Hi Duane and Peggy, just a quick note to say I read the whole update - my my you should be in tiptop shade from head to toe by the time you get through all of this. Your 8 week post-op pictures look pretty good - very similar to Richard's quite impressive scarring.
What a nice big wonderful looking family you have - ineeded you are a lucky man!
Richard continues to improve and I will be updating his journal this morning. It gets increasingly difficult to spend the time on the journals as life just seems to keep gettng busier, especially now that Richard can do a little more and I am back to work fulltime. Although he has some "work" to do unfortunately his line of work is a little more physical than yours - lifting people to Heaven/God although spiritually I can't imagine the weight/strength needed (ha-ha), isn't like lifting kitchen cabinets to be hung and he just IS NOT allowed to do it yet - he is getting there though.
Thanks for the updates, always such a pleasure.
Richard's wife Susan
Glad you are getting to the 'bottom' of it then! Not sure whether it is a good or bad thing that my anaemia doesn't warrant further investigation. I feel that I just couldn't face any more invasive body work at the moment, even the hairdressers seems a bridge too far! Are you fully back at work yet? How do you find your concentration levels? Stay good, love Penny xx
Good Morning Duane & Peggy
Have started to read thru some of my mail and it'll be a long time to before I get to them all. Did see your note about being in south Fl next week. PLEASE contact us and we would love it if you could come by for a visit. You have my nmber, so please call.
Hi Duane and Peggy,
It is so great when I get the email that you have posted! I love reading your updates both for the information and for the humour. Please give our best to Peggy and big hugs for you. Lots of love from Penny, Steve and Georgie
Wow......$$$$ We are praying our insurance coverage will be smoother this time around than in 1998, when I had my first mitral valve repair. My re-repair surgery is scheduled for Cleveland Clinic on April 15th. Sandy, another journaler, will be having his surgery there on April 13...maybe we'll get to meet like Fran and Capt. Bill.
Your journal has been great and thank you for sharing your journey. You've had an "interesting" road but am thankful that you shared each step of the way. We've enjoyed your humor, seen your positive attitude, the power of prayer, and the Lord's miracles in your life. It is so reassuring to hear how you are progressing.
Glad to hear of your continued progress - keep it up. Good luck with your upcoming tests and yes, the prep is the nuisance. Good luck with that.
I was really interested to see the costing for your surgery and medical care especially since the big vote yesterday. I don't think you would find many Canadians who will complain about the health care we receive here other than the fact we have far fewer doctors and with the shortage, many people have to rely upon a walk-in clinic but at least we don't have any out-of-pocket expenses other than our drugs.
Anyway, our household is divided on the implications of the vote. Enough said.
Your journal was the first one I started reading. Your positive attitude through all your ups and downs inspired me not to sweat the small stuff. Thanks for all your support and prayers. You mentioned being able to drive again. Here I am 3 weeks post op and miss driving and sleeping on my side or stomach. Hang in there Duane, you are in my prayers. Melissa Boardman, Los Osos, CA
I'm back! I will update my journal tomorrow but just wanted to let you know that I am feeling ok and glad to be home. Thank you so much for your sign ins, they are very much appreciated by us all. warmest wishes Penny (Scotland)
Thank you both for the prsyers, I am feeling them. Feel calm and know God is with me and my surgical team. Didn't want to be the first with 3 valves, guess I'll have to be the standard bearer for those who will come after me. Post op updates will be from Pete.
May you continue to heal and feel better each day. Yes, the prep is the worst part of the process and you have been through so much these last several weeks, this will be easy peasy compared to everything else.
My mitral valve was replaced on Jan 4th, 2010 and this past week was my first week back to work as well. I had no naps this week and feel like I could sleep all day today.
Take good care and keep on posting your progress for all to read.
Good Morning Duane
Yes, the prep can be nasty, but the last 2 times I had it done I asked for the capsule form of "clean out" instead of the liquid and it was wonderful. The first time I had to off my coumadin that also made me nervous. The Lovenox works, it will be small injections given in the abdomen. It's very short acting. Thank God for all the advances in medicine, you are a testimony to that! Am in Ohio at my brother-in-law's home and will start my journey bright and early Monday morning with labs at 8:15a
Like you say, oh crap! But on the good side, look at Beverley who just went through all those tests and still nothing so let's hope it's just some minor dumb little thing. In the States you have those new little pill camera things. We don't have that here. It would be nice if you could get your hands on one of those but you still need to prep I believe. Yeah, the prep is the worst part of that test. By the time you're finished you'll have been checked and fixed stem to stern.
And happy birthday. It is great to be alive even if you have to work at it sometimes!
Happy Birthday Duane and may you be blessed with many, many more! Glad you are being used by God to show others that God doesn't always exempt His children from trials but is with them every step of the way.
I have been tuned into and glued to your journal...not wanting to miss a single entry. My family knows you by name...but keeps asking how I got to be on a first name basis with you (and especially because today is the first day I have signed your guestbook). It has been quite a journey with you...feeling your ups and downs..laughing...crying...praying! No one understands better than another heart valve surgery patient. I had a mitral valve repair 2-25-98 (Cleveland) and now face my second mitral valve surgery 4-15-10 in Cleveland...praying for a re-repair but accepting whatever can be done safely and most successfully.
I'm so sorry about your friend Herb. God gave you a special bond with him.
I already searched out your website over a week ago..will be tuned in when your story is posted.
Carla ...Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Hi Duane, so sorry to hear about your friend. How wonderful that he came to the hospital and was there for you. Obviously you were there for him in an even higher capacity than a preacher even - his friend too. If I had your address I would have sent you a card, but pleae accept our email/journal condolences.
Thanks for the recent entry in Richard's journal. As I just said in my newest update - I had a lot of fun today and some laughs and smiles from so many of the journal entries.
I too believe this has made us both realize we have little to complain about. Man, we have a good life too. I will once again though ask you to say a good strong prayer that Richard gets the house sold that he has a P&S pending "appraisal." Housing prices are down so low in this area that we have our fingers crossed on it and saying our own prayers - but I like the ones coming from the big guns, if you will!!!
Duane, we have both enjoyed you and your journal entries (obviously so has everyone else, I might add).
We too hope we will have the opportunity at some point and time to meet you and Peggy. God works in mysterious ways now doesn't he.
Richard's wife, Susan
PS - looking forward to you recapting your story in church next week to us all. I know it will be a good one worth hearing! Oh boy though - should we all take bets on how many minutes you go over chuch time?
Richard's wife, Susan
Just wanted to drop in to say I was thinking of you today and how sad it was going to be for you to give final words over your friend. It has to be especially hard knowing Herb just went through a similar surgery. God was thinking of Herb when he made you well enough to be there for him at his final moments. I hope you're okay. Cheryl, Ontario
Good Morning Duane
Thinking of you today as you have the service for Herb. It seems like a mixed blessing. How wonderful that you knew exactly how he felt when he told you he was ready to go home.
Hi Duane and Peggy,
Just want you to know I am still reading your updates and appreciate them. So thankful your recovery is going well. Equally sorry for the family who lost their husband and father, your friend, Herb. I'm sure if we all knew what Heaven really was like we wouldn't want to waste one more moment here!
But God has a plan and I'm thankful He is taking care of you.
We'll be praying for you this Sunday as you share with your congregation.
Blessings and love,
Paul and Beth
Just read the Church's newsletter and the notice of Herb Jurs' passing. I can only imagine how you feel and want you to know how sorry we are that his procedure ended this way. I am 77 too and have had two strokes and a pacemaker, and appreciate every morning when waking up for another day. Seventy-seven years is a good lifespan, especially when you have so many with such a great potential passing before they reach their so called old age. Perhaps God is patiently waiting for those like me, to reach the point in their lives that He has for us. Maybe for Herb, he reached that point in his life, and God has brought him home to spend his eternity in fellowship with Him. Heavy stuff eh? Even though I didn't know Herb, I feel a kinship through our age factor, and feel vey badly in one respect, but rejoice that Herb now has the ultimate. Sorry for all the ramlings but just wanted to touch base with you and let you know that although the miles apart are many, we still have you and the family in our thoughts and hearts. Take care of yourself.
It seems God has chosen you to undergo some tests and trials that would overwhelm many people completely. But it's very clear that you are uncommonly strong in character and faith and we can all learn a lot from you. I know I have learned a great deal from you by following your journal entries, and you are an inspiration to many others.
Herb was very brave to go ahead with his surgery, knowing the risks but yet ready to be called "home" if that was how things were to be. He was very lucky to have you by his side through his ordeal. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing.
Yes, those INR levels are challenging and crucial to regulate. I went to the lab to have my INR level tested today and it was a 6!! Dr.'s orders are, No coumadin for me the next 2 days and I'm going to eat lots and lots of leafy greens. I had a lot of stress last week and am told that can mess with INR levels. So in addition to the above steps, I will also try to take it calm and easy.
Good Afternoon Daryl
I've been waiting for your post of yesterday's church service. Didn't know how sad the weekend was with the loss of a dear friend. As a minister I am sure you knew God wanted you to be with him and know what he wanted when he said he wanted to go home. What a special man. He had a lot of courage to take the step for the surgery. INR levels are crucial. Know you would never skip your appointment.
I'm so very sorry to hear about your friend Herb. How great of you to be by his side as he left and I can only imagine what a comforting feeling it gave him to have you there. Even though Herb had some extra issues, it still must have been a little unsettling to see him pass. My sincere condolences. You keep strong.
I'm taking to heart what you said about the importance of keeping track of the INR. Mine has been fairly steady and even though I go every few weeks for testing, I have become a little lax. I was planning on getting it done one day this week but I think in honour of Herb, I'm going as soon as I finish writing to you. God bless him and the message he has left.
Last evening I had some sad news also. My friend's future son-in-law has just been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and he is in final stages. The wedding that was being held in June (my husband was emcee) is now being held in early April unless it has to be rushed and done in the hospital by a chaplin. My girlfriend's daughter is 36 and is a brain tumour survivor who suffered a stroke, is partially paralyzed and is legally blind. This gentleman was a widower and these two wonderful people were going to look after each other. My heart is breaking for both. Don't know why I shared that with you, I guess I thought you'd understand my sadness. God does work in mysterious ways at times.
Even when it's sunny, sadness can make for one lousy day! I can't see the screen right now so think I'll hit the road.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Cheryl, Ontario
Hi Duane, now right off -- don't take offense but I just updated Richard's journal with his trip to the surgeon in Boston and all we had to celebrate, etc., and now here is the part not to take offense about - but when Richard saw how lengthy it was (I didn't mean for it to be) he said "Oh Geez, Duane Jr here." What do you think he meant (ha-ha). I just wish I was as vividly eloquent as you, but alas - that is for you and your pulpit!
It is great to hear that you are getting back to yourself and since you hate the phrase your "old self" I personally feel as though we are talking about not getting back, but moving forward to the "even better new and improved" Duane - God just keeps making it better for you, doesn't he - that is the story and a good one. One of my favorite songs is: "I love to tell the story, will be my fame and glory to tell the old old story" ... (would be a good song to sing tomorrow as you do tell your story in your church. Gosh, if you cry there won't be a dry eye in the house!!
Life is Good.\
Nice to hear you are really getting there. Your updates are great - not looking forward to the practical updates coming up on bills/insurance etc., but necessary evil, if you will. Thanks.
Richard's wife, Susan
This is a great day - Duane is back. When your mind is back your body will follow. I don't believe what we go through defines us but it will either break us or make us better. You have certainly seen the dark side Duane, more than once and each time you showed such awesome inner strength that you have become a beacon to lead the way through the minefield of heart surgery. I'm so proud to know you and hopefully one day I'll get to meet you in person. You are such an inspiration.
Good luck on Sunday. You do have quite a story to share. I will be looking forward to reading your upcoming journals. Thank you for continuing to share your triumphs and your pain with such abject honesty.
I wish I could be sitting in your church this Sunday (however, I will be in my church with my husband and grandson). Our priest will give me a special blessing in preparation for my upcoming surgery.Back to you, your testimony will be so uplifting to so many people. They will learn of your struggles and setbacks and see how God has brought you through it all so beautifully.You and your wife are two very special people.
You and I both have the same a-ring. Did you get your part's card yet? Hope they don't have anything to do with Toyota! Wouldn't want to suffer a recall.
What a lovely note Steve wrote. That was really touching. I just wanted to write and say I hope your pain level was a good one today and that there was a little improvement. You are just writing the book on sidetracking.
Hi to Peggy. Hope she is managing to stay positive. The new baby will surely give you something else to think about. Prayers for you all. Cheryl, Ontario
Hi Duane and Peggy,
We do appreciate your updates! You hang in there. Sounds like you are coming along well - Praise the Lord! So glad you have sunshine and good weather to encourage you. And to get to hold your precious little granddaughter - well it can't get any better than that can it?
I am praying today you will see new ways to delight in the Lord! How blessed we are to know Him!
We are having sunshine here too and it is WONDERFUL!
Just wanted to send a hug your way!
Paul and Beth
Hopefully the iron will solve your fatigue. Hope they told you that iron can be constipating, just what you need. Your climb up the ladder of full recovery has had a few steps backwards, but for the most part seems you're doing so well especially remembering all the things that happened to you post-op. Love the name Daisy, she's old enough to smile and hope she gave her grandad lots of them. Keep healing.
We've been keeping up with your progress regularly. I know it must be frustrating with the roller coaster of recovery. Keep that positive attitude going and we will keep you in our prayers! Our best to Peggy as well. You both inspire us! Happy Birthday in advance and good luck with your appointments.
Don't let thoughts of Sunday stress you out. I am sure that in your Minister's Bag of Tricks (TM) there is a sermon back there that you can dust off. Lean on your pastoral team to help you out. Hey, pick the music you really like for your first day back!
I even have a verse for you: Be still and know that I am God...
While I may not be one of your denomination, nor perhaps even strictly speaking a Christian, I know that your belief is a pillar of strength for you. Hang in there.
Was just thinking about you this morning. Glad to get your update but hope things improve. It does take TIME - Keith had his surgery on April 5 and was on the Golf Course the 4th of July. He had the days counted! ha! I know your surgery isn't the same but I'm sure up and down days are common. Hopefully the doctors will take good care of you and you'll have more "up's" than "downs". Saw Gary at Invitational Quiz Saturday. Always good to see him. Take care and we'll keep praying.
Bonnie and Keith
First two days of work went well, I'm a building design engineer so I play with computers and paper drawings mostly. I will not be traveling for awhile, probably until I get released from Rehab. Travel days can get pretty long with allot of walking stairs in between the driving so that's not going to happen for a while.
I'm five weeks out this thursday, no problems to speak of and Bing, Saturday I just felt horrible, exhausted. Used my pulse monitor watch and it told me my pulse was 230. Took a deep breath and stayed calm. Felt better Sunday but cardiologist thinks I had an irregular heart beat going on, which probably confused the pulse watch. Says its normal issue for valve replacement. Really shakes you up when you have so many good days in a row, though.
Occassionally I have remind myself what I have been through and perspective settles me down.
Three miles walks, that's awesome. I need a nap just thinking about it.
I am praying double time for you that your recovery will get back on track soon. Could the low iron have anything to do with the Warfarin? I hope the doctors will get to the bottom of these new symptoms quickly. Try and keep strong - you've just been through so much. There are better days ahead. Prayers and well wishes. Cheryl, Ontario
Those symptoms sound just like the ones I had with Pericarditis. My fever hit 102F but that pain was bad. Check out Dressler's Syndrome when you google Pericarditis. I had all of the symptoms and it can really kick your butt!
Dear Pastor Duane, please rethink your decision to teach this Sunday. Perhaps, you need more time..it isn'tnecessary to push and shove so hard at this "hurry and get going". We love you and pray that God will continue to restore your health but He needs time to process you. Daddy Sherwood and Me
It’s been pretty exciting hearing about your progress, I am worn out. Cleveland will be welcoming myself and Fran aboard on Monday the 15th. My wife won’t let me take the boat up the Mississippi, so we will be flying out on Sunday. Thank you for your prayers and support it does give me strength knowing that others are praying for me. As time nears, I am not nervous at all about the surgery, but I do cry a lot every time I think about missing the first half of spring, ll those bills and the stress my wife is under. A good friend of ours from Grand Lake now lives in Winter Haven. Wiley Widner, is a local musician, plays folk, bluegrass and easy rock –n- roll. He ran the restaurant at our marina a few summers ago, a very interesting and kind man.
Got my tunes programmed, my bag packed and the boat is almost ready for my return. I hope to spend some restful days, anchored out in a cove with a good book, peace and quiet and nature all around me, sometime in April.
It's great to watch your progress Duane, especially after all the upgrades you added to your experience. Peggy must be one tough lady! Not to take away your part in it Duane. Going to visit your beautiful state next week for an escape from my own upcoming vacation with the guy and a saw. We've rented a place at Cape San Blas. Wondered how far that is from where you live. Would love to meet you in person because reading your journals I feel like family! I understand you've had lots of family, friends, parishoners, and some you tried to remember their names. But, if you're up to it, my daughter has committed to getting me there! Let me know!