I am so very glad to hear all went well and you have already begun your recovery. You and your family are in my prayers as you travel down this road, may it be easier than expected, and quicker than most. Lynda M.
Hey Sis! Having a party with all the fam in the waiting room while you are in surgery. Dennis showed us the video of you from this morning and we had a good laugh! I know God holds you in his hands and I cannot wait to hear what a difference this surgery will make. I love you with all my heart and you are the best sis in the world. Looking forward to seeing you when we return from Tybee. Be a good patient! Love you!
Hi Christi, As I am writing this you are in surgery. I am praying for you and your complete and total healing. I totally understand about your son. I am praying that God will wrap his arms around him and comfort him as you go through this. God knows how to speak to our children when we cannot find the right words.
Mr. Naughton, I am praying for you as well. I pray that God will give you peace and comfort during this time.
Hi Christy - I am a friend of your mom's and I will keep you and the family in my prayers tomorrow and days after that. Be strong and keep a positive attitude that everything will turn out great. I pray that God will keep you in His arms while the doctors work on you, and you'll come out of this smiling and feeling a lot better.
Yes there is a special bra. My hospital gave me several. They are tight but really help with healing. I also was given a Heart Hugger, the bra is made by that company, as well. The Heart Hugger helped so much, it was a life saver.
You know I will be lifting you up in prayer during your surgery. I remember that young lady back in '96 looking at my husband and saying: There is my Mr. Wright. Made his day. You wanted you to know how much we love you Lady!!!!!!!
Debbie and Danny (Mr. Wright)
This is Lynda Sanders, Jessi Simmons grandmother. I just wanted to let you know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers. I am sure you have the best doctor and with God's help, you are in the best of hands. I will be watching for updates. God Bless You..
The waiting is tough, isn't it. I've got 30 days to go and find myself frequently reviewing and re-reviewing all my preparations.
I will be monitoring your progress and praying and sending good thoughts your way.
Some hospitals give you a surgical bra ( the Cleveland Clinic did) and some people like wearing sports bras. I hated the surgical bra (the largest one they had was too tight on me) so I didn't wear a bra for several weeks after surgery despite being fairly well endowed. Some people find going braless uncomfortable. You'll have to see how you feel.
Christy i would not miss being there no matter what, If i should die i would be with you in spirit. I have already sent my spirit ahead to help with things
GET SOME REST. tHAT'S AN ORDER FROM YOUR LOVING UNCAL
Cuz, wanted to drop a message before I get caught up in a conference that I am at in San Diego. I put in my email to get updates - you should put in updates throughout your journey. We are thinking about you constantly. You are a good, tough (well, you know, mentally tough!) person and you will come through this fantastically! Just a thought here, but when my Mom was first diagnosed with cancer (recall she beat it and was relatively free of it - when we went on the cruise) she told me that if her having cancer meant that one little child did not have to have it, then that was fine with her because she could handle it. (Sounds like her, right!) Sorry for the emotional tidbit, but thought you would like this.
Looking very forward to hearing that you have new healthy VALVES!! I will be following your journal every step. We love you VERY MUCH and are so proud of you!!! LOVE, Jeff, Kim, and Lil' Connor
I am a friend of your mom’s through teaching. We used to work together at Haynie. Please know that there are many people praying for you that you don’t even know! You will be in my prayers throughout the surgery and your recovery.
With much love to you and your family,
hI! This is uncal Willie . I will be there with tomorrow and always. You better find out if dennis is having a gps tracking device install while you are under going surgery. Everything will go like clock work and you will fell like a queen again
Your Mother is a very dear friend of mine so you are a dear friend too. You have been in my prayers for quite some time now and will continue to be. I accidently hit the wrong button about not being notified. Please add me back for I care.
Remember there are lots of people who will be with you in prayer today, Tues. and everyday. Blessings and love to you,
Jane Gaston firstname.lastname@example.org
OK, Christy...I'll list some stuff for your madre....but first....postive vibes to you for your surgery and speedy recovery. I'm the one that assured you that you could be ready to lead a marching band in the fall, for sure. Now, for your Madre...there is life, new life, after heart valve surgery. I don't remember all the dates exactly, but here's a kind of run down. Heart surgery Fri, March 11th; doing walk laps around the hospital ward by Sat PM; on walk laps around ward Sun nurses are asking if I want to race; discharge Mon early PM; walk maybe 4 blocks that PM near hotel; Tues probably 4 mile walk; Wed and Thurs more; Friday a rest day to fly home; Sat 3 or 4 mile walk near home on the mtn in NM; Sun and Mon about 6 mile walks; about 3 or 4 wks later Half Marathon walk and a couple days later a 50 mile bike ride; Apr 17th a Sprint Triathlon; May first a 5 K run event and did the whole thing, 35:37, with no walking; started cardiac rehab Apr 15th M, W, & F each week which is heavy sweet treadmill for 30 to 40 min, about 30 min of sprint work on stationary bike & 10 to 20 min hard hand cycle....added an hour of weight training about 2 or 3 wks ago; started Marathon training about mid May...long runs on Sat were up to 10 miles yesterday (I am frustrated because I'm not controlling my pace and I end up doing some walking during the run); have another 5 K run event in a couple weeks; another sprint tri Aug 7th, a Half Marathon mid Aug, maybe an Olympic distance tri with swim in Lake Erie end of Aug (maybe...half to proove to myself by end of June I can swim 1500 meters before I will register...it is in the morning of the same day as my 50th high school class reunion); Half Marathon Sept 18th...and cardiac rehab goal, the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct 30th. Yep, Madre, there's life after heart vavle surgery...my hero, the guy with a form of chronic leukemia, as he was working finishing another series of chemo treatments, Mike McCarthy, the guy that rides circles around me....told me "...it is all attitude..." Yeah, he's so right...so your Christy...who I sorta detect has a super attitude...is gonna do great....give her all the attitude support you can. ....Barry on the Mtn in NM
Christy, You have an amazing spirit and I love your positive vib. I'm working on keeping my head in the right place such as you have.. I wish you tons of engery after your surgery and will be following your journey to recovery.
I had my surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and they do not allow anyone to stay in the ICU overnight. You can visit for about 20min, then have to leave. My husband saw me three times in the ICU (I only stayed one night). When you go to te Step Down room, then you can ave someone stay with you all the time ;) I did had a night nurse only to myself in the ICU, so you are not alone.
I guess I was not actually in ICU. I was in the same room the whole time after recovery. My husband was allowed to stay over night with me. There was a pull out sofa bed in the room. This was at the St. Vincent's Heart Center in Indianapolis. I was really glad to have him there. He didn't get much sleep, though. Check with your hospital.
Hi Christy - It depends on the hospital. I just had my surgery at Brigham and Women's in Boston and they allowed it. In face encouraged it. My husband stayed the whole time and it made a big difference just knowing he was there. I would ask your hospital directly. Good Luck. Randa Gaalswijk
Varies with the hospital. Cleveland Clinic where I had my surgery does not allow it and it really didn't matter to me as I was fairly well sedated and remember drifting in and out of awareness. You (and your visitors) will be ready to see each other when you are in the step down unit. Good luck.
Every hospital has there own policy on visitors,so it would be best to ask them directly. They are at the hospital i had my surgery.
I just had my AV replaced on the 5th and giving what I know if you can get everything fixed at once, do it. I'm going out on a limb but guessing having your sternum cracked a second time isn't anymore fun the more you do it.
Spouses spending the night in the ICU...hmmmm...think that is unlikely; however, hospitals can be very different. Many, like the local Heart Hospital and like Cleveland Clinic have a chair or something that makes into a bed a night in the patient rooms, but, probably spending the night in ICU is something to check on at your particular hospital...Barry on the mtn in NM
Finished thje tri upright and onm my own....which is winniing to this old(er) guy...am thrilled to be alive and able. I will chk my time in a few days to compare with my practice sim last week and to use as a measure for improvement.....I almost cried on my bike I was so happy to be able. You can t know how thrilling it was..and it did not matter how long it took...from the droid. .barry on the mtn in NM
I gotta add this....I noticed in your journal and guest book you spoke of valve replacement(s) and not really anything I saw about the possibilty of repair insteard of replacement, Yep, got to add this...even though I saw you interviewed multiple cardia surgeons and found one you seem to be very pleased with, even though you've done this, I have to suggest if you haven't spoken to someone that specializes in repair when it is possible, you should do this for yourself. I have no idea what the local, very competent docs would have ended up doing to me if I had not done more research, for sure I would have had my sternum sawed in two and spread, not at all necessary in my case. In my case chordae were replaced and I am sure the local people, besides splitting my sternum, would have done more insulting work to my valve. I also gotta say I know it is not unusual for a doctor to sell the procedure he/she is comfortable without volunteering other, even less invasive and with less complications, procedures are available. From what I've read, there are a lot of faulty, very high percentage, ...of faulty valves that can be repaired instead of being replaced. I have no idea if that is your case, but what I read is the repaired valves work longer with fewer complications than the replaced ones. I would say you would do yourself a favor to talk to someone that has as much experience as possible with the valve repairs as possible. There are a lot of places that do this. I see Ruth Howell recommended you call Cleveland Clinic. I had my repair there and the care was excellent. Believe me it was worth the extra hotel and travel expense, for me. to go there. On my short list was Columbia University, University of Maryland, as well as Cleveland Clinic. Again, if you haven't spoken to someone that is really experienced with repairs as a priority over replacement, my opinion for what it is worth, you should do it. I know people don't like to get should on, but sometimes....just sayin....Barry on the Mtn in NM...who's gonna do a Sprint Triathlon 5 wks and 2 days after surgery.
If all goes pretty well I think you will be ok with the timeframes you are looking at to being ready for the school year. Certainly you do not want to rush yourself, but with a good recovery it is very plausible to be back to work as planned.
I had a median sternotomy in my procedure on May 5 of LY at the Clevelnad Clinic. That is the full 9 inch incision. I was back at work full time at 5 weeks, which is not a manual or labor intensive job. At nine weeks I was playing golf regularly with no problems; which involves a lot of torquing in the chest.
Follow doctors orders, no not lift anything for the first few weeks as directed, do your breathing and walking and you might surprise yourself. That being said, there is no reason to push yourself if you are not ready, so you really have to gauge this on what your body is telling you..
It will be a very close call to whether you will be ready to go back to school by then. Are you going to have a minimally invasive procedure or are they going to crack your chest? If an MI procedure it is possible. If it is full blown sternotomy I wouldn't plan on going back just yet. My surgeon said that if he had to crack my chest, it would be 12 weeks before I could do anything to allow the sternum to heal.
Like I said, close call. Hope everything goes well for you!
I am not sure what you're asking about your body being ready and preplaning. Could you elaborate on that?
My mitral valve surgery will take place at the Cleveland Clinic on April 21st. My local cardiolgist said my valve would need to be replaced because it is a very difficult repair (anterior leaflet). I went to the Cleveland Clinic for a consult because I would never consider having this kind of surgery in Maine where I live. CC told me there is an 80-85% chance the valve can be repaired - and I'm hoping for that.
I would strongly recommend that you get a second opinion and if you want the very best results I would go to the best possible place - which is the Cleveland Clinic (best heart hospital in the US for the past 16 yrs.). If more than one valve needs repair or replacement they will do them at the same time - one surgery.
I totally understand your being nervous. Been there. But I now have that pretty much under control. If you visit my journals I have made various recommendations about how I've been coping. This information may be helpful to you.
I wish you the best of luck. Read all you can. Go on the websites of the top heart hospitals as they provide excellent information. Be sure to insist on seeing your doctor's and hospital's OUTCOMES before making your selection. If they do not provide their outcomes I would not use them. While there are other doctors and hospitals that are good, there is only one Cleveland Clinic Heart Insititute and they are the innovators when it comes to advances in heart and valve surgery. Personally, I think it's well worth the travel to get the best. This is a big decision and an important surgery, so do your research. Best wishes.
Do you have Adam's book? I bought it, but don't need it now and would be happy to mail it to you if you would like. I keep thinking about you, and hoping all goes the very best for you.
I have every confidence you should be able to do your preplanning stuff within 7 weeks of your surgery. But, caveat being, mostly, what procedure is used for your particular condition, but I'd expect with any of them, you'd be ready. You could probaby carry a base drum or tuba in a marching band if you wanted to do so. But, again, caveat, another one, is you should ask your cardiolgy folks. In my briefings before and after surgery I was given advice and what I call damn restrictions for activities...gotta respect them. Get moving and walking as much as you can as soon as you can, plus whatever activity will be prescribed for you. There is really good life after valve job surgery...I've written some relating to my progress on my HVJ. ...Barry Stone on the Mtn in New Mexico
I am also a teacher. I am a special education teacher working with students with severe and profound cognitive disabilities, and all of the are either in wheelchairs or are nonambulatory and need lifted or physically assisted. I had my heart surgery (aortic valve repair and removal of aneurysm and replacment of part of the aorta) on Feb. 28. For my job, which requires quite a bit of lifting, my surgeon said I must be off work for a full 3 months. He is not sending me back until after the school year ends. Your surgeon will be able to tell you what he recommends given your job. I know that band directors are very busy, even during the summer. Don't feel guilty about taking the time you need to fully heal. It will be worth it. I am a former high school band member and really value what you do. You help students learn so much more than just music. All the best and my prayers to you!
Good luck with everything! I have had 5 caths.... Just make sure you ask for anti nausea meds prior if you get sick from the anesthesia and IV meds. And the TEE, I coughed and gagged a little when having to swallow the camera but it wasn't that bad and they spray your throat and you are sedated. I remember them talking and it seemed very fast and then coughed and it was out and over! Then, I forgot they did it and they told me they were already done. So, it wasn't too bad. I am still waiting for a date for my aortic valve replacement.... It is great to find this community and not feel alone. Best of luck!
I am so glad you found a surgeon that you feel is just right. Having him go through your case and then take all the time to answer questions for you is so important. The fact that he and the hospital seem to do a great job, via first hand knowledge is important. I had my aortic valve repair and replacement of part of aortic root to remove an aneurysm on Feb. 28. We chose the heart surgeon and hospital that did my mother in law's surgery about 4 years ago, so my choice was quite a bit easier. It was so comforting that he took the time to answer questions and showed that he cared.
I don't remember suffering from a constant cough, but I have had several over the last several years that have hung on for weeks. I believe I have read that coughing can be a symptom, but do check with your surgeon or cardiologist.
You will be so glad after you have your surgery. You will feel so much better, probably soon after surgery. Do take the time to really take it easy and give your body time to repair and heal afterward. Waiting for the surgery to take place was much of the difficult part for me. I wish you all of the best and will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Thanks for the update. I appreciate hearing what others have gone through, we all learn from each other. I had not thought about how important it might be to feel comfortable with the surgeon. I just thought if he is great, then that is good enough for me. Too bad the first two did not seem very interested in the person behind the symptoms. This really is quite a process. I have an appointment on Monday with a new cardiologist (not surgeon) whom I know and trust to review my records/tests to advise. I also have had 3 cardiac surgeons respond to my emails, and they are reviewing my records/tests and said they will call on Monday or Tuesday. Everyone one of them said it looks like my cardio may have given me an exaggerated diagnosis. So, I am hopeful that at least some repairs could be in my future and maybe none or one replace instead of three. That would be a gift!!
You mentioned you had interviewed several surgeons and declined. May I ask why? Since I am still floundering here, and have not spoken with a doctor, other than mine, I am wondering what type of things made you turn away from possible surgeons, and how you feel about the one you now have lined up. Thanks, and I hope you are doing well today with no symptoms, just a great beating heart!
Didn't mean to scare about the TEE on that earler post - but I was in a different situation when I had my TEE - I had been hospitalized with severe endocarditis, so I was very weak, emaciated and anxious.