Hey all, it has been a while since I last posted, and while I have had good and bad days, the good days are trending up. So far everything is in check. My INR levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels are all in the normal range now. I went in for my post-op on the 5th of August and everything is the way it should be. One of the hardest aspects of this recovery is the diet. I'm taking Warfin for 3 or 4 months so I have to drastically cut all my greens, anything with vitamin K. I miss my spinach smoothies but all those are on hold. My INR range is 2.0-3.0 and so far I have been at 2.2 for the last 4 weeks. The other aspect that I have learned is to just accept that I have to take everything easy. Recovery is difficult as it is but being patient with your body and accepting that you must get adequate rest and know when to rest is very important. I am now sleeping more, I'm more in tune with my body and mind and giving myself all the time I need to heal. I have taken out all the outside stress and it has made all the difference. Be selfish in your recovery. Its the one time in your life for all those that are about to have open-heart surgery, be selfish, and take really good care of your health during recovery. Give yourself the time and be patient. Don't even complain, take that energy, and use it for your healing. Things do get better, some days I'm more tired than others but that is ok. I was very scared of the surgery, but now that its been 4 weeks that I'm on the other side, I feel like I have 2 birthdays now lol. Mentally I have also given myself the opportunity to let things be, I can't change what I have no control over but I can focus on things I can change like me. Meditation has helped and has helped a mind that was overthinking to one that has accepted to live in peace and focus on healing. Its a journey, I still have a long way to go, cardiac rehab is scheduled in a few weeks, so I'm feeling good. Really good.
Hey everyone it’s been 9 days since I last posted which was my best day. The following days were a challenge. I stayed in the hospital for 6 days with the last 4 being hard. My stomach was in discomfort on and off causing nausea and loss of appetite. After more testing, X-rays, scans, I was cleared to go home. I became exhausted, I was placed on a no sugar, low sodium, low carb diet. The surgery effected my blood sugar levels to dietetic levels. I’m on a pill and once my body heals this part should return to normal. It’s been hard. Some days better then others. Today as of 6am feels like it’s going to be a good day. The worst days were the first 3 days at home. Oh my god was I in stomach pain, aches, weak, my parents did not really get any sleep those 3 nights as I needed help out of bed, all night....many times I needed them to sit me up and just massage my aching back. I had swelling in my foot, leg area on both legs so they helped with massaging that area. The home care nurse has checked my inr levels /vitals everything is in normal range. I ended up going to my parents house after the hospital and I’m so glad I did. Support is everything, and now that I am in recovery, it’s the only thing that matters. My family has very much stepped up, my challenged wife is probably upset that I went to my parents house. But because I knew she was going on a 4 day weekend trip with friends which I expressed was wrong and shows lack of concern for me. A real wife would have cancelled. She got back home early Sunday and I have not heard from her since Saturday night. She has so much pride that she can’t inconvenience herself to drive and help me, my mom and dad. While i spent the most grueling first 3 days of my life at home with my family, she was away on a trip having fun. What kind of love is that ....it’s not. But I am at peace. The only pain I feel is the body aches. The unconditional love I receive from my mom and dad who are 70 is just unmatched. I feel it. Not the contemptuous and withheld love the wife offers and I refuse. I pray to god that he gives me the focus and strength to heal. It’s not easy at all but I do see the light. I’m walking, Swelling is gone, appetite is back, I’m eating good food now....I honestly have it good. Thank you all for your support. I will get back to you and the questions.
Hey everyone I’m back:) Today is the 1st day I’m able to walk, eat real food and write you here. I have been exhausted the last 2 day’s and spent the majority of time sleeping. The 7 hour surgery was a success, I had 3 procedures done with no complications, everything went as planned. I am now out of the intensive care unit and into the step down unit. I will be here for a few days until I’m cleared. The team I have at Northwestern has been a blessing. The care and support by everyone is amazing. Dr. Pham my surgeon I will forever be thankful. I can hear the subtle echo of my new heart valve, it’s a new reminder of my new gift: life. I have for the 1st time 3 leaflets. I want to thank all of you for your support and prayer. I am now on the other side, now I have a new mission, to comfort and help anyone through this process. My recovery is just beginning but I feel great. My wife has had a reaction and has apologized for her actions and promised to be there for me in any way needed. Keep me in your prayers and I’ll be posting here soon.
Hey all, my surgery has been rescheduled for 16, July 2020. I ended up going to the emergency room due to vertigo and ear pressure in my right ear/ringing. Could not hold my balance, everything was spinning so I spent the night at the hospital. Was released today and was decided that I run the course on the 7 day antibiotic and then proceed with the surgery. Feeling better still slight loss of balance, but hopefully, this medication works. I just wanted to get this done with but everything happens for a reason.
I'm thinking here about what to say as I'm feeling emotional...For anyone here that has been through this experience or is about to...Did you keep the news private about your surgery or did you tell everyone? I feel like I want to let people know friends...but maybe I'm just overthinking. I have received more kind words here than with people that I know especially my wife who has been nonexistent in this process. I have written here about my experience and what led to me finding out about my bicuspid. The other part is my marriage. Everything has changed since the situation with Floyd. During the 1st week of June, I remember coming home and the news was on. Trump was speaking and praised the men and women in law enforcement, I made a reference to supporting him for his support of the police...little did I know that was it for her. Ever since that day in June, I have received no support or compassion from her. My surgery is July 10 and you would think a spouse would do everything to make you comfortable. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I do everything for myself. She has not told her family, only her mother who has not called for anything or offered any support. The kids, the step kids that I helped raise, are young adults in other states now and she never told them anything about my condition and surgery. I thought my life mattered. Her mother told my stepson who in turn reached out to me. But my stepdaughter does not even know. My wife admitted she is biased towards BLM and that supporting Trump is a deal-breaker. My wife is black by the way, not that it matters but frames the picture of my situation. I'm a police officer, my 1st strike against me and because I showed support for Trump now I'm part of the problem a racist. I'm already planning to leave my house Tuesday to be with my mom, dad, family. I need to be in peace with people that truly genuinely love and care about me unconditionally. For Christ's sake, I have open heart surgery Friday! Does that not count for anything to her! It is ironic how when my wife was diagnosed with Cancer, Leukemia CML last year in August, I was there for her every step of the way. I did everything to make her comfortable, unconditionally. Everything a good husband will do for his wife in a terrible life or death medical crisis. Fast forward almost a year later, now I have my medical crises, and my spouse is nowhere to be found for support. No natural inclination to willingly help, only out of guilt will she do anything to not appear so heartless. What kind of spouse plans trips to Miami, Atlanta, Nevada, DC for the King march, knowing your spouse will have open heart surgery and will need help recovering. The mindset I just can't comprehend how any human especially your spouse can do that knowing the situation. I could never plan vacations knowing my wife is battling Leukemia, especially the beginning which is crucial, my mindset was all about her nothing else. Her mindset is clearly this, Freds' life does not matter. I just had to let this out, its obvious my marriage is over but I'm trying to get my mind ready for my surgery on Friday but this hurts bad.
Unfortunately for me, I did not know I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, until 3 weeks ago, so everything is hitting me fast and sudden. On June 12, 2020, I experienced a gripping chest pain over my heart and a sudden rapid heart rate for the 1st time in my life. I was at work exhausted, sleep-deprived, mentally drained, highly stressed from working 18 of 19 days with one day off. I worked 13 consecutive days, 12-hour days min, more when the protest/riots happened that last weekend in May and the weekend after. I was there. It was a terrible experience. I am a Chicago Police Officer, and while I have experienced stress throughout my life, those 3 weeks were the trigger to my perfect storm. I was looking forward to my 1st day off in 2 weeks that day 12 June, little did I know what was brewing inside of me as I was getting ready to leave work. Blood pressure sky-high, highly stressed, and sleep-deprived were the agitators that revealed the true condition I have and did not know it. I spent 5 days in the hospital, and I did a lot of reflecting. It has been a terrible year. As a 1st responder when COVID hit, the amount of uncertainty and stress took its toll on us. Now, this climate. civil Uproar. It’s a double-edged sword for me, If I did not go through this experience, I would not have gone to the hospital and would not even know I have this. Who knows what fate I may have encountered much older. Everything happens for a reason.
Hello everyone I'm new here, still deciding which valve to go with and my surgery is around the corner. Although I'm leaning more towards the tissue valve. Blood thinners for life with mechanical, or tissue valve, no blood thinners but at some point, will need replacement and I know there is the TAVR procedure. I have read the pros and cons of both and feedback will be appreciated.