Hi Atom, Try not to worry too much. I had open heart surgery on Jan 4th and I was scared to death, but here I am typing to you. It's really amazing how advanced the medical technology is. I'm sure you'll be just fine. You are young and that's more than a lot of surgery patients have on their side.
I'll subscribe to your journal so I will be updated regurly. Take good care, Lori Sobrero
Atom, thinking of you and your family....your gonna do great and i will say a prayer for you and your family...Just think positive, I know its hard, but they have this stuff down to a science...I am sure you are in good hands and I will pray for your surgeons hands also...
You're in the final countdown phase and the waiting part is really difficult when you just want the surgery to be over with. (Been there, done that 2 months ago myself.) It will be over soon and you'll be on the road to recovery and renewed health and energy.
I wish you all the best as you prepare for surgery, and you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.
If you are a 'lil scared then you are doing better than some of us who were a lot scared. It's amazing how we all manage to get in through the surgical doors without making a huge scene. I think we look really brave but that's what people are seeing on top of the sheets! The dance that is going on under the sheets really says it all. Hang in there Atom. Cheryl, Ontario
Now for your countdown....and the nerves are at an all time high....and every time you have a spare moment for thought you are thinking about your surgery and the what-if's....
If that happens, try to focus on the day after the surgery or better still, a couple of days after surgery. This time next week it will be over. This time next week I'll be coming out of ICU. This time next week I'll be exercising, and so on. Keep your thoughts on the afterwards. Way deep down you have to know there is going to be a day after surgery so keep your mind there if you can.
It's a good idea to get preoccupied with your packing list. Adam has a great list in his book and him being a guy pretty much coveres it for you. You're young so you already "come with portable music" which is essential to keeping you focused elsewhere. I kept my I-pod in a little pouch and safety pinned it to my hospital gown and pj bottoms so I could keep it safe and within my reach. (I had a big ole diaper pin that was pretty safe to use.)
Make sure mom keeps a lip balm or vaseline handy to put on your lips in ICU and have her put it on even when you seem to be asleep. It will keep your lips moist when that tube is in and really goes a long way to keeping you comfortable.
A notebook might come in handy once you are in your own room. You can keep track of any guests that might come plus any symptoms you are feeling and when a nurse or doctor comes in, you don't have to search your mind for something you may want them to know.
You will be such an inspiration and wealth of information to some of the other young people on the site who are sitting in the wings.
Hang in there. You too mom. There is nothing more as parents we want to do but keep our babies safe and happy and I know if you could, you would rather this be you. The next best thing is doing exactly what you are doing by being a wonderful support. Our children are always our children no matter what their ages and their pain is our pain. So too are their triumphs and you are going to really enjoy this one. Cheryl, Ontario
Just wanted to let you know that your sister and I are thinking about you. I'm sure the surgery is going to go great and you are going to feel so much better afterwards!
I think the suggestions of relaxation tapes are a great idea. Worrying is one of those horrible things -- it does no good, does a lot of harm, and yet is so difficult to avoid. You just have to force yourself to push those thoughts aside as best you can and focus on things you enjoy.
I really believe that in every adversity there is opportunity. While health problems are terrifying, they can also wake us up to all the things we may have been missing. We are surrounded by beautiful and amazing things that we tend to take for granted. Even here -- look at all these people supporting you! Friends, family, and even strangers that are tied together by a common bond and passing on their encouragement. This is amazing and I hope that it gives you comfort and strength!
You were like me had a long time to think about it before your surgery and I didnt have as long as you I remember how hard it was and how anxious I was...Hope they gave you something to calm your nerves cuz there is nothing worse than having panic attacks like I did....But I promise god isnt finished with you yet and it does get better!
WoW Atom looks like some great idea's here, this is his Mom.We might know Monday or Tuesday when the surgery is. The Cardio Dr wanted to see him before the op but the surgery schedule lady doesnt think its nessessary & will make everyone wait longer for the actual date. The surgeon will review his file from Cedars on Monday and talk to Cardio Dr and then we'll hear from the schedule lady. The sooner the better, he's a strong kid this Atom, but Momma is starting to melt a little. Thank you everyone for your support. ~psst Atom I love you 0 : )
Good morning Atom
Fran had a good point in investing in those relaxation discs. You could probably download that type of thing over the internet. Just kicking back and listening to them helps put a calm through you. We all have those sleepless nights before surgery. Tired as we are, subconsciously there is something very taxing weighing on our minds. Take care. Cheryl, Ontario
I woke up this morning with you on my mind...I began to pray for you. Thanks for being so open and honest in your journal thoughts. When is your surgery date Atom? The Lord has some great promises to stand on. Some of my favorites are:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight...." Proverbs 3:5-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6)
"Be strong an courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)
"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him." (Psalm 28:7)
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride." (Psalm 46:1-3)
I will be having my second mitral valve surgery on April 15 in Cleveland. I think we all have fear of the unknown but we can know who holds the future. I think you can see where I unload my fears and put my hope and trust.
I will continue to pray for you and if you have any thoughts or questions you can sign my guestbook...Carla Hansen (PBG..FL)
I am here in Ohio & will have my surgery the 18th. I am trying to stay calm. Please look into getting some kind of relation/guided imagery tapes to listen to, I think that would help you through some of the rough spots. Had a very bumpy flight out of FL yesterday and had an opportunity to put it into practice.Stay strong.
Once you have recovered and get to being busy as heck, you are going to look back on your cloud watching days and wish you had time for a few more of those. When exactly is your surgery? You said about two weeks. Do you read, play video games - what do you do for quiet excitement? Stay strong bud. Cheryl, Ontario
Thanks great news. One good day, makes up for a whole bunch of bad ones. What kind of dogs?? We have Whippets, its a sad day for us today. We are taking them to Doggy jail while I'm getting the ticker fixed, for 2 weeks. I have a house sitter, but he does not like dogs....They won't understand not to jump on me when I get home. Any suggestions would be great.
Good morning Atom
You have to be smiling after seeing the journal entries here. You are just so not alone in your next step to great health. Even if reading the journals takes up some of your time learning and having a smile here and there it is time well spent and wiles away the hours.
Undergoing the surgeries tends to make us look so brave but if asked, whoever said we wanted to be brave? We just all want to be "normal". We can't very well be wheeled into the operating room tied to a stretcher kicking and screaming so we get hold of ourselves and make the best of a terrifying situation. At least quality of life is at the other end. That thought is something to fight for.
Do you keep a journal? Someday when you have a family of your own you will be looking back on all of this and wonder how on earth did you get through it. These are tough experiences but they have to make you bitter or better. Choose better. Have a great day. Cheryl, Ontario
Hey Atom (still a cool name)
I can totally relate to what your saying. Even though for me it was like 200 years ago, I so remember wanting to just be outside and join my buds, because of the heart thing when I was a kid and the lack of technology (in was BC.. Before Cellphones). They made me stay in bed for almost a whole year. It sucked and no matter what anyone said it did not help. I did get pretty good at playing this fake keyboard, basically a piano on cardboard. It sounded awsome. We did not have small real key boards yet, back in 1967. You might try that, even if you have to make your own, the good news is that when you play a bad rifff or screw up no one can hear it. Your dogs probley feel even worse then you do about not playing with them. I have whippets and they are the closest thing to people I could find that would not talk back to me, i do love playing with them and I will cut off from that nest week. When we get this behind us I know we will both be happier than John Gosslin at a cheerleader camp! (you might google that)
You came to the right place. I can totally relate to your fear as I was terrified about my surgery. This site is awesome for helping you with your fears - it's good to talk to others who have been where you are. God brought me through mine with flying colors, and I know He will do the same for you. Will send prayers your way as your surgery date approaches.
God bless & good luck!
And now we here on the HVJs are watching over you and praying as well. You have been through it so you pretty much know what to expect and "life" is going to be one of them. Keep that in focus. Let's hope and pray this surgery will be the absolute last of this sort for you. It sounds as if it's about time you get this behind you and begin to really live.
I had my mitral valve repaired in October of last year and while there are sometimes bumps along the way, we are all plugging along and supporting each other and gaining lots of information with which to help keep our minds relaxed and clear. And then there is humour which helps make all things easier.
Everyone here will admit to fear so you are not alone. I will be watching your journal for positive updates and in the meantime I'll be praying for a full and speedy recovery. Cheryl, Ontario
I found that just knowing what to expect is half the battle. It is the not knowing that drives you crazy, so since you have had heart surgery before it hopefully takes a little of the edge off...My husband had MV repair in November and is pretty much cleared and released from the doctors..so in no time you should be better than new. We'll be praying for you!
Tara (wife of Ken Crosby)
Really cool name....Nothing to be worried about. Rumor has it that they are getting pretty good at valve jobs. Fran and I are going to meet up in Cleveland and both of us are getting some valves installed. What a great way to spend St. Patrick’s Day. Check out Adams book, read some of these journals and it will really help. If you read mine, keep in mind I have been in the waiting room a really long time and it did affect my ability to be serious. I hope to go to Vegas after my surgery; I figure I will be on a lucky streak. We will drop your name in the prayer hat for sure.
good Morning Atom
Came across your post this morning and seems I am the first to write in your journal. Yes, it is a scary time to wait for surgery and even though you've been through this before. Have you read Adam's book? Hope so as it well help you in so many ways. Also by being a member of this Heart Valve Journal you will hear from a lot of special people who will encourage you and cheer you on. I'd like to be one of them My surgery in next week, the 18th, but I will read your posts. Be strong.I got some relaxation tapes that have helped me.