show that all is still stable with my valve.
Ric and I continue to stay active with our YMCA Silver Sneakers Program as well as daily walks with our two dogs. We were able to continue the program via you tube videos our Y provided during the Pandemic shut down in Ohio. These are strange and uncertain times we are living in, but we try to make the best of it. We are so blessed to have our 4 adult children and their families close by for occassional get togethers.
I pray you and your families stay safe and well. For those of you preparing for or recovering from surgery, I pray for successful surgeries and recoveries. God bless you and keep you in His care.
Greetings to all of my heart sisters and brothers! On September 13th it was 3 years since my mitral valve re-repair. I just had my annual echo on Monday and saw my cardiologist today to go over the results. My valve is stable with just a very mild regurgitation. The most remarkable improvement was my ejection fraction which was at 50% on last years echo and is now at 63%! I believe it is in part due to the Silver Sneakers Cardio Class at our local YMCA which my husband and I participate in twice a week. We also walk 1-2 miles on the indoor track. Exercise is so important for a healthy heart!
I am forever grateful to Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Eric Roselli and his team for extending my life; and to Adam Pick for establishing this wonderful place for us to share our stories!
I keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers and hope my heart valve journey encourages you on your journeys.
Have a very Blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year! ❤️
Greetings to all heart brothers and sisters! I celebrated my 2 year anniversary on September 13th and am doin well. I had my annual echocardiogram on Sept. 20th and saw
my cardiologist on the 21st. He said the echo showed that everything is stable with my valve and my heart sounds
great. I enjoy staying in touch with all of you who have prayed for and supported me through this journey since my first Mitral Valve repair in 2012. I thank God for Adam Pick who has made it possible for all of us to share our experiences and support one another on our journey. God bless all of you preparing for surgery and those recovering from a recent surgery. You are all in my prayers daily. ❤️🙏🏻❤️
My 5 precious grandchildren: Bryson, Genevieve, Coralynn, Micah and Dominic. Little Micah is now 28 months old - he was born with TGA and
had open heart surgery at 4 days old. He and I share a special bond.
Journal posted on November 23, 2017
Wishing all of my heart sisters and brothers a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving. I am especially thankful for all of you and to Adam for providing us with this wonderful site where we can pray for and support one another. My continued thoughts and prayers for those preparing for or recovering from surgery. God bless all of you! ❤️🦃❤️
Hi everyone. I just wanted to give you an update after my appointment yesterday. My heart and lungs sound great and my blood work I had done on Tuesday shows good kidney function and normal potassium level. He reduced my lasix dose to 20 mg maintenance dose as needed. I only need to take it if my daily weight checks each morning indicate an increase of 2 lbs or more. I have another appointment in December. Hopefully this was a 1 time incident! I hope all is well with all of you. Prayers for those who are awaiting surgery and those recovering! ❤️🙏🏻❤️
Just a quick note to let you all know that the TEE I had yesterday indicated that my mitral valve is functioning well. The lasix therapy has taken care of the pleural effusion and the paracardium effusion. My cardiologist believes this was all brought on by a virus. I am still on the lasix and have a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist Wednesday. I am hoping he takes me off the lasix soon. That is all for now. Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers. God bless!
Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of my 2nd mitral valve repair and I have been having a great year health wise until Monday. Ric and I spent Labor Day week in Branson, MO and we're having a wonderful week until I started not feeling well on Friday night but not able to pin point why. We left Sunday to come back home and I still was not feeling all that great. On Monday morning I noticed my resting HR was 95 (normal for me is 55) and my BP was 85/48 (normal for me is 110/70) and I was short of breath going up the stairs. Ric had to be at work for meetings so I told him to go and I called my cardiologist at 8:30 and the nurse advised me to go to the ER and she would call ahead to make sure they took me right in. My good friend Mary was my angel that day - she took me to ER as I was afraid to drive with my BP so low.
I was running a 99.7 temp and the chest X-ray showed pleural effusion in both lungs
- ugh! My ekg was normal and the ER doc said my heart sounded good in spite of elevated HR. They admitted me immediately and of course the flurry of docs, tests etc. ensued. The Pulmonary Doc wanted to do a thoracentesis to draw fluid from my left lung and I declined opting to try the lasix first to see if that worked, which it did- praise God. My cardiologist ordered an echo as he was concerned about my mitral valve function.
The echo showed some paracardium effusion so I have to go back as an outpatient on Friday and my cardiologist will do a TEE to get a closer look at what is going on.
Needless to say, the hospital was the last place I had expected to be on my surgery anniversary date. I am hoping the TEE does not indicate any issues with my valve and hopefully this is just a little bump in the road. Thank you all for your support and prayers!
Hello everyone! Ric and I just returned from Cleveland for my second post surgery follow-up echo and office visit with Dr. Roselli. As you may all recall my December echo indicated my valve Had a mild leak thus yesterday's repeat echo. Dr. Roselli had very good news for me - the echo indicated an actual improvement. My valve has stabilized and there is now only a trivial leak. He has released me back to my cardiologist for annual follow-ups and echos. Needless to say I am very relieved and thanking God for answered prayers.
I pray all is well with all of my HVJ brothers and sisters. My thoughts and prayers are with those preparing for surgery and those in recovery. Take care and God bless you all!
I had my 3 month post- surgery echocardiogram and appointment last Friday with Dr. Roselli. I have been sick with an upper respiratory virus so am just now getting around to posting. The echocardiogram indicated that the valve is leaking again, albeit a “mild” leak. After my first repair in 2012 my 6 week echocardiogram indicated a “moderate” leak and I went 4 years before it progressed to where I had to have a second surgery. To say the least Dr. Roselli did not like having to give me this news any more than Ric and I liked hearing it. Apparently scar tissue on the repaired leaflet is the culprit again - ugh! He is hopeful that it will stabilize and not progress further, if it does progress he will have no choice but to replace the valve. I have an appointment in 6 months for another ehcocardiogram and office visit with Dr. Roselli. Ric and I pray it stabilizes because the thought of a future surgery to replace the valve is not something we want to think about right now. I debated whether to post this as I don't want to discourage anyone getting ready for surgery. i pray for all of you who are in recovery or preparing for surgery. Take care and God bless!
I completed the cardiac rehab program yesterday and met all the goals that were set for me. My resting heart rate has gone from the high 80's to my pre-surgery rate of the low 60's. We leave for Cleveland tonight for my 3 month follow-up echo and appointment wit Dr. Roselli tomorrow. I am a little under the weather with an upper-respiratory virus and hoping it doesn't affect the echo results. As always, those of you preparing for surgery or in recovery are in my thoughts and prayers.
I can't believe 11 weeks have gone by! I feel pretty good and am in my 4th week of cardiac rehab. Yesterday was my first full day at work after being on half days for the month of November. I had cardiac rehab after work and was really wiped out after working an 8 hour day - but I will adjust. I am up to 3.2 mph and incline if 1 on the treadmill and doing 80 watts at level 5 on the recumbent bike. My heart rate has been perfect except for a few PVC's one time while doing my cool down stretches. I should finish the rehab program on December 21st if all my goals are met. Thinking of and praying for those in recovery and those awaiting surgery. God bless you and keep you!
It is hard to believe how quickly time has gone by since my surgery. I turned in my heart monitor on Friday (yey!) and was able to finally get some quality sleep for 3 nights before and starting back to work yesterday for 4 hours per day. My cardiac rehab classes begin tomorrow. The RN who did my evaluation believes I may only need 6 weeks to get me to my pre surgery walking pace. I am thankful to be working 1/2 days till the end of November. I came home yesterday and today & took a 1 1/2 hour nap! Apparently my body is still healing and needs the additional rest.
I continue to keep all my HVJ friends in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare for surgery or are recovering from surgery. We are all so blessed to have each other's support thanks to Adam and this wonderful website. Take care and God bless all of you!
I saw my cardiologist on Thursday and he was very pleased with the repair, how good my heart sounds and how well my incisionn is healing. He has referred me on to cardiac rehab and I should be hearing from them this week about an evaluation appointment. I have increased my daily walking to three 15 minute walks per day and am feeling stronger every day. I am still having some neck issues but hoping for some relief now that I can sleep on my side again. I am still tethered to a heart monitor for another 2 weeks to rule out any surgery induced A-fib. I have been released to return to work part time on October 31st for 4 weeks and then resume full time status on November 28th. I can resume driving on October 25th - yeah! I will see Dr. Roselli at Cleveland Clinic in early December for my 12 week post- op appointment.
That is all for now. I am keeping all of my HVJ friends in my thoughts and prayers who are awaiting surgery or in recovery. Take care and God bless! 🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻
Good morning family and friends! As of Tuesday I am 3 weeks post surgery. Each day I gain a bit more strength and energy but still tire easily which all of my HVJ brothers and sisters can all relate to. I am doing three 12 minute walks daily - a far cry from the 3-5 minutes right after surgery. My goal is to be doing three 15 minute walks per day by next Tuesday. Slow, but steady progress!
I am so blessed to have friends and family close by who have been stopping by with lunch and other goodies and to spend little time with me. You all know who you are - I appreciate you all so very much! Most of all, I am thankful for Ric and all he is doing to keep up with all the household chores that I am still not able to do. God is so good!
Tomorrow is my echocardiogram to see if the little bit of fluid that was still around my heart has resolved itself. I will get the results next Friday when I see my cardiologist.
That is all for now. For any of my HVJ friends who are preparing for surgery or in recovery - as always you are in my thoughts and prayers!
This is my 4th full day back home. Each day gets a little easier. I had my visit with the family doctor yesterday for an incision and vitals check. She was very pleased! She said my heart sounded awesome - absolutely no murmur! Another confirmation that my surgery was a success. I am scheduled for an echocardiogram on October 7 to be reviewed by my cardiologist at my appointment on October 13th! I am confident it will show the valve is working just great and that the little bit of fluid around the heart from surgery is gone. My heart rate is already down to 75 at rest from the high 90's and comes down a little each day as I do my walking regimen. I am struggling with some neck and shoulder pain and hoping some exercises will loosen things up along with some neck massages from Ric, my awesome hubby! I am thankful to my little walking buddies - Austin and Milo our 2 Pug mixes who follow me around the house on my daily walks and have not left my side since I got home! I thank God for guiding Dr. Roselli's hands during surgery and for all the other Doctors, nurses and medical staff who cared for me at Cleveland Clinic. Most of all I am thankful for my family, friends and HVJ family for the many prayers!
This is Denise finally back on line. I am so ready to go home! I miss my kids, grandkids and dogs. I have one more test today - an MRI which should tell them one way or the other whether I had a TIA on Friday. Typically, any damage does not show for 24 - 48 hours. I am so tired of laying around - just want to get on with my recovery exercises, walking, etc. - I have been a bit sidetracked with all of the extra testing. I am thankful there was a Cleveland Clinic hospital close to my sisters and they were able to get me here quickly on Friday night. Ric and I thank God for all the wonderful doctors, nurses, and other staff who have been so accommodating over the past 3 days. Hopefully, I will be released to go home tomorrow after the neurosurgeon, cardiac surgeon and cardiologist compare notes and decide it is safe for us to make the trip back to Dayton. Surprisingly, I have minimal pain at my incision site and have been doing quite well on just Tylenol and lidocaine pain patches since Friday. The sternum incision so far has not been near as painful as the thorecotemy incision in 2012. The staff at Hillcrest are impressed with how good my incision looks and how clear my lungs are for 12 days post surgery. Please keep the prayers going for good test results today and safe travels back home once I am released. That is all for now - will send an update once we know more. I thank God for all of you who are keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.❤️❤️❤️
Ric's update. Well, the road home is delayed a bit. We are enjoying a new admission at Hillcrest Hospital a suburban Cleveland Clinic facility. Denise had a couple of episodes of weakness in the arms and left leg. Better to be safe than sorry we are following the stroke protocol tests being performed. Negative so far, but she will spend 1-2 days here.
I am settling in to a recliner for the evening. All is stable right now.
I had a rough night last night - just couldn't find a comfortable position so did not sleep well at all. I felt better once I was up and able to freshen up and get dressed. The weather is cooperating nicely for my daily walks. I have been out 3 times today to walk, but am definitely not ready for any marathons! Hopefully each day gets a little better. One day at a time! I am missing Ric, but am in good hands with My sister Diana and her hubby Jeff. He will be back up here on Friday night and we should be heading back to Dayton on Saturday morning.! I can't wait to see our 2 fur babies Austin and Milo. Keeping all of you preparing for surgery or in recovery in my prayers. ❤️🙏🏻❤️
Dear Family and Friends:
I am at my sister's as of 6:30 p.m. yesterday. Things were a bit crazy and Ric had to head straight to Dayton to work a few days, so this is first time I have a chance to post. He will return on Friday after work and if my Friday follow-up at CC goes well we will be homeward bound on Saturday morning.. I still have some fluid around the heart, but the Lasix should take care of that. I will be glad when I am off all the extra meds and also when my appetite returns. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers.
In addition to my 4 sisters, our good friends Brenda & Keith came to visit as well as a visit from Lily He and her husband (surgery is tomorrow) - I hope to visit her when I come for my 10 day follow-up with Dr. Roselli to get clearance to go back. To Dayton. Keeping all of you in prayer as you prepare for surgery as well as those in recovery!🙏🏻❤️🙏🏻
I feel pretty good for 5 days post surgery. Most likely I will be discharged tomorrow if my oxygen levels levels behave themselves. I have been dropping to as low as 69 when I am sleeping Once I am up and moving it goes back up to the high nineties. I have fluid around my heart, which may be part of the problem. Hopefully between the lasix and another drug they should be able to get it under control.
Ric's Friday update. Very good day today. Has been up in the chair off and on today, walked a few times already. Has already put on a little lipstick and moisturizer, so that should give you and indication that the mend is on. Incision looks real good. Vitals all pretty normal, she even forgot about needing pain meds so we are not clock watching today for the next dose. Several tests done today, Surgeons staff reports her progress as above average for day 3. She has been keeping me busy getting things for her so her mind is focused on other things than pain. And of course all the well wishes, thoughts, prayers, and blessings from all of you HVJ friends and family are not hurting at all either! All for now.
Today there were the typically ups and downs of the day after. Most of the anesthesia has now worn off, so you solely rely on pain management to maintain an even keel. Many of the surgical hookups are now removed, which makes getting comfortable a bit easier. The lone setback today is a slow to rise blood pressure, so we are enjoying another night in ICU. BP has been better this evening with some treatment, so hopefully the morning will bring orders to move on to step down. It's still tough as recovery will be, but each day forward brings a bit brighter day. And so it goes.....
This progressing well with Denise. She seems to have had a pretty goodnight relatively speaking. More tubes due to come out this morning and perhaps on to step down this afternoon, so no abnormal issues to deal with. The fix was successful and confirmed the suspicion that scar tissue caused a kink in the leaflet, therefore the leak developed as her heart healed around the annuallas ring. This should not happen this time since none of that was disturbed. Hopeful.
Our three girls and youngest grandson prior to surgery
Ric's Post surgery Update
Journal posted on September 13, 2016
Surgery completed around 2 PM, will now close and go to ICU around 3 or so. We can see her about 4:30 PM. There was a fair amount of scarring to get through from the 2012 surgery which helped drag this along, but they took there time cleaning that up to get a good look at the task at hand. After harvesting a bit of the paracardiam (SP) to do repair work with, Dr. Roselli found a bit of tension around the posterior leaflet, where the repair in 2012 was made and there in lied the problem. Some scarring from that event caused the leaflet to kink a bit though opening up the leak. This is now corrected and supported with her own tissue, so repair not replacement has been completed again! Very thankful for that. Now the road back and healing begins for the next several weeks. Will post again once I know more.
Hello family and friends:
I had my final test this morning which went well once they found a vein that would cooperate for the IV. Apparently mine have all gone into hiding. Dr Roselli met with us at 11:30 and said my valve has a significant leak and surgery will be first thing in the morning at 7:00 - arrival time is 5:15. No problem there - I have been awake at 3:00 every morning since we got here with shortness of breath. I am spiritually and emotionally ready for this. I know the Lord will see me through. I am looking forward to feeling good again once I get through the recovery period and cardiac rehab. I can feel all of your prayers. The next post you see will be from Ric giving you updates on me during and after surgery. From prep to closure it will be a 4-6 hour surgery. Thanks again for all the support and prayers! 😍❤️😍
Dr. Jellis's office called and has scheduled me for one more test on Monday- ugh! Apparently, whoever read the results of the surface Echo that was done on Thursday interpreted the results to be moderate, not moderately-severe. She is puzzled because that does not jive with the symptoms I am having (constant fatigue, shortness of breath and dizzy episodes). The test is another TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram) which I just had done in Dayton in June that started me on this journey. Needless to say this is not a test I really want to repeat! It will, however, get a more precise picture of the valve than the surface echo, so I will endure!. Dr. Roselli will have the results when I meet with him later Monday morning. More later.....
Ric here for Denise. The Heath Cath this morning was performed thru the wrist, so there will not be a repeat of the pseudo-anerysm of 4 years ago in the groin. Good news there, but since the arm cannot lift for the next week the blow dryer and flat iron are history for now! Resting comfortably for the next few hours then we will be done until Monday.
We got testing underway at 8:00 and all went well until the lab work- up. My tiny veins did not want to cooperate - 3rd stick was a charm once the head of the lab took over - if this is the worst that happens on this second go round with valve surgery I am good with that! The EKG, CT Scan Chest X-ray and Echocardiogram all went well. The cardiologist, Dr. Christine Jellis who did my pre-surgery physical was wonderful and really took her time answering all my questions. She had nothing but praise for Dr. Roselli. We are headed back to a hotel for an afternoon nap then out to dinner with my sister and her husband. Stay tuned for testing day 2 update tomorrow.
It doesn't seem possible that surgery is just 9 days away! My last day at work was Friday. I received a lot of hugs and promises of prayers from many of my co-workers throughout the week. I am so blessed to work with such caring people.
Friday night we had dinner with our oldest daughter and her family. It was hard to say goodbye to my older 2 older grandsons, but we promised to FaceTime with them from the clinic. Little Micah will be with his mama at the clinic for my surgery so my little "heart buddy" and I will have some time for cuddling.
This afternoon we met with Fr. Ethan at our church where I received the sacrament of the sick. He annointed me and prayed for me, the surgeon and the nurses who will be caring for me. It was very comforting and an affirmation that the Lord will see me through this.
Next stop was dinner with our son and his family. More goodbye hugs and kisses from our 2 granddaughters with the promise to FaceTime with them from the clinic.
The next 3 days I will spend in preparation for our trek to Cleveland on Wednesday. In the meantime I will keep all of you preparing for or recovering from surgery in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️
My surgery is 2 weeks away and I am surprisingly calm and just ready to be on the other side of this mountain. I know God will see me through this because he saw me through the first one.
On a recent trip to the library someone left a magnetic bookmark in one of the books. It is in the shape of a cross. On one side it says "Give Thanks" and the other side says "If God brings you to it He will bring you through it". Wow! I was meant to pick that book because I needed the message on the bookmark!
My "Heart Sister" Connie Taylor a 2012 valve replacement patient who I met on this blog and then visited at Cleveland Clinic when she had her surgery used that very saying in her story when she started her journey. She reminded me of this when we had dinner together last week. You see we live just 50 miles apart and would not have met but for this blog! We meet for dinner every few months with our spouses. We have forged a wonderful friendship and bond as heart sisters.
My last day at work is Friday which gives me till Wednesday to get ready for our trip to Cleveland for pre op testing on the 8th and 9th and appointment with Dr. Roselli on the 12th & surgery on the 13th. it will be here before we know it.
Well that's all for now - need to be up early for work tomorrow! My thoughts and prayers are with those of you in recovery and those getting ready for surgery. Take care everyone.❤️
This is Micah who we dubbed Mighty Micah after his surgery!
Journal posted on August 19, 2016
Hello HVJ Friends: All of my pre-op appointments are scheduled and in a few weeks we will be heading to Cleveland for my second go round with mitral valve repair. I am optimistic that I will have a successful outcome. I am a bit nervous about the sternum incision but if my little grandson Micah can go through OHS at just 5 days old - so can his Grammy! He was born in April with TGA (transposition of the great arteries) and now at 4 1/2 months old is a thriving, happy baby. I had a little talk with him recently and told him that he and Grammy will have matching scars! He is my inspiration and will be at CC with the rest of my family on September 13th when I have my surgery. I know God will see me through the next few weeks and help me through the anxiety that we all go through prior to OHS. I appreciate all the prayers and support from all of you.