Hang in there Chrissy and if your pain is severe, ask for more meds. They should be able to keep it at a tolerable level. If you have a "pump", PUSH THAT BUTTON! It will not let you overdose and that is what it is there for. Only you can judge your level of pain. Welcome to the "other side" and I pray that your recovery will be swift and complete.
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
Hang in there. My mantra, over and over, was, "Jesus Mary Joseph pray.. help me walk this living day.." This prayer was told to me by an elderly friend who has endured 11 surgeries... and is a remarkable role model for me. The simple prayer soothed me; I hope it helps you. One hour at a time.. you are in my thoughts and prayers today. Kate R :)
yeah, you go girl! Sorry about the severe pain. I awoke from the surgery almost immediately when brought to ICU. I tried to talk with the breathing tube (though going in I knew I wouldnt be able to). I motioned to my husband/family to give me a pad and pen. I wrote 'so much pain, is this normal' 'get the nurse, pressure', So at first you will feel this, but if you are as lucky as me your pain level soon won't be more than a 5. I am so glad to hear from you. Try to get some rest...My surgery was at 7:30 on Friday and at 7:30 Sat night I was wide awake tired and uncomfortable so I burst in to tears due to no sleep. The nurses gave me something to relax me and even held my hands. Get some much needed rest. Even home 2 weeks I napped 2x yesterday. I bet you can't wait to see your kids :) Karen
I will be thinking of you and praying for you tomorrow. You can do this, and you will be surprised how much better you will feel. Stay strong and take it one hour at a time. Be positive about your recovery, your whole life is ahead of you and waiting!
I have been thinking about you and remembering how incredibly tired I was before also. I think what everyone wrote is true...a combination of your body not getting the proper blood and oxygen and the stress. I can honestly say that my groin incision was a piece of cake. It was probably the biggest non-event of the whole process...better than the cath or TEE or any of the blood draws before or after. I know the tears are coming easily right now, but try not to focus on that too much.
I will be praying for you tomorrow! Try to relax and know that this whole thing will eventually get you feeling much better than you are now!
Hey Chrissy, Stress can make you very tired not to mention the good ole heart not working to well. You will do fine and soon you will be in recovery. Everyday will get better. And I hear dont forget the chap stick. Good luck to you and God will be with you holding your hand. Prayers will be with you.
For the long haul
I was really tired right before my surgery too, and I didn't really know why. Maybe the stress has something to do with it. I'm sure the bad valve isn't helping either. I just had a constant urge to go lie down all the time. It went away after surgery though, so you will have way more energy when you are done.
Godspeed and good luck on your journey!
Your are worried so stress is tiresome, Also do you leakage with your regurgitation? Mine went from a 0 or 1 to a 4+ from Feb - April/May and sometime between May 7th and surgery May 25th the valve itself ruptured. Remember your heart and lungs carry oxygen to your entire body including your brain so any degree of heart failure is most likely going to make you tired. K Campo
Hi Chrissy, I was really tired the last week or so before my surgery. Just a couple of days and you'll be all fixed up and feeling better. Try to relax and enjoy your family and focus on much better you'll feel afterwards.
Praying for a stress free and speedy recovery.
aortic valve and partial aorta replacement
I wore my own slippers. That was it! I too cut my hair so I would not have to deal with it at the hospital or at home. It was a good decision. I packed comfortable clothes for the trip home. I went with much more but most everything stayed in the suitcase. Still, there was comfort in knowing I came prepared.
Are you having your surgery in NC? I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
My name is Kate and I had my repair on 5/14. It is scary, hard, difficult - but you will get through it and be well. Hang in there - take it one hour at a time those first few days. Do you like music? I listened to 2 piano CDs (with my headphones) over and over the first 2 days... It helped me stay calm and it blocked out the "hospital noises." You will be in my prayers on the 8th; just think how great you will feel with your children once you get your heart fixed... You will have more energy for more fun times ahead! Best wishes, hang in there.. It is hard but it will all be just fine. Kind regards, Kate R
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Here's the word for today-
"In all things, may Jesus be the strength of your heart, the center of your life, the guide of your future, the joy of your soul".
I didn't see any bottles of Chardonnay there, but docs did say I could have a glass a day and I have prob done so 3 of the 5 days I have been home. Sounds like you are packing the right stuff. I brought some spray dry shampoo which I never used as the nurses/aides washed my hair daily until I could on my 2nd to last day there. Also only was able to use the robe and pj's around that day. Not sure if I told you but you can gain a lot of fluids(I gained 20 lbs and still have 6 more to lose) so bring comfy sweats to go home in just in case. I used my slippers for the entire stay. Not much reading but did use my cell and laptop too. I guess a power strip is a good idea, but I found no issues with enough avail outlets to charge the devices. Sounds as if your spirits are picking up. I am glad. Karen
Im sorry as it sounds like you are having a tough time with all this. Agreed, you need calmness right now, not chaos and your family and friends should be well aware of this. I will tell you the same advice a friend told me. You need to pull yourself up and be as positive as possible (remember your kids and how they view all this-they too may be scared). You need to go into this strong for yourself to heal better. Also I have been told that depression can set in after the surgery so we want to kick this in the but now! I know you can do this. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I have only been home from the hospital for 6 days now and I am very thankful my valve was able to be repaired. I am taking things slow(walking short distances a couple/few times a day), dishes, cooking small meals and light dusting. I can go up the stairs once okay, but twice is tough still. Mostly I am enjoying be able to see my son off to school in the am and be here when he comes home. Focus on the simple joys in your life today and know that when you come out of surgery in a few days you will appreciate those so much more. Karen Campo
It's going to be okay. Enjoy that time with your kids/family and friends now, but remember there will be plenty more to come. I am one week post-op(mitral valve repaired last Friday). If you want to chat offline for any moral support you can look me up on FB or mail me @ email@example.com. Hang in there and try to be strong, if not for yourself for your kids :) Karen
This is a big deal. It is a lot for anyone to have to go through. It is completely understandable that you might feel depressed. It seems that this website is really helpful for patients who have to go through this type of surgery. I think that it is kind of like going through grief or loss and you have to travel through the 7 stages sometimes bouncing back and forth a few times. Just remember the stage after depression is usually an upward turn. http://www.recover-from-grief.com/7-stages-of-grief.html Remember, you are not alone.
Steven Dean's Mom, Linda
God Bless you and wishing you a speedy recovery ........
Hi Chrissy. I had my mitral valve repaired a year ago April. What an incredible world we live in where our hearts can be repaired! Physicians, nurses, and researchers giving themselves to make it possible for valve repairs to be so safe and routine. Thousands upon thousands of patients over the years facing the fear and unknown to generate the experience and knowledge that can save us. And then boom, it's our turn. Choosing this surgery is a gift of love to your family. Peace be with you, brave woman. -- DVB
Hang in there! Had MV repair last September with two kids (7 & 9) at home. I'm 43. There are some really special moments with your loved ones coming your way along with the scary stuff. For me the calm before the surgery was more about fear and retreating into quiet acceptance of the situation. I think it's a little lonely too (this site helps with that)! I won't ever forget and really treasure the first time I saw my husband and kids visiting in the hospital and the clarity that the experience brought to me regarding life's priorities. Please don't hestitate to reach out to me if you need a fellow MV patient to lean on. Best wishes to you and your family! Debby T.
It is not an easy thing to deal with and everyone does so differently. I had some calm moments and times when I kept myself busy but I also had a lot of depressed moments, including crying alone in the pre-op room. Like many people say the waiting is the hardest part. You will get through it.
Chrissy, I am much older than you (63), so I can only imagine how you feel. But just try to remember that even though this is a life altering experience for you, for your surgeon it is just another day at work. You will survive the surgery (mortality rate last year at Cleveland Clinic for mitral valve repair was 0! That's right...ZERO). You will be fine. It will not be a walk in the park...but you are a woman...a mother...you can do anything! I will keep you in my prayers and please try to remember that you are doing the hardest part now...waiting.
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
Hang in there Chrissy. I'm sorry about the depression you are going through in anticipation of the big day. I'm just so grateful that we had modern medical techniques that can save your life, and keep you around for your children. Remember the Angels that you have that will be in your company, today, and the day of your surgery. God will be working through the hands of your surgeon Hun. ((hugs)) Angela...look, I remembered to sign my name :)
Hi Chrissy, I just got done reading your journal, sorry I haven't responded before. Wow, you have had quite the ride, everything happening at a fast pace for you! I was in the same place, and foolishly thought "I" would never be the one that needed surgery. I thought people lived with murmurs all their lives and didn't even think about anything beyond that. My Dr. followed my murmur with yearly echos, and then it was every 6 months, and before I knew it, surgery was mentioned. I had the Robotic Mitral Valve Repair on April 25th, 2012 at Mayo Clinic. The repair sounds similar to how you describe yours. It's a lot to take in with such short notice, my thoughts and prayers will be with you. Put the negative things out of your mind, focus on the positive. This is the hardest time, the waiting and trying to take care of all of the little and big details.
I hope you find the time to take care of you with your busy schedule, mom's always put themselves last and that's not such a good idea.
You will do great and will recover before you know it.
Hi Chrissy, Wow I just read your journal. You have been through a lot of emotions. Dont let negative people get you down. I have that in my own family and it hurts, but I am just going to ignore them, that means it is 2 of my daughters. You will get through this with flying colors and then soar. You will be on top with a whole new life so dont worry about family members passing at an early age. My Dad passed at age of 63 with conjestive heart failure after going through adonomal anuersym 3 months earlier. But he had been battling heart problems for 12 years and his heart just wore out. I am 65 so I have outlived him with an anuersym and aortic stenosis/regurgitation.Things have changed so much for the better since the 80's. We are the lucky ones. You will do fine and God will be with you the whole way. I will keep you in my prayers with everyone else. Good luck to you and keep us all posted.
For the long haul
Just wanted to let you know I will be praying for you and I wish you the best possible outcome of your surgery. I will be having my aortic valve replaced on the 12th so I am in the process of trying to get it all togethernow also. But, wow, you made me tired out just reading your schedule.!!!! Sounds like a few days in the hospital will be a nice break for you.....well almost:-)
Anyway, know that you have a great support team here and lots of people to wish you well.
Blessings to you,
Joan Davenport AVR 6/12/12
You're getting close and you will do great. I had my mitral valve repaired on 3-13-2012, and have felt much better since my operation. Waiting is the hardest part, and it's best that you have plenty to do with work and family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you on June 8
- Jim Smith
Dont let one bitter person ruin your day.
Keep positive thoughts, remember that you have many people here praying for you and wishing you the best.
Many blessings on your upcoming surgery :)
Chrissy, Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. You will do fine. I had sternotomy to repair mitral valve about 5 months ago. The pain is managed and tolerable, the surgery has huge success rates. We are the lucky ones, we have something unlike so many other diseases that can be repaired and fixed. I was home alone at 2 weeks, driving at 4 weeks and walking 2 miles a day. I am 54. I am thankful that I can go on to lead a long full life. You will do great too. I know this to be true!! Try to not worry. Read other's journals for inspiration, info and advice. Lastly, don't let one negative E-mail out shadow all the positive ones. You will do great and I look forward to reading your posts of recovery. Janis Kielbasa
Chrissy, You are going through a rough road right now but I know in my heart you will recover and have a beautiful life ahead of you with your family. Please have faith and remember you are never alone. There are many angels above watching over you as well as angels among you here on earth. We will definitely keep you in our prayers and if you do remember when in school we were taught saints intercede for us in certain particular requests but St Joseph hears ALL our requests. May you find strength in your faith and stay positive. God Bless you and be safe......<3
I had my aortic valve replaced on 2/6/12. You will feel so much better after you have your surgery. It is a blessing to know that there are surgeons and technology that can help us lead normal lives again. Waiting is the hard part, but you have the love and support of your family to help your through it all. My prayers are to you and your family. Take care.
Hi Chrissy, I am a Carolina girl as well...little South of you, but Carolina non-the-less. I had aortic valve replacement in March and my biggest piece of advice is this: Keep the positive attitude!!!!! If you are knowledgeable about your condition and the surgery to repair or replace your valve, if you have carefully researched and chosen an experienced mitral valve surgeon that you are comfortable with and have decided on the place and time....don't let this ignorant jerk get to you. I can promise you that although I did not believe it when others here told me...you are doing the hardest part now...the waiting. You will be fine and so will your family. We just have to pray for people like the jerk!! Hang in there...it does get easier and better!