To Connie's family - you are all in my thoughts and prayers this morning as is Connie. I think this is harder on the family than it is on the patient once surgery starts. Remember, she is in good hands at CC and in even better hands with God and all his angels watching over her. Take care and let us all know how she is doing later today. Denise Kirchner
My computer has been down for a couple days, so I feel bad that I wasn't able to send you off with some encouragement. I didn't forget though.......you have been in my thoughts and prayers......A LOT! You will do great today and feel soooo much better soon. Can't wait to hear your story on the other side!
Hey Connie, I will be thinking about you tomorrow. Now that I am starting to climb this mountain and not just standing there thinking about it. I am starting to adjust a litte but still feel a little jittery from having this wall of bricks hit me straight on. Dr Bittrick said he would not ruin Christmas for me.He said with the stress test it came out fine. I asked him about the lying down at the last minute. He said they get a better pic of it and faster. And I would have had the same amount of nuked stuff doing it this way or walking.l Told him I would have never made it walking. So guess I was lucky.
Well I will try and get a new cheer up for you on your mountain. Sounds like a cute mountain. One I just might like to see lol.
Good luck to you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers tonight and tomorrow and be looking for a good update tomorrow. Keep us all posted.
Hugs to you.
Starting the climb
Hi Connie, it's Denise from Dayton - just wanted you to know I am thinking of you and praying as you await your surgery tomorrow. I hope all went well with your pre-op tests today and that you are able to sleep tonight. I am looking forward to seeing you when I am up there for my 6 week post-op check on Thursday. Take care and God be with you. Denise Kirchner
It is Cly Denna. I think you will be at CC on Monday????? Time?? Where?? Norb is still here. Hope to post soon. I'll have on pink pants and an orange top. You won't be able to miss me. Norb is in
J6-11. BEST of ALL. CCV is FABULOUS. Praying and thinking of you.
Smiles, Cly Denna
Hi Connie, your day is fast approaching! I wanted to let you know you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. You have such a positive attitude and a great way with words. Good for you! Your wait is almost over, the hard part for most of us...You will do fine!
Hey Connie, Dpnt worry I will post on Monday after I get home. Wont be until around dinner time thou as my appointment is 3pm and it is an hour to get home.Then I willl get right on just for you..
I told my husband yesterday, this is what I think is going to happen.I think he is going to say see ya in 5 months that being Dec. and Christmas. Cause I got a name for this in Sept last year on my birthday, I think it is going to be a Christmas thing. Just my luck. Or else it could be dont know what the stress did, but for some reason at the end they changed their mind about the tread mill and had me laying down, after I was all bound up to do the tread mill. So I think something might have shown up. Oh well we will see on Monday. Maybe my birthday this year will be in hospital who knows. I just want it over with and can start acting like other 65 year old people. Not running 10K's though.
What kind of valve are you going to be getting? Im trying to think up a new cheer for you for when its over. Talk to ya later.
For the long haul
Hey Three cheers for being positive and ditching the anxiety. Hope I can do it later. Dont worry I will be here waiting to hear from you or whoever is posting for you. You have my phone number in case. Hang in there you are going to do greeeat. Pretty soon you will be going ver that mountain and seeing the pretty valley below, just dont run to fast.
For the long haul
Hi again Connie,
Forgot to say no need for nausea patch. I dont recall anyone on the site feeling nauseous after surgery. They must make us a magic cocktail for our IV
If you've had TKR, this will be even easier. I'm a therapist and see total knees everyday. I can ASSURE you they are all in more pain than I ever was with OHS.
Thinking of you in your last few days before the big one! Stephanie Cole
Yay Connie....you are in a great place mentally. The anxiety and fear will still be lurking in the shadows, but if you stay positive and look to the other side of the mountain, the anxiety will not overcome you. Stay strong and ask God for His peace.
PS I agree with Stephanie.....the food is AWFUL! So are the pillows.
Hi Connie T:
I am a fellow CC'er.
Actually i am here right now for a
4 month follow-up. The facility is amazing.
This is easy. You are a female and
Have had surgery before.
That said, this is a cake
Walk! Stay strong, stay
The TEAM is unbelievable - cardiac floor is so good. It is very obvious the drs are the best. Your surgery is second nature here. You'll see!
Negative:Food- crappy bring snacks. They gave me fried chicken 1 st meal- almost barfed! And hygiene a bit under- rated.
I live in Maine and will always return
Here. Above all, they are the best. You will fly through it. Stephanie cole
See if you can find my journal - planning to update on my second anniversary. It may give you some help. Once I had my surgery date, I was a lot more relaxed. I think you will find everything about the experience exceeds your expectations (and fears!).
Feel free to give me a call if you need any more info. 303-674-8913.
A HVJ friend, Barry Stone from New Mexico, visited us last weekend. It was SO great. He is another CCF graduate and another amazing recovery. You get to be quite close to those who you followed into surgery and those who look to you for help before they make the big trip.
I will keep my thoughts focused on you and your successful surgery and recovery. Barry and I concluded during our visit that a positive attitude is a key to success. It isn't easy but it's better than the option!
I had my aortic valve replaced at CCF about two years ago. Yes, it's cold inside so have a sweater or two. Think they feel it cuts down on transmission of germs.
BUT they do a most wonderful job and I promise you will bounce back instantly. I had surgery on Friday afternoon and was released on Monday morning and flew home to Denver on Tuesday. Never spent a day in pj's, never napped, felt great almost from the get-go. Plus I can't recall much pain at all. Hope your operation is as smooth and uneventful as mine was. Better days are ahead!!!
Hi Connie: I too am excited about meeting you. I will definitely ask the nurse the room number for the sexy woman in the "flashy" (no pun intended) hospital gown and "designer socks" and the newest fad in hairdos! My hubby will be with me, but if you don't want him to see you in your sexy hospital attire, I will leave him in the hallway - tee-hee! Take care and I will be on my knees on Tuesday praying for you! Denise K
Connie, unfortunately I am very serious. You're right...it is medicine 101, but you would be surprised how many don't "follow the guidelines". You are supposed to wash your hands (or use the sanitizer) before and after each patient. The main culprits are those that draw your blood, etc. It makes putting on the gloves difficult and waiting on your hands to dry well enough for the gloves to go on slows them down. They don't put powder in the gloves anymore because of latex allergies. So, as a result they might "wash" after the patient and consider that the "before wash" for the next patient. Not saying everyone does that, it's just been my observation working in the hospital for 35 years. Doctors are especially bad about it!!!!
Hi Connie, Ok well I might look a little funny carrying pom poms to the doctors office on Monday. But I will tell you that I will be thinking of you while I am there. If I had pom poms they might think I am in the wrong spot and send me to the funny farm. And for the jumping I just dont think I have that in me at least not right now. If you need to talk my phone is 864 369-5068.Sometimes that helps. I will post on here on Moday evening as my appointment is at 3pm. Who knows maybe I will hear something other than see you in 5 months. Just would love to get this out of the way. Tired of sitting around and cant do a lot of stuff. But I bet the next test will not be to my liking. Oh well I guess I can call it interviews for the big play. Then you will need the pom poms. Will be saying prayers for you. You go girl :).
For the long haul
Hi Connie, I will definitely look you up on the 19th and don't worry about the water retention - we all went through it - no big deal - won't bother me at all. My husband said he knew when I was feeling better because I asked him if I still looked bloated and what my hair looked like on the 3rd day after surgery - LOL! You are going to do great Connie! Denise K
Hi Connie, I was there in June for AVR, and noticed I needed a light long sleeve shirt with a light summer vest. The public areas are usually cool. Although at one appt upstairs with large windows it was too warm. Just have layers available in a rolling case if possible. I guess everyone is different.
You'll do great!
Hi Connie, I am also 57 years old....I am from the state of Washington but I am currently sitting in the Cleveland clinic after just finishing all my pre-op appointments. I am having heart surgery here tomorrow...it still seems unreal. I am having my mitral valve fixed...maybe with the robot, maybe not, they won't know until tomorrow. It has been a very long, very hot weekend (I had to be here last Friday for a day of tests). Everyone here is so nice, and that is helping very much. Still...I did not sleep last night and don't know how I can sleep tonight. The doctor said not to worry...I will be sleeping a LOT tomorrow during and afte surgery! Can't wait for tomorrow and the next day to be over. DB. 7-9-12
Hey Connie, Still thinking about you getting a little closer. Saying prayers for you, Hope somebody will be posting for you and let everyone know whats going on. I will look forward to your messages again. I love reading them. You hang in there girl. You are going to do amazing. You can call the knee surgery a dress rehersal. Just to bad it is close together. At least I have 12+ years between all of this stuff. Good luck to you and best wishes.
Your personal cheerleader.
Parts of the hospital are cold, but you will be able to control the temperature in your room. I liked mine really cold because I would get hot all the time ( your temperature varies A LOT after surgery), so your family might want to bring some sweaters. After I got home, I couldn't get warm.......cranked the heat, wore long underwear and was still cold. I think some of the meds they gave me made me cold.
I didn't have a patch for nausea, and I did get nauseous and sick once in ICU. They gave me meds right away and I was fine after that. They don't want you throwing up right after heart surgery, so they are pretty good at keeping on top of it.
You are in prayers Connie. You almost have it behind you!
I had my surgery at CC and I remember impressing upon the anestheologist that I did not want to be sick after surgery as I had problems in the past with vomiting after surgery. Not sure if they used a patch or not but whatever he gave me did the trick - no vomitting and when I did feel nauseous they gave me zofran through the IV which worked great for me. My hubby and I would recommend that your family have sweaters or hoodies as we do remember it being quite cool in the clinic. I am sure you are anxious to get the show on the road with your surgery - I can't believe it will be 6 weeks tomorrow since I had mine - I will be at the clinic for my 6 week check on July19th - you will be post surgery at that time - right? Would you like a visit from one of your HVJ sisters? Let me know and I will pop in to see you befor we head back to Dayton! You are in my prayers during your countdown to your mountain climb! Take care! Denise Kirchner MV Repair 5/29/12
Yes, my mom is going to post for me. Or actually she'll email updates to a friend who will do the actual posting. I hope someone will be updating for you as well - I just subscribed!
That's great you got into Cleveland so fast. I was super happy to have it all work out to have surgery locally here in NYC. Only thing that's not ideal is the season. I'm not looking forward to walking in the sticky hot summer weather! But that's the least of my problems. ;)
Hey Connie That was funny. Dont really want to give any one heart failure. The joy juice had a nice glow to it. I glowed so much I just wanted out of my body. Could feel it from my head to my toes, so I did a lot of glowing for 3-4 minutes. I kept saying get those minutes over with. When I had i in the first I started shaking from inside big time. I went for a blanket and wrapped up like a mummy in all this heat with a car that the AC is broken. Couldnt believe myself. I thought it was just nerves but I already had the glow going. So yes I will be sure to get back to you on the 16th later in the day as my appointment isnt until 3pm. Hang in there and no heart failure thats an order. lol
We will be *almost* surgery twins. I'm scheduled for the 18th here in NYC. I have a bicuspid aortic valve too only my surgery is for an ascending aortic aneurysm - my valve is actually fine...for now...
Hey Connie, See Im watching you. Was thinking about you today. Was thinking your surgery was tomorrow, so I wished you best of luck for tomorrow. Guess I will have to be a repeat. I tried what can I say. Hope all is good with you. I have my little glowing message on here. It was torrible but dont want to do it again as I am not fond of needles lol. You take care.
For the long haul
Hey Connie. My general practitioner did the incision check 2 weeks after surgery. Went back to the surgeon in week 4 if memory serves. My insurance set up the home nurse who came and checked my coumadin for the first few weeks until I could drive. I was on that for 3 months until my annuloplasty ring was covered with new-grown endothelials and clot risk was gone. It seems practices vary. -- DVB
Thank you for signing my guestbook. When I read it, I asked myself "Who is this?" and subsequently looked you up.
In regard to the most recent questions you posed: it seems there is a lot of variation out there, and perhaps even with a given doctor or group, based on the specifics of what was done in surgery, how the patient is doing, etc. In my case, the surgeon was not my cardiologist (I go to a large cardiology group here in Charlotte of about 30 doctors who specialize in different aspects of cardiology, but not one of them is a surgeon. Of course they do heart catheterizations and lots and lots of other stuff.) Given that, my first regular appt. with my dr. was set for about 3 1/2 weeks out from surgery. HOWEVER, since I ended up needing a pacemaker, I had to go in for the pacer tech to check it about ten days after it was inserted, and I was very glad of that. It was then that my A-fib was discovered, so the next week I had to see the "electrician" dr. on that. And so it has gone. About 2 1/2 weeks after surgery I saw the surgeon's NURSE, to have my "wounds" checked. My appointment with the actual surgeon isn't until July 9; I had my surgery on May 31! So, there you are - it's all over the map!
Same thing with the home care. Depends on each case. Given my artificial valve and my A-fib, I have been introduced to Coumadin as a way of life. Some people get regulated mroe easily than others; I am one of the others. It appears that this was the surgeon's call initially, but has been turned over to my cardiologist. (At age 69, I am, of course, on Medicare, and frankly, I think the "need" for so many visits is tied to that...but we really don't want to go any further on that here! I was reminded about 10 days ago "you are still homebound, you know..." I think being homebound is a requirement for their being reimbursed.)
Anyway, I wish you the best on your surgery! Stay focused and positive - and so far I think you have been. I know the CC is a great place; in fact Presbyterian Hospital here (where I had my surgery) has been partnering with Cleveland Clinic for some time, and that encouraged me.
I am sure you have checked out Linda Dixon (think I saw her in your guestbook) - she had much the same thing as you, I believe, and also went to CC and did great.
Connie, just read that your cardiologist is in Dayton and am curious who it is. I go to Miami Valley Cardiologists and my cardiologist is Dr. Joseph Malone - been going to him for 25 years. Also, we pass by Anna everytime we head for Tiffin, OH to visti relatives. My husbad and I were born and raised in Tiffin. We are practically neighbors - maybe we can get together sometime seeing we are HVJ sisters now! Take care. Denise Kirchner
I had my MV Repair surgery on May 29th at CC was discharged on June 4th and spent 5 days with my sister who lives near the CC - had a post surgery check on June 8th, then home to Dayton on June 9th. My husband stayed returned to work on June 12th and I was fine by myself at that point. I was glad I had my sister and her husband to help me. I slept in a recliner that I needed help getting in and out of for the first 2 weeks or so after discharge, then finally was able to sleep in my bed with lots of pillows. I would recommend that you at least have a close friend or relative stay with you for at least a week or so after discharge. I saw my GP 2 weeks after surgery for an incision check and my cardiologist 3 weeks after surgery for a follow-up. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you prepare for your surgery. The wating was the worst for me - I am so thankful to God and for the skilled surgeon and staff at CC for getting me safely through surgery. I hope to start cardiac rehab in the next couple of weeks - am anxious to be as active as I was pre-surgery. Take care! Denise Kirchner
Hi Connie, I had a follow up with the surgeons office a week after the surgery. Just sall the nurses. The checked the incision as well as wrote scrips. Plus you can call them any time and they write one for you. I saw the surgeon 4 weeks after as well as the cardiologist.
I had at home nurse come one time and that was all
I left Cleve Clinic alone, with a friend at home to escort me in, and stay with me about 5 days. Cardio date was two weeks out, and I declined a return to CClinic for Surgeon appointment. Did use the nurse hot line once.
HVJ helped me set my place pre-op. This is critical if you go "solo."
The Clinic discharged me with a 30 day supply of meds, so a pharmacy trip was not needed.
In summary, CClinic agreed, albeit reluctantly, to this solo approach. I think everyone should decide what program they want, and go with it.
I,too, was instructed to see my primary care doctor within a week of discharge. I was told the primary reason for this was to check the incision and for a chest x-ray. I'm sure they just want to make sure you are not having any problems.......especially if you traveled for your surgery.
I wondered if I would need a visiting nurse also, but I think if you have someone with you the first week at home you will be fine. You need to get your Coumadin levels checked a couple times a week, so you will need a driver for that.
CCF will instruct you to set up your rehab as soon as you get home. I waited a couple weeks, and I was sorry I didn't do it right away like they told me. It took a good three weeks to get mine scheduled, so I didn't start until seven weeks out. Many people start two or three weeks out, and I think that would speed your recovery. You can walk all you want at home, but it would have been nice and reassuring to go to rehab and be monitored.
Your big day is getting close.......try to focus on how much better you will feel when you get it behind you.
Stay strong.....you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Connie, when I was discharged from Cleveland Clinic to fly back to SC, I was instructed to see my primary care doc within the next week. This was to determine if I could stop the lasix which they gave to get rid of the excess fluid from surgery and to check my incision. I was also told to see my cardiologist in a month, which I did. I did not have anyone come to my home, in fact after the first night at home I stayed alone and did just fine. Cardiac rehab was ordered for 6 weeks out of surgery. I did not have any physical or occupational therapy prior to that.
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
My cardiologist saw me for the first time one month after OHS, and no one came to the house. Of course I had phone numbers to call to get answers to any questions. You'll be under intense observation in the hospital for enough days after surgery. If special concerns arise, instead of standard discharge instructions, they will monitor more closely. Like many OHS patients, I had to go an the outpatient lab for warfarin checks a week after discharge, and then the next week, but that's all
- Jim Smith
My surgeon is seeing me five weeks after surgery. I have had no problems with the chest incision.
I had a bypass at the same time and they harvested a vein out of my leg. My left leg swelled from fluid retention which complicated the healing of that leg incision. The community nurse came daily for a week to deal with that.
Hey Connie, That was funny. Moving 12 miles south. Well that is a start.lol Maybe he will go 24 miles next time you think? I hope your nephew is ok. Where in Colo is he stationed in Denver at Lowry AFB? When I saw the pic of Colo Springs and the AF Academy I was very emotional. All of these place were my old stomping grounds. I remember when the chapel there was being built.
My grand daughter doesnt know about her future problem. She has been thru the mill and was diagnosed with aspergers. So her Mom is just keeping it from her for a while. The doctor said see her in 2 years, and probably wouldnt need anything done until she is 60 years old. So yeah maybe she will drive up to a window and say I will have a valve to go please. But my daughter didnt think she was going to have surgery for a while and she only 29 years old, as it was critical. Until later
For the long haul
Holy da moly I can relate. Those phone calls about arranging surgery were some of the most "intense" ones I've experienced. In a flash going from needing surgery to riding the train for real. Felt a lot better afterwards with things being set more or less in stone. But, whoah, it takes some nerve and courage to commit to the knife. Brave woman, you! -- DVB
You're journal is quite a treat to read, and I agree, a sense of humor and acceptance of this is a huge plus!
I will be thinking of you on July 17 and praying for a successful and spot- on surgery. What type of valve are you getting? I'm sorry if I missed that in one of your blogs.
Take good care and I look forward to keeping up with your journey.
My Ross Procedure is scheduled for August 1 in Austin and having the date is kind of surreal....and scary..
HI Connie Three cheers to you. You have quite a sense of humor and that helps. I didnt have my hysterictomy until I was in my 50s. I had endometrous and fibroyd tumers. Doctor said you normally dont have both of those. My uterus was the size of a small watermelon. So I have told everyone not to sollow the seeds lol. So I kinda by passed all those dreaded hot flashes. Now I am taking after my Dad. He had Wolfe White Parkinson snydrome later had an adonomal anuersym and dies of conjestive heart failure. It was just worn out. I always knew it was heriditary, so I guess Im not surprised. My daughter at age 29 had valve replacement. So I guess God was just getting me ready for this. So what I have is aortic stenosis/regurgitation and anuersym. Now I find out my 9 year old grand daughter has a bicupsed aortic valve and so it goes.
You betcha I will be gaurding over you the whole way.
Where abouts is Anna Ohio. We moved here from Erie Pa. But I am originally from Colo. where it is burning. It really hurts. So pray for some rain out there. Until later.
For the long haul