Jeff O posted a note for Bill that says:
Bill I just read you June 17 post, thank-you. I'm 7 weeks from surgery. Your wise thoughts on fear and facing fear have been very helpful for me. I too have a fear of not being in control so I can empathize with you. Hope everything goes well for you. I'll be looking for your posts.....Hang in there, btw, the waiting is a killer.
Josh Payne posted a note for Bill that says:
We love you, we support you, we want to be there for you and James whenever you need us and however we can. Maybe even when you don't want us around, ha ha. We are at your beck and call for anything you need, let us know how we can help! Hugs, love, and lady fingers!
Lisa Obst posted a note for Bill that says:
Well Bill I am lying here on my hospital bed waiting to be discharged. I have never wanted to go home so badly. I am a little afraid, but I will be fine. Just wanted you to know I am a rock of a person and on my last night here I lost it. I just wanted to go home. I cried for two hours. That's not a bad thing it's a good stress reliever . I feel much better. If something like that creeps up on you embrace it. I will be watching your progress and KNOW you will be fine. I am doing fine now. I wish you all the best and there is nothing to worry about. A week after your surgery (where I am right now) you will wonder what the big deal was! I promise. Just hang in there a few more days,
Judy Boruff posted a note for Bill that says:
What a fabulously positive attitude you have! I guess all I can do for you from this far away is pray. I read somewhere that a team of doctors wanted to prove that praying really had no value to the patient. It only made those concerned about the patient feel better. In their "test" they monitored patients who were being prayed for and patients who were not. I'm happy to report that the "prayed for" patients actually did better. Not very scientific, probably, but very comforting.
Lisa obst posted a note for Bill that says:
I had my surgery last Tuesday at 83o am at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerue. I will probably go home Monday. Have a small bladder irritation and am dong I.V. antibiotics right now or I would be going home tomorrow. My surgery was only 3 1/2hours vs the usual 5. I just wanted to tell you surgery was nothing. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist and crew moving me to the operating table.dont remember a thing after that until the breathing tube was taken out. I fought that. It did feel like I couldn't breathe but you can. Just let them get it out and don't fight it. I have had a couple bad days but nothing I couldn't handle at all. I am doing great now all tubes, wires are gone except external heart monitor and oxygen. I just wanted you to know the hardest part is the waiting. I will be thinking about you and hope to hear soon after your surgery that you are doing fine. Life will get a lot better very quickly. I promise. Right now I am down to 1 Percocet for pain every 4hrs. You are going to do fine!
Bryan Smith posted a note for Bill that says:
Sending all the prayers and love in the world. My dad had a similar surgery and after a few weeks (and some major butt-kicking by my mother) came out of it fine. He actually felt better than before.
Between God, your surgeon and James, you are in very good hand, but I would be proud to be considered part of your team!
Teena Ainslie posted a note for Bill that says:
Bill. I've never known anyone as well prepared and well researched as you are for this next event in your life. We can all learn from you. I look forward to your recovery notes turning into the number one best seller for all thoes facing major life changes and challenges. Anything I can do to help you on the next leg of your journey - you have my number.
Marray Houston,Texas posted a note for Bill that says:
My darling Bill,
Don't let Ernie see that! Sorry to hear having a bit of a health hiccup but I know you will do fine.I have read all the notes-be sure to ask the doctor how soon you can have a glass of wine!All the people writing from all around the world- just you keep in mind, Texas loves you best.Our best to you and James.I signed up for the emails.Hugs and kisses, M.,Ernie, and Henri
Bruce posted a note for Bill that says:
I was regurgitating 60-70% from a leaky valve (what my mother died from) and had three blocked arteries (fathers problem). They put 39 stitches in my valve, did a triple bypass and a maze procedure (which reduces the chance of a future stroke). Was in the hospital for a week, felt pretty bad for two weeks after that. I was 72 when it was done five years ago. Have felt fine since, just did a ten mile bike ride this morning.
Sherry Stevens posted a note for Bill that says:
Hi Bill, I am just a bit behind you. My bicuspid aortic valve has dropped into severe and we are in the early stages of deciding when AVR needs to be done. I am not anxious to go into surgery, obviously, but I also do not want to delay to where more damage may occur when my doctor says the valve is the only issue now. I will watch for your posts and know that you are in my prayers. I pray you will do well as so many others have told us we will !!
Ana Potter posted a note for Bill that says:
Bill - you will do fine. And when you go to surgery - I hope you remember all the people who will be sending you happy, healthy thoughts to get well soon! :-)
Sandy Wummer posted a note for Bill that says:
Bill, the time will fly! I am 3 weeks after surgery (same diagnosis as you.) and even after surgery time going fast. I thought I would be bored silly but keeping busy and getting better every day. Best to you!
Pat DuLaney posted a note for Bill that says:
Time marches on only seeming to go more quickly. As I once heard, "If I have 6 months to get ready, I will use 6 months. If I have 2 weeks I will use all of 2 weeks. Doesn't matter how much time you give yourself, it never seems to be enough." Before you know it, you will be in the stages of recovery and past all the anticipation. Keep us all posted!
Judy posted a note for Bill that says:
I'm maybe a year out because the aortic valve has remained "stable" but my issues has been....do we wait until I have severe symptoms and an not nearly in as good condition as I am now? Did you face this issue and how did you deal with it?
Missy Masters posted a note for Bill that says:
Hi, Bill. I'm 54 and had my AVR (Medtronic bovine) 3 weeks ago today. Like I've read of the others who have written here, it's true, you don't remember much of the 1st days. i made sure I read Adam's book last year when I was diagnosed with moderately severe aortic regurgitation, and so, there was little surprise. I was told this year, it was severe, so my 2nd opinion surgeon at another OSU (Ohio State) did the surgery and said it was good that we did it as soon as we did because my heart was becoming enlarged and he said I might have needed a heart transplant down the road instead! - Before my AVR, my heartbeat was not a beat, it went 'whoosh, whoosh, whoosh' instead of 'lubdub' like it should. My cardiologist let me hear it before and after. It was so thrilling to hear an actual heartbeat! I feel so blessed! I am in recovery and getting stronger.I am dealing with getting an A-fib problem under control, but it's not that bad. It's still early for me, so I don't have the great stories like the others - yet. Listen to your nurses; they were so helpful to me. - Like the others, it's slow moving at first, but I'm walking now with no SOB. I wasn't physically fit before the operation, but plan on getting fit because I want to live life to the fullest and show my gratitude to the surgeon who fixed my heart! - You will do so well, Bill; you have a great attitude and you sound like you are well prepared! God bless you and Best wishes for a super successful AVR!
Greg posted a note for Bill that says:
Hi Bill, just thought I would stop in to tell you first hand about my aortic valve replacement as well as the replacement of my ascending aortic root due to an aneurysm. I had the procedure three years ago this Sept. 30th at Providence hospital, by Dr. Deville. I was 45 years old and this was to be my first ever surgery. I was more scared than I have ever been about anything ever before, but to cut to the chase, I will say with absolute conviction that it was nothing at all as traumatic as I had anticipated! I was up and walking around the second day after the surgery, and home on the fourth day! One of the most negative things about my entire hospital stay was the lack of good things to watch on T.V.! :)
If you want to talk about anything specific, feel free to email me anytime. I would be more than happy to share my story with you.
Theresa LoMonaco posted a note for Bill that says:
I wish you all the best, Bill. I live in Portland, OR also & I just had an aortic valve replacement (bovine) with Dr. Jeffrey Swanson at St. Vincent's last July, 2013. I had a bicuspid aortic valve from birth. This will be your greatest challenge but it's very doable with a great surgeon & nurses, the support of family & friends & some hard work. Please make sure to do cardiac rehab (I went to the one at St. V's), as it will help you rebuild strength & better yet, it will keep you feeling positive (cardiac depression is real). I sailed through rehab as I was active before & I just completed the 2013 American Heart Association Heart-Stroke 5 K walk on 5/18/13 with my husband & # 1 cheerleader. If you write to me in e-mail, I'll share things I knew before & things that were a surprise to me. Keep tickin!
Pat DuLaney posted a note for Bill that says:
My husband had very stevere stenosis after being able to delay surgery for 10 years because of a congenital bicuspid aortic valve. He did not know it until his mid 40s when he started having a-fib. The surgeon also discovered the mitral valve required repair. He also had the Maze procedure. This was all completed at the end of November 2010 just before his 56th birthday. Less than 2 years later we both completed a 2-day, 150 mile bike ride. He also resumed his duties as an airline pilot after numerous tests.
Recovery began slow but steady and before long you will feel better than ever before and not have the concerns about your heart that you have now. Take your recovery a day at a time and before long you will be a proud member of what he calls "The Zipper Club".
Be good to your caregiver! :). They have the hardest job. (I am convinced of it after one of the nurses told me that.)
Chuck Whitten posted a note for Bill that says:
Bill, three and one half yrs ago, at 73, I had my Aortic valve replaced and also 3 bypasses at the same time. You will do fine and truly not know anything, nor remember anything of the operation. Post surgery, slow recovery for a couple of days, but after that asap, walk as much as you can. That will be only a few steps at first but can day by day increased to be followed with rehab for strength, stamina and sexual health rebuilding. New life will prevail with everything back to normal. What a great life with these advancements. By the way, Adam has done a great thing thru his book and web site. By the way, get the book "Back To Life after a Heart Crisis ;by Marc Wallack, M.D. & his wife Jamie Colby of Fox News fame.
Tom Hook posted a note for Bill that says:
Hi Bill 6 years ago today at age 60 I had my AVR and have never felt better I chose to have a Medtronic Mosaic tissue valve which at last echo 4weeks ago is functioning perfectly.although the operation is daunting the recovery is quick hope everything goes well for you Regards Tom Hook
Dennis McCall posted a note for Bill that says:
Hi Bill... I will be following your progress with great interest. I will be visiting with my potential surgeon this Friday in Portland Or at the Adventist Heart Center. I am not sure if or when I will need a new aortic valve. I am told my stenosis is severe.
Johan in Cape Town posted a note for Bill that says:
All the best Bill, from the southern tip of Africa! I had my AVR surgery 4 years ago (1 July 2009) at age 66 and feel absolute great. A forestry colleague of mine had his AVR a month ago and is also doing very well.
Our caregivers are the ones who suffer most, they have to sit in the visitors' room while we as patients just sleep through it all!
It's been 3 years as of May 24, it's a piece of cake my friend I'm 49 now but I was snow skiing in Dec following my A-Valve replacement and pacemaker implant. I would advise you to follow through with as much Cardiac Rehab as possible as this will build you back up physically, emotionally and sexually. I would also strongly suggest that you don't sneeze if at all possible for the first month (This is something they don't tell you, but trust me). Walk as much as can as soon as you can.
Rick Holstein posted a note for Bill that says:
Before you know it, it'll be a fading memory. I had aortic valve replacement surgery 7 months ago (at age 50), and feel completely normal. Read all you can from this website, and you probably won't experience any surprises. I didn't. I had some AFib after surgery, but that's common and it went away.
By the time I went in for surgery, I felt so informed that when the med staff asked me if I had any questions, the only one I could come up with was "what surprises most people?" The answer was the night sweats and general sleeping discomfort during recovery. They were right! Hang in there, you'll be fine.
Ann Dreyer posted a note for Bill that says:
You go, Bill! A positive attitude is key. You will be well. Fix your mind on what more you want to accomplish in life. I am going for AVR and MV replacement on Tuesday. I have every confidence in my surgeon and my ability to recover with the help of family and friends.
Sandy Wummer posted a note for Bill that says:
welcome Bill! I had surgery 3 weeks ago and doing fine. with your positive attitude you will do great. Keep posting and getting support. I find this site very helpful.
cathy 60 y/o posted a note for Bill that says:
I had my AVR surgery 4/20/13, exactly 6 weeks ago today. I didn't have much time to think about it. My doctor said it was already in the severe stage,and they wanted to get it done right away for me. I was already experiencing some shortness of breath and very exhausted upon walking a distance, like into Walmart for shopping. But I'm out now, it's over and done, and I'm getting stronger everyday. I'm in cardiac rehab now. Still having a few issues with incisions, but that will eventually get cleared up I'm sure. I have not been sick, or anything. Haven't contracted any viruses or anything. I think I've done great and will continue so.
However Recovery WAS slow in coming. 2 weeks out, I didn't feel I was getting any better at all, so I went in to see one of my doctors and he did some blood work, a CBC, and saw that I was anemic. That can account for feeling tired and short of breath. so I've been on an iron tablet now, and I believe that has helped me alot. Just take it a day at time, and don't overdo. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and address any concerns early, as I did at 2 weeks out. If I han't done so, I'd still be wondering why I wasn't improving.
Lisa posted a note for Bill that says:
My name is Lisa. I am 57 yrs. old and will have AVR surgery on June 11th due to having a bicuspid valve and severe aortic stenosis. I too am fine with everything. I was scheduled for surgery the 28th of may, but got sick and couldn't do it. Was going to let you know to be very careful about being around anyone that is sick. I am NEVER sick, but have gotten sick twice in the last month, probably because of the stress. I went to my grandkids kindergarten graduation and got a monster virus. Please be very careful who you are around and where you go. It's very frustrating to have to reschedule and wait again. I wish you all the luck in the world and I truly think you will be fine. I will keep up with your journal.
Take care and don't worry.
David Weil posted a note for Bill that says:
I will be pulling for you. My AVR is the day before yours. I am 64. Both of us can and will do this. I am as physically fit as I can be given this surgery. I think being mentally fit is the key.
I will be having mine at Scripps Memorial in La Jolla, CA. So, my friend, we will check in regularly with one another! I hope you read Adam Pick's book. It has really helped prepare me for the 'going for the gold' surgery!
Alex Lang posted a note for Bill that says:
And hello from Bonnie Scotland. Had my aortic valve replaced 8 years ago next month and never looked back! The beauty of the operation is that I don't remember a thing. In and out, no problem. The recovery takes time, but then so does getting over a broken ankle! Set your mind to positive and its go, go, go all the way. There is a new beginning out there Bill. It's your for the taking. We are all with you, all the way, and we are a big, very big club. Welcome, new member.
Sara Bloomfield posted a note for Bill that says:
I am 10 weeks out from surgery and am feeling great! You will be amazed at how quickly your body can recover. Stay strong - will be rooting for your gold medal......my advice would be to remember, just like those athletes, it takes a lot of patience and trying to get there. So give yourself a break when you need it and push yourself where it feels right! Will be sending lots of positive thoughts your way!