Keeping our fingers crossed.. I know about postponed surgery.. Mine was booked for the 13th of Sept. u and I are having our valves done on the same day.. yours Alberta , Mine B.C... good luck
Congrats on the date. Best of luck. Just curious who your surgeon is. I am in Calgary and will have the same surgery within the next few years. I am 39 so I am hoping to remain symptom free for a little while longer.
Those of us who don't pray have been sending our versions of good vibes to you and I am thrilled that you are scheduled for surgery so soon. This is great news and makes me very happy. Please keep us updated of your progress through the heart valve journal. We will be thinking of you and your family.
Hi Don thanks for your note
I am not released for formal cardiac rehab as of yet, just had my postop stress test and echocardiogram. My cardioloigist would never allow swimming due to sternum healing until after rehab is completed sometime in Dec or Jan. When I asked when he thought I could swim he said not until Feb or so due to reinjury of chest. Keep in touch
Should have known you would be savvy enough to know! I agree with what you say, the only thing is if I don't go back to your journal I would never know there was a message for me. One thing I think would be nice is spell check! I shouldn't complain (and I'm really not) because this site has been so beneficial to me in so many ways. Take care. Let us know.
Hi again, Don
Just to let you know if you want to respond to people on the HVJ, just go to Journal Central and type in the name you are looking for under Search Journals, and when you get them, you just write in their guestbook. Take care.
Don, you look pretty good for an old guy. I'm just a youngster of 68 who will be operated on in the very near future to have my aortic valve replaced. Have you heard of the percutaneous transcatheter aortic valve implant? It is still in clinical trials but looks very promising. I went to Cedars-Siani in Los Angeles to inquire about it. I found that I was not ill enough to participate in their trial. The procedure has been approved in Europe but I am not sure about Canada. If you need information call me at 513 834 9805. Good luck and best wishes to you. Gary Vice
Oh My Don I am so sorry for this sudden change of plan via news from the Dr. Please hang in there I know from reading your journal you have amazing strength and endurance. Waiting I always believe is for some reason we will never know. Take Care and I will be thinking of you
Will pray as you wish. But, obviously you'll have to be prepared with a second plan of action if your prayer isn't answered. God really does answer our prayers in the way He sees best for us and that's not always what we pray for. Be faithful to His plan for you.
Hi Don and Patty,
We think of you and pray. May the Lord's presence be especially real to you.
Randy had a heart attack many years ago, as you may remember. Now, being 87, he rides his bike 6 miles most days, praise the Lord.
He's still working on Assyrian O.T. thru Skype. I'm a walker, and I do letters, and family things etc.
We visited Heather and family in NY State this past summer. Beautiful area.
Love to you both, Anne and Randy
Wow what a story, I am new so I had to catch up I am so impressed with your ahtletic abilities through the years. I was a short distance 5-10K prior to my first surgery many years ago since the last 2 returned to swimming which I was an avid swimmer from childhood through college. I cannot wait to get back into my laps. I really feel for your wait but LOVE your attitude and leaving it in God's hands, so important. I love Canada when we lived in Traverse City Mich, we visited often. Take Care
Good Morning Don
Great news that the big day is so soon. You've had to wait a long time but in a few months you'll be back to your old self and feeling great. Let us know the op date when you get one.
Glad things are working out for you and you are accepting them. Seems you've come a long way since your early quest of even considering foreign travel. God has a way of working things out. Being patient is our part and it's not always easy. A lesson I've had to learn. Keep us up to date and enjoy your summer.
THANKS FOR THIS INFO, AND SO GLAD YOU GOT SOME ENCOURAGING NEWS YESTERDAY. YES, INDEED, YOU ARE IN THE HANDS OF THE GREAT PHYSICIAN. WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THAT AND WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR YOU AND PATTY.
We are so thankful you have peace now about this decision and things are looking up since your May entry. We give Him praise for answered prayer. We also hope the doc is right about the waiting time for surgery. So love you! Peggy and Jerry
I am so glad to hear that you are holding up, and even able to do some work in the gym. I have so much admiration for you. We think of you and wish you and Patty and your family continued strength for what is in store. I also hope you'll be able to join us for some informal linguisticcy activities soon.
Sorry to be so slow to respond. I (Lorrie) was so surprised to learn of your heart problem and am wondering where you are today with that challenge. Please get us up-to-date. And tell us how Patty is, too.
Wendel had a bad case of shingles a year ago last February and is still dealing with a significant amount of pain. I KNOW he has depression and the med he is taking is not helping. How do you get a man to talk to his doctor?! Praise God for HIS strength and the victory that is ours to claim because it is already won. Hope to hear from you. Lorrie
It takes so long to wade and weed through my regular e-mail before and after my work, I've forgotten to check this site. Sandy just reminded me. It's good to hear that you don't seem to be getting worse while you wait. I had two friends who had some of your symptoms, esp. difficulty breathing when climbing or other hard exercize, but in their cases some earlier infection had caused the pericardial sack to harden and it was gradually tightening around the heart so it couldn't pump adequately. The sack was cut off and they've done fine since. They didn't need valves, so I guess that's quite different.
Some of our folks have had heart surgery in Bangkok and I've heard good things of Bangalore, but it is nice to be close to home if possible.
Thanks for the message in my guestbook. Lethbridge is a fairly large city so I'm wondering why you don't have the choices that I do regarding the abundance of qualified heart surgeons and the wait you have. As you read, I was in and done fairly quickly even taking into account the fact that I was picking in and around my scheduled holidays and other commitments I had.
I had been asked to consider using a new heart ring that was in it's testing stages so when I asked how many my doctor had done and found out none, plus not even one at my hospital, I said no way. Canada has to test 200 and so far about a total of 40 had been used over a two year period so I wasn't up to any big decisions like that. The States had already inserted over 600 in the same time frame.
I was quite content with the doctor I was sent to so just waited it out but such a short time.
I see my cardiologist next week, 8 mos post-op. I'm curious to know why I'm still using Warfarin and how much longer I'm going to continue with it. I'd also like to have my pvc's, missed, double and triple heart beats explained to me and would like to know more about the two other valves that aren't perfect. They said they weren't bad enough to repair so I hope they aren't expecting them to wear out when I'm yet again older.
My rehab is great and I'm really feeling like my ole self except for the very seldom bout of palpitations. I'm back doing anything I want to do and don't think twice about taking the stairs. My recovery had few complications and nothing that turned out to be serious so I was very fortunate.
I would hope you do as well. I tried not to think too deeply about what I was going to experience other than for all of the research I did. I just tried to relate it to someone else and not myself. Denial worked for me! I was very prepared thanks to Adam's book. I can't say enough about that book, his blog and now this site.
How is your wife with all of this? Is she strong? I hope she has good faith in the abilities of the process and data.
Hi Don and Patti!
What a surprise to hear of your impending surgery! We are sorry that you need to go through this, BUT are confident that you will recover quickly due to your incredible fitness levels! Don, have you inquired about the suggestion given in your guestbook re: having surgery in Ontario -- or elsewhere in Canada? Is there a speedier process anywhere else? We are praying with you for wisdom to make the best decision with the knowledge and information you are able to gather, and then for peace as you rest in that decision.
Hugs and Prayers John and Joanne
Dear Don, Thank you for all this information. We can hardly believe this could happen to you, so fine an athlete. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are both turning 87 this year and praise the Lord for His goodness to us. Randy had a heart attack long ago, but has done fine since. He rides a bike now = does six miles or so. I walk! Love in Christ, Anne & Randy
Here's just to let you know how I got on in Bangalore so far:
I arrived in Bangalore on Thursday and arranged to meet Dr Jawali Saturday (yesterday). Was very impressed with Dr Jawali himself, who is very focused, direct and absolutely unassuming! Will be admitted Monday and have the angiogram and on Wednesday the actual operation. Unless the angiogram reveals anything unexpected, it will be a straightforward Mitral Valve repair job (incision under the right breast) and possibly discharge from hospital the following Wednesday. At least one week's physiotherapy at the Fortis Hospital while staying with friends in Bangalore...
The admin side of things was a little chaotic on my arrival at the hospital - mainly, I think, because it was a Saturday and Dr Deepshikha Raj was not there in person... So, it's probably advisable to arrive during the week...
The accommodation looks very comfortable - when we looked at the rooms...
Due to the cyclone the temperature here is a 'cool' 28 degree C which is very pleasant - the hospital of course, is totally air-conditioned...
I myself am really ready to go for it and get it over with now, wouldn't want to wait any longer...
I hope you'll soon get a clear picture of where you want to go and have it done...
Wow, you just can't have the choices there that we have here in Ontario. It's very likely that Alberta health wouldn't pay for you to come to another province for your surgery if it isn't life threatening - am I correct in that? Toronto, London, Kingston and Ottawa all have really top notch surgeons. I was told in June I had to have the diagnostics done first and my appointment was the end of July (my choice because of our holidays and other commitments). The diagnostics were done July 26 and my surgery was booked for the last week of Sept. - again - my choice. It could have been a couple of weeks earlier. I had to cancel because of illness and was done Oct 1/09. Montreal is really great too.
Wouldn't it be better to go ahead and officially get into the lineup and in the meantime look around for alternatives? Just a thought. Has to be frustrating figuring out the wait.
Just curious - but why were you looking at surgery elsewhere other than in Alberta? Do you not have the choice or abundance of skilled heart surgeons there? Here in Ontario (I'm very near Toronto) and there are several hospitals there that offer heart valve surgeries. Anyway, I hope you manage to get yourself a surgeon and settle on a date.
Good Morning, Don
Hope it all works out for you. Seems your pastor's advice is wise (what else would one expect)! If it is this fall here in the states, I pray the wait goes by quickly for you. Know you will keep us up to date.
Hi Don, isn't Adam's website brilliant! I first came across Dr Vivek Jawali (Fortis Hospital, Bangalore) in a video on the Heart Valve Journal page. To save you searching for it, it's also on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GBC85o6Ds4 Dr. Deepshikha Raj, who is the International Patient Care Co-ordinator, then answered all my initial questions by email and a few days ago arranged for me to speak to Dr Jawali on the phone which gives you the opportunity to ask all your technical operation related questions (unless you prefer to do it by email). I have MV regurgitation and had severe shortness of breath until recently when the diuretics and my excellent herbalist's tinctures seem to have kicked in and I am much, much better...I personally like everything I have seen and heard about Dr Jawali and Fortis Hospital so far and am all set to go within the next 10 days. Keep in contact, if you like, and maybe see you out there... Best of luck to you and all of us! Love, Ros
Praysrs and blessings to you, Don.
I may not have the technical ability to carry along with your updates, but, I sure will try.
You are so corret, Don, you are in His hands and please have faith that all will be well and that is what He wants for you. That, He still has lots of work for you to do do here!
The cardiologist at MEDEM St. Petersburg is Dr. Andre Obrezan. He speaks English, as do many of the staff and the Chief of Staff Dr. Alexander Strelnikov. If you make contacr, mention my name.
Get on the internet and check out MEDEM here in St. Petersburg. I have confidence in what they do, and prices are lower than European or American. I'm not sure what kind of visa or other document would be needed. I hope MEDEM makes provision, because I don't have much expertise. I would visit you here.