It is one year ago today that I had my mitral valve surgery. As with the previous post, I feel fine. So good that my cardiologist doesn't want to see me for a year. Basically everything is back to normal. First off, I want to thank Dr. Adams at Mt Sinai in NYC for doing such a excellent job. His expertise and demeanor are wonderful. I also want to thank all of you who read my posts, gave me such support to help me through a very stressful time in my life. Lastly, let me personally give a big thank you to Adam Pick for writing the "book" and establishing this journal site and the blog site. It is such a good source of information and support for all of us who have gone through our surgeries or waiting for the big day. Thanks to all.
Well, 5 months ago today and at about this time I was being wheeled out of ICU to the telemetry floor and not remembering awhole lot. 5 months later, I'm back at work full time with no restrictions, starting my usual second job as a ferry captain and feeling pretty good. Just some slight twinges in my chest every once in awhile ( mainly at the hospital when dealing numerous call outs and no way to replace the missing staff ). Good thing is that I have had no palpitations at all. Still taking an ACE Inhibitor and Plavix which I am assuming I will take for quite awhile. The only downside is that I seem to be prone to nosebleeds since I started the Plavix, a small price to pay. Anyway, I'm glad I did the surgery as I do feel alot better that before and I can keep up with kids.
It is now 3 months today since my mital valve repair and maze procedure. I went to my cardiologist today for an echocardigram which was clean, no regurgitation at all. EKG is totally normal, B/P totally normal with no Afib. Thank God because he took me off Coumadin starting today. Now on Plavix and a tiny dose of Lisinopril only. So I am able to go back to work tommorrow with no restrictions at all. The hospital wouldn't let me back with any kind of restrictions to duty. As for the near syncopal episodes in December, they never happened again so I'm not going to worry. I was able to be out for 3 months and I'm glad I was because this whole saga of pre-op, surgery and recovery takes alot out you. This not something that you can or should rush. As for rehab, the closest place was over an hour away so I used chasing my 3 year old around the house, yard, store, etc as my rehab. He really worked me.
Still plugging away and feeling better all the time though I seemed to have had a small set back. I had 3 bouts of near syncopal (diizziness and nearly passing out) episodes over the last 2 weeks. My cardiologist put a 24 hour monitor on, which of course, showed nothing since I didn't feel dizzy while I had it on so now I am wearing an event monitor for the next 30 days. Hopefully, it is nothing but still it is disconcerting. Anyway, I'm cleared by the surgeon to return back to work on 1/23/10 and I am looking forward to that (so is my wife as I am driving her nuts). Anyway enough about me, I want to wish everyone a very wonderful and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We all have so much to be thankful for.
I just came back from my follow-up visit with my surgeon, Dr. Adams. They are very happy with my progress to date. My incision is totally clean. Both the NP and the MD could hear no evidence of regurgitation at all. The EKG was a sinus rhythm with no irregular beats. I have had no papitations since my surgery (they also did a MAZE procedure which seems to have worked). I am walking approximately 4 miles per day. They increased the amount that I can lift from 10 lbs to 20 lbs. Conor, my 3 year old, is my cardiac rehab. The doctors said he is probably the best thing for me as he keeps me going. Unfortunately, I still have another 6 weeks before they will clear me to go back to work with no restrictions as they don't consider the sternum completely healed until 12 weeks after surgery. Since I really don't want to go through the surgery again, I will abide by their directions. Meds have shrinking to Lisinopril 2.5 mg daily and Coumadin 7.5 mg daily. If I stay in Normal Sinus rhythm for 6 more weeks, bye-bye to the Coumadin. Since I have cut my fingers twice and it took over an hour to finally stop the bleeding, I won't miss it.
Well, it was 3 weeks ago today that I had my surgery and I thought I'd give an update as to my progress. The discharge instructions from the hospital said no driving for 3-4 weeks. Well it is 3 weeks today and you know what I headed for this AM. Took the kids for haircuts, it is a 15 min ride and it went well. It is a little stiff to look both ways but it was great to be able to drive again. My 3 year old has a fit and carrys on when he gets his hair cut so you have to hold and fight with him. After he dropped to the floor to protest, I decided he can have long hair for awhile longer. As far as walking, I'm up to about 1 hour and 15 mins at a clip. I can only manage 1 walk per day because of time. I get my other exercise chasing after the kids and taking care of them. I've decided that they probably have helped me more in my recovery as they are alot of work. At times I do feel that they are out to kill me though. Lastly, the only down sides is the still recurring back pain but even that is not as bad as it once was. The other is the weekly INR check, I'll be glad once I'm off the Coumadin as the Dr's seem to think that I will be. I hope that this helps any of you that are either thinking about heart surgery or have just gone through it, so you have an idea that it does get better.
Well, I had my first visit to the cardiologist yesterday since leaving the hospital 10 days ago. He is very pleased with my progress and didn't expect me to be in as good a shape as I am. He is very pleased with my walking and amount of walking I'm doing as he says this got rid of the pleural effusion and edema. He even stopped the Lasix early as he says I don't need it. Everybody at work (his office is in the hospital that I work at) complimented me on my color, apparently I was really gray prior to surgery. I've given my plastic friend, the incentive spriometer, to my kids as I don't need it and they love it. Go figure. Still take the occaisional Motrin or Tylenol as my back hurts in the evening but that is probably from me overdoing it but I want to get back to "normal" as quick as possible. The thing I miss now is not being able to drive yet. I am looking forward to that. But to sum it up, I feel so much better.
Well, it is now a week that I have been home now. Still feel a bit battered and bruised but generally okay. I'm down to either taking Tylenol or Motrin 1 or 2 times per day for pain which I find is in my back towards the end of the day. I've been lucky because I've had no incisional pain at all. I'm walking about 40 mins at clip down to the bay and have found I feel better after the exercise. Yesterday was the big hurdle for me because my wife had to work at night and I had to take care of the kids. Adam, my 8 year old, was no problem but Conor, my 3 year old, put me through my paces. He will probably cause me to heal faster because of the work outs. I only thing I find annoying is bouts of "breathlessness", where I can't seem to get my breath or cough. I basically have to stop everything I'm doing and and wait for it to pass. Has anybody else had similiar episodes?
Well good lord, it is good to be home. I got in from Mt. Sinai last night extremely tired but the heart is good from what I'm told. I do know now what it means to be hit by a truck, WOW..... My biggest problem is the tiredness but I am trying probably do too much. I have a new plastic friend, my incentive spirometer, anybody who is going in will really appreciate what that thing can do. It really saves alot of pain once you over the 2 days or so. Thanks for everybody's wishes and prayers, more in a few days.
Well it is 5 days to go until my surgery. Yesterday I drove the 2 hours into NYC for the pre-surgical testing, including cath, at Mt. Sinai. I've transferred many people over the years from the small community hospital where I work to much larger hospitals for caths and have done the "conscious sedation" procedure for others so I sort of knew what to expect. Fortunately, the cath was clean so no added by-pass! Dr. Adams, my surgeon, does the TEE in the OR just prior to the surgery. I'm glad I'll be out for that. Like I have said prior, it the recovery that has me the most nervous and anxious. It is a big unknown for me but after my 2 kids came running and screaming "Daddy's home" when I got home from the pre-surgical testing, I think it will be all right.
Hi everyone. It seems like everything is coming together for my mitral valve repair on 10/21. I met with Dr. Adams at Mt. Sinai in NYC a couple of weeks ago. A very nice and understanding man who answered all of mine and my wife's questions very patiently and throughly. Today, I received the instructions for the pre surgical testing, cardiac cath and surgery from Dr. Adams office which kind of brings it home that I'm really going to have it done. I don't quite understand the insurance company's reasoning though when denying a CT Angio versus a cardiac cath. The CT is 1/10 the cost and less invasive but they will only approve the cath. Go figure. My thoughts and prayers go out to Cheryl in Canada who goes in tomorrow.
Hi everyone. If you had told me at the beginning of last month that I would be writing my story in website concerning heart valves, I would have said you were crazy. Anyway, in early August I began to experience slight shortness of breath and intermittent bouts of irregular heartbeats. Being an RN, I just figured that it was the stress of 2 small children (3&8) and almost 20 years of working nights in a hospital ER and supervision. Boy, was I wrong. Anyway to make a long story short, I'm scheduled for Mitral Valve repair on 10/21/09. I've read Mr. Pick's book and from experience I know what to expect from the hospital routine and surgery, but what I'm most nervous about is afterwards in dealing with the kids and being home. Any thought?