Mike and I are grateful for all the updates. It sounds like all is going according to the expected plan, for that we are thankful. Of course there will be times to question yourself. This is not the time. Just concentrate on getting well. Don't blame yourself. You mean so much to so many people. We are all there for you.
Susan and Steve called from FLA. They send their special love to you.
We hope to see you Fri. or Sat, as you are ready for visitors.
Love to Artie, Jessie and Michael.
Diane and Artie
We vieweds the photo of the surgeon...a teenage doctor! It sounds like today you go to a less intensive setting and then home in a couple of days. The whole thing is amazing and we are thrilled with the wonderful results.
In terms of the cause of the problem, it would be hard to imagine that Diane did not do a complete computer search of valve problems. That being said, she then knows that genetic causes are repeatedly mentioned and not lifestyle.
Diane, keep up the good work in recovering and we will see you soon. Joan and Terry
I have been reading your posts for a while and tonights caught my off guard. This thing about not taking care of yourself is not the reason you had this done. You were living life and this is just your curveball. Dianna, I am 38 and DID take care of myself and still had it done so give yourself some slack. You survived freakin' open heart surgery and from what I read your kicking butt. Focus on your loved ones and keep on keeping on. :-)
I've been anxiously awaiting your update!!! So happy all is on track for you. Rest up all you can, so you are ready to take on what's ahead.
Thinking positive thoughts and sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery.
So glad this is behind you. Of course there is hard work ahead, not to mention exhaustion and discomfit. we are praying for you and just hope each day passes and you are more comfortable.
I feel like I have been holding my breath for a week. Is Artie OK? What can we do for both of you?
We will see you in a few days.
Jessie and Artie keep posting updates on diane. After going through two open heart surgeries with my mom, I know it hurts to laugh.Ao we won't even try!!
Diane, Darling....Artie agreed with me this morning that you should run for "QUEEN" at the Cow Harbor Day Parade in Northport next year! You have my vote. But, more importantly all of my votes to get well soon! AML Scott
Diane - Kenny and I are thinking about you and know you will do amazing. To quote another gusty New York woman -- "It's gonna be like buttah." Oops - I guess for heart surgery I should say "like cholesterol-free spread." Anyway, you'll be great!!!
To all the well wishers and to the people like Joanne, Nancy et al that are about to have surgery all the best to you and you're respective families and that you for the out pouring of support and good wishes to Diane from all over. I'll have my computer and will keep everyone informed as soon as I get a thumbs up. I think as the husband that I'm the one that needs yo keep it together. Only 8 hours till we are due at the hospital. Thankfully the Jets won today in the last minute of the game that Dr. Stewart attended-that's half the equation-the rest is easy.
Break a leg. Artie
With all the "LOVE" and Overwhelming Good Wishes flowing your way-The operation is sure to be the start of the "New You"
Can't wait to hear what your thoughts are
during this journey.
To a lovely lady: Wishing you all the best Diane. I see such determination in your smile. I know you will keep those doctors and nurses on their toes. Remember to eat some good quality protein today as protein is what will heal our wounds. We are going thru a life changing event and hope we can stay in touch. I go in tomorrow at 2pm and surgery is scheduled for 7am next day. Thankyou so much for your writing and I love those puns. Happy Thanksgiving and all blessings of health that the Universe and God can conjure up. JOAnne
Knowing you as I have since a young age, I have always admired your strength, intelligence, vivacity, and deep love for life and family. I see that nothing has changed. I have mostly known you through Jessica, but it has been always been through stories of devotion and love.
My thoughts are with you today, tomorrow, and always.
Diane, know exactly what you mean, have been in the moment leading up to the surgery, then there is a huge blank space (the actual day) then I think about lying in the hosp after with all the attendant hooplah. I think that is mostly the fear of the unknown and not wanting to imagine myself lying on the table all cut open with my heart, my life spark, stopped. There is something so entirely primal about heart surgery, I don't think anyone can possibly imagine what it feels like if they haven't gone through it. I too had a sudden diagnosis of aortic stenosis just this year. feel let down my the medical profession that i was not being "watched". anyway good luck Laurie C.
First, the very best of luck on Monday. The first 24 hours are the hardest, and then you'll be amazed at how quickly you progress.
Thanks for commenting in my guestbook. I understand the "feeling your mortality" part of your story. My son (51 and only child) doesn't like it when I discuss the shortness of life at this end, and he always says encouraging things, but my surgery scared him more than a bit since I'm 71 and his dad died at 71.
The "sudden death" part can be scary, but fortunately I didn't find out about the possibility until after my surgery. When I had the cath the cardio said, "You need surgery." I asked when. He answered, after a pause, "soon, and definitely before Christmas." That was mid-September, so we didn't think of that as URGENT! Thinking about it, he was saying, in a way, that I was in danger of dying by Christmas! We had tickets to So You Think You Can Dance's tour two weeks from the date of the cath and decided to set the surgery for the week after. However, when we got to the surgeon (4 days after the cath), his first question was, "Why are you waiting?" He looked very concerned, and he's a quite cheerful guy. My husband and I looked at each other and asked, "When do you think it should be done?" That was a Tuesday. He said very gently, "I can fit you in on Friday, or if you need time to adjust to the idea, next week, Wednesday." It took only a few seconds for both of us to say, "Friday."
I am so glad I did, and it wasn't as bad as I imagined it could be. I went home on day 6 (following Adam's suggestion in his book that the people who stay longer in the hospital have an easier time at home) and I was glad both that I stayed the extra day and that I went home that day. It was quite remarkable. One day I felt like I could never manage on my own and the next day I was DEMANDING to go home because I felt capable.
Actually, it was 1 1/2 days in ICU and 4 days in the room. I'm very glad I didn't try to rush out of the hospital since I learned so much from the nurses.
When I got home I was amazed that I didn't need to linger in bed. I felt quite good, and the biggest problem was NOT doing too much. I read a lot of books and surprised myself by not turning on the TV once. Usually that's the first thing I do.
You're in extremely capable hands in NY, and what you said is absolutely true. There are many doctors capable of bringing you through this, and Manhattan has more than its fair share of them.
As Adam said to me when I got concerned that I was not a candidate for the minimally invasive surgery, most of us have the full medial sternotomy and do just fine. In fact, you'll probably be more put out by back pain than sternum pain as most people are.
Again, very best of luck. If you don't have Wi-Fi in the hospital (or if it's painstakingly slow as it was at my hosp), have a relative post your progress. We all want to hear from you.
It's Nancy H. again----
so weird how everytime you share something from your situation I feel like we were in the room together getting out diagnoses! My doctor told me the same exact thing when I had my consult, although he put it much more delicately!! He wanted, I think, to drive home the point of the severity of the situation and that I should not be taking chances with any of this at this point. I guess, some people might consider putting it off out of fear or something else???
Anyway, I am very excited to put this all behind me and know that I am not the vicitm of "sudden death" due to an undiagnosed condition. We now have the power and will be right as rain in about 6 weeks......
On another note, I wanted to explain my comment regarding your ceilings observation....you have to know me to understand this, but when I remarked about possibly LOLing it was that you see intricacies and beauty; I would see cobwebs, that it needs painting, or water stains that I would examine like a psychology exam!!!
I'm a little wacky that way!! Either way, I appreciate the whole idea now and will think VERY fondly of you when I am having the cath and remember what a beautiful take you have on life.
I know I said this before, but your pooch is one lucky dog!!!
Very happy for you that you are in a great place and ready to take this all on.
Have a good weekend!
Diane- We've read your journal with interest and admiration. Everything has been happening so quickly but, true to your personality, you've addressed the issues with intelligence and action: The hospital is amongst the best in the world, your doctor is an expert in his field, and now you are planning for the recovery stage and securing tickets to Lincoln Center in June. We wish you a speedy recovery.
In the next days we know that you will be deluged with well wisher's wishes, and we will be one of those raindrops. We will check-in of course with Jess and Artie, and soon again with you too. If there is ANYTHING that we can do just ask...and we will be pests to Artie.
What a a wonderful outlet this is (similar to my friend's business: www.carecircle.com). You write as well as I would have expected. I am glad you are in good spirits. That's important. Maggie's "boyfriend" is already missing her but if Artie wants the (second)-best of all worlds, he's welcome to join us for a stress-reducing walk.
Wishing you a wonderful procedure and a speedy recovery.
Gene and I have had our share of medical problems but we've survived, with the support of our wonderful friends, and here we are, happy and healthy. You will do well and emerge better than ever - you will be in the best of hands. We will be thinking of you and sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Gene and Jeannette Sersen (friends of the Claburns).
Diane- my wife of 44 years.
I have to say first, a heartfelt (pun intended) thank you to Adam Pick for puting together such a wonderful book and setting up the journal. I can't imagine getting through this surgery without the stories and experiences from people we don't know, but share a common thread. Bipartisan love and friendship. Too bad the country can't take a page from this. Diane what can I say except that I love you very much and I know and you know that Dr. Stewart is a gift from god and that's hard to beat. You're story will not be an unfinished symphony. We will spend the next chapter of our lives together, and yes, I'd marry you all over again. hubby
We love you and have arranged to be in the city friday and saturday to take care of Artie. We will be around for both of you.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You will do well- with time you should be better than new!!
Your positive outlook, loving children, Artie and all your friends will help you through this time. barbara and mike
What a great idea to have your friends and family join you in this upcoming experience. You're all heart, Diane, with everyone you know, and it will be even stronger after your procedure. We'll stay in touch with this wonderful idea of a journal. Can't wait to see you hiking Mt. Greylock once this is over!
Hugs and love,
What an interesting way to look at things!! I will make sure to notice every detail of the ceiling when I have my cath on the 29th, but I hope I don't burst out laughing!!!!
You have a great attitude, and you will be fine!!
Diane...you are and always have been a "trooper"! You are well researched, prepared and motivated to do the neccessary. You always seem to be involved in meaningful projects and when you finish one you stumble across another. The timing of this procedure couldn't be better! You get to rest over the holiday weekend and don't have to cook! All of our love and good wishes! Marilyn and Scott Gerber
Hola Diane: What you said is so true. I am running around trying to give the house one more cleaning before I go for the big one on November 23. We are expecting snow in Portland, possibly on Monday. Portlanders don't do well with snow ( I go in the hospital on Monday.) I just feel we will do well in this surgery. My only last thing I want to hear from my surgeon is that he will not sew up my pericardium. It is best to let it be. You must have done some writing in your day. Your a very inspiring and I have enjoyed your wisdom. Blessing to you. JoAnne
Have you recently visited the ceiling at St. Patrick's Cathederal? Rockerfeller Center also has some amazing art work that is timeless.
I am soon to be schedualed for mitral valve repair and beleive me it's mentally consuming and emotionally draining.
Good luck. You have chosen a reputable hospital.
Our thoughts are with you every step of the way. We are sending you a lot of positive energy bundled in love. You are in great hands and it will all work out. Our love will accompany you into the OR and will be with you on this journey.
Hi Diane, am going in for my AVR on Tuesday here is Colorado....funny how our dogs always factor in the equation. I thought hard about going to CC but one of the things I knew would be better for me was having my dogs stay at home with my husband, wouldn't have to worry about them, of course not my only considration but one of many! (2 Bicons and a Yorkie!) I am so jealous of your being able to go to the Met to the opera.....I belong to the Opera Guild here in Fort Collins and one thing I have been doing to keep my mind busy has been going around and about town collecting donations for the silent auction at our gala in Dec. I am hoping that I will be recovered enough to go by then. Good luck Monday, will follow you Tuesday, there are 4 or 5 of us this coming week!! fond regards Laurie C
Nancy again.......I don't know if you are aware of this, but I am having Dr. Girardi perform my valve replacement!!! I'm sure your doc is excellent, and I feel very good about Dr. Girardi...we can compare notes when it's all over.
I know what you mean about the doggie dilemma....I have a 12 yr old cocka poo who is glued to my side! Unfortunately, I am not as blessed as you to have such wonderful friends who can take her for the week so she will stay here in the house with my petsitter checking in and possibly my husband staying here some of the nights when he gets tired of our son's bachelor pad on E86th st!! It's funny, but so far that is one of the more difficult parts of this...not being with my side kick, but we will probably get sick of each other when I am recouperating!!!
Don't worry about your little one; sounds like she/he will be in good hands and getting lots of love.
I also have severe aortic stenosis (.5) and was given pretty much the same story regarding sooner rather than later and what to expect. I will be going in the Monday after you for my valve replacement.
Good luck with your procedure....I'll be thinking of you!
Hope you can get home for Thanksgiving, but if not, just think of all of the wonderful ones yet to come!!!