Theresa posted a note for Fran that says:
I have been thinking of you lately! Funny how our inner instincts work! My prayers, as always will be with you! Please keep us updated! Best of luck...and Godspeed!!!
Penny McIntosh posted a note for Fran that says:
It's a combination of jive and latin dancing - we go for 2 hours twice a week, and I had to make it a date night as the only way to get Steve to go (he can't refuse date nights :)) xx
Penny McIntosh posted a note for Fran that says:
Hi Fran, so good to hear from you! Hard to believe it's 6 years, it seems like another life. We are all good and fighting fit in Scotland although there are times when I get complacent and lazy and forget how important exercise is although Steve and I have just started Ceroc and I'm loving it! Stay well and healthy, love Penny from Scotland xx
Crystal, Saskatchewan posted a note for Fran that says:
I'm not sure why after all this time I re-visited my HVJ pages but was reading through all the notes posted in my guestbook and just wanted to touch base with you. I hope you are doing well and I wanted to thank you again for all the support you provide me and my family at the time of my surgery (2010).
Good to get your message and especially to see your picture in Adam's latest blog entry. You are looking incredibly fit. Way to go!!!
I can't find your e-mail, which I know I had, so took to the Guestbook route.
I found the Fitbit at a booth CC had set up at a Cleveland area shopping mall for Christmas. But if you Google it, you can order online. Make sure you get the latest model - Fitbit Ultra. It does inspire me to get my 10,000 steps a day. Fitbit also enables you to enter other forms of exercise and food intake but I haven't gotten into that - although I should! Between our fitness club, the local rec center and taking care of the dogs, I really strive for those 10,000 - or more every day. With our local predator supply (think bears, mountain lions and coyotes to name the largest) I am a touch of a chicken to walk on some of the more deserted roads in our sub-division! When I am feeling like a slug, I try to force myself to do Leslie Sansome's DVD's.
Sorry about those multiple entries, I expect the journal entry to work like the guestbook and appear immediately, which, of course, it doesn't. Thus I manage to bore everyone with MANY entries of my pearls of wisdom. I'm sure they are wishing I would just shut up and go away!
Great to hear from you and thank you for the great advice on the walking program. I will definitely look into it because it is way too cold and icy in Maine to walk outdoors right now. Thanks again. Yes, looking at Dr. Gillinov's smiling face under valve surgeon spotlight brings a smile to my face. He's the best! Ruth Howell
Darling Fran, it is so good to read your journal updates! I'm coming up to my 2nd anniversary and have never felt better. I lost 28 lbs last year (deliberately) and that brought my blood pressure down to normal - as with all other measurements since I came off ALL meds in May last year. I am starting a 12 week fitness challenge today with the aim of increasing my stamina, strength and flexibility by 30% this year and it's pretty good to start with. I'm now 63 but feel 36 and you'll regularly see me dancing on stage at Tony Robbins events! Keep the flag flying girl!
lots of love Penny (Scotland)
Got your message in my guest book. Since I followed your Valve story when I was getting ready to go to CC, I was happy to hear from you. I think of Fran every time I do the Sansome Walking tapes!
I haven't been on blood pressure medicine but have recently had a couple of high readings. They seem to come and go but perhaps at 70, it is time to go on something. I was thrilled with the report from my cardiologist the other day. He sort of regards me as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It's pretty amusing because of how his attitude has changed. I can't believe the change in his opinion on CC.
You and I know the benefits of that trip to Cleveland, Ohio!
Sorry you've got a colonoscopy in your near future. I had one (my first) about 3 months after my heart surgery when they were concerned about anemia and the possibility of an internal bleed. Because of my post-op stroke, I am a coumadin lifer. With my consultation with my family doctor, I expected to be taken off the coumadin and given the heparin for a few days, but the Gastroenterologist to whom he referred me felt comfortable doing the procedure, which also included an endoscopy, with me staying on coumadin. I'm trying to remember--I think I just skipped the dose the night before and then resumed later in the day after the procedure. I was surprised, but my family doctor was okay with it too (I asked). Anyhow, that's just my experience. Might not be prudent for you. So when's the "big day"? Take care! Love ya!
I hope you get some answers about your impending colonosomy that will be to your satisfaction. I am getting one of those soon myself. I did get disappointing news at my last echo that may valve opening is now 1 but surgery has not been recommended at this time for the rest of my heart is functioning fairly well though I have constant vertigo. I am going to investigate this with an inner ear specialist. Take care.
Hi Fran! Hey I had the root-rooter thing in February and I was just off for three days. My gastronomic who Was an AVR survivor himself said the risk is fairly low to go off the Coumadin for a short time because the jet in the AV is so strong. Even if you did have to do heparin it is a self injection and from what I hear not that bad. By the way my anniversary is tomorrow. One year and the time has FLOWN by. I am doing great and feel awesome. Thanks for all the advice and kind words last year.
I wish there was a reply button for guestbook messages.
You asked if I would have robotic surgery again. I have asked myself several times, and I still can't say for certain.. At the time I made the best decision I could based on my reading. What I went through afterwards was such a rare occurrence that I would have had no way of anticipating it. And i can't know the sternal opening would have been any easier.
Life is random. We can only do what we think best at the time.
I see your one year anniversary came a while ago and that you are doing well. We are both grateful for where we are now and that counts the most.
I am glad you are still offering encouragement to people along their journey.
Congratulations on your successful year anniversary from your heart surgery. So glad the journey has been successful though there were problems along the way.
I am approaching Medicare age and want to go to the Cleveland Clinic for my heart surgery. I was going to go with the Traditional Medicare A and B but am not sure which Medicap and Medicare D plan to do with. I live in Florida as well. Would you mind sharing with me what plans you had and how well they covered you at the Cleveland Clinic. If you would rather respond to my personal email that would be fine. I am not sure if you still have it. Let me know. Keep smiling. Linda
Hi Fran, I think you left a message in my guestbook today. I'm new with this journal so am not sure I am responding in the correct way. I had my surgery at Vanderbilt. I understand they can never prepare you for everything...wish I had read ADam's book before the surgery. But I am looking forward each day. I lived with a mitral valve prolapse my whole life and was in great health before the surgery so it was harder for me to deal with the setback. My cardiologist said he really couldn't improve my overall health by the surgery, but it would prevent my heart from deteriorating over time. So for that I am most thankful. Thanks for your note and I will keep thanking God every day for each day and it's blessings.
Congratulations on reaching this milestone with such grace. I have always enjoyed reading the comments you take the time to write in other journals and for one, really appreciate your honesty and candor when writing. Even though you were suffering through some of your own set-backs, you always took the time to try and help make others understand or feel better about their own plight. I`m so glad to call you friend.
Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Mine was March 2 and I like you spent the day reflecting on the day of my surgery. When I think back to that time, I remember all the support I received from you and others on this site. You are a valuable support system with words of wisdom for all who listen. Thank you for all you do, and continued good health is sent your way.
God Bless You,
Fran - Congratulations on reaching this milestone! I am so glad to hear you're doing so well and, at 41 yrs. old, your walking routine puts me to shame. I have always truly appreciated the comments and advice you're given me while I was going through my own ordeal and I know many many others appreciate it just as much. Continue to take excellent care of yourself. You're an amazing woman.
How wonderful to surpass and to celebrate your 1-year mark! Congratulations!! And praise to God! You are dearly loved by all your family and by all of us blessed enough to be your friends. Thanks for all you have meant to us and to my journey! Here's to our journeys ahead, knowing we know who holds the journeys in His hands! We love you!
How are you my dear friend? Seeing Duane's post tonight has shocked me into reconnecting with my HJV special angels - I really don't want to lose touch with you all. Thank you for your recent signing, I don't know where you find the energy to still give everyone your love and support! I am 100% right now and feeling so fit and strong - long may it last! I hope that you are also 'in the pink' and looking forward to your weekend. We have snow yet again!!!
Thanks for your reply to my bra question. If it's not too uncomfortable, I'd rather go without a bra altogether. But I have read that others say this is uncomfortable. Do you have an opinion about that? I'm not huge, but not small either - I guess 36 C - and I really don't like wearing bras ever. I just thought the support might help prevent pulling on the incision line.
I am surprised that the incision goes down as low at the bra band. I thought it would be higher up, but I guess that's pretty much where the hear is located. Appx. how long is the incision? Not that I care about cosmetics (not a all), just trying to figure out the bra thing.
I am uncertain right now about leaving the HVJ. Reading some of the stories causes me enormous anxiety. If I just stick to communicating with certain people I'm ok. So maybe I'll do that. But yesterday and today I have suffered migraines from the anxiety of reading one particular journal and even the Xanax isn't helping much. I tell myself not to look at "those certain journals." But it's kind of addictive and I end up reading them. Ugh!!!! I spend way too much time on the computer researching my issue, watching surgery videos, etc. And that surely is not helping either. After all, I don't thing there is anything out there that I haven't already read 3-4 times. smile.
Thanks very much for your opinions and suggestions. Much appreciated and I hope you are continuing to do very well with your recovery. Ruth
I hope you are continuing to do well and are enjoying life. You had written to me previously. I am having my surgery April 21 - Dr. Gillanov. I have a bra question. I normally don't like wearing one, but I've read that after a sternotomy a bra makes things more comfortable. So . . . I am looking for a sports bra with a front closure. Given the location of the sternotomy, do you recommend a bra with a deep plunge or one that is higher? Do you recommend front closure or back? If front, zipper or hooks? Any advice would be appreciated.
I am so sorry to read about your recent hospital stay. You and Cheryl are the original comforting team on this site, and I know everyone is concerned for your well being. I am glad to hear the hospital stay resolved the issue, but it is still scary to hear that this happened to you. I hope the blood pressure issue is under better control. I know it took some medication tweaking to get my pulse rate at a steady low rate. On a happier note, I hope you enjoyed your grandchild's visit....I am sure he had you on your toes.
Be Well and stay in touch,
I don't have the results of the kidney tests yet. They re-did the blood tests because they were so out of line with all the other blood tests done on me, and they promised to let me know as soon as they got the results, but it's possible they'll just mail them to me if all is OK. I figure no news is good news.
Thanks so much for asking.
Hi Fran, I don't know if you remember me but I am Danny James' Mom who had open heart surgery 6 months ago. Unfortunately, Danny developed endocarditis over the holiday and we have been in the hospital for over a week. It is very scary and he will likely have to have a repeat surgery to replace the now damaged valve in the very near future. Just want you to keep us in your prayers. You really helped me to get through his surgery and minor set backs in the past. Just wanted you to be aware of the newest concern. Thanks, as always, for your positive attitude and support. Mary
I've read your story and journal and am glad to hear that you are now doing so well. I will also be having Dr. Gillanov do my surgery. Has he given you any reason why you experienced the complications you did; fluid in the lungs, blood transfusion, etc? I'm also wondering who he needed to do a full sternotomy rather than a minimally invasive procedure. I'm sure there are reasons for all of this. I am sorry you experienced these issues and wish you well.
Happy New Year friend! It is a new year of promises, hopes and new beginnings. I was reminded of how fragile life is when my beloved 7year old cat ,Winston, died December 27. He had no known health issues and I found him dead the next morning. I was bracing myself for my 14 year old dog to die, but thought I had many more years with him. He was one of a kind who showed nothing but pure love to all three of us. We are all so sad, and once again think heart problems were the likely cause. I am glad I had the short time on earth to share with him...he taught me so much about unconditional love and kindness. Thanks for listening!
I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This is indeed a joyous time of the year, and a time to count our blessings. Thank you for all your insight and support, and I love the exercise tape you suggested. I am sticking with it! I hope your blood pressure issues resolve themselves, and continued good health and happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving Fran!
Yous said it----we are all lucky.
I am getting ready for my procedure next Tuesday....actually ;looking forward to just doing it and getting on with the healing.
I am thankful to you for all your kind words of support and offers of help.
God Bless you and all those you love!