Have you considered buying one of those little INR testing gadgets? Fran has one. I was getting ready to buy one from the States and having my girlfriend bring it to me this summer so that is why I was really wanting to get a decision made on this stuff. Thankfully I won't be needing it but if I did, I was definitely going for the convenience of being able to read my INR when I wanted and would have gone to a clinic perhaps every couple of months just for a professional check. It's something you might consider. I was making the INR work around me and not the other way 'round. I ate what I wanted such as cranberry and spinach but then would keep that in mind so made sure I got a reading. I was having such a hassle with my doctor's office about giving me the readings that it was becomming a battle of wills. The hospital told me to take nothing for granted when it came to not hearing back about a reading so I didn't. Anyway, for those who have to remain on Coumadin/Warfarin - I didn't really think it was all that bad of a trade-off.
I've followed your journals regularly, since my husband has your same diagnosis. I have missed seeing your progress since you were flying out of town and I hope you are still doing well. I look forward to an update when you are up to iT. Hope all is well with y'all!
That was really nice that you dropped by my guestbook. I read other journals and know you are still around so it was good to hear you are doing well. Keeping as busy as you are must be putting some things on the back burner so I trust you are making sure you get to all your follow-up appointments regarding your other issues. It would be good to get everything cleared up and be done with the second-guessing.
I just got off the Warfarin today. Seems my GP didn't read the surgeon's letter or make note of the fact I could have been off in Dec! Oh well, no harm done.
I am feeling so much better and getting stronger all the time. I'm back to doing whatever it is I feel like doing and am so darn glad I can fully enjoy this summer weather we have been blessed with. I take nothing for granted.
It is really nice that you take the time as often as you do to write in people's journals, giving them your insightful encouragement. If anyone on this site knows adversity and how to come through gracefully, it is you.
Someday, if ever we get close to your area I for sure will want to drop by and meet you and Peggy in person although I feel I know you already.
It's been a few weeks since I've been on the HVJ site. I'm glad to see you're progressing well. You're braver than me to get on a commercial flight these days. I'll take a small plane anyday.
My dad was going through his parent's documents he had saved the other day and he found where my grandmother had the same surgery as me for the second time in 1986. She had a St. Jude mechanical valve and an aortic root resection. She was 82. He still had the wallet card for her device. It looks very similar to mine. As much as things change, some things stay the same.
I just got back from a picnic with my brother's family and we revisited the Appalachia museum. If you come up this summer, it's a must see.
Since trying to return to pre-surgery normal life I've experienced a few tough days. After such a run of renewed health, I've had a few episodes of short term vision impairment, dizziness, and chest pain. The INR has stayed around 2.8. I've not mentioned the hickups to family because they worry too much. I'm probably a little over aware of things that I wouldn't have paid attention to before as well.
Let me know when you guys get a chance to come this way.
Hi Duane, nice to hear you are doing well and able to travel and work hard with meetings etc!
Richard had vertigo several times actually years ago before HV surgery. The first time was bad and he was told sometimes you never get it again and sometimes it comes back once or twice so hopefully yours will not return at all.
You and Richard are hitting upon 4 months now. He continues his cardio rehab and he is getting stronger and starting to look like himself again, as I suspect you are too.
Glad all is going well - I know for some like you and Richard, some parts have been a little tougher, yet you both seem to be doing well and not letting it slow you down. He has a few concerns still - with the memory and not being quite himself yet, but all and all I think he is doing great. It is going to be a good summer this year to be getting better!
Say HI to Peggy.
Keep praying for us all now!
Richard's wife Susan
I believe tomorrow is your visit with the neurologist, right? Hope you have not had any further episodes. But also pray the neurologist will be able to get to the answer of why they occurred.If you want to share and I assume you will, please let us know how you are doing.
Hi Again Duane,
Wow...what an exhausting trip you just made..thank God you made it on that flight home. I really feel for you with all those doctor appointments and do not know why I have been so lucky in my recovery. I just pray you have better days ahead...you sure deserve it. To answer your questions..my doctor put in for 24 cardio rehab sessions for me. I will see how it goes and stick with it as long as I feel I still need it. Keep us updated...we will be watching out for your wonderful updates!!
All the best,
Thank you for signing my guestbook. I was just wondering if your blood pressure mirrors mine when at rehab. could this be a source of your dizziness?? My cardiologist asked if I felt lightheaded because of the low pressure. I am sure you have explored this possibility because you did mention other medications, but I just thought I would mention it. Again, thank you for your wonderful stories on your journal and your friendly postings on mine.
Glad to read your update. Since I flew home from Cleveland 5 days after discharge, they very nicely informed me that the wires would not be a problem at the airport and just like you, they weren't. Guess the TSA looks more for a "mass" of metal not some thin wires? Don't know if you're home yet or not but hope your trip went well. Know that when anyone is doing the Lord's work it has to go well! Will continue to pray that your vertigo is due to the after effects of your 2 powerful drugs post op. Know you will update us as soon after the 26th that you have an answer. Many years ago I had an acute attack of viral labrynthitis (inner ear infection). The vertigo was constant accompanied by vomiting. Couldn't lift my head off the pillow without intense nausea and vertigo. It subsided in about 5 days and has never re-occurred and would not want it to.Different situation than you, but I do have tremendous empathy for you. Apparently you are far enough north that your weather is several degrees cooler than us. Been in the 90's and humid here, too difficult to walk outside. Labs and chest xray this week and visit to cardio on Monday and hopefully get to the bottom of this left scapula area back pain. Take care, hello to Peggy. How wonderful that you both have your mothers to be with and celebrate Mother's Day.
Well, I just got done reading your journal and viewing your your pictures. What a beautiful family you have! All I can say is WOW what a journey you have been on!!! I am so glad to hear that your recovery is going well and you are back on track. I have my mitral valve repair scheduled for June 3rd and my emotions go back and forth. Your journal made me laugh-which I needed- and my favorite were the Top Ten Lists:) Thank you for sharing and my prayers for a continued recovery.
Hi Duane, well how the heck are you? I read your journal and how it is hard to keep up and tapering off, etc., oh how I know that as the heart-valvers-wife, I just haven't been on as much, as life is busy in this fast-paced world we all live in these days, and getting busier for Richard too. Although I must say, even though he doesn't write alot in the journals,(his typing is still a little slow and he's not much of a writer anyway) I know he still reads the journals almost daily as he keeps me updated about all of ya'll!
Tonight I made a point to take the time to catch up on alot of the 3-monthish-more-or-less-group and I realize I forget how hooked I get when I start reading them and how special it is -- there is such a soft spot in my heart when I hear Duane's name and Penny's and Fran's and Theresa, and Cheryl's, Capt. Bill, Beverly's and a few other's names. What a wonderful group of people and with everyone's ups and downs and progress and little setbacks and the little-big progresses like getting to ride in the boat or drive, or get off a pill, or less congestion or a 90 minute walk, or an oops! on the knee, etc., it is not at all boring, just inspiring and touching to hear!
I know it has been a little rough for you in many ways, but you continue to encourage us all and I guess we all lucked out having our own preacher be part of all our our loved ones recovery and recoup with your endearing yet billowy verbiage! Couldn't do without it (no pressure there to keep inspiring (ha-ha).
We love all you heart-valvers and we pray everyone makes full recoveries and in a year will really think "life is back to normal" - whatever that means!
Peggy, hope you are doing well - if you are like me, you must just keep being so happy you have him - I just find myself staring at Richard sometimes in amazement,concern, renewed hope, but mostly love. As I said in his journal tonight - we keep finding the smallest of things these days to toasst and be happy about!
Richard's Wife, Susan
I have been reading your posts as they come up and wonder in amazement at your inspiring positive attitude as you've faced so much adversity. You are a very strong person and no doubt you credit the Lord with much of your strength.
I'm so glad to see you finally on the road to recovery. Your "three oscopies" had me glued to the computer waiting out your results and I'm very relieved nothing ugly showed up. You've had me worried.
How has Peggy been holding up through all of your testing? Tell her she deserves a huge hug. Her nerves must have been frazzled.
Today is our 42nd anniversary so we are going to Tim Horton's for a sandwich for dinner and then off to our ballroom dance class. No time for fancy stuff. It is warm here today and being able to go out without a coat or sweater makes me feel so alive, well and thankful. I'm lucky I'm so blessed.
Wishing you continued great recovery. Hi to Peggy.
My aunt had her cath this morning and things went well for her with the exception of a punctured artery. They had to bring in a cardiothoracic surgeon to repair the artery and then proceeded with the cath through the other leg. The best news is that her AS is mild and she won't require surgery. They're placing a pacemaker in the morning to regulate her heart rate.
It would be great if you guys come to the Smokies. After fifteen years as a service manager for FedEx, I know all of the ways around traffic.
As far as stature, the size of a man is measured by the size of his heart. From our brief interaction, I know you're a giant!
Good Morning Duane,
Noticed by a couple of your entries to people that you were up early today, also. I do believe I am over the worst of the chest congestion as I am really not coughing and certainly not bringing up mucus. Hopefully that will allow me to get some walking in today. Guess you have joined that elite group of people who have all their "ists" specialists. Cardiologist, pulmonologists, urologists, nephrologista, proctologists, neurologists, etc. The list goes on. Andy Rooney had a funny segment on 60 minutes a few weels ago. Said he had surgery on his right wrist awhile back and apparently needed the same surgery on his left wrist, but his original doctor only did right wrists. Now, a lot of what he says is tongue in cheek, but this wouldn't surprise me. As for July 22-24th, have marked it on my calendar. We definitely should plan to see each other. Since you and Peggy will be the busy ones, we will rely on you to let us know when you have some free time, we will be much more flexible than you. Am praying for a productive, healing week for me. Am praying for you that the neurological symptoms are due to your medication. Not very encouraging to learn of the half life of some of these drugs. Have a great day.
Thanks for your support over the past several weeks. Going back to work tomorrow. Sounds like you're having the same experience as me going to work out during the day. That's OK, makes me feel a lot younger than I am. I've made quite a few new friends that are seniors. We'll be there soon enough. My daughter already calls me old man!
I told my wife that I want to plan a Florida vacation so we can visit your church and meet you and Peggy in person.
I've spent the last two days at the hospital, but, not as a patient. Seems my 78 year old aunt has the same genetics as me but they showed up a little later than mine. She's having a cath in the morning and is very scared. I'd appreciate a prayer for her as it obviously worked for me. Her name is Eleanor.
I recently celebrated mine as well (was 2 weeks earlier than you with my surgery). What a journey it's been. I've been following your progress every step of the way along with other folks on this site. Sounds like you're doing well and looking forward to doing even better. Overall, I'm feeling great and appreciate having so much renewed energy.
I had some episodes of vertigo earlier in my recovery, at around 4 weeks post-surgery. Very similar to what you describe. I ended up in the ER one evening after a major episode of feeling like I was on a Tilt-a-Whirl, followed by clamminess and weakness. Never did get a definitive diagnosis on that. My cardio doc ordered a CAT scan of my head and that was negative. I have not had any more of these episodes since. Hopefully, you won't either--they are no fun at all.
Keep up the good work, Duane. My prayers continue to go out to you.
It is so great to hear that your tubes are all clear. I think that I have mentioned that I had one horrible dizzy spell about 4 weeks ago that lasted for 30 minutes and scared the life out of me and Steve. It felt like I was very drunk or drugged and started with a similar visual strobe effect that you describe before the room started tilting. I had to lie down and Steve fanned me while I tried to control my breathing and wait for it to pass. My pulse was ok. It has only happened once and the doctor put it down to a possible side effect of one of my meds- I was still on Amilodorone at that time. Not sure what you are still taking and I am sure they would have looked at meds as a cause? I am no longer anaemic so off the iron supplements but still have thyroid issues and waiting for an appointment with an endocrinologist.
You are so good with your updates, the more 'normal' I feel I need to remind myself that I have a commitment to the HVJ, because the stories helped me so much both pre and early post op. I am still getting new posts from as far away as Mexico and India! There are so many new stories and journals that I can't quite seem to keep up.
Glad you are enjoying rehab, best regards to Peggy. Love and hugs Penny x
As a fellow three month post-op patient(1/28/10 - Bovine Artial Valve) I was interested to read about your issues with vertigo. As I too have had these short bouts of dizziness. They do not seem to be in any pattern and my doctors have no explanations, other than I may be in too good shape and the beta blocker may be lowering my blood pressure too much. But they won't take me off it. I was MRA'd for a stroke back in January before the operation with no conclusive results.
I liked a nurses explanation today, it's been three months but your body will be recovering for 5 to 6 months, so there will be times when things aren't "quite right". It just takes time and I'm just glad I have the time to spend.
I also agree the time has passed very quickly and I hardly remember any of the less than pleasant details of the early recovery period.
Your rehab sounds very nice and educational, mine is more focused on the exercise, some brief educational handouts and if you want more info, I have to pay by the hour.
Happy three months,
Nothing like pumpin' iron with 70 yr olds to make you feel young again.
Hello my friend, Duane
Am picturing that gastroentologist watching 8 hours of film of your small intestine!! obviously it was boring and negative. Our bodies are such mysteries. The vertigo is a stumper, apparently never happened while you were driving? Frankly, seems like all you need is a few more tests to get to the bottom of it. Hopefully the solution is one that can easily be dealt with. I have been on Crestor 10mg for a couple of years with good results. What dose are you on? Duane I know you are praying for healing for me and I shall pray for healing for you for these visual episodes. Otherwise you seem to have made great progress. Thanks for being a dear friend.
Hey Duane! Great to hear about your progress man. 3-months, wow, you have made some amazing headway from our angle and we appreciate the updates. Keep it up man. You have inspired me to take a tougher look at my own exercise patterns, anemic as they are! Praying for you pal,
I enjoyed reading your journal entry...so funny being asked if your like 15...I start my first official exercise class this Wednesday so I will see how "young" I compare to the class.
My husband was on pravastatin and then switched to crestor...all his numbers came down significantly. I hope you have the same luck. Sorry to hear about the dizziness...you are a real trooper and have been through so many tests.
Keep us posted ...your updates are always so welcomed.
Hope no news is good news and you are making fast advances with your rehab. Being slim and fit to begin with has to be an advantage. Did you have horrific thunderstorm yesterday? Not sure it was just southern FL or not. Have a great week.
Sounds like you're having too much fun down there in Winter Haven! Hope the pollen is not as bad as it is in East TN. Thanks for your recent message in my guestbook. Going back to work on Monday a week. I told my daughter the tick is music to my ears and I don't need the radio. She just laughed and called me 'old man'. Glad that your rehab is progressing so well!
Dear Duane and Peggy
My faithful friends. I apologize for not writing sooner. Your prayers did help (only 1 quart) and I just need to remember that God's timetable for me is not always mine. I trust that He holds me in His hand and will care for me.Off to bed. Love you both.
I have actually been a long time follower of your journal! Actually, I believe your journal was the first one I read when I joined this. Your story has been very inspiring to me, as well as mixing in a little humor (need some of that to go along with this). I am so glad that you are doing so well 11 weeks post-op. It seems like just yesterday I was reading about your actual surgery date - time flies! The cardiac rehab program sounds great and I think I will enroll in one too. Thanks so much for the kind words, it really helps having support outside of my family. I will now have a new group of friends with one thing in common - a zipper chest. Keep up the good work in rehab and God Bless!
I want to thank you for all your inspirational postings. I am beginning rehab soon, so I especially enjoyed your newest journal entry. I go for my orientation meeting with the nurse this Thursday. I now know what to expect thanks to you. Keep entertaining us with your positive spin through your up and down journey through surgery and recovery. I will be staying tuned for the next adventure.
I hope to drop in on your church some Sunday soon. We need a trip south, as soon as I can sit in the front seat. I want to thank you again for all you prayers, support and insight during this valvathone! I start Rehab may 5th, they have a backlog of heart patients in the Tulsa area and that was the very earliest. I still have some fluids, draining slowing, and some minor pain in the chest, going away slowly and sleep is not much fun, unless I take Ambient. We did go to the boat for a few hours and I have had some engine work done on her. The Sea Whippet II is almost ready. I would be honored if you ever get to Oklahoma (who would want to do that?) and treat you and your wife for an day cruiseand dinner, I bet we could even find a bunk room on the boat to sleep in. Most folks don’t realize that Oklahoma has really big lakes!! It’s great day.
Good Morning Duane
So good to get your detailed rehab update. Like I said, you could moonlight as a journalist. One of these days I will get to rehab and will see if mine is similar. Seems yours is the "gold standard". Seems Adam was surely right about the benefits of rehab, physically and mentally. Although don't believe you need the social/mental element as much as he did. I see my cardio tomorrow and now weigh 3 1/2 pounds less than before I had the quart plus removed from my lung cavity. Still don't have much energy, hope that picks up. Have a wonderful weekend. Hello to Peggy.
I start rehab tomorrow. No exercising the first time, just orientation. I also hope to get back to where i was just prior to surgery, when I was on my rowing machine downstairs doing 5000 meters in 25 minutes (the day before surgery!). I do not like treadmills, but was using the bicycles with te forward pedals at various hotels I stayed at during a lecture circuit this winter. I'm hoping to onky be doing aerobic stuff, no weight lifting for me thank you. Like you, I think i was in the best physical shape in 30 years just prior to surgery. I really pushed myself for the 6 month lead period i had knowing that March 22nd would be "the day". And I think it paid off. Time to stay in that kind of shape, with a "vacation" from working out due to the surgery and R&R. Best wishes on your re-start. I'm looking forward to mine.
Glad to see you tamed yourself down enough to get through orientation for rehab. Yes, it does sound rigid and non-flexible but perhaps that has something to do with space available and the health plan. I have a definite time I go every Tuesday (at 8:30 a.m.) but I can miss and I can change. Mine will go until I decide I quit as it's complimentary from my cardiologist which is fantastic. I'm not an early riser so unlike Kevin I'll not be there at 6 a.m. I just show up later for work.
Why aren't you using Nair or something similar instead of going through that patchy itchy business? You guys don't need to sweat it that badly you know. Ask Peggy for input.
Anyway, I'm glad you're going to give it a try and be a good sport while you're at it. You are obviously a very fit person otherwise but you might just learn something about timing and heart rate etc. The ups and downs of recovery - just another step.
Good luck with the class. I'm sure you will enjoy meeting new people who share a similar recent event. Go for the shave. My wife works with several young nurses and sees many people come through surgery and she says the term is manscaping. After they shaved me for surgery, she said I looked younger because my chest hair was the only place I had turned grey. Although, there is that new artwork the surgeon left.
It was great to speak with you the other day. Let me know how you like the classes. Look forward to speaking with you again soon.
Best wishes for your continued successful recovery!
Thank you so much for your comment on Adam's blog, it means a lot to me.
Your rehab sounds so civilised and organised - only in America! Here in the Highlands we have 1 hour rehab class at our village hall once a week at £2 per session and run by a charity organisation. The Dr has to refer you by submitting a form and the pre requisites are:
Has Ischaemic Heart Disease
Has not had an acute coronary event (MI or unstable angina) in the last 4 months
BP is < 180/100
Resting Pulse rate is < 100
Does not have uncontrolled heart failure
Has not had a BP drop > 20 mm Hg on ETT (I'm not sure what ETT means).
If not subjected to Exercise Stress Test then the patient has to self assess that they can walk 1 mile in 25 mins without getting unduly breathless. I am going to give it a shot to see if it is worth the effort of turning up. I have a sneaky feeling that it is more social for the 'old dears' than remedial, I have heard that you get tea and biscuits afterwards! Never mind the caffeine, sugar, fat and salt!! We have a gym at home and Steve & I both have an exercise background, as long as I can continue to make the time commitment and put my health/exercise before anything else I will be fine. Looking forward to reading the next chapter in your recovery, it's a great start to my day! Love and hugs Penny
You will love the Rehab, it really feels good to sweat again. I too was approved for 36 sessions and I just had my 12th. I start with the threadmill, then free weights (1 set) then the Elliptical machine. They tell me there will be diet classes but none yet. I've gained 2 lbs(muscle mass of course) I was able to reduce my copay by agreeing to wear the remote heart monitor once a week and a pulse watch the other two days a week. That took my co-pay from $40 a session to $8. 36 times 40 was going to break me, now I only have to rob one bank instead of three. I get there at 6:15am so I can get done and on to work by 8:15, so you get no sympathy for an 8 am start, that's country club livin'.
Hi Duane, I think you'll love cardiac rehab. I think I have about two weeks left and I must confess that it has really helped my recovery and gave me the confidence to know I could push myself in a safe and monitored/environment. If I hadn't done cardiac rehab (today was 14 weeks post op, MVReplacement) I really believe I wouldn't be as advanced in my recovery. Embrace your 36 sessions...they'll do you wonders and are a real blessing!
Love and blessings,
Hope soon this a-fib stuff will be gone. Sometimes it help to regulate a beat by holding your breath for a few seconds. Don't know if it will help you or not but just thought we'd share. Your scar is not nearly as long as Keith's and it looks really good. Keep up the good work! Don't overdo on the caffein though -
Love you lots,
Bonnie and Keith
Pastor Duane, I stopped by your site at church and then this site here today. It was the first time I have heard the "podcast" from the morning dad passed. I cannot thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart for everything you did and were to my dad. He truely loved you. I know you are helping to hold my mom up in this difficult time and I thank you for that also. I hope and pray that you are healed and given a new strength like you have never had.
Thank you again for the love, kindness and unmeasurable support given to my family the week dad went on to be with Jesus. To us it has just been weeks, but to him it's been an eternity and I cannot wait to see the two of you together again, when we all join together for that wonderful meeting in the air. God Bless You and your family and your church....and thank you for sharing your story. I had to copy the picture of Jesus in the operating room. It was the first time I had seen that sketch and it was amazing. Some day I will share with you the amazing and only God timed events of dad's surgeries and ultimatley his passing and how God's hand was in those last few weeks in so many ways.
Kristin Jurs Bone
Hi Duane and Peggy,
Glad you liked my photo, thought it may help in the testosterone dept (NOT)! Well, what can I say - I am thankful that my recovery has been practically event free compared to yours. Do you think that you had a problem before surgery that was undetected, or could it be a result of the surgery or side effect of any medication? I can't help the phrase 'this to shall pass' from going round in my head when I read your episode with the camera - sorry, that's probably in bad taste...You are strong and brave and like Capt'n Bill you always have your sense of fun. I am positive that in a year's time we will all look back with fond memories and a surplus of energy. Love and hugs, Penny xxx
Hi Duane & Peggy
Thanks for your encouraging post to me about my shortness of breath. Will get some answers today with my cardio and chest xray results. Have you ever been a journalist? Know you don't have the time and already have a special calling, but your style of writing is excellent. Could actually visualize that very expensive capsule camera making its' way thru your small intestine, kind of like sci-fi. Thank God for modern treatments. Too bad you have to wait till the end of the month to get your results. Now when I (or you) write it's nice to put a real face and smile in my mind. Thanks again for all you've done.
Hi Duane- I finally got a chance to tap a few lines out on my computer. Just wanted to thank you for all your prayers and support during my valve surgery journey. Sounds like you've had your share of "fun" too. Isn't it refreshing to know that God is all powerful and he wouldn't put something in front of us He knows we couldn't handle.
Yes, Michigan was great. And I don't think my Minnesota friends will have any problem with my pillow. I'm not really from Minnesota. (I'm originally from PA where my Dad pastored several churches. He's retired now, but still a big influence in my life.)
Thanks so much for your prayers and support during my valve surgery journal.
I really appreciated your detailed description of what it is like to take that camera pill. I watched an episode of Dr. Oz where he was showing and describing having taken a similar pill but I think he may have left out a few things.
I'm praying you get satisfactory results so you can begin to get on with your recovery. You really are the test dummy and I mean that in a good way. You are really taking one for the team!
Loved reading this update ... I feel like I know you so much more thoroughly! :) So, so glad for your continued progress bro. We continue to pray for your full and complete recovery. I think the fact that you can keep all the doctor's appts. straight is a miracle all by itself! Happy Belated Easter!
Love, Mark and Shawna
Hey there Duane! Happy Easter to you & your family as well! This Easter I celebrate the risen Christ, and I celebrate being a new creation in Christ. I was baptized back in 1994, but with my new valve and because of our God, I feel like a new creation. I will never again take for granted this gift of life we have been given!
So good to hear you can do rehab! That is awesome!
Will pray that your test on Thursday will have a good outcome and that you will be fine.
That was so nice of you to write in my guestbook. Thank you. Your words are kind even though I haven't had to endure the trials that you did so if we talk inspire, I believe I'm way down the line. Two months and you are still going through crap - no pun intended considering your next test. I knew you were going to have to clean out -- I watch Dr. Oz and he was demonstrating that little camera on his show a few months back. I didn't want to burst your bubble. I do pray they get to the source of that anemia soon and that it is nothing that can't be rectified easily. The prep has come a long way from where I started with having to drink a gallon of liquid!
My dad died from lung cancer spread from the colon 22 years ago and I chose to start getting tested years ago whereas brother is waiting for that little TV pill to come to Canada. I've had polyps removed from the colon and stomach and cannot recommend the testing enough. My husband steadfastly refused to be tested until one day a golfing buddy said something that had him come home and insist on being done. Our gastroenterologist is a friend so that's a little uncomfortable but at least we get it done.
Fran told me all about your visit and her and Peter really enjoyed your time together. That was really special that you and Peggy took the time to stop in and meet them. There are so many absolutely lovely people on this site.
Many, many times our Easter here is really cold and damp and this year there is no snow and the temps are in the 70's. I feel so alive and grateful to be able to enjoy these days more than I've ever done before. As challenging as heart surgery is, we are totally blessed by the knowledge and skillful doctors in this field.
I wish you and your lovely family a very happy Easter as well. I read all of your postings and have to say I admire your resolve. God bless.
I must say, I love the picture of the lord guiding the surgeon! He is our chief medical officer and with him by our side, who can fail? I am glad to hear you are doing well. I am less than a week away from my surgery and getting a litte anxious. It's 5am and I am on the computer, can't sleep, but that could be the caffine since I can't stay awake during the day (ha, ha). I will be glad to get my energy back and be able to really enjoy the days and years ahead with my family and friends. I will continue to keep you in my prayers!
Thanks for your note..I'm feeling better but still not 100%. I'll still be on antibiotics til Easter. Easter week is such a busy week. I play the organ/piano/keys for our church and also am the assistant to the Worship/Music Pastor. I cancelled my piano students last week but they will be back this week and the next....not knowing how long my recovery will be I wanted to keep teaching till my surgery.
Having your family praying around your bed must of been wonderful. My family can't all come to Cleveland but I will feel their prayers and envision them circled around my bed. We have 2 daughters & son-in-laws and 5 grandkids, ages 13 to 6 years. I feel so blessed that Jennifer can be there with Randy.
My surgery in 1998 was done by the top surgeon. I would like to know what caused it to fail...but it is what it is and now I'm trusting the Lord to see me through this surgery. I had many of the same things happen to me that you had...pleural effusion, a-fib, fluid around my heart, tiny mini-stroke (unknown at the time-showed up on scan)...but I think you get the prize. I try not to focus on the past...God has covered me with His peace and my mind is stayed on His word.
Thanks so much for your faithful prayers for me and my Doctor.
Blessings and Happy Resurrection Day!
Carla Hansen (PBG-FL)
I have really enjoyed reading your journal and appreciate the attention to detail. It's very reassuring to see the drugs finally getting cut back which says things are progressing in a good way. I continue to pray and wish you luck on your testing. You will be in ship shape when you are finished.
Hey there Duane! Glad to hear things are looking good for you at both "ends" - LOL! Keep up the good work!
I like what you told Fran about having a reunion @ Adam's house. I wonder what he'd do if all of here at HVJ showed up at his house? Hee hee hee!
Hi Duane and Peggy. I hope you remember me...I'm the one who had my mitral valve replaced on Jan 4th in Portland, OR at OHSU. And of course, I am on Coumadin for life...check this out 15mg 5x a week and 20 mg 2x. My levels have been stable for 4 weeks, so I think I found the right combo and currently trying to get a home test kit. Sure hope UHC (the same as your's) will pay for it. We'll see. I also have to take 2000 mg of Amoxicillin before having my teeth cleaned. Just went last week and so far no problems. Thank our Lord!
I'm glad you are starting the cardiac rehab...It has been the best thing for my recovery. I started on Jan 29th and will definitely do all 36 classes. You'll be hooked up to a telemetre (heart monitor) and will have your BP checked while on every machine. It's a great way to get some 'safe' exercise! I live in Hood River Oregon which is a very hilly city and I am tempted to start walking the hills to see if I feel better than when I had the severe regurgitation. My symptoms were shortness (or should I say, gasping) of breath and edema in the ankles which continued for 6 mos before I was diagnosed. My ankles are back to being boney which is a very good sign. I was at a friend's 50th birthday party last night and got to see many friend's I haven't seen all winter because many of them leave for Baja or Costa Rica during the winter so they can enjoy the nice weather and continue to windsurf of kite board. Hood River is the windsurfing capitol and our winters are very cold and snowy. Anyway, my friends said I looked amazing last night which was good to hear. I have noticed my mental clarity improved instantly following the surgery. Perhaps I wasn't getting enough oxygenated blood to the brain.
Glad you are being weaned off your meds. I hated having to swallow so many meds each day and now I'm down to just coumadin. My bowels are finally getting back to normal. Sorry, maybe TMI, but thought I would mention it in case you're experiencing the same issue. I am back to work P/T and only 4 days a week so I still have time to nap. I love my naps AND my bed. I'm just able to turn onto my side now, 12 wks post op. The best thing about all of this is I'M ALIVE and I feel I have been given a second chance!
Please keep the faith...I know you will !!! and may you begin running in the near future.
Take good care. God Bless you and your family and everyone who is reading this and going through their own challenges.