I'm really really hoping and praying that this is the last time for the countdown. Really wears on ones nerves. But, making the best out of the time, doing cross stitch projects. I really appreciate you keeping in touch. I enjoy hearing from you.
I really need to have this surgery soon. My symptoms are worsening quite a bit. And with the warmer temps and humidity, seems to make things even more exacerbated. I don't know, could be my nerves, too. So, I stay in the air conditioning as much as possible.
Thanks for keeping in touch, its much appreciated.
Thanks for the input on cardiac rehab. Are you the only woman there and the only person with valve surgery? What do you do to supplement your once a week class? I am due to see the exercise physiologist (at the rehab clinic) this Thursday. My last chest xray showed I still had some fluid and am starting to have some shortness of breath. Am thinking I'm going to take a wait and see position and postpone my appointment for a couple of weeks. By then, this will have resolved one way or another. Either it gets bad enough for me to have fluid removed again (3rd time)or my symptoms will go away. Obviously I pray for the latter. My surgery was March 18th, would have thought this fluid issue would have resolved once and for all by now! Anyway, will keep you up to date. Continue to progress and do well, you deserve it.
Thanks so much for the suggestions on what to pack for the hospital. I went back and read over your journal and found the list and found it extremely helpful. That was a great thing to post for those of us who are waiting for the surgery.
I was finally able to get out yesterday since the dental work. Still some pain but nothing like it was:) So my husband and I got the things I would need for the hospital and afterwards. Just need to get a few books for when I get home.
I am keeping my positive attitude the best I can but find the closer to get to the day, I am getting a little antsy... at the same time looking forward to how I will feel!
Hope things continue to go well for you and once again thank you for all the encouragement you send my way!
Thanks for the birthday wishes. Yes, I can finally see improvement, it's been happening all along just slowly. Came back from my evening walk with Pete and asked him how long he thought it would take before I would feel better than before my surgery? In his wisdom, he said probably a long time. I was not very symptomatic prior to surgery. Will see the exercise phsyiologist next week before I can start rehab. How often are you going and are you benefiting from it? I know I will benefit from it. Have a wonderful weekend, friend.
I assume you are the Cheryl who asked why I am looking outside of Canada for AVR. There is an excellent cardio team in Calgary, but there is just too much of a delay in getting treated. We have known for months that I need a new valve, but I can't even see the surgeon to whom I was referred 6 weeks ago until July 15th. Then I will finally get on a list for the surgery. I am told that it will be at least 3 months after that until I have surgery, and probably longer because I will be preempted by those whose need is more life-threatening.
Sounds like you are doing very well. You have a lot to be thankful for, and it is clear that you recognize that. Your gradual improvement is very encouraging.
It was so nice to hear from you. I am glad Fran received some birthday wishes...she deserves it for all her kind words, as do you. I am doing great...loving cardio rehab...although the nurses keep trying to hold me back, saying I am pushing myself too much. I do not feel I am...I just feel well enough to do more. It took awhile for me to be approved and set up in rehab, during that interval I got stronger and did the treadmill at home. I really do enjoy rehab and the patients in my class are funny and much older...but I always enjoyed older people for their wisdom and stories about their lives. How are you doing? You are still in rehab...? You must be so far advanced on all the machines. I have been approved for 24 classes, so I will have to continue exercising at home after that.
Talk to you soon,
Hey there Cheryl,
I agree with you totally. Was just such a let down after getting my mind all set, you know. But, these things will happen, I suppose. Just hope this is it now. Holding my breath, crossing my fingers and toes and praying a lot. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxing.
Thanks for your continued support.
Thanks so much for the words of inspiration you wrote! I definitely needed them today. I had my second packing for the dry socket this morning and then went to work. It seemed to irritate it more until I got home from work a couple of hours ago and took some pain killers. I am just hoping this will heal in time for surgery!
You are definitely an HVJ angel:)
Hi Cheryl. Yes, the advances are amazing. We are so fortunate to live in a time when we can be repaired when such a scary thing happens. My doctor is just a very nice man & does help me feel more confident, as you say. Hearing so many times & reading on the internet how my condition was rare was more than a little unnerving so hearing him promise that he'd fix me was very reassuring. By the way, I just called his nurse (my main contact in his office - way efficient lady!) & told her that I'd like it if they'd give my contact information to the other patient who has all the same conditions that I do. I'd like to "pay back" some of the good vibes I get from you & others on this site, tell her about Adam's book & provide any support I can. What a good thing HVJ has proven to be.
Sorry I haven't written sooner. Thank you for being faithful about posting in my journal and yes, I did feel your cyber hug. Had a chest xray on Wednesday and see the cardio on Monday. Don't believe the fluid has increased but want to learn it has decreased. Had fasting lab work this morning and ny internist will call me on those results next week. She's tracking my anemia which is improving and the fact that my potassium is too high. I am improving. This week has been better thank the week before. Walking a little further and sometimes I don't feel like I've made much progress then Pete will remind me that I have. When I walk outside he almost always walks with me. Still want to get to the reason for this nagging pain in my left shoulder blade. Hopefully it will subside but it hasn't done so yet, some days it's worse. Well, have a wonderful weekend. We are going to friend's home for dinner on Saturday (she won't let me cook), what a friend!!!
Thanks so much for visiting my journal and taking the time to leave a message. I enjoyed reading your journal and learning more about what I will be going through and what will be helpful.I, like you, like to know everything I can about something. I appreciate the encouraging words and I am happy to hear of your recovery!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Hi Cheryl. You are so right that we all present different challenges to our surgeons - thanks for the dose of perspective. I needed it! I do actually appreciate the fact that my doctor is conscientious enough to test thoroughly enough to ensure that he's as ready as he can be for my surgery.
The CD advice is great. I have some CDs that I've been using some & believe it would be beneficial for me to listen to them more. They employ a yoga practice called Yoga Nidra which is deeply relaxing. Might even purchase a couple more for variety now that you've spurred me on!
No, I have never had anything like this ever happen to me before. But, I'm getting very concerned as to why its not healing. I don't know what else he can do. The reason he didn't prescribe antibiotics is because the culture came back negative. But, something needs to be done pronto. I'll let you know what happens tomorrow.
Hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day.
Happy Mom's Day,
You are so insightful... yes I am feeling much better. Fluid is draining and I am replacing it with beer.....Lori is off to Texas for her uncle’s funeral, I regret I could not attend with her, but I’m just not up to a 6 hour drive yet; so I guess I am at maybe 87.3 per cent of being me. Today is a always a hard day for Lori, so I have been calling her on her cell phone every 30 minutes and encourage her to stop at every casino along the way (there are lots of them in Oklahoma) Rehab is fun for me, they give me a really hard time, I don’t understand why….. while pushing me to do my very best. I go in at 7:00 am and then off to my office to try to make some money to pay for this mended heart and boating habit. I got to captain the SEA WHIPPET yesterday for the first time since last year. We filled her up with 300 gallons of fuel and we took her out for a spin around the pond to burn off the fumes, I did get dizzy when it was time to dock, but I had plenty of hands to help pull me in. I was sitting for several hours and when I stood up to dock and it was too fast a maneuver for me. It’s so good to get back and fill those empty holes I have had. Take care and have a wonderful day
Should have realized the "golf cart" Pete has is a "bag puller" My Pete never got into golf, has always played tennis. Never felt he had the length of time it took to play tennis and then really wanted a physical workout when he does a sport. He has played doubles for a long time now and enjoys it. He has always enjoyed swimming, so there is a lap pool here in our neighborhood and he has also begun swimming there twice a week. As for me, went to see my internist yesterday. Congestion is 90% improved although she still hears fluid in both lung cavities. The hope is it doesn't increase. She wants me not to overdo while my lungs are trying to recover. Walked a couple of times at our sports center on the treadmill. Did 15 minutes at 2 miles per hour. Won't be winning any races with that record, but that's what I'll do for now.She tells me it will take up yo a year for full recovery. Boy, just what I wanted to hear. How is your rehab going and did you ever find out how much longer you will be on coumadin? Hope you will be surrounded with your children this Sunday and I know you will see your Mom. You are so lucky to still have her! Thanks for your opinion on Don and his health care issues.
Thanks so much for your kind words on my dad's journal. He periodically has been checking the guestbook page and I just wanted to reach out and send my thanks to those who seem to be regular readers on his blog. Best of luck to you as well!
Ah, last but not least in my quest to catch up on some journals tonight. Cheryl I love what you wrote on April 1st. Six months ago. Wow, you have been through alot yourself with the pvcs and bradycardia arrhythmia, in particular - and still having to deal with it. I know it was a huge concern for Richard and he yet still expresses concerns about "not feeling up to par" or feeling funny or having pain - as he points to this spot or that place on his chest. He is still on a beta blocker too. His scar is bugging him (his pacemaker one too) as it heals and pulls and itches, etc. His pacemaker is a funny feeling thing (to me). Sometimes when he is in bed and sort of on his side, if I touch him there I can feel the "whole pacemaker" as it kind of almost bends out in the position he is in (hard to explain), but I don't like the feeling. I believe I can relate to your husband as I too am still nervous sometimes just to touch Richard's chest or try to hug him - I have always been so tough on hugging him (really squeezing him), but now I don't. I needless to say still worry alot about his strength and his vulnerability. Even emotionally he hasn't come fully back around yet. His mind still seems to not be as sharp. He will forget things in mid-sentence sometimes, his sense of humor is getting better, but he still seems a bit foggy or "just not himself" yet, but he tries to be and I believe slowly getting better.
I believe that the rehab is a very important part of being able to get the confidence that you all need - as it is scary to venture off totally on your own to try and get your body and heart and lungs and muscles back to normal again - or maybe even normal for the first time. It is alot of work and time and energy to go through what you all have gone through and I guess I believe these journals have helped alot - especially when I see Richard still reading them all and knowing he isn't alone and having "other people's stories and problems and progresses" to help guide him.
After not reading journals for a while, I am convinced all over again, as I said in another journal how totally serious and life changing all this has been for everyone. As you say, you are taking nothing for granted. Funny Richard mentioned his broken heart being fixed just the other day and I said I am glad I didn't break it and that is is fixed!
One other thing Cheryl, Richard mentioned just tonight that he can't explain how he has been feeling - he said almost like there is a hollow place in him, like something has been taken from his soul, but he thought it was still just part of his healing and that it woudl still take time. I thought wow, how profound is that. I wonder if others have had similar thoughts and feelings as they go through their recovery and this life changing experience. I know it was mentioned in the book that it can be a very emotional time as well as physical.
Anyway, I have rambled on enough tonight.
As always, it is such a pleasure to read your own journal entry and ALL of the ones you so generously write to others!
Talk to you later, Ms. (wonderfully)Uneventful at Six Months!
Richard's Wife Susan
PS - BTW - Happy Anniversary.
It was so kind of you to remember my first class at cardio rehab. You are right...it makes you feel confident and strong. I enjoyed it and look forward to future classes. I just saw below it is your 42nd wedding anniversary...I wish you a great day and an extra-special celebration this year. Thanks again for all your positive support to everyone on this site. You are appreciated!!!
Congratulations to you & Pete on your 42nd wedding anniversary! May you enjoy many more together in heart health and happiness.
Don't know where the time goes so quickly--I'm already 3 months post-surgery and you've got twice that.
Sounds like you're making good strides in cardio rehab. I'm plugging away at it and my endurance is steadily improving. At my last session I was the only gal in the group and all the guys were in the 75+ age range. They think I'm a spring chicken, ha!
I'm feeling really good these days but still have the irregular heartbeats. My cardio doctor had me increase my beta blocker (metoprolol) to see if that would make a difference. I can't really tell if it has improved my heartbeats, but increasing the dosage definitely made me tired and lightheaded for a couple of days. That seems to have passed, though.
It's wonderful that spring is here, finally. I've been getting quite a bit of exercise in the garden but have to keep myself from overdoing it.
I hope you're feeling really good these days as well, Cheryl.
Thank you for visiting my guestbook & for your words of encouragement. You are right, I believe the yoga background will be helpful. Already has been - I focused on breathing calmly while I was in the MRI machine to take my mind off of being in such a small enclosure. I feel very fortunate to have found a site with such a supportive group of people.
Hi there Cheryl,
Oh, its so frustrating, just when I had my head all set, too. But, the secretary said somebody needed my spot, so maybe they are in worse shape then me. Hope thats it tho, and they don't change it again, because I don't think I'll be so nice next time. Its only 5 days longer, but I look at it as I could be going home then instead of just having surgery. But, what can you do, it is what it is.
Hope that your doing well.
Good Morning Cheryl
Thanks for checking in. Congestion and cough seems to be 90% gone. lab results show anemia is improving, so all systems go. Have thought about Pete and his golf cart in your SUV? We can't figure it out--are you talking about a cart to drive? All the carts we've seen are for 2 people and have roofs on them. Anyway, it's a mystery to us??? Have you read Don Frantz's journal? He is a fellow Canadian. Am wondering how long your delay was in seeing a surgeon and getting a surgical date?
Good Afternoon, Cheryl
If you read my latest update,you know my status. Yet another set back, know they will end eventually and you're right, am not a quitter.It's rather a vicious cycle, the worse one feels, the less you do and the end result is more fatigue. Glad you're having nice weather. Is Pete the type of golfer who goes out to play in all weather (except snow)? With that BP and low pulse rate I can see why you're fatigued. I assume you are talking about the rehab nurse, will she contact your doctor or is that up to you? How is rehab in general? Do you feel you're gaining strength and stamina? Imagine one day I'll be at that point, baby steps for now. Have a wonderful weekend.
Well, how am I? Well am not worse, hooray. Slight shortness of breath but it is not progressing, hope it stays that way. Still can't walk far without real fatigue, but keep trying. We had a nice diversion this afternoon, went to an Ansel Adams exhibit here in Bonita Springs. Drove 10 minutes to the hairdresser to get my hair cut and am sure Pete enjoyed the break. I appreciated your comments on driving.Today is 6 weeks post op. Seems like a very long 6 weeks. Have been worried about Carla since her post yesterday of being in afib and not being able to reach anyone---egads!! I feel sorry for the people like Diana who are so stressed prior to surgery. I know it is just some people's personalities, but sure wrecks havoc on the body and mind. Take care.
I've jotted down a few items you mentioned in your journal. I'm making a list and checking it twice......;) Just trying to get things organized now before the nerves really kick in and I can't think straight.
Finally heard from the Univ. of PA. Testing is scheduled for May 6. It seems that I am doing a lot of thinking about what needs to be done at home before surgery, but not accomplishing much. Maybe, it is because I have a sore throat and am worrying about getting better.
I read your hospital packing list, a lot of good ideas.
I'm still kicking and trying to find my sense of humor. I think I left it somewhere back on page 9 of my journal. We are planning a trip to the Lake for the weekend. Captain Bill hopes to find his MoJo. I’m driving starting tomorrow; still don’t feel great but not bad either. No more pain meds needed for the most part. I have some issues with retaining fluids and a nagging cough from allergies. My rehab starts next week and they say they will help with those issues.
Friday; listen outside and you just might here me yelling "all aboard" all the way from Oklahoma.
Good Morning Cheryl
Thanks for your note, concern and prayers. Last night slept the best I had since being home. Only got up once and only awakened abou 5 times instead of the usual 10! Had been given a script for Ambien but have not taken it after all the strange possible side effects. My cardio doesn't know why the fluid build up is occurring, just that it does happen in some cases. I am thankful that there is a solution for the complication. This last time the area on my back around where they injected the needle is very tender (didn't happen on the other side), so am assuming some internal bruising occurred. Have increased the spirometer usage to 8-10 times a day. Don't now if it helps (think it must), but can't hurt.Am somewhat frustrated but not depressed and know I will recover, it's just going to take a bit longer than I wanted. Pete continues to be the best husband/helper he can be. I have begun to do more, some laundry, bed making, helping with meal prep, etc and physically and emotionally that helps me. Well, hope you are doing well in rehab, are you progressing? Keep in touch.I see there are a few new people who are going to the CC with Dr G, smart people.
Thanks for asking. I haven't received any pretesting information and I am really starting to panic. I spoke to the surgeon's nurse last week. He seemed surprised, but nonetheless, told me that he would let the person in charge of the pretesting know. I even confirmed that surgery was still scheduled for May 10.
I am coughing and not quite sure if this is still from the pneumonia in March or just my nerves kicking in. Anyway, I am hoping to get an appointment with my family physician tomorrow and get this cough checked out.
I must say my emotions have been all over the place this past year. Your recommendation to get myself and house in order is uncanny. How can you possibly know me that well? I definitely need to stay focused.
You mention CD's from the Cleveland Clinic? Are they available to patients who are having their surgery elsewhere?
Cheryl, your advice is greatly appreciated, especially since you have first hand knowedge.
Yes, yesterday was a big dose of reality. I still can't believe I have to go through this. No wedding date is set yet. We have been together for 5 1/2 years and engaged for a little over a year. Dwight is a wonderful man and I'm very lucky to have him in my life. We look forward to the day that we will tie the knot.
Thank you again for your encouragement. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanking you again and again for all your encouraging guestbook entries. Like I told Fran...you two are the back-bone tag team of encouragement at HJV!
A few little eye issues today...one of focusing and one of a little dizziness. I had issues the first time as well and it all seemed so mysterious but realize this time these things are all part of the road of recovery. Adam's site has been such a source of information and support!
We enjoyed some very wonderful walks this afternoon. It was a gorgeous sunny day in the 60's and the Dogwoods are in bloom and the blossoms are lightly blowing in the wind.
If we were home it would probably be very humid. Cleveland may be a blessing in disguise!
Hope things are going well with you!
Good Morning Cheryl
Thank you so much for your encouraging note. Yes, I am walking. It rained over the weekend and has been quite humid so I have walked indoors twice a day for 15 minutes each. Had not been able to do that prior to the lung tap last week. They told me they drew off 1+ liter but the official report the cardio had said it was 2 liters (that's 1/2 gallon). Don't believe there's that much on the left side for tomorrow's tap and after the xrays they may decide not to do it, we'll see. Plan to send the question of lung fluid to Adam and see what he comes up with from his experts. Where would we be without him? Have a great day, friend.
Good Morning Cheryl
Hope you tongue is healing well. Did you lose weight with your post surgery diet? Did they put in sutures that need to be removed or will they dissolve? Well, one more thing to cross off your list. Today is an okay day, am anxious to have each day be a better day than the day before, but realize I have to be more patient. Read Adam's section in his book on recovery. had read it way before surgery, but was good to read again. How is your rehab going? Do you feel it is giving you cardiac and muscular strength? Reading what Kathy and Duane had to say, seems the protocol is different everywhere. Penny has her own gym and she's a big walker, so she is doing so well. I do love all of you wonderful friends I have met on this site and can't thank Adam enough for bringing us all together. Have a great weekend.
Thank you so much for your kind remarks about my Mt. Sinai patient story. I feel blessed that I have had such an uneventful recovery, but feel a little guilty when so many have had setbacks.I realize patients undergoing surgery would like to hear positive results, so I know it is encouragement. It is one of life's mysteries, why some have setbacks and some do not. As I told you in the past, you and Fran are so inspirational to so many on this site. You never stop commenting and helping with words of encouragement. I am only your understudy trying to emulate your goodwill. This site has been a Godsend and I am happy to have met you.
Good Morning Cheryl, my dear friend. Thanks for all the messages to me. Am trying to catch up on loose ends today. Couldn't believe there could be more than a quart of fluid in my lung cavity. As it was being suctioned out and got down to the bottom where the lung had been compressed I did feel discomfort. It's better now, but that section of the lung was hurting as it expanded. Did get to walk outside twice yesterday, but my stamina is poor. So, will recover, but it'll be slower than I had expected. Back to the cardio on Monday and will see what he has to say. Never did answer all your questions about the home INR test equipment. Do you have an answer yet as to how long you'll remain on coumadin? Seems that'll be the determining factor. As for cost, since I'm on Medicare, it is paid for, so I never got an invoice for the machine or the strips. I get 2 boxes of 6 strips/each every 2 months or so. Keep me up to date. Hope you are looking forward to a great weekend. How are you progressing with your rehab? Reading what Kathy and Duane have to say, they are very different. Had to chuckle at what Penny says is rehab in her little area of Scotland. I am overwhelmed with the goodness of people what with all the messages, cards, food, gifts, etc I have received. But most of all, the prayers. Am gong to see if I can get to church with Pete this Sunday, have missed it so much. Now that most of our snow angels (that's what our pastor calls them) have gone back home, there is a little more room. Bye for now.
Good to hear from you again. Things are just falling into place here.
I love my animals and love to watch them. I do it from a distance tho. They are still wild animals and are very unpredictable. But very fun to watch. I even name them. ;-)
Just like Carla Hansen said, "You are the Queen of Encouragement in HVJ!" Thank you for your note in my guest book.
I understand that everyone's heart experience is different. Perhaps they will find that I have had a stroke or two since I do not mentally function to my old standards. Physically, my heart looks great and so does my scar. I was putting all my faith in the surgery but still I find myself a simpleton. It is so tiring not to be able to think as my old self. The neurologist told me that I might have to start liking my new self. I will face that after the brain MRI. Until then, I am going to keep looking for me.
Cannot write like this for my family to see. My daughter and caregiver sister take it so hard.
She didn't tell me the umbrella would open when I pushed the button. It gets boring riding in the backseat. My wife is getting worn out so I have to keep her on her toes. Im getting worn out also, this recovery thing is not my cup of tea. I did get great news from the cardo that my new valve is working like a champ and my heart function is better than ever, my question was.. then why do I feel like crap??? recovery recovery recovery....
Hi CHeryl- I'm hoping you're the right "Cheryl (from Ontario) that has been leaving messages for me on my journal guestbook. I'm just not getting around to thanking all those who have taken an interest in my journey with valve surgery.
I'm finally home in Minnesota and sleeping in my own bed. I actually went to work today (one day short of two weeks post-op) for a couple of hour long meetings. I have a really sedintary desk job, so as long as I'm cautious a little, I'll probably be back to work full-time soon.
Thanks for all the messages you've left for me and my wife, Rose. It certainly is nice to know that there are others who really understand this journey.
Good Morning, Cheryl
Thanks for your kind note after my cardio visit. God is still teaching me patience and apparently I had set my recovery bar too high! Yes, it is a little more humid here but the brunt of it really doesn't hit till June. Ended up walking 10 minutes inside our home yesterday. With our open floor plan, part of the walk is an oval. Glad most of the flooring is tile or I would be wearing the carpeting. Had a dear friend deliver a delicious dinner last night, dessert and all. It was complete with a flower arrangement. We didn't even think of lighting a couple of candles and eating by candlelight! Maybe next time. Have a wonderful weekend.
Hope you had a happy Easter and are enjoying springtime!
You asked me whether I've started cardiac rehab. Yes, I have, and it's a good thing for me to be doing right now. Just completed my 5th workout session yesterday and it feels good to be moving and challenging myself that way. I'm also able to get out into the garden now that spring has finally arrived in Kansas. Gardening is something I've always loved to do and it's good exercise as well. Although I'm definitely going to let my husband do the heavy digging and the hard work this season!
One of these days soon I'm going to post a journal update, along with some new photos hopefully.
Thanks for your continued interest and I hope all is well with you.
I'm still having irregular heartbeats. The nurses at cardiac rehab always remark on my extra beats on the heart monitor, but they don't seem too concerned. I'll see my cardiologist in a couple of weeks and will have LOTS of stuff to go over with him!
Good Morning, Cheryl
Thanks for your long note last night. People have been so kind, I got a few responses regarding the auras. Just figure it's due to the anasthesiolgy and drugs they fill you with. My vision is not as sharp either and we had just gone to see the opthamologist in February, so will let it go for now. Capt'n Bill and I exchanged emails and seems we are both on a parralell post op path, with the same bumps. As for my INR home device, if you go to www.tapestrymedical.com, the machine that is featured on the home page is what I have. As far as being tested once a month as they are recommending for you--I'd think it was a little too infrequent especially 6 months post op.Of course, It took about a year before I was stable enough to be tested once a month. Went to a coumadin lab for a veni puncture (and me with the poor veins). Once a week testing allows you to have better control for the variables that come along. Have they told you how long you'll be on coumadin? Hope it works out for you, keep me up to date. Have a great spring (?) day.
What a wonderful entry marking your 6-month anniversary of your mended heart. Very inspiring. I'm just over 2 months now and appreciate all you have done to light the way before me. I also greatly admire all your kindness to and care for so many people. You are making such a big difference to so many. Happy Easter to you and your family!
Thanks for all the updates and for welcoming me to the HVJ family! I am less than a week from my surgery date and anxious. But with all the good news of people doing well here, I know that all will be ok! All my love and prayers for you and your family!