It was three months this past Tuesday since my AVR. I have been feeling great for the most part. I had a problem with high blood pressure for a couple of weeks and that was resolved by continuing a med that the cardiologist eliminated previously.
I am in the thirteenth week of cardio rehab and have been progressing some. I go three times a week for one hour each. I exercise for twenty minutes on the recumbent bike at level 5, then twenty minutes on the treadmill set at 3.2 (mph?), usually getting about 1-1/2 miles distance. I then finish out my session with weights, 8 pound dumbbells. The only problem I experience during the workout is cramps in both calves, especially on the treadmill.
I am still following the posts from my heart brothers and sisters, even if I don’t post a lot. Prayers and blessings to all those preparing for upcoming surgeries.
I am three weeks into recovery. All is going pretty good and I feel better each new day. I do need to increase my walking and start building my strength back. Anyway today I got a letter in the mail from Edwards Lifesciences all about my valve. I did not even know that is who manufactured my valve! It was fantastic reading and they had some great pictures of my Carpentier-Edwards Magna Ease valve model 3300TFX. One thing I did not know is these valves are constructed on a titanium alloy metal frame. The leaflets are bovine (maybe black angus?). Another interesting fact is the study that show these valves lasting 20 years. I wonder if that is the warranty period? If my valve fails within the 20 year period, do they replace free under warranty? LOL
February 5 2017.....6 days in ICU and finally in stepdown.
Two Weeks of Recovery
Journal posted on February 14, 2017
I have been recovering for two weeks now and everything is going great. I notice improvement everyday! I am up and walking about, sometimes I get winded, but that too is improving. I had my first post op cardiologist visit and he says everything is going well considering the complicated surgery I had. He did have to adjust my Afib meds and the Coumadin (temporary). I am feeling blessed that all is going well. :)
I had a very successful heart valve surgery free. Doctor Hamm did not have to replace the mitral valve. He only did an AVR and Myectomy. Praise be to God.
Visit with the heart surgeon
Journal posted on January 27, 2017
My wife and I met with Dr. Hamm this morning. He seem to be very personable and very professional at the same time. He showed us the echo videos from Wednesdays TEE, which showed the heart wall thickened and touching the Mitral valve, preventing it from functioning properly. He told us he would have to shave a good piece of that off and hopefully that would solve the Mitral valve problem. He will replace the Aortic valve with a bovine tissue valve, then take me off heart/lung machine to see if the problem with Mitral valve is resolved. If resolved then he will finish the procedure as planned, if not then he will resume the heart/lung support and replace the Mitral valve with a mechanical one. At that point my mind was thoroughly blown!
Wow this is my arteries! I think my cardiologist missed his calling, he should have been an artist! lol ;)
Long Day, Good Results (mostly)
Journal posted on January 26, 2017
Good news is the cardiologist says no bypasses are needed. Not so good news is the wall of my ventricle chamber has thickened, causing my mitral valve to regurgitate due to some unusual pressure created by said wall? (got to love doc speak). They tell me this will need to be shaved?
I meet with the Dr. Hamm (the surgeon) in the morning, maybe he can clarify what is to take place. He told my Cardiologists the surgery will be Tuesday morning.
My Cardiologist called me this morning and informed me the results of my recent echo shows the aortic valve is closed so much that it has created pressure in the lower chamber that is effecting the mitral valves operation. I got the impression the tests did not show enough and he is now adding a "TEE" to the tests this Wednesday. He says I will be knocked out for the TEE then when I wake he will do the heart cath. Sounds like a day of sleepiness and hopefully no pain.
I had an appointment with my cardiologist today. He told me what I already knew. It is time to get things in motion for the surgery. I am getting another echo tomorrow. He wanted to do a heart cath on Wednesday, but I have to be off some of my diabetes meds for at least 48 hours beforehand. He decided to wait until the next Wednesday. The next step will be meeting with the heart surgeon and scheduling. All that information at once is enough to make my heart skip a beat!
I have read in a couple of journals about choosing hospitals and surgeons such as Florida hospital and Cleveland Clinic. Naturally I would like the best surgeon in the world to perform my surgery, but with my insurance (Tricare) that may be improbable. Anyone else have this problem? Anyone else use Tricare?