Thinking of you going in tomorrow. And yes you can do stairs. But you'll want to start off slow and easy. They'll get you up and walking early and make sure you are safe walking around the ward and maybe doing a few stairs after a couple of days. You'll probably be able to do a short flight when they send you home. -- DVB
Good luck tomorrow. Everyone is still asking about you, as expected. I have forwarded your journal link to several other people. Dale said Thanks for the Bravo award. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Carolyn, my thoughts and prayers will be with you tonight and tomorrow. It will be hard for you to sleep, but try to get a little! You can do this, and are almost over the mountain! Remember to keep those ice chips close by, and walk as soon as you can, chose the chair over the bed!!!
I'll be watching for your updates
Hello dear! It was great to see you last night! Thanks for linking me to your page here. I will definitely follow your journey, so know you are in my thoughts. Also, do not hesitate to call if you need ANYTHING. Even if that is just a smiling face hanging out with you. :)
Hey Carolyn, thanks for sending me this link and keeping me informed. I remember your last surgery and it went well so I am confident this one will go well too. Also, my friend Luke is currently at KU Med and volunteering in the Thoracic Surgery Unit - he had only great things to say about Dr Gregory Muelhebach.
Carolyn, Noticed you are having surgery in KC at KU Med? Who is your cardiologist? My doc has told me I will need aorta valve replacement soon and I am thinking about KU Med. Are they doing the minimally invasive procedure? Where they go through the ribs and not the chest! I live in Kansas and would rather not travel so far! I will say prayers for you on the 25th. I know it is scary!
First off - let me thank you for reading my journal. Yes all pills off - including pain killers - I am only taking Tylenol Extra Strength when I really need it.
I read some of your guests' input and I can tell you as a woman - we feel and heal differently than men.
No you do not need a recliner as they will teach you how to get into and out of bed at the hospital. I use pillows on my bed to prop myself and I tell you - I have never slept better.
Also for your bra - what I suggest is NOT TO BUY one that hooks in the front - if you are having the cut in front. The reason I say this is that it will irritate the cut and definitely annoy you. You also may feel pain in your breast - don't panic - you need to remember that when they open you all your nerves and muscles stretch as well - so that takes time to heal too.
It has been a month yesterday since my surgery and if you have read my journal you will see (due to my severe allergies) I had a somewhat difficult time but that's all behind me know. I can honestly say that I feel like I'm getting my life back (minus the limitations due to the surgery). I can only suggest and strongly suggest that the best remedy is a combination of rest and exercise.
Most importantly while you recuperate - listen to your body. There may be days you won't want to do anything.... don't.... and then there are days you are full of energy - all I can say is don't use it all up - you will burn out. This is why a good balance of rest and exercise is important.
I know you will do fine and if ever you need another woman's opinion - don't hesitate to ask me!
Hi Carolyn, I had the Robitic Mitral Valve Repair done in April 2012 and didn't have any trouble with the stairs. Like others have said, you just have to take it slow. I wasn't able to sleep on my right side for several months, and propped my arm up with pillows (and head). The Aah bra, or Genie bra, both found on the internet, are great wireless supportive bras that you might want to check out. I have worn them ever since my surgery.
It sounds like you are ready to get this done, and like many have said, the waiting is the hardest part. Thinking of you!
My family has had to deal with a number of health problems over the years. I have been having problems of my own with blood pressure recently. I know that is that is not easy and it is certainly not fun but I hope this all works out for the best. Good luck and look forward to a future free of these problems.
I have a 2-story home and was able to walk up and down the stairs without a problem, the first day I was home from surgery. However, you have to go slowly and stop if you are short of breath.
Upstairs, I actually use my bed with a lot of pillows. I also bought an electric recliner for downstairs which I use also. I get bored staying in one place for too long. I bought a pill box with the days of the week for my meds - this helped to not skip any doses (or take too many pills).
HI Carolyn, Well we are going to be close. My date is Sept 19th. You are going to be fine. I have a recliner and plan on using it, but will try bed out to. Might be a problem as I always have to get up in the night. I will just play it and see what happens. When I had my hysterictomy, I did use the recliner as I had a problem getting into bed. Its a little on the high side.
As for the bra. I called my doctors office yesterday and she told me I really didnt need one, but I'm not Twiggy. She did tell me if I needed to wear one to get a very soft no underwire front closure and loose. Just enough to have a little support from the weight. Not to spend a lot on them. Walmart has front close bras for about $5 and they are pretty comfortable. Hope that helped you.
I will follow you. Keep us all posted. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers also. Remember we can do this. Good luck.
Mooving on up
I just read your latest entries and thought I'd drop you a line or two of encouragement.
I had my aortic valve replaced via minimally invasive surgery on June 12th at NYPresbyterian Hospital with Dr. Allan Stewart
dong the "honors"....and he did an excellent job I might add.
I did not need a recliner when I came home, nor a special bra, but that could be because I had a small incision. I had no pain in the hospital or at home and never took any pain killers. I was driving my car at 3 weeks post op, but it took awhile for me to get my energy back. My valve was severely diseased to the point where both my cardiologist and the surgeon could not figure out how I was able to functon at all. I had very few symptoms prior to surgery. But I was told I needed the surgery 5 years ago and I also knew I had a heart murmur since I was 5 yrs. old.But I am a world class procastinator!!!!!
So, I think you will do just fine and I would suggest you stay with this site and ask all the questions you can come up with. Everyone is here to help and encourage you.
Good luck and many blessings to you. Feel free to write to me if you think I can help.
Joan Davenport AVR 6/12/12
I had AVR done on 2/20/12. I actually had a recliner and found that I didn't use it. It was more trouble to recline and then out it back in the normal position. I also stacked several pillows on a bed and created a "throne" that worked great. I spent very little time in bed. I did take a few naps throughout the day but if I was awake I tried to be downstairs with the family where the action was.
I walked a lot. Outside..Malls..Around the inside of my house.. In the beginning the stairs are a hurdle but I tried to manage how many times I went up and down them. I created a to go bag that had all my meds(pain if in needed them) my breathing thingy majiggy(not the actual technical term)..Bottled water..ipad..magazines.. and my heart pillow. That way I didn't have to go back and forth for that stuff and could go up the stairs twice a day and as the days went on I was up and down them all the time.
Trick really is to walk as much as your body will allow you and rest. It's okay not to do as much as you did the day before. There were times when I really had to rest 2 days in row. So just listen to your body.
Good Luck and let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
Jimmy Johnson AVR 2/20/12
Hi Carolyn, You can get a recliner, but I did not need one. I stacked pillows on my bed, and used a chair with an ottoman. No I'll effects, a fast recovery with no extra furniture!
On ability to walk stairs, my exit "physical" required that I climb two sets, they fogot to mention ther 100yd walk there and back. They checked my BP both before and after the test - passed first time. You will be suprised just what you can do.... up into a high back chair the day of my op, and very slow walking the day after, pulling a stand with all my tubes etc attached. Don't worry, you will win this race.
Hi Carolyn, Welcome to HVJ it is a great community full of support, friendship and at times inspiration.
It is good to hear that you have settled on a surgeon who fits with you. I went through three before I met mine! So you are not alone. My surgery could and probably should have been performed much earlier, over a year tryingb to get to the right surgeon for me. It sounds as if you have met yours. I would go for the earliest date you can so that any further deterioration is avoided - I know it may feel easier to push it out, but waiting is harder on your body and emotions. Once you have decided go for it the time flies. On HVJ it is often referred to as the mountain to climb, you are fit enough and far enough up to succeed so go for it, and go for it early!
As for music how about "I am woman hear me roar". You have certainly taken on the mantle :-)
Good luck, and I look forward to following your progress to a wonderful conclusion.