I am not sure where I read it, but I did a search on Google for "risk of endocarditis and heart valves" and came up with this. There's a host of other sites out there. I'd suggest speaking with your dentist and cardio.
Keep waiting to hear fro Georgie about Penny. Her surgery was 14 hours ago. Praying. Went to nursing school at Worcester City Hospital in Worcester, MA. We are celebrating our 50th anniversary but I won't be able to attend.
This is a PS to my earlier post to you. I forgot to comment on your status. Just to let you know, the first heart drug I was ever put on was a beta blocker some 30 years ago. I do remember it dragged me down, but seems it took about a week or so for my body to adjust. When you realize that your heart is not working as hard at pumping, etc. you know it's the best thing. If your extreme fatigue continues maybe the doctor would consider lowering the dose and increasing it in a couple of weeks. Thanks for your friendship.
Thank you so much for the encouragement. I chuckled about the PJs. I had my own little set up that was similar to yours. The only thing is that the day after my surgery we had a snowstorm and nobody was able to get anything to me. The staff was stuck for two wnd three days. Red alert in the cities and counties. Anyway, I had them bring me wipes, washcloths, bodywash, towels and everyday I went through a ritual of cleaning myself from head to toe. It took some time, but the nurses allowed me the time and it worked out fine. I used a gown and a robe never knew that hospitals had robes =o) The time went by and when I was able to shower. Oh what a night =O)
My levels were down like yours and I am shifting from 5.0 to 7.5. I hope you do not have the monitor for long. Thank you again.
Past time to thank you for your notes. Have not decided whether or not I'll let the staff know I'm a nurse. Don't know a thing about this type of nursing (other than what I read in the journals).Think I'll just let them do their expert "thing". Your practical hints for we ladies will be a help. When I turn my calendar page to March, think the reality of it will really sink in, as it's marked in red on March's page. Poor Penny having her surgery postponed, that's a tough one. She says it'll be at 3AM our time, tonight. Pray she does well. Feel as if I know you with all this corresponding. Will sincerely tell you something, if you and your Pete ever want to get a break from your cold winters, our door is open to you here in sunny, warm SE Florida! "Talk" to you soon.
Just wanted to say hello before I get organised for my readmission at 2pm today. Last night was a good distraction, especially as we took our friend Peter with us, we had a lively political debate going in no time plus he has a quirky sense of humour! Catching up on journals this morning keeps me calm. Thank you for your messages and prayers - all gratefully accepted. Warmest wishes Penny
Hi, Cheryl. You certainly had the pj thing down to a science. I too did the "baby wipes" and button up pjs.
Yeah, today was a drag. This was a teaching dr. also who did the procedure. As I sat on the bed with my feet on the floor and my hands on top of my pillow on the side table, I too nearly fainted. My body became intensely hot, sweaty and if I hadn't put my head on the pillow I am sure I would have fainted away. Yikes, the things we endure to get well.... I am still exremely sore and feels like the needle/cath is still in m back at times. UGH... I must make that into a better visualization like the salty, warm water of Anguilla flowing over the area and healing it -- how's that?
At any rate, thanx for your guestbook entry tonight.
You too organized. I’m throwing in a zip lock bag a tooth brush, a cigar and a bunch of 20 dollar bills to tip the nurses when they bring me what I forgot......maybe a few 50’s to tip the doctors, so they won’t hurt me to bad.
I realized that I never really answered some of your questions in your last message in Ken's guestbook. You asked about how we cope with the ups and downs of Ken's journey and if my med knowledge helps or hurts...First I cope by usually running but if you can believe it,4 days before Ken's surgery I injured my leg and am just now cleared from physical therapy to return to running...talk about not being able to cope! But I found that just doing things outside was helpful to me (of course I live in Florida so it is a little more do-able!)Ken is always of the mind that if he can't do anything about it then why worry (easier said than done) so he just does all the things the Drs say to do and thats the best he can do. After that point its out of our hands. Actually, you know the WORST for us was the waiting for the surgery so anything that we have experienced post surgery really has not been as traumatizing as what your mind imagines while you are just WAITING for it to happen.
I know just enough about what I type for the cardiologists to know when something is serious or routine...Like Ken's murmur was rated a 4/6...in 3-4 years of typing cardiologist's dictations I probably have only come across that rating 3 times..so that freaked me out... and caused more than three student drs/nurses to come to him and ask to listen to it, for the sake of experience. I think too it made me not so hesitant to question things. I hear doctors everyday, so in a way they were not so much on a pedestal for me. I also felt some additional pressure in that Ken relied on my opinion heavily in this area and I needed to have a clue about all of it (remember, I only transcribe for the doctors...I have had NO medical training!) that is how I stumbled onto this journal site.
I also wanted to mention to you that with the meds you are cutting in half ...sometimes people spread it out by taking half in the morning and the other half in the evening. Ask your doctor about that. Apparently sometimes spreading the dose out helps with the side effects but it may depend on the medication and what other meds you are taking. Can't hurt to ask.
Sorry for being long-winded (I am secretly avoiding more typing for the drs!) Have a great week!
Cheryl, thnank you for your advice , I will use it optimistically.I read your story,so are they going to replace all 3 leaking valves or just the mitral? If just the mitral are they going to have to do some form of repair on the other two "leakers"?David P..........P.S. I LOVE JAMES PATTERSON BOOKS! Youve got great taste!!
Hi Cheryl, first of all I have to say you must be a rock or so strong as you have just been wonderful in your journal entries to "everyone." You are very sweet to be so concerned and dedicated to everyone - and you have a way of saying the right things and give the best words of encouragement that I know is helpful to all. You are the best!
Haven't heard real recently how you are doing - I don't see an entry since the 18th. Your information was very helpful to Richard. He certainly has not had the palpitations as frequently and as severly as you and his description not as poignant as yours with the "live fish" in your chest description. In fact he has said over and over that he doesn't know what he is supposed to feel and what is normal and what isn't.
I seriously admire the way you are able to connect and give so much of yourself in the journals and I just wanted you to know.
Richard's wife, Susan
Cheryl, I think I have become the social butterfly only because of my surgery. But it is nice to know I have this wonderful cirle of friendships to rally in time of need. It is helping me heal, I am positive. I was so in the dumps this afternoon, and now I'm happy and high. Perhaps it's all the good food, vino and chocolate we comsumed????
I really had a hard time with everything before this website. I really never talked to anyone who was going through it and I had such high levels of anxiety. I kind of wanted to learn, but I also was scared to. Being a part of this support group has totally changed everything. I feel like I can handle it now and that everyone is a big family and really KNOWS what is going on. I feel more comfortable learning about the condition and even just thinking about the condition. I orginally joined so my friends and family could be updated, and I never would have guessed that I would get so much support from strangers. It truely is amazing. I actually feel I could handle the surgery, and I've never felt that way before. I read these blogs several times a day because it is so uplifting.
Patrick in STL
You are a constant angel and I can't thank you enough for it. Your words and encouragement are a comfort to all. I know just reading your words on other people's guestbooks is encouraging to me. Thank you so much for your positive presence.
Patrick in STL
Got your guest book posting Friday and read your posting to your journal today. I was on Lopressor (beta-blocker) before my surgery as my cardiologist said it would help dampen the afib. It did a pretty good job becasuse I got the afib at lesser intervals. However the down side of it was that it made me tired because it really dropped my blood pressure. The combo of the Lopressor and working nights really wiped me out. Post-op I was taken off the lopressor and put on lisinopril, a ACE inhibitor. I will probably stay on this for quite a while as the doctor doesn't want to see me until mid summer. Post-op except for the 3 bouts of nearly passing out in December, I have had no problems. Nothing ever showed up on the halter monitor or the event monitor that I wore for a month. Like you I am I'll take the pills anytime. My question to you is do you feel better now than before your had your surgery? Are the palpitations worse now than before? I would not blame you for feeling really depressed if it is worse because we have put ourselves through a really traumatic experience hoping for relief. By the way the kids are fine. I hope the USA - Canada hockey game didn't start more palpitations for you. I'm an ardent Islanders fan by the way.
You are such a dear! Yes, I did attend church yesterday. It was wonderful. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. I found your 2-week heart monitoring of great interest. Has the Beta Blocker helped at all with your heart rhythms? I sure hope and pray that gets under control. I know how unsettling, tired and just plain weird irregular rhythms are. Take care.
You are tireless and such an inspiration for patients and care givers on this site. I get so busy reading all of your guest book sign ins in other journals that I forget to pop in to yours and say 'Hi, how are you?'.
Thank you so much for all of your help and support.
I'm hoping I can get an upgrade to First Class on the ride back.....and a drug upgrade as well. Almost everyone here is having that irregular heart beat thing. I'm practicing controlling my heart beats with my mind. I can do the long ranger theme and a few songs from that movie Drum Line. Take care and keep on dancing like no one is watching! (I heard that on face book)
Guess I was presumptuous about mentioning A-fib. Did your doctor use the word PVC (premature ventricular contractions)? That's when you feel your heart skips a beat, pauses and then beats hard? Not that unusual in a healthy heart.Have you felt a difference since you started on the beta-blocker even though it hasn't been that long? As far as being a nurse and it being a plus or a negative--for me it's a real plus. I find I can better deal with all this with as much info as I can get. Yes, I do feel very fortunate to be going to the Cleveland Clinic and having Dr Gillinov as my surgeon! The only downside is because he is so busy I have to wait 2 1/2 months for my surgical date! It will be interesting to meet Capt'n Bill. He'll be up and about before me and told him I would recognize him as the man pushing the IV stand with scotch in the bottle and an unlit cigar in his mouth. Unlike him, had my pre-op dental appointment yesterday and no work had to be done! Thanks for your updates to me.
Well, this is such good news. I've been on beta blocker type drugs forever and they really slow my heart and rarely make me aware of my consistent a-fib. When you think of what happens to our hearts during surgery it's amazing that they heal as well as they do. Now that the monitor is gone you will have some irregular beats (even healthy hearts do) and you won't be constantly aware of them. Have a wonderful weekend wit your Pete! I will, with mine.
So pleased you have the results and that it does not involve a trip to the hospital. I am so overwhelmed each time I read a posting by all the wonderful people on this site as it helps me to keep things in perspective. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for you words of wisdom and kindness.....very often this week I have been in a deep,dark hole and I click on my guestbook and there is a posting from you with such lovely advice.
Take care and thanks once again from a computer buddie who hopes to meet you face to face one day.
I loved the last line of your journal entry.."pills, I can do pills.." that is great! So glad that your monitor results pointed towards a non-surgical treatment...yeah! Have a great weekend!
I appreciate your note. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you haven't experienced, but, the nerves are frazzled. It's tough getting up every morning, going to work, and keeping on the happy face. My surgeon went to Haiti on a mercy mission. I hope he gets back OK. I'm fortunate in that my wife is a surgery nurse at the hospital where I'll have my surgery. She's hand picking the staff that will be with me. She is a strong lady and keeps me focused on the positive side of the experience. She's expecting me to come back from it all as the 20 year old I was when we met. I hope I can keep up with her, or, she with me.
Hi Cheryl, it has been a while since I read your journal. Your heart monitor is what Richard had to wear for about a week in the hospital before they decided to give him the pacemaker. It is a scary thing, I know, I actually watched it on the monitor. Do you think you will end up with a pacemaker like him? You and Fran have given me so much encouragement and I hope you know it will all get better - oh so slowly but surely!
I just wanted to say hey and don't fret too much about the monitor...I type for cardiologists and that is very common, an event monitor I think they call it here. It is good for them to know if the events are associated with activity or not and I do not think it is something that is worn for life..just another "test". Keep your chin up The more information they have the better the drs can help you. They may not have been very concerned about the PVCs because they are very common after surgery and in many cases go away after recovery so they were just probably giving you the time to see if they would resolve. We'll be praying that the monitor results/review by the doctors goes well and hopefully help get rid of the nagging episodes. Happy belated HEART day!
Thank you for all the words of encouragement! As I get closer to my due date I seem to loose some of my sense of hurmor and that is when I'll need it most.
I needed a heart monitor yesterday when I took my wife to the casino for a valentines day date. I lost my A** playing blackjack. I though I would spring a leak in my groin! But my wife being the trouper she is, made up for it on a penny slot machine and even paid for dinner and one dentist appointment.
She told me, if I did that again I would need more than a new heart valve!
Steven here. I was just musing about Edmonton because the Mazankowski Heart Institute has been doing some cutting edge work on valve replacement surgery, including some of the minimally invasive research.
I'm still far from even getting a surgeon I guess, so it'll be a while yet before I have to make a decision.
Snow? It's been grey here all winter and for Calgary that is depressing as we usually get months of sunshine this time of year. We have snow, but not enough of it for the x-country skiers...
Hi Cheryl, thanks for the note on the 13th. I am just now catching up with computer mail. We were on the east coast of FL, (we live on the west coast). We were visiting my sister and 3 of my 4 brothers (and spouses). Sort of a mini family reunion. Two of my brothers live in Massachusetts. We had a great time as we all do and lots of story telling and laughs. Helped to make the time before surgery a little easier.They are excited to be able to access my journal and follow my progress. My sister and brother in law will be in Ireland during my surgery so the computer will come in handy Do you know my husband's name is also Peter? Not a name you hear too often now a days. He is holding up well. When he sometimes tells people about me, he does get emotional. We will be married 50 years this October. Can't imagine my life without him. As for you, this monitor is co unpredictable, isn't it? When you see the doctor and he has had a chance to analyze it all, you will hopefully get some answers and a treatment plan. Thanks for the support. I enjoy your posts.
It sounds like you're getting back into life and living every minute - that's great!
Your heart monitor sounds so interesting. Maybe you will get some details about those strange "feelings" that seem to crop up at unexpected moments. I'm wearing a wristwatch that reads my heart rate and walking distances... it's kind of comforting to be able to check my heart rate at odd times. Phone calls from my boss seem to increase it more noticeably than anything ! :-)
Happy valentines day Cheryl. Great to see you have been assigned household chores again..makes you feel that you are progressing. Will keep you in my thoughts that the results on Thursday will be conclusive and a decision made to see if it is your new normal or not.
The love of my life HATES Valentine's Day with a passion. I guess guys everywhere would kill for a wife like that. I told her that and she said "Yeah, but they'd have to live with me..." I knew when not to agree. But we still get to wish each other a Happy Valentines Day, and for us heart conscious people I guess it takes on another meaning.
Here's the best to you and hoping that this Heart Day is a good one for you.
Happy Valentines Day. I am happy to hear that you have been reassigned your household chores. Really cool that you and your husband gave each other the same card. I hope your results come back terrific.
Thank you for your posting in my guestbook...you really inspired me with your great words of wisdom. You will no doubt gather from my posting that I am in hospital with pneumonia. The last few days have been really difficult and I have had to dig very deep for strength...there were times that I felt I had enough and my body has been so battered.....but am so grateful as I have pulled through it all again...each time a little more battered and bruised than the time before.
Take care and look forward to reading your postings.
The serious answer to your question about all my crazy dental work is; My surgeon won’t do valve job unless I'm 100 % disease free in the gums and teeth, that’s all the gums and replace old crowns root canals and 5 grand worth of work. They say my recovery rate and chance for no infection is way better because of my teeth. It would have been cheaper to pull them! Personally I think my surgeon and dentists are friends and they are buying a new boat together that I am paying for,
They had Jerry Springer on the monitor during my cathtt so that was similar to seeing my heart. were gpomg to dance lessons tonight
thank you for your comforting words! I bought the heart rate monitor watch after I read what you had to say about it. It works pretty good. My husband does blacksmithing as a hobby and I like to work with copper wire. So I made myself a heart pendant-all twisted, flat and hammered with the ends twisted together. Just like I feel. Ha, Ha! :-) I am glad you are doing good and I need to be more patient. I see my doctor tomorrow and we see how it goes. I let you know! Take care - Helen, North Carolina
I have finally had my surgery and I am recovering now. Surg date 02/04/2010 and I will be leaving to go home 02/12/2010. I am so thankful to you for your help. I am looking forward to being as resourceful as you are in my recovery. Thanks again.
I think that I have the choice of a few surgeons here, but I haven't investigated much yet. I'm thinking hard on my choices, and I'm sorry that I missed that chat with the US doc. I've read a bit about the Ross procedure and I'm wondering if anyone does that here in Canada.
In our brief chat my cardio basically suggested that I go mechanical, but the more that I read about it the less comfortable I am.
Sorry it has taken awhile for me to get back to you from your guestbook posting, but it has been busy around here with work and the kids. I am distressed to hear about your irregular heartbeat, be it PVC's or afib. The monitor should clear that up and then you'll have to take it from there. As to your question, do I feel better now than prior to the surgery. I would have to answer yes. I've been lucky as I reverted to a normal sinus rhythm immediately after my surgery. Yes, I had a pacer for a couple of days while I was in the hospital because of bradycardia but that was discontinued 3 days after surgery and I was in for 5 days. I don't have the shortness of breath like I did pre-op, except when carrying things up and down the stairs repeatedly. I have no restrictions as to what I can do. Conor is growing and probably weighes about 35-40 pounds and I have no trouble lifting him at all. The main question I have for you is do you feel better now than before you had your surgery? I think that is what you really have to measure against. Thanks, by the way, for your comment about my age but I am not much younger than you. Keep in touch.
Thanks for your continued words of support and encouragement to me during my recovery phase.
Sounds like you've hit a few bumps in the road recently and I hope things are going better for you. I guess it takes a while to get everything fine tuned after the surgery, but it is no fun waiting when you just want to feel like a normal person again.
I hit a few bumps myself in the past week, but I seem to be doing better the past few days. One evening last week I had an episode of sudden vertigo and weakness and I ended up in the ER. They did an EKG and chest xray, hooked me up to the heart monitor and said I was having a lot of pvcs. They started me on potassium because my level was low, and sent me home. I'm often feeling irregular beats and that bothers me, especially since they did a cardiac maze procedure that was supposed to fix that problem!
Like you, I may get put on a Holter monitor. I'll find out when I see my cardiologist tomorrow.
Take care, and I hope you're doing well.
Susan Murphy (KS)