One month from today huh? I remember when mine was a month away. Now I am only 1/2 a month away, 15 days. Enjoy the family Chuck. Seems like we realize how important every day is now. Thanks for your support through all of this.
Hi Chuck, You will have to let me know how you like your doctor and hospital. I was looking at that one as a possible choice as well as where Jimmy is. Just trying to find something that is good and close to home. So many things to think about it is mind boggling.
Until Later Linda H
I've been keeping up with your journals and have you in my thoughts and prayers. I know you will do great next month!! You have the right attitude and that is key in recovery. We are the blessed ones who can be repaired/fixed and lead full long lives!! You'll do great. Janis Kielbasa
It is so wonderful to read your posts that are filled with the fun and positive energy that we have loved since the day we met!
You are truly being an inspiration to us by being such a stand for "rolling with the punches". All of us are faced with challenges in life and we have really two choices...to be "affected and brought down" by it or stay positive and faithful and "cause" great growth in our lives. You are clearly defining the outcome of this challenge by your attitude, due diligence and faith!
We are proud to be part of your family and will continue to hold you all in our prayers! We have no doubt that the " the new plumbing" will be awesome...just as you are!
We love you so very much!
Mandy, Gabriela and Analisa
I've read your journal and love your positive attitude. You'll do great!
I had my aortic valve replaced last July. I was being treated for asthma for the last 8yrs...which it proved to be the wrong diagnosis (exercised induced brochospasms ?) As soon as I got my new aortic valve, I felt the engery and had no shortness of breath.
I was walking 4 to 8 miles a day by the 4th week. Kayacing by the 5th week. Jogging by the 6th week (it takes longer for females to do the jogging thing due to the "bounce". And, back to work in 7 weeks doing sports massage,
I will enjoy following your journey pre & post op....and look forward to seeing your time from the 4th of July race that you WILL be in!!!
I have March 20th circled on my calendar. And, I know you've heard this so many times already....but, the worst part is the waiting...I promise.
Congratulations Chuck! You will be one week behind me. Hopefully, I will be on my way back from Cleveland on the 20th after surgery on the 13th. So...look out for the butterflies...I was excited too when I first got my date, then it was like...oh em gee...it's really gonna happen! The cath will be a breeze, nothing to it. I have had 3. Take care and keep us updated on how you are doing.
Wow! Doc chosen, date set, goal made. Very impressive. Keep up the good work!
Now that you have a date, I will share with you the waiting is probably the hardest part. It gives you time to imagine the worst and make yourself crazy. Try not to go there too often or for too long. I can confirm what everyone said to me. Yes, this is a huge physical and emotional event. I won't try to minimize that. But, it is very manageable. You can and will do this!
I wish you luck my friend. We are all here to support you in anyway you need.
Hi chuck - haven't gotten my copy of he book yet. Man is mail slow ! Ha!! has seriously. Glad u found something to help you and as they told me you will do great Going Home today. Do like they tell you ! Be well. Bet to you !! Nancy
Heard from Kim yesterday that you were moving toward fixing the ticker issue we've talked about for the last 10 years. Our prayers are with you, Mona & Anthony. If there is anything you need, let us know and it's done. Fellow Badger Dave & Susie
Well this will teach us not to stay in better touch with you guys. Glad you have come to some decisions. Love to all of you and Charlie we know you will be just fine. You have prayers going up and special angles watching over you. And remember if you need a good burp, baking soda & water will do the trick!!
Hey Chuck! This website is great. I am so glad you've settled your mind about the who and where. Close to home is good! Just think of it as your 44,000 mile overhaul. You'll be up and running in no time (well, a little time) That first 6 weeks is a thrill ride. After that, no problem. So, will you plan to run/walk the Peachtree with us this year? I'll get your number if you're "otherwise occupied" on March 15!
When do you think this might be scheduled? I have my whole church (Marietta First Baptist) praying for you and family. Will keep checking in here for updates. Love you bunches!!! Give Anthony a big hug from Aunt Kathy and Uncle John..cousin Eric, too!
Charlie, you and your family will certainly be remembered in our prayers as you take this journey at this time in your life. It is a different course for everyone who faces surgery of this type... but with all the research (and surgeon practice) has made it a much safer game to play than 8 years ago when your Uncle Keith had his aortic valve replacement and by-pass at age 74.
Our prayers will be with you, during the days of decision ...up until the actual "incision"
and until you are completely recovered. Love to you, little guy who looked up at me and said, "You're not mean, are you?" And also to the man you have become. I will keep up with your journal. Aunt Maudine & Uncle Keith
Hi Chuck. Just want to say you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. We may not know each other very well, but I understand the power of spiritual healing, and how to learn to accept the path our journey in life takes us on. This is a scary time, but you will become stronger, your faith renewed, and learn to appreciate those who actually care. Ramona and Anthony will be your rocks, lean on them for support. I wish you strength, faith and peace. Much friendship, Tina Bergbauer and Ken
Chuck...great job getting yourself informed and prepared. Having the knowledge and confidence about what you are about to go through, is a huge benefit. You have the same heart issues I had (I am now 15 weeks post surgery). Just know that you will get through this just fine. The time leading up to the bid day is the hardest part. After getting into the prep room, you will get your IV and then in an instant...you are waking up in the ICU. You will be sore and groggy but if you are like me, you will have the greatest feeling...it is over and I am fine. For me, the recovery was challenging at times but I knew I could handle it.
You are going to do great my friend. Get fixed and lets enjoy our new valve and pipe.
I as well as Mitch ended up going with the Surgeon my cardiologist recommended. His experience and valves are his specialty.
I am having my surgery done on 2/20. I am still hoping there is an outside shot they can repair my valve if not it will be AVR. I have bounced back and forth on the type of valve. ..tissue/mechanical. I was leaning toward tissue but now might be leaning toward Mechanical as it's the best chance to not have to have a 2nd surgery. I spoke to a college friend of mine who is a cardiologist in Atlanta as well to his dad who is a CT surgeon. They both said at my age 38 that mechanical would be the way to go.
I have a meeting with cardiologist on Monday 2/13 and will get more of his feedback and then will make my decision that week.
Good Luck and let me know if there is anything I can do to help answer any questions.
Like me, you are fortunate to have found two great surgeons you are very comfortable with. I ended up going with the surgeon that my cardiologist originally recommended, because that choice allowed my cardiologist to stay involved, which I realized was very, very important. Also, that choice led me to a facility that was slightly more convenient. So, in the end, I was fortunate to be able to consider 'secondary' factors in choosing my surgeon. Sounds like you are in the same place. Remember, this is a high class problem to have. I recommend you choose one and get surgery scheduled. You will be relieved to have a decision made, but also, you can still switch if you feel that is necessary.
Now, as to that 'this is real' feeling, trust me, I know that feeling very, very well. Been there many times. I still get that feeling. Like today, I woke up and was fuzzy and forgot I had surgery, then awareness of my pain and stiffness came to me as did the 'wow, this is real and this is huge' feeling. I think it is necessary to have that feeling as part of the getting ready process. Getting ready for all aspects of this.
Good luck to you, let me know if I can help you in anyway. I look forward to reading your updates.
-Mitch Friedman (still in hospital, waiting to be released)
Yes I am with you on the "messing with the Pumlonary valve" thing. It's the one big potential negative. All the procedured have pros and cons and I guess we have to do our assessments and nbe OK with whatever we choose. Good luck and keep in touch
We have the same conditions. Bicuspid and Aortic Dilation. I assume you are around 44 from your Story. I am 45. What valve are you considering? I am looking at the Ross Procedure and meeting with Dr. Stelzer in NYC on Thursday. His website, in case you want to learn more, is www.ps4ross.com
Keep in touch.
Jeff Shebovsky, Orlando, FL
Chuck, sorry about the second consult. I know having to wait that long and the "who cares" attitude of the staff didn't help form a good impression. But you know...you have to go with "that voice inside" in deciding who to go with. None of these surgeons are going to appear completely incompetent or they wouldn't be CT surgeons. So, how we feel is really our best gauge. I believe "that voice inside" doesn't come from inside at all, but from a much higher power!
Just curious, what did the 1st surgeon say about how he would do the surgery? Did he indicate what sort of approach he would take and what type of valve he recommends?
Thanks for sharing and let us know when you have a date.
Glad your first consultation was soooo positive and your level of comfort high. I think trusting your surgeon and cardiologist is key to a good recovery. They all may be great docs but you may find your trust level and being connected the best thing. Sounds like you are doing great research....with this business...I really think the more you do the more comfortable you are. Good luck to you as you complete your research and find that special doctor that will be going through this journey with you. Prayers for discernment in your research. I am just under 3 weeks out and doing amazingly well with mitral valve repair and maze procedure. Blessings on you all
. Jamie Todor
Glad to read first consult went well. I agree these surgeons are amazing. I too found meeting them so comforting. I bet all 3 will be amazing in their own ways. Yet, somehow, it will become clear which is the right one for you. This is all about you getting to a place where you are comfortable. Once, there, never look back. Good luck. -Mitch Friedman
I so want to write something funny in this but I'm pretty sure as much as your loved I would be stoned in the town square even if it was a joke. I always say you need anything you have one of, get it fixed and be done with it. Love from me an Elaine. See ya at Moes soon???
Hi Chuck, welcome to the HVJ site. You and I are in the same boat, except my valve is tricuspid, not bicuspid, mine has just calcified to the point that my valve area is no more than .6cm. I also have a dilated aorta, although by CT in October it measured only 4.0 cm.
I too have known about the stenosis for several years, progressed from mild to now critical, the dilated aorta just revealed itself 2 years ago, when I asked for a CT because aneurysms are so common in my family.
I will be going to Cleveland for surgery in March, had consulted at Emory, but insurance was going to be an issue there.
Hope you don't have to wait so long, I think this is worse than the surgery itself, at least that is what almost everyone says after the fact.
Good luck with your meetings with the surgeons, keep us posted.
Hi Chuck. Welcome to HVJ! As Jimmy said, this site is awesome. People are amazing and so willing to share their experience and knowledge. I was in your shoes last month, when I was told it is time. I have used this site to help me along in the journey. I go for surgery next week. I am 47 and asymptomatic. Check out my HVJ (and others), I think you will find it useful. Ask lots of questions here, you will be amazed at what comes back to you.
Hey Darlin! I know I haven't been out to visit you guys in toooooo long but JEEZ! What a way to get my attention! Kidding of course my dear Chuck! I know that God will hold you and carry you through this and just know that we will be praying every step of the way! Thank you for sharing this way as I know we are all concerned! Love you very much!!
Chuck - I will be following you everyday / every step. My thoughts and prayers are with you. To my surprise I have the exact same condition as you and I have known since I was 9. It was found when I started playing basketball in Park and Rec. Thank you for this journal and letting us experience this with you, because I will have to go thru the same procedure someday. Love, Lisa (Mike's Lisa)
Hmmmm, so I hear there's going to be a new clicker in town, sounds good to me. By golly we need more people around with a distinguishable rhythmic soul. You got my support big guy, heck you need the break anyway. Keep me posted.
Welcome to the Site. I am also meeting with the Surgeon the 1st time this Thursday.
I have a Bicuspid valve with severe aortic regurgitation(has progressed over the last 16 years). Like you I thought it would be many years until I needed something done. I am 38 and have 3 small boys 5 and under.
This site is awesome. Ask anything you want and people will tell you.
Good luck and let us know what the surgeon tells you.
Your number 1 fan, best friend, soul mate, wife will be with you every step of this journey with you. We have been through many challenges in our marriage, and thus us one more that God has given us. Our love and God's comfort will get us through this too. Love you and Anthony too.