Hey "Lil" Brother
I just want you to know you are in my prayers and if you need anything let me know.
Be strong as I know you will and this will be another successful story for someone else to be able to read about. I love you and will be there waiting when you come out of recovery.
Had my surgery last March. A new bovine mitral valve and a repair of my tricuspid valve.I had a full sternotomy and don't worry about that. The surgeon will make the smallest incision necessary for your surgery. Be assured whatever pain you have will be well controlled in the hospital. I had an IV with a button I could push and pain killer was injected along with the IV fluid. I didn't use it much but was glad to know I could whenever I wanted. Every hospital is different as far as pain control goes, but you can't improve if you're in pain. So, don't worry about that. Listen to the hospital staff and do what they tell you, they are the experts. Coming home whatever pain I had was in my upper back and that was relieved with moist heat and stretching. Wishing you well and hoping you'll get the relaxation/visualization info available as it makes a big difference.
Thanks for your message in my guestbook. I had both my mitral and aortic valve repaired with a traditional open heart approach. Stayed in the hospital for 4 days and have been home now three weeks. It's normal to be scared, I was dealing with lots of anxiety and depression pre-op. It's quite normal, since this IS a major and life changing operation. Good news is that it's all gone now!!!! What helped me was trying to acknowledge my fears and anxieties but don't let them overtake me.
My recovery has been overall very smooth. Yes, there is pain and fatigue after the surgery, but it is manageable. I am still limited with what I can do, since lifting, pulling or pushing anything just a little bit heavy is difficult and painful. You will just have to take it one day at a time. The most difficult day was the second in the hospital, when I was in the step down unit. Could not sleep because alarms were going off left and right and the impact of the procedure had finally hit me and I could not get comfortable at all. Thank god that only lasted one day and once the tubes and lines were removed the next day everything was so much better! I will turn 51 next month, so you should be recovering even faster at your age. My overall health pre-op was pretty good, so I think that helped. I also spend a lot of time working on my mental attitude and used a CD by Peggy Huddlestone to prepare me for the surgery and recovery. I think that really helped a lot.