Ah, Christy...get a lot of sweat at the gym...salt in your eyes as the sweat runs down from the top of your head is not that bad. I asked a friend if a sheet of sweat works for sunscreen a few days ago and got a lecture...sweat is good....re the tears...I call it a "wet eye rush"....I think anyone with real heart gets a wet eye rush from time to time. I mostly turn my head away or walk to the back of the crowd when something great moves me "cuz I don't cry"....ha! ..Barry on the mtn in NM...Go Lady...when your band wins the competitions this school year 'cuz you were able to help so many students learn to perform so well together, you can have a wet eye rush. Assuming I get to watch my boy on the podium at the World Olympics in London in just one year...you can bet there will be a wet eye rush like there's never been before.
I'll be giving my doctor (PA) a call about my vision. I'm concerned enough....
I play a celtic harp (levers, not pedal). Stiil. it sounds good. I've played the piano since 7th grade and the harp for only 8 yrs. I also play in our church's Hand Bell choir. I've only played solo and have sort of stepped away from it since my husband passed away (3 yrs ago). I've recently have gotten back into it. I want to join the community group and plan to check into it soon.
Christy, ...gonna piggy back on DVB's comment a bit. Cardiac Rehab programs I've learned are not all the same. There can be a big difference in philosophy of the affiliated docs and the programs. My personal experience is the one I attended the summer of 2008 was run by a doc who seemingly was not up to date with the latest science about cardiac rehab. They were very limiting on what they wanted me to do as far as exertion. The one I found for rehab from my recent valve repair that I just graduated from after 12 weeks was all about getting HR up and working "hard", based on science that shows this facilities methods give better results. I can vouch for value to such a program. Also, Adam Pick, in his book, wrote about other benefits of rehab, such even as helping with the emotional/mental things that can develope. Cardiac Rehab does take time, but I am sure you would benefit from it, provided you can find a program in your area that will guide you to push your self, push your body to work hard, aerobically. ..my 2 cents worth...Barry on the mtn in NM
Rehab depends, I suppose. If you can find a program that will let you push then its likely a plus. They will monitor you and you will see how it feels to go near the limit of what is safe. Then you can apply that to your own workouts. You are probably going to put the time in anyway, and more. A lot of insurance will cover it 100%. -- DVB
After doing rehab for a week, I can tell you that you would be fine on your own. My rehab is just a little cardio (treadmill) and light resistance training. I think it is really designed for older people. I'll probably just do it for a week or two.
I read that a glass or two of wine or beer every once in a while is compatible with coumarin. Of course if it's a dr's order, don't imbibe.
Hi Christy, so glad to get the call from you that the cardiologist has given you an A+ report!!!!!!!!! Praise our good LORD!!!! As madre, I still have to say, please do not over do it!!!!!!!! School starting back,etc. Love u, Mama
I am Denise Youngs Father and she was telling me about your surgery. I listen to a show on XM radio every Friday at 6 to 8 AM on Cardio Surgery with Dr Ribakove and Dr Schwartz two leading heart surgeons in NYU Medical Center, and they often discuss heart valve replacements. You might find it interesting if you have XM or sirius http://www.siriusxm.com/doctorradio.
I have been on Warfarin for about 7 years now due to A-fib. Have no side effects at all and I am very active. Good luck with your recovery
Thanks for responding. Have you heard of Dr. Guyton at Emory? My brother lives in Alpharetta and he is helping me with the decision process. This is the toughest thing to pick the surgeon and hospital and also the type of valve.
Sounds like you are doing great now and I may have to check out your surgeon!
I just finished reading your entire journal and wow it has really helped me cope with the fact that I will be going thru this in two weeks. You are an inspiration to me. I have a question.....where did you get your surgery done and who was the surgeon? I see you are in Atl.
I to am have problems with my coumadin levels first I was a 5.2 then 2.7 and now 1.7 since they have included a 325mg asprin for the plavix test. I have asked them to let me take it before bed because it was giving me my own private heat wave. LOL. I also was told I could start driving this weekend and I have my 1st physical therapy today. So I will let you know.
Hey Christy... was checking out the ICU pics. OMG...Don't want to go there again!! But you look great!! Funny but they wouldn't let my husband take any photos while I was in ICU. There is one of me in the step down unit and boy did I look haggard.
I actually feel pretty good... made it out shopping today with a friend and now I am tired. No naps anymore, just resting at some point during the day on the couch. Do you ever feel shaky like after you have done a crazy work out? Now that I am doing more I find that I am quite shaky most of the day...like muscle fatigue or something. I will ask in rehab tomorrow if that is just a normal course of events and I would assume so.
coumadin is a nightmare. My levels dropped again too!!! I am only at a 1.4 from 1.6 after a dose increase...what is that all about? They are trying to get me over 2.0 Anyway, best of luck in your same endeavor of getting everything normalized, keep me posted. I was told that it just takes some time.
So...how was driving? I know my first time, I hated it. It was uncomfortable and it hurt my chest to turn but I am getting used to it and actually made 2 trips out today. It is nice to finally have some freedom and be able to do things. yeah!!
Do you start rehab next week? Even though we are quite a bit younger, It will be very helpful to get back into an exercise program.
Nice to talk to you and let me know how you are doing.
Congratulations on being cleared to drive! That was a major milestone for me.
My cardiac rehab was only for 6 weeks on MWF. Many people whose posts I have read on HVJ had it for longer. They worked me pretty hard, increasing the length and intensity of the workouts quickly. It really pushed me, but it was good for me. I read Barry's suggestion about looking around at different programs. That sounds like a great idea.
I remember having very bad back pain for over two months after surgery. Mine didn't get better until I was allowed to go back to the chiropractor. I am glad that yours is better.
Keep up the great progress. Your pictures look great!
I'm so glad that things are going well. Keep improving,"GIRL!" We just returned from Greece today, and I'm just now trying to get caught up on things. We will still continue to lift you up in prayer.
Cardiac Rehab eh, Christy. I think the length of it can depend a lot on your insurance. Medicare approves 36 sessions...don't know if any extensions are allowed...but, then, you are so young, medicare isn't gonna be a concern for you...but...check your insurance. I can tell you different rehab programs at different places have different policies and attitudes about what level of work they want you to do during rehab. The first time I had it...yep, once before after the angioplasy and stent...the place was extremely conservative on what they would approve for me to do. Their policies/programs were really from the dark ages. The current one (just finished) at the University of New Mexico Hospital has a policy of having us work a decent amount at what is called the hard to very hard level on a Borg (sp?) Scale of perceived exertion...meaning I really sweat a lot, but not every one there does. But, science/studies show overall the improvement/recovery is better when this type of program is used. If I had not gradually move on my own from the other programs restrictions in the one a couple years ago, I actually would have lost fitness during the program. I have definitely gained fitness with the UNM Hospital program. BTW, my cardiologist who has been here maybe 4 years did not even know the UNM Hospital program existed, had been referring everyone to the one I went to before, I'm sure because of "sales" networking. What I'm telling you is to research what is available in your area and interview them to see which one is best for you. Here the "other" program has a beautiful modern facililty and the UNM facility is really kinda rough, but the UNM program outshines the other one at least 100 times. Good Luck...Barry on the mtn in NM
Yep... I am in the 3 month waiting game for my home INR check kit. I can't wait either.
Woke up today with a deep dull ache down the middle of my left arm... yikes!! I am trying not to over think every little ache and pain but it is a challenge. Sometimes I do have genuine anxiety about all we have been through. My nurse comes today so I will just run it past her. Took a baby aspirin just to make sure.
At least the back pain is less today :)
Talk to you soon Christy
Follow Your Heart
Hey Christy... Things are going really well. Yesterday was my best day yet and of course I did a little too much and strained the muscles in my upper back but that will get better. I walked around a lake near my house 1.5 miles with very little increase in my HR. yeah!!! The fever I think has run it's course and is finally done. It is encouraging to hear how well things are going for you. I had a mini sternatomy and was released to drive this week. I tried it yesterday but turning really put some strain on my chest. I think I want to give it a few more days. Did you ever go to cardiac rehab? I think I am going to start next week. I would like to get back into regular exercise to build my strength, especially upper body and I think it might help.
My surgeon put my INR levels between 1.8-2.5. I will get my numbers check tomorrow. Coumadin is totally crazy. I had the same thing happen to me where my numbers dropped for no reason. See if you can get your doctor to prescribe a coag u check so you can monitor your levels at home yourself if you feel comfortable.
Talk to you soon Christy
Continue to do great!!
Follow Your Heart
Hey Christy... I was 4 weeks yesterday and today is the first day I am home alone. My mom has been here to help while my husband went to work. I am not sure what to do with myself. It feels so odd. I am hoping that my twins are helpful and I can find enough to keep them busy. 8 year olds can have endless energy.
Hi Christy. Here's how I stop a sneeze from happening when I feel it coming on and I want to avoid it. Works most of the time. The text is from WikiHow:
"Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch your upper lip lightly and press it upward toward your nostrils. Your thumb should head toward one nostril and your forefinger toward the other, bunching up your upper lip slightly."
I used my heart pillow, which was given to me in the hospital, and hugged it tightly against my chest when I coughed or sneezed. It still hurt but not as much. To prevent a sneeze, I place my finger horizontally just under my nose and press up with firm pressure until the urge to sneeze passes. It helps many times. I am glad you are doing so well otherwise. Yes, the help and love of family is a blessing. Take care!
My mom had aorta valve replacement 30 yrs ago and she too said that sneezing was the most painful, self-inflicted thing after surgery. She was told to hug a pillow when she felt a sneeze or a cough coming on. They gave her an extra pillow just for that while she was still in ICU. Maybe try that and let me know how it does for you.
Other than some sneezing, hope your recovery is going well for you.
Hi Christy, I know when I want to cough and the pillow does not seem to help I heold the pillow to my chest and hug the door way that way it does not hurt so much. On your nap I told my family I felt like I graduated yesterday because it it the 1st time not needing a nap but today boy was I wiped out.
No good answer for you about sneezing. I had a sudden big sneeze the second day home from my mitral valve repair (with sternotomy) and I didn't think I'd survive it. I did, of course. Somehow I managed to stifle any more sneezes before they came up. I also learned to avoid coughing and laughing for a while ( a smile or chuckle was OK). I always had my heart pillow handy and would clutch that when I felt a sneeze, cough or something similar coming. It gets better. You just need to work through it. I am now six months post-op and can barely remember even going through it.
Hey Christy... I couldn't agree more about some days just wanting to conquer a nap. I feel the same. I seem to do really well until the early evenings and then I hit a wall. I can only assume that is normal. It will be 4 weeks on Monday but that is still early days considering the type of surgery we had.
I did some research and I don't think C-Diff is my problem. I am still having the low grade fevers but they are coming later and later in the day. There is no other issues at all associated with it. I am wondering if it is just my bodies reaction to being tired. I will be meeting with my surgeon on Monday and will ask for some blood tests just to be sure.
Take Care and talk to you soon
Follow Your Heart
Hi Christy and Matt, It was so much fun for u all to visit in Griffin!!!!!!!!! Hope I did not take u too many places!!!!!!!! Thank you for COOKING the delicious country fried steak last night!!!!! It is so hard to believe it will be 4 weeks next Tuesday since your surgery!!!!! GOD has certainly blessed us in ALL ways!!!!!! Take care!!!! Love, Mama
Keep up with those steps, Christy..who knows..they could really put you in charge of some marching band in another month and you would have to show those youngsters how to carry a Sousaphone (sp?) or big base drum, play, and march at the same time...you could do it! btw, my 12 mile run on hills in the heat beat me this morning, beat me bad...gonna have to try it over again when the sun is going down this evening. ...barry on the mtn in NM
Christy, I'm a teacher friend of your mother. It's wonderful to hear about your story and recovery. I have have open heart surgery twice and possibly looking for a third . My aortic valve is in moderate condition. I went through both my surgeries knowing little but having great faith in my doctors. It's great to find out about you and all the others who are doing so well.
Thanks so much. We meet such wonderful people on the HVJ and everyone is so helpful. I leave tomorrow for Cleveland Clinic and tonight have to give up my binkie/blankey (5 lb teacup poodle) to the sitter - that will be hard - wish I could take him with me:)