Glad you are back to work and enjoying it. Although, it is part time, I know it does help with the healing process...just be careful to not overdo it. Hopefully, this appointment on Friday with the surgeon will help resolve this seroma, so you may continue to put this all behind you.
I am still on a "slow & steady course". Today is much better than yesterday...and I am looking forward to repeating this pattern :)... I have a dr appt tomorrow too, the site of one of the chest tubes is pretty bothersome...Dan & I feel they took the stitches out prematurely....steri strips sure are not cutting it! :( Looking forward to hearing about your appt with surgeon...
Hi Denise, I'm glad you were able to go back to work, even if it is part time! I think it helps with the healing, being around "other" people on a regular basis!! I know how frustrated you feel, each day hoping that there is sign of less swelling and more healing! It will be interesting to see what the local surgeon says. Let us know! Great picture of you and Connie, I'm sure it made her day!! Hang in there!
When I had my final checkup with my surgeon, we began discussing my groin incision and the techniques they used overall. He said they make their groin incisions higher, otherwise he said "you can get a lot of sernomas" with a lower incision. No proof on this (DVB) is our facts guy.
Tom, I am sure will this too, and I forgot to tell you this the other day.
Hi Denise, Glad your seroma is going down. Hope it keeps going down for you and that is all over. Sexy pic of you and Connie.lol I called her last night and we talked for about an hour. It was just like talking to my sister also. She sounds like a lot of fun. Keep doing good.
Hi Denise, thinking of you and wondering how that seroma is doing? Have you been back to the Dr. and what do they think? It's frustrating and a nuisance, but things could be so much worse, right? Hang in there, will be watching for an update!
Hi Denise, I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and am sorry you're having to deal with the seroma issue. It can be frustrating, but you are doing the right thing by seeing the surgeon, each day that passes, could be a day toward getting it healed!! I had to remind myself over and over that there are so many other complications that one could have, we are fortunate this is a "small" one. One piece of advice, try not to do too much surfing on the internet about it, you will drive yourself crazy!!!! You have a good support system in Tom, and the rest of us here on HVJ!!! Keep us updated!
Hey Denise. Sorry to hear about the seroma. Was really hoping yours would get better and reabsorb. Unfortunately it sounds similar to my case. After the third time we drained it, I laid on the couch with a dumbell on top of the area, hoping I could stop it from coming back, but the dead space between the skin layers just filled up with serous fluid as soon as I moved around. The vascular surgeon here in TX explained that these seromas form capsules and as a result reabsorption takes a long time, or may never fully occur. I recall reading that over exptended periods of time, the seromas can harden or calcify. Makes sense to get it fixed sooner than later.
Let me know if you have any questions and hope you find a surgeon quickly and hear some good news. Would be interested if you do hear a different opinion on the next step in resolving "the bulge".
I cannot believe it has been almost 6 weeks for you, but I was so hoping your seroma was going to heal itself!...
Good news is that you are feeling so well....bet that wonderful vaca in HHI had a little to do with it too....how I love that place!
Keep us posted on your seroma.....praying that will be resolved sooner than later!
I am also Denise, from Washington state, sitting in my hotel room in Cleveland nervously awaiting my surgery for mitral regurgitation at 5:15 am tomorrow. I found this site today while waiting in between appointments at the Cleveland Clinic and enjoyed reading your journal...I related to a lot you said when you were at this point a few weeks ago...especially the fact that you can fall asleep, but staying asleep is a challenge! The middle of the night times have been a challenge, to say the least. Anyway, I am sure I will refer back to your journal frequently on the other side of tomorrow...thanks.
My groin incision is doing almost the same thing, not bad and no more tingling in the left leg. Still a little numb-ish, but surgeon said that was normal from the bypass procedure and would get better (and it has). GP said the same thing today and wasn't concerned.
I find the incision gets harder the longer I am on my feet, so relaxing in the recliner and elevating my feet seems to really help.
I goo in for my first follow up next week, and should be fine till then.
Hi Denise, Welcome back from vacation. You probably had some pretty hot weather here in SC, not fun. Glad you live not to far from CLE even though its far enough.Hope that goes good for you and its nothing serious. Good Luck
For the long haul
I bet you are happy to be home, despite the need to travel 3.5 hrs tomorrow to have the seroma assessed. Hope you had an enjoyable vacation with your family. Please let us all know how you make out tomorrow.
Glad to hear that the beach trip with family went so well, despite the long drive. Clearly you're doing the right thing - staying on top of the condition, and making the trip back to Cleveland today. Take care, and let us know how this turns out
- Jim Smith
I know the drive to CCF is a distance after your long trip home from HHI, but I also know the relief you will have when you are examined and this problem is addressed..(and finally healed). I will pray this is resolved soon and your continued road will be a uneventful one...
Hi Denise, yes I am a nurse, have been one for 18 years. I work in the Medical and Surgical Departments, and also do OB, my first love! Things are going well, I'm adjusting to the long shifts, but they sure were hard at first!!! I had the robotic repair, but still felt very weak. I was under the impression that it would be a piece of cake to go back to work. WRONG! at least for me! Having fun???
Glad you're doing so well.
Hi Denise, I'm so glad you decided to go through with the vacation and glad you made it through the car ride! Sorry to hear about your groin incision, does the size change or has it been the same all along? Did anyone look at it your first week postop? Keep it clean and dry, if you develop a fever call your doctor! Glad everything else is going well for you! Keep us updated and have fun!!!
I am on my 3rd cardiac rehab session and really enjoy it. I think this program will be the final jump start I need to get back to good. I forget do you work and if so what is your planned time off? My tentative rtw date is 7/17 which is just a couple of days over 7 wks. Enjoy your family vacation!
Hilton Head! good for you! I hope you enjoy yourself to the max!
My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary next week and will be going away for a couple of days. We'll be leaving our boys home with our four dogs...hoping to come home to a house all in one piece!
hope your swelling resolves and doesn't turn out to be a big deal.
Well hello yourself and welcome to sunny (usually) and humid (always) South Carolina! Enjoy your stay, Hilton Head...what a great place to recover! Hope your groin issue resolves itself soon.
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
I am new to HVJ, although I have followed your journey from the beginning.
I am so happy you were able to travel to HHI and vacation with your family! Nothing like HHI to make you feel better! Have a safe trip home to Dayton...and may you get some anwers regarding your possible seroma upon your return.....until then....enjoy the seafood!
Hey Denise! You sound like you are doing great. I think you should be ok to make the trip, especially if you'll be in the back seat. You may feel exhausted by the end of the trip, but I am sure the enjoyment of being with your fmily and satisfaction at pushing yourself will make up for it.
I am off Metoprolol myself and happy to have one less pill to take. Looking forward to the day when I am pill-free :-)
Keep up the great work and if you are ever in the Dallas area, let me know and maybe we can finally meet up!
Denise, I really think you will be fine. I didn't have mitral valve surgery (I think that is rougher than aortic valve) but I think some MVR people are driving at just a couple of weeks. I know it's a long drive, but it's not like you have to hurry, lol. If you get too tired, you can always stop. I say if you want to...you can do it. Besides...beautiful Hilton Head is calling your name...I can hear it!!!
Linda THE Tiger, AVR 3/13/12
Wow Denise, I think that is fantastic that you are considering a 12 hr driving trip. Sounds like you must be doing exceptionally well.
If you think you can handle the drive, I say go for it; however, I'm still on the pre-surgery side so I'm probably not the right person to ask.
Whatever you decide, enjoy your summer with your family and continued healing to you!!
Great news, Denise. Like you, I was also thrilled after surgery to return to Georgia and hear my doctor listen through the stethoscope and say, "no murmur," no "whoosing," completely normal sounds. Keep up the good work, and build on the walking, a bit more each day.
- Jim Smith
Very cool you are doing so well! Keep up the walking, increase it a little every day. Be sure to ask your cardiologist to let you listen to your heart, especially if you heard the murmur before. You will be amazed! -- DVB
Hi Denise, glad to hear you are doing well. Sleep is tough, I got so tired of sleeping on my back, but was able to sleep in the bed with several pillows, a small one under my right arm helped alot. It will get better, I'm finally able to sleep on my side! Keep walking, it will get easier.
Good to hear your feeling well.
I've been able to sleep in my bed with lots of pillows...under my head and sides. I wake up sore but sleep a good seven hours straight.
I'm going to try a heating pad on my sore shoulder blade.
Are you still having problems breathing?
I had a pneumothorax, I'm not sure how much that's affected my breathing.
Denise, it will get better, hang in there. It's tough figuring out the pain medicine combination. Everyone is different in how they react and handle pain. I was able to get by alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. I hope you find the right combination. Are the Lidocaine Patches still helping? Keep using your spirometer and taking short walks, listen to your body. My groin incision opened up a little too, it had a stitch work it's way out and started draining a little. It has taken 3-4 weeks for it to close up, I have had a skin reaction to some of my sutures and am still dealing with it! Hope you get a good nights rest tonight!
I am still struggling with getting comfy at night(been on the couch for about 10 days now and should prob give my bed another shot. I am just worried with it being on the 2nd floor and taking the Vicodin/Tylenol at night that if I had to get up I might fall, probably paranoia. It is a long day at home with no one here. Tomorrow my daughter will take me to the store to get some more books to read. I have been trying to walk 3x a day also which is tough doing but I seem to feel better afterward. Glad to hear you post. Karen
Denise, I'm not surprised about the Ultram! I took one (1) several years ago and spent the next 24 hours in a fog! I can't take it! I also had the dreaded neck/shoulder/back discomfort for weeks. I did find that using the travel pillow to help support my head seemed to help. Also an ointment called "Biofreeze" which I purchased from my chiropractor helped with muscle soreness. Try not to get too discouraged. Recovery is challenging to us all, especially those who normally are super active. It does turn around very quickly, mine seemed to be overnight. I just woke up one morning feeling better than I had felt in years! You will get there too, just keep the faith! God bless!
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
p.s. I was instructed to take Pericolace daily while on the pain meds to prevent the dreaded constipation. That makes EVERYTHING worse!
Hey Denise. It does get better week by week. Are you taking walks? Slow and easy but add a little every day or two. If you want to get some arm exercise you can carry a couple of water bottles during. If that sounds like much you can also do some simple exercises like sitting on a high stool and moving your legs around. Sitting in a chair and waving your arms around. Or doing similar stuff while lying down. With exercise always start well short of what you think you can do and add a little every day or two. Soon enough you'll be making good progress. By only adding a little at a time If you overdo it it will just be by a little and your body will let you know with some minor discomfort that will go away in a day or two. The 10 lbs limit is a real constraint - it's to limit the mechanical stresses on healing bone and muscle. You don't want to undo some of that healing so best to stay with the program on that score. Things are still getting knitted together - not the same as strengthening a muscle that's intact and healthy. Still lots you can do without resistance/weight training. Then when 6 weeks are up and proper blessings by the gurus and you're good to go. Something else to look forward to. You go! -- DVB
It is really difficult to get comfortable enough to sleep for any lenth of time after surgery. I found that proping myself up with about four or five down pillows made it okay to sleep in bed. Of course, you can only sleep on your back, so you still aren't comfortable for very long. It was much nicer than sleeping in the recliner though because I could adjust the pillows for my neck and back.
Good luck....hope your recovery continues to go well.
I hear what you're saying, we all hit a few bumps on the road to recovery after surgery -- but it sounds like the big picture for you is highly positive, you have a perfectly repaired heart. I too have found the weight limits, and exercise limits, frustrating. This is my second surgery -- the first time, in 2005, I paid much less attention to lifting and pulling things -- figuring if it hurt me, I'd just stop. So then I began mowing the lawn about one month after surgery, and not surprisingly, my chest felt sore now and then. This year I've been much more careful with weights and pulling and pushing things. Be careful -- and know that you are moving the ball forward, even if doesn't always feel that way.
Peace and blessings
- Jim Smith
For sleeping I put pillows under my mattress near the head of the bed to create an extra incline in the mattress. It worked really well for me and I slept in my bed right when I got home (4 days post-op).
I would suggest trying to ditch the Vicodin during the day and taking one at night to sleep if needed. I had a mini thoracotomy and have been home two days. I had my first full night of sleep in my bed last night and took only one Percocet before bed, otherwise I've been taking two extra strength Tylenol every four or so hours.
I'm not completely comfortable in bed either. I wake up very sore and it's painful to take a deep breath. I have a bed wedge that really doesn't do the job. Last night I put extra pillows on top of it and pillows under both of my arms . I also put a small pillow or rolled up towel under my chin on the side my head flops.
Denise - Glad to hear you are home and doing well. I am just at the point of selecting surgeons and Dr. Roselli is at the top of my list. It sounds like you have had a good experience with him and I will more than likely go with him for my surgery. I currently have an infection that I have to get rid of first and then have my testing done at home before I meet Dr. Roselli. Looking forward to August for surgery. I can understand your anxiety while waiting for the surgery. It is playing havoc with me...and I still have two months to go! Meds do the same for me too! But don't let yourself have the pain...you don't heal as quickly. Best of everything for your full recovery. Charlie Messineo
I'm with Nancy -- those narcotics gave me really crazy hallucinations. When I was in ICU I was convinced that some relative of a high mucky muck doctor was across the unit and everybody was looking after her instead of me. When they weren't making me feel like throwing up, the narcotics made me see and hear things that weren't there. I ditched them as soon as I could.
Glad to hear Denise is doing well.
I can't stand taking narcotics during the day...I just can't function with them.
I think I was hallucinating and talking in my sleep while in the Hosp and taking narcotics regularly. I dreamt one night that the Hosp lost power or was having an evacuation drill. I kept waking up to see the lights weren't back on (it was night time) and wondering how they would get us all out of the Hosp. At one point I thought we were on a ship. :)
I'll stick to Tylenol during the day, thank you.
hope Denise continues to heal. I'll be alone tomorrow too.
Hi Denise - been praying and thinking of you each day and I'm so relieved you're doing so well. Be good to yourself, let everyone spoil you right now. Your job is to heal and nothing else!! I'm home beginning my new life's journey - great so far. Everyone at work was so awesome and generous - great luncheon and nice memories. Will miss everyone for sure. Take care - please stay in touch.
Yeah, you are finally on your road to home. Congrats. I can relate about the nurses and staff being so supportive. While I wanted to go home I was also apprehensive to lose that full-time care and med emergency stuff nearby. I too thank God for watching over me both prior to, during and now. Will continue to watch for your updates. Karen Campo
Great to hear from you Denise! So happy you are recovering so well. Just remember...slow and easy...there are no "blueprints" for recovery from OHS. Resist the urge to compare your progress to that of others. We are all different. Take care and welcome to the other side of that mountain. The trip down is much easier than the trip up was, lol!
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
I had MVR on 3/2/10 and am doing great. My only issue in recovery was a high heart rate. It kept me in the hospital an extra day. It was in the 120's....medicine was increased, and while at home was still high. When I went to the first appointment with cardiologist he upped the med. He was not concerned and said it is very common. I took my heart rate at home and paced myself. In time, it came down...not weeks but a few months or so. I never came off the med. But my rate is lower and stable today and I feel great. The high heart rate can definitely make you more tired etc.. Do not worry...it is a normal condition of valve heart surgery.