As I was replying to a post regarding this wonderful Community, I could help to think of this lovely Cheerful Song by Ben Lee called "We're All In This Together" (below); which reminds me and us all on here that we're not alone on our Heart Journies, there's someone else who is perhaps on the other side of the World going through these same steps of our Journey too, and thanks to this wonderful Community Adam Pick has created we will always have the support of others who understand how we feel and what we're going through. So please remember you're never alone and we're all in this together 😁💞💓 Ps. I also found an American based video to this song too.
I know I haven't been updated much on here, as my Heart Health had been going really well without any bumps along the way since my 2nd OHS in 2016, that is until now in 2019. Over this past week I have been in very sick in Hospital 🏥 I started to experience severe chest pains and heaviness on my chest when I woke on the weekend. At first I thought it could be wind trapped/reflux, but after trying so many self treatment options including pain relief, the pain still wouldn't go away. I began to feel out of breathe especially walking short distance, therefore I was rushed up to my local Hospital 🏥 (and I urge all who have chest pain to do - please don't wait, it could ve cery serious problem that needs resolving within moments) to the Emergency Department. I underwent so many test to make sure there was no blood clot or heart attacks - thank goodness that was clear. I had another Echo done, ECGs, hooked up 24/7 haltomonitor (the neck ECG we all given for OHS). The brilliant Cardiologist went through all and made contact with my Specialist Team. He explained to me my Surgeon did a really great job at my Aunoplasty Ring in my Mitral Valve so that it should last me years to come, which is a relief 😌 However a previously repaired hole done twice has started to open up, my left Atriun is enlarged, my Mitral Valve is still leaking abit (which I already knew from previous Echos), but now my Tricuspid Valve is leaking! I was wondering if any of you out there have 2 leaky Valves at the same time and how'd they go about Surgery particularly with 2 Mechanical Valves (is that even possible?). At this stage it's mild regurgitation so I will be monitored and go for an Echo with my Specialist in a few months time. What is causing this pain, especially when laying on one side currently is I have Costochondritis - Inflammation of the Chest Cartilage around the Sternum. Has anyone had this before? It could take months to recover and caused by infection or just over doing it (which I have been and now need to listen to the Doctors orders to rest!!). I'm on Anti-Inflammatories, pain relief medication and sickness prevention tablets. This current condition of mine makes it hard to breathe normally and move and lay (so I still use my heart chest pillow) - makes ot feel like I've just had Open Heart Surgery on my Chest again. Perhaps some may know ways in which help?
Wishing everyone thr best for their upcoming Surgeries and Heart Journies 🙏❤️
This Febuary in Australia is known as Heartkid Month, it's a time where we raise awareness and much needed funds for young children going through Heart Surgery and those precious children who live everyday with Heart Disease. Please feel free to donate directely to the Heartkids Organisation through their website below, because together we can help our future generations with their Heart Journey too. <3
Today is the shortest day of the year, 21st of June. This time 7 years ago (in 2011) I underwent my first Open-Heart Surgery. I can't believe where the time has gone! Apart from catching the Winter sickness going around everywhere currently, I'm quite well and eternally grateful to my Surgical Care Team. I wish all those beginning to undergo their heart journey and those who have already started their heart journey well and send my many prayers. I know it's hard taking the first step, especially emotionally but with all these wonderfully supportive community members I've met along the way, I wouldn't change taking that first step onto this continuous journey for anything in this world. Life is such a precious gift and so are these beautiful friendships made along the way. I wish I'd known about this supportive community when I was going through my first OHS 💞
What a journey these past two years have been since undergoing my 2nd re-repair and Open Heart Surgery. I've been so lucky to share my journey with you so far :) I've competed and completed three marathon running races as well as cycled over 100km for my Charity cycling challenge. I'm still going really well, maintaining an active life every single day. I'm living proof that there is a healthy life waiting for you after major Heart Surgery, so please have faith even when times are so incredibly hard and you just feel like giving up. I am here for you and wishing you all the very best on your Heart Journey too.
As the wonderful Adam Pick would say, Keep On Ticking <3
Ps. I have posted a few photos below of when I finished my running races towards the end of last year :-D
Emily Rowley is riding in the Great Cycle Challenge this October to fight kids' cancer! Please sponsor Emily and show your support to help these kids beat this terrible disease. CLICK to view Emily's fundraising page!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter. 🐰🍫
I hope you all enjoy loads of yummy chocolates and good company, while reflecting on the true meaning of Easter and giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. I hope you all have a safe break, taking care. I am thinking of our Heart Brothers and Sister who are going through surgery over this Easter period.
On Friday I had my Cardiologist Consultation, ECG and Echo. I thought I would give an update how it went, I haven't been on here for awhile.
•My Heart function has improved and going really well.
•Continue light exercise (ie. walking) not strenous (physical sport) exercise.
•Unsure if my Sternum has healed together fully yet, my Cardiologist doesn't want to expose me to mlre radiation since young female.
•Go back in 6 months time.
Here is living proof that your health/heart can improve after Heart Surgery, makes it all worth while. I hope you all are keeping well and all your hearts/health improve alot too. 💓
My amazing Cardiothorasic Surgeon was a finalist in this year's Australian Woman of the Year (for NSW). She is a wonderful woman and Surgeon. I have been very blessed to have my heart fixed by her with so much care. She dedicated a lot of her time to make sure my Operation and recovery went smoothly. Her Personal Assistant, Donna is also a very wonderful, caring person who went through all my concern pre-op, reassuring me - I spent a lot of time talking with Donna. Dr Emily Kate Granger is a true inspiration and a great role model for many women, including myself.
This is Dr Emily Granger, a trailblazing Cardiothoracic and Heart Lung Transplant surgeon who's performed over 1,400 cardiothoracic surgeries and over 100 heart and lung transplants. She's also part...
This day last year, Thursday 28th of January 2016, I underwent my 2nd major Open-Heart Surgery. I am enternally grateful to all of my Surgical Team - without them and their excellent work (for around 10 hours) on my body, I would not be here today. I am incrediably thankful to my supportive Family, Friends, Pastoral Care Team, Heart💙Brothers, Heart💜Sisters and Adam Pick who created this wonderful site, where I have made ever lasting friendships in this supportive and caring community. 💞
Instead of being the patient, I am currently the visitor with a close relative of mine in Hospital. I can see how far I have come and learnt in this last year. Although like alot of you I have times of tiredness and shortness of breath, but there are days when I feel I can take on the world.
I wish for a safe journey and smooth recovery back to good health for you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, in particular those facing upcoming Heart Surgery and those currently going through it. It's a long journey, but know there is always hope and kind hearted people on here to listen and give out very useful advice on their experiences. 💕
Happy Australia Day! I hope my fellow Aussies (including those newly Australian Citizens) have enjoyed celebrating all the great things we have here in Australia and all the great past+present Australian inventions. Congradulations to the much deserved receiptant of Australian Of The Year Award for 2017 ~ Professor Alan Mackay-Sim who is a Biomedical Scientist contributing over 20 years in improving Medicine and searching for cures. He has treated people with spinal cord injuries, helping them gain mobility to walk again. There are so many more people who have contributed so much to our society and are equally as deserving to celebrate their efforts to. I am proud to be an Australian.
Wishing all my Heart Brothers & Sisters a very happy, safe, joyful and healthy new year in 2017 and beyond. For some of you, your heart journey is just beginning, others have gone through alot with your heart surgeries and come out on the other side with a mended heart. However as Heart Patients our journey never stops. For me I am incredibly grateful for all the support I have received from this wonderful community, with my own Open-Heart Surgery earlier in 2016. A big Thank You to Adam Pick for creating a wonderful place we can go to connect with others who have been or going through the same/similar time in our lives. 💕 May you all be blessed with good health.
It's sad to hear of George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou) who passed away on Christmas Day aged 53 (25.06.1963-25.12.2016) due to Heart Failure. He produced and sang wonderful music, one of my favourites is 'Careless Whisper'. He will be missed, but not forgotten. May he rest in peace knowing he has helped others through out his life. 🎼
Wishing all my Heart Brothers, Heart Sister and your Families a very Merry Christmas 🎄 I hope it is filled with loads of joy, love, laughter, peace and wonderful happy memories to cherish in years to come. 🎅🏼☃ Stay safe over this festive season xoxo. May God Bless you all 🙏🏼
After waiting for about a month, I have recieved my CT Scan Results. My Surgeon explained how she could see new bone formation/growth which means my Sternum is healing better than last time (after my first OHS there was a gap). Good news looks like she won't need to Operation to remove Sternum wires & replace with plates. I need at least another 6 months for my Sternum to heal more, particularly up top. I will contiue to experience clicking and pain as my Sternum heals and due to peck muscles rubbing on Sternum wall. I am allowed to take Aspirin and Iburprofen for my pain, headaches & migraines now. ☺
I wishing all people with upcoming Heart Surgeries and for those of us on our roads to recovery. A shout out to Jan from WA in Australia, sending my prayers for your surgery in early September. 💞
At My Brother's Wedding
Saturday, 25th of June 2016.
5 Year Anniversary:
Journal posted on June 21, 2016
Today, 21st of June is the shortest day of the year and is also the day I had my first Open-Heart Surgery five years ago (in 2011). I wish I knew about this wonderful heart community back then and had Adam's book to read to of helped me prepare. Does anybody have their own heart Anniversary coming up? ☺
These past two weeks have been really busy for me, as I'm sure they have for alot of people with undergoing and preparing for Surgeries and others affected by these Storms. May heart goes out to you.
•ECG=Heart in rhytm; Echo=Looks well but Valve quite snug & leaflets don't move as freely proir to repairs; Blood Test=Level are good inc Iron+Hemogolbin thanks to transfusions (doesn't explain my fatigue).
•Try to limit fluid+salt intake as that will improve the blood flow around the heart and through the body.
•Will follow up with him and have more testing.
It was good to see my Surgeon and the gift I gave her proudly displayed in her brand new office room.
She told me that there was a gap in my Sternum bone from my first Open-Heart Surgery and that fibrous tissue tried joining not my bone. We discussed about removing my Sternum wires and placing plates in (as my Sternum cracks a lot) through more surgery opening me up back again. I need to go for a CT Scan soon and not lift anything heavy.
My heart goes out to those who have been affected by the recent storms and floods. Many parts of not only Australia but worldwide have since been declared natural disaster zones. I send my prayers for the many families who have lost loved ones and will need to rebuild their houses and lives. Please stay safe, keeping high and dry - whether resting up from heart surgery or preparing for upcoming heart surgery. My thoughts are also with those who have upcoming surgeries in our heart community, hoping you are able to make it safely to your Operation in time. Take care especially in this weather. 🙏🏻
Today all across Australia places held Morning Tea Event to raise valuable funds to the Cancer Council Australia. It is great to see money raised goes directly to Cancer research for finding a cure & prevention and treatment programs for patients & their families.
So lets raise a cup of tea with a yummy slice of cake 🍰 to help beat Cancer. Love to hear what types of tea you enjoy and do other places celebrate Morning Tea Events for charity?
I was surprised to recently receive a letter from Edwards Life Science in the USA.
It has my Patient Card (to keep on me) attached for having the Annuloplasty Ring inside of my heart. Does anyone else have this card and do they give you new cards every so often such as when it falls apart?
I would like to wish all the Mums, Nans and all the special women in our lives a very Happy Mother's Day. For those Mums who are going through Heart Surgery, take the time to relax and know you are doing wonderful job and your family will be waiting by your side when you wake up on the recovery side, happy to see you. You gave us life :)
This week is Heart Week. Every year in the first week of May from the 01 May - 07 May across Australia we place emphasis on caring for our hearts. This year calls for focus on Cardiac Rehabilitation after suffering Heart Failure. The lovely Nurse at my Cardiac Rehab gave us lavender scented hearts to wear. Our Hospitals and Health Care Services run free programs and provide Cardiac Services such as Check-Ups for our heart to make sure they are in the best shape they can be. Never place your heart problems second and take care of yourself and loved ones. I would like to wish everyone going through Heart Surgery well in their Operation and Post-Operation recovery, may we all have happy and healthy hearts <3
As Dawn Services (where the last post is play while we pay our respects with a one minute silence) and Marches are held and ANZAC Biscuits are baked across my country and across the world;
Let us prayer for our falling Australian and New Zealand Soldiers who served and died for our countries,
In Gallipoli during the World War 1 1914–1918,
And for their families who have been there to support our Soldiers and our countries,
For they too have battled through.
For in War may there be Peace,
In darkness may there always be a ray of light,
And hope never far away.
~Lest We Forget~
In society we continue to have battles, including those who have or are going through a traumatic time.
Including people in our heart community who go through battles to achieve better health.
They too deserve our support and prayers.
May each of us with upcoming surgeries find Peace and those gone before be at Peace.
Let us not forget you or your families and our hero Surgeons who we place our faith in & our lives in their hands.
Me drinking a Blood Orange & Mandarin Frappe at the Cafe where all the Hospital Staff get their morning coffee fix from :)
In Sydney before my Appointment.
(Taken on 18/04/2016)
Post Op: Visit to my Cardiologist
Journal posted on April 19, 2016
Yesterday I had my follow-up consultation with my new Cardiologist. Long day, especially getting up early to travel far but well worth it! There I had an ECG reading and full echocardiogram done; the results were positive. 😊 However after listening to my heart and with heart palpitations I will need to continue with my anticoagulants. My resting heart rate was high.
•I need a Holter Monitor on checking for A-Fib. Once the result come back, he will talk to me over the phone.
•I need to visit him before I visit my Surgeon again for further updated tested which the results will be sent to my Surgeon.
•I will need to continue having my INR checked regularly by my local Doctor.
I was told each year that my valve lasts is a bonus.
I had a lovely lunch & afternoon tea then went to the Hospital Chapel where I talked with one of my lovely Pastoral Care Worker.
I probably should get a flu shot especially with my low immune system and the flu going around.
Russia has recently been making headlines for their advances in medicine. Specifically developing a full Carbon Valve to be used on Valve Replacement Patients. As time goes on many more advances and greater knowledge will continue. The first 5 mins shows this. I found it interesting how students learn to become Surgeons by using stimulating manikin bodies.
I would like to extended a wish to all my Heart Brothers & Sisters and their families. May you have a wonderful Easter and a very safe Easter break. Please take care out there especially on the roads over this Holiday period. As we reflect back to the time of Jesus' Resurrection and what these past events mean to each one of us. To all of our Heart Community who are currently undergoing Heart Surgery or facing upcoming surgery, I pray for a smooth operation and recovery for you. May God give you and your families the greatest blessing 🙇 🙏
This past week has been very busy and I'm very exhausted!
I started Cardiac Rehab last Tuesday. I have started attending one day a week but I am going to try go two days a week. Not only being the youngest but also being the only female made it feel abit daunting, but they provide support there. We have information sessions and exercise classes.
My INR is really good, it's stable at 2.5 which I am happy about. Tomorrow I will have my Liver and Iron checked again.
I had a follow-up Appointment with my Surgeon and a live Echo done.
~ At the time of my Op they were in the middle of performing 25 Heart Transplants in 30 days!
~ My Mitral Valve leaflets are thickened but that's to be expected.
~ I am continuing with Warfarin.
~ She could hear a few extra Heartbeats which hope to settle down, I will see her in 3 months’ time.
~ My Sternum does click but is not unstable and healing up. Means no swimming, fast pace walking or lifting more than 5kg for 6-12 months.
~ My Mitral Valve won't last forever and will need replacing through another Open-Heart Surgery in the future. Hoping it will last me 10 years or more.
I gave her a thank you present which she loved :)
I ran into my Cardiologist I had in Hospital, he is now going to be my ongoing Cardiologist and I have an Appointment (+full ECG) with him in April.
Admission to Cardiac Ward. Me getting ready for my second Open-Heart Surgery.
Rest In Peace 💟
Journal posted on March 10, 2016
It is in great sadness to announce the death of Australian Singer & Actor Jon English and Former US First Lady Nancy Reagan, both due to heart failure.
Born in 1949, Jon English passed away last night after undergoing Heart Surgery to try repair an Aortic Aneurysm. The surgery was successful, however there was post-operative complications that arose. He was aged 66.
Nancy Reagan passed away recently too, at the age of 94 from heart failure.
Their legacy and influence shall live on for years to come.
May they and all those before who have passed (including ones whose hearts have gave way) find peace.
I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since my Open-Heart Surgery. Next week (week 7) I will be starting Cardiac Rehab and have a follow-up Appointment with my Surgeon. I seen my Surgeon on the News last night talking about something un-heart related-I couldn't believe it!!! I'm looking forward to having another lovely massage done this weekend :) I visited my Doctor yesterday-my INR levels have dropped so my dosage has changed. I've been going okay, some days more tired than others, just letting mother nature take it's healing course.
I visited my Doctor's today and had my INR level checked, which dropped from 3.1 down to 1.9 being too low. My dosage has been changed and I will remain on it until I see my Surgeon (what she says)-rather be on the safe side! The Nurse suggested an exercise group for heart patients run by a guy who went through Open-Heart Surgery.
I later had my Cardiac Pre-Assessment at my nearest Hospital. I waited there for ages with a bunch of other recent patients (I had a lovely chat too), need better system in place. The Nurse and Physiotherapist (her last day) were lovely to me. They went through my medical condition, a heart foundation book we were given, what happens in rehab, any questions we have, physical 6 mins walk, physical exam to check the heart and Sternum. I will be starting in 2 weeks, choosing the later class. Starting off once a week (exercise & education where each week is a different Speaker) then twice a week for 8 weeks or more if I needed. The people I met there hadn't had full Open-Heart Surgery like me, I was the youngest too.