Finished pre-op today, and aoritic valve replacement surgery scheduled tomorrow at 8 am.
Not very nervous yet. Maybe it's because of a weird kind of denial. Or maybe I rationally balanced the benefits and risks and decided the best course was to remain calm and take what comes. Well, that doesn't sound like me. Probably it's a weird kind of denial.
Right now not too worried about major complications. Only a 1-2% chance according to my surgeon. I'm at good hospital with an experience surgeon, and aside from the aortic stenosis I'm very healthy. The fear of major complications will probably grow this evening and tomorrow morning. But I think I've made my peace spiritually. The support from friends and people writing to my journal have helped a lot.
What most concerns me is what happens if everything goes right. After I get into the operating room, from my perspective in an instant I'll go from being scared out of my mind but feeling physically good and fit and strong to being a complete invalid with lots of pain and discomfort. Yikes.
Two days until surgery. Had good talk with the surgeon's nurse yesterday. I had begun to wonder again if I really needed surgery now, if the risks outweighed the benefits since I seem to be asymptomatic.I still feel great and was exercising strenuously with no problem before my cardiac catheter test in mid-July. Still walk about two miles a day.
She assured me Dr. Daon had considered the balance of benefits and risk before recommending surgery. Of course I had two other opinions favoring surgery, and the catheter was unable to cross my aortic valve during the test. On top of all that, I'm beginning to think I do have a symptom -- shortness of breath.
Anyway, I accept that surgery is needed , which makes it easier.
Otherwise, I'm doing fine. In fact kind of worried I'm not nervous yet. Good not to waste time before surgery paralysed by fear. But I do need to face the risks and the pain and weakness I'll have in two days. And I think it may really hit me hard tomorrow or Monday.
I freaked out pretty good last summer when It became obvious I'd need aortic valve replacement soon. But lately just been a couple of times when I was laying in bed and got a sinking feeling about the pain, discomfort and weakness I will have next week.
One week from now I should be in the ICU after my aortic valve replacement. I'd like to get some practical advice. Adam Pick advises valve patients to bring pillow, robe, toothbrush and toothpaste, slippers, Pajamas, loose-fitting clothes, Hearos ear plugs, iPod, mobile phone and camera.
Anything that you would add? And is there anything that makes you think, "I wish I'd known that" or "I'm glad I knew that?"
One thing that worries me is the breathing tube. Sounds like a very bad experience. What was your experience and how did you handle it? Thank you very much for the help.
Wow. I thought that during the holiday season I might get three or four responses from people outside my family and friends before my surgery Jan. 10. But since the first entry yesterday I already have three thoughtful and helpful messages. Much appreciateed.
Hello. I know people don't have a lot of time over the holidays, but I would appreciate some advice, tips and support before my aortic valve replacement in two weeks.
Strangely, I'm not concerned about it yet. I freaked out quite a bit a few months ago when I realized I'd need open heart surgery, but now it's pretty much business as usual. That will change, and I'm going to need advice and support to get through this.
I have Adam Pick's book so I have an idea of what to expect and what to do to prepare. I would like to find out about other people's experience.
I will have a mini-sternotomy at the University of Kansas Hospital. The surgeion is Dr. Daon. I am 65 years old and in good health aside from the calcified aortic valve. Coronary arteries are normal, pulmonary function is above normal, and I don't have other problems like dfabetes or high blood pressure. My heart is not enlarged and is functioning normally.
I have been reluctant, to say the least, to have open heart surgery when I feel good. But I don't want to wait too long and damage my heart.
If you have had similar surgery, I'd like to hear your advice. Thanks. And Happy New Year.