Yes, I'm dead serious. There is a sign on the wall letting us know to consult for only one question. Gone are the days of the lists. The only time I can get away with more is when I go for an annual physical and honestly, that is usually the one time per year I show up at her office. The other once or twice is to a walk-in clinic for a cold, flu shot or something. The doctor's office is in the next town over and I just can't be bothered. Our medical system is apparently paying the doctors only about $20/visit/question so yes, if I have two questions then I have to make another appointment on another day, not the same day. I've had this doctor for a good 20 years or more and she obviously has no feeling for me as a patient.
When I went in for my first post-op about my cough and the Warfarin, we only talked. She didn't want to see my incision, said she'd monitor the Warfarin, didn't look at my throat but guessed the cough was from the tube and refused my request to check my BP. I was well over the limit!
I am using the treadmill at rehab because my one knee is killing me so I've now been taking chiropractor treatments for 5 weeks for sciatica. Just something to keep my dance card full.
I forgot about Diana's aunt going to keep us updated. Boy, I'll be glad to see a posting letting us know she's okay.
I just had a nice e-mail from Penny and she's doing well. She had a funny little story about falling off her high heels.
So pleased to hear that you are starting rehab. I was also wary of upping my game but Steve was so thrilled when we were on holiday last week and I walked 5 km every morning and cycled 20 km with him one afternoon without feeling breathless or tired. I follow my own strength progam (we don't have the resources here that you have)but I ma not as diligent as I would like to be. I still get chest bone ache if I do too much upper body work but my target is 20 straight body pressups by February! And I can only manage dinky dumbbells, its embarrassing...
I still have a little fluid in my right lung which gives me a sharp pain in my lower back if I breath in suddenly or yawn but this week I can feel it is improving. The other thing I have noticed is that I involuntary gasp every now and then - it sounds like a really loud sigh. Have you heard this from anyone else?
Love and hugs
Yeah, that wasn't really diplomatic of me to call that life saver rat poinon, was it? ha. ha. I didn't take any last night for the first time so somehow I'm wondering if I'm going to feel anything. Crazy. As if I could feel my blood flowing. Hopefully I'll be warmer this winter anyway.
I'll be glad to hear something about Diana. I guess Dwight isn't into computers.
The bit of fluid that is still in your lung - does it bother your breathing ability at all?
Well, I finally got my answer about the Warfarin and as of today, I'm done. My cardiologist said I'd have to go back to the surgeon rather than my GP so I did just that. The surgeon phone me right back after reviewing his notes and noted he suggested I remain on Warfarin for 3 months. At the end of that time I had been seen by the cardiologist and GP and I figured the GP kept renewing the prescription because of my irregular heart beat. Humph! Anyway, as I can only ask ONE question at a time at the GP's office, the Warfarin one just didn't have time to come up. Also, I kinda figured the decisions were made by the cardiologist. Long story short - I'm done after an extra 5 months of the stuff. Perhaps now my husband won't look such a brute as all my bruises clear up!
Let me know how rehab goes. Do what you feel you can and not a bit more.
Hi Fran Z,
I am about 3 1/2 days away from surgery and I feel the stress creeping up on me. I was rereading your journal and the successful surgery you seemed to have and remembered your advice on guided imagery. After a few days of looking (Borders and Barnes & Noble had nothing of the sort) I finally found a store that had Guided Imagery for Preparing for Surgery. Yaaay!! They also gave me some flower essence stuff for body healing. Going to listen to some guided imagery!! Just wanted to say thank you.
Glad you've got started on your rehab and pray you'll find it helpful without taking too much out of you. The most important thing I found was the confidence it gave me in know how much I could do. I'm praying you'll gain that same confidence.
Your energy level will impove with rehab. They are always excited to see me at my rehab becuase I bring Donuts! Happy 10 weeks, has it really beeen that short of time. It seems just like a few days ago we were asking Dr. Gillinov how old he was and too see his id.
I still have some fluid also but it is getting less and less as time flys by.
captain Bill and first mate Lori
Thank you for all your encouragement. I'm continuing to do better each day. We just went to the mall and I walked much further than I have since surgery (then I got into a wheel chair and Ron pushed me the rest of the way!)
Congratulation on reaching this milestone. You were my encouragement while going thru my complications following surgery. You had a rough time and made it, I will too. I am sitting here sipping on warm ginger ale trying to keep the coughing under control. It is such an annoying, hurtful, worthless cough. I have no fluid in my lungs nor do i ever cough anything up. It's just hack hack.
Sure hope the rehab goes well!!
Thank you for all your encouraging notes,
Your are on your way! Rehab will make you feel better. I am into my third week and they will not let me do upper body until JUNE 16TH. My arms, upper back and neck need some attention but I will follow the program. I also walk the days that I don't go to Rehab.
Hi Fran, thank you so much for writing to Kimberly, and I, during this adventure she and I are sharing. In response to your question, no...I am not a medical professional. I just ask questions, and try to remember what they tell me.
Thank You again
Kimberly and David
You have been on my mind this week...wondering when you were starting rehab. I will be starting rehab tomorrow. I hope your fluid situation is improving.
I've been having a lot of pain in my left shoulder joint and elbow and sometimes down into the left wrist. I can't really use that arm to pick up anything because the pain sometimes feels like a pinched nerve. I'm sitting with a heat pack on it now...I hope it doesn't interfere with the rehab. :( I don't think its surgery related.
Have you been getting all the daily afternoon deluges on your coast? Just pray the hurricanes stay away...2004 and 2005 were rough.
Hi Fran - yes the funeral thing was serious for a couple of reasons. Our local funeral home is where many of our family have been attended too. The most recent that my wife was involved with was making arrangemenst for her father. Even though that was almost 8 years ago it still brings back a flood of painful memories for her every time she goes to that facility. I want to spare her the pain of having to do it again.
Secondly, the orgaization I am involved with requires I preplan my arrangements. I was supposed to do that 15 years ago and so Mr. Procrastination is getting caught up. So in that sense yes it is a bit different for me.
Good Morning Fran - You asked if my granchildren recognized me after shaving off my beard. It took a few awkward moments of shyness until I started doing the grandpa schtick and they came around almost immediately.
Yes, those are my 3 beautiful children and wonderful husband in the wedding photo:) Thank you! And the dog is Kye, he was our Best Man and my husband's 8 yr old baby. We were married this past October 3rd and it has been wonderful.
Thank you for becoming one of my "angels".
Thank you for such a sweet and thoughtful entry in my guestbook. You are definitely someone we all here on HVJ look up to. You give great advice and support. Like you said, I am blessed to have a wonderful support system. My children are old enough to come to the hospital. My husband (their stepfather) has tried to prepare them like you said for what I will look like.But we feel it is important to let them come while I am still in ICU because they are so worried about this surgery and we want them to see I am alive:) My son will be there waiting the entire time, but he is 20. My daughters are 12 and 14. They are a huge help but they are looking forward to me getting better so we can start "living" life!
I hope you continue on a road to smooth recovery!
Hope you had an enjoyable weekend. How thoughtful to send a thank you to Adam. I hope he stops and reads some of our journals now and then to see that many times he is thanked here. I can't say enough positive things about the book, blog and this site.
Hope you are progressing well. Will write later. We're dashing out to lacrosse.
Thank you so much for your comforting words. My symptoms are getting so bad, that at this point, I'm not obsessing much about the breathing tube. Besides, I can't change it, it is something that I will have to deal with. You all did, so I can too. That's what I keep repeating to myself anyway. I will get through this and it will be nice to be able to enjoy life once again without the horrible symptoms putting a damper on it.
Yes, my Aunt will post on my journal to keep my friends here up to date on my progress. Her name is Jeanette.
Thank you again, Fran, for all your support and encouragement.
So happy to hear you are starting cardio rehab....yeah is right! I am also so grateful for this site and all the wonderful people I have met through these journals. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this journey with you.
I am so excited for you starting the rehab!! Another step in the right direction. My surgery is in 4 days and I just want you to know that you really have been an inspiration to me and will be on my mind as I get ready to go through my recovery. Thank you for your notes of encouragement and advice.
I agree with your sentiments re this site. At first I joined thinking it would be a great way to keep my family informed. Well, I haven't even told my family about this...yet. Talking to people who are in the same boat, or have been, is so comforting. When I feel alone in facing surgery in my world, I come here and feel so much better. I get answers to my questions, comfort, encouragement, etc.
And thank you, Fran, and people like you, who have been through the surgery but stick around to support us newbies. It means so much.
Good Morning Fran,
I love doing cross stitch. I do your basic stamped cross stitch and counted cross stitch, as well as crewel. I find it really relaxing.
Doing one more chore today. I'm cleaning my oven. Thank goodness I have a self cleaning one. Made a homemade pizza the other night and it spilled over, so have a little mess. And of course, its bothering me, so might as well get it done now. Then my chores are complete. Won't have to worry about much when I get home.
3 days and counting. Nerves are kicking in some, but not too bad. I'm so ready to get it done.
Have a wonderful holiday.
Good Morning Fran,
Yes, I'm hoping that its a green light for everything now. I'm sooooooo ready for this to be done and over with. My symptoms have increased and is getting difficult to do much of anything anymore. Gets very frustrating.
I'll keep you guys informed as things go.
Happy Memorial Weekend,
Hi Fran, happy belatged Birthday. I know it must have been a special one this year!
Re: Addicted to spitometer(sp?). Now I have heard everything - couldn't you have said wine or fig newtons or something (ha-ha) -- only teasing. Seriously - only 2 months and even with the bumps in the road it seems to me that you are doing fabulous and your attitude is great and I know it is helpful to everyone. Does my heart good to hear of your progress. Richard continues to read the journals and Fran, was it you that mentioned the mended heart bear by Bummer Bears - I thought that was what Richard told me. Well, I have to tell you Richard thought it was the cutest thing he ever saw and mentioned it several times - so I surprised him and had one sent to him (I don't care if he is a guy) he loved it and still thinks it is the cutest thing and shows it off! Thanks. Keep on improving!
Richard's wife, Susan
Thank you for the advice and helpful words of encouragement. I do feel all the little things keep adding up but now I'm ready for the big one:) We are going to download some relaxation tapes and everything you tell me sticks in my head. 8 more days!
Thanks so much for your kind words as my surgery is fast approaching. One week from today I will have this behind me and on the road to recovery. I really appreciate listening to your advice through your experience. I did not end up banking blood based on the fact that I might not even need a blood transfusion. My surgeon is not expecting it, but if I do need one, obviously I will get one from a donor. I hope you are continuing to have success in the recovery process!
Thanks for the note. There are 4 women and 4 men in my rehab class and I'm about the 3rd youngest. I am the only valve surgery and the others are all artery stents. I do my class every Tuesday morning from 8:45 to about 9:45 am and to supplement that Pete and I walk and I do a light weights at home. I haven't returned to a gym yet until I get the official go ahead so perhaps next week when I go for a follow-up he might say go for it. Tuesday nights we do our 2 hour dance class as well and sometimes that is a real workout.
I just cannot believe you are still dealing with this fluid thing. I wished they could give you a solid reason for it happening so you could physically do something to counteract it. You just have to be so frustrated - I know I would be. Are you still using your spirometer? I wonder if doing so would help at all? Do you and Peter walk the malls at all? I'm just thinking they would at least be airconditioned as opposed to walking outside. Florida has to be getting pretty hot and humid right now. We are having an unusually wonderful spring here with today being 28-30C. I absolutely love it.
We've got the pool out back and I rarely, if ever go in it anymore and Peter never uses it. (I sat outside most of the weekend reading and there was a time I'd be in the water fulltime.) I know it would be a great workout but then I don't want to take the time to have to always do my hair and we're so busy with the grandkids, getting ready would hamper our running. The grandkids use it sporadically when they're here but they have their own so it's not like they need to come.
I'm hoping and praying that bit of fluid finds it's way out of your body. Don't wait too long to see the doctor though. Keep in touch.
You're up late. I can now say I feel much the same as I did before the surgery finally. That's a good thing. I can understand your lack of energy because you now have to teach your heart to get working after all the downtime you've just had. It will come and given more time yet, you will be back to actually seeing the differnce.
From rehab I am getting the knowledge of how to exercise and what to look for, bp, heartrate etc. You already know how to read those things but you could still benefit in exercising under constant supervision, especially for the first while. Mentally it was essential to give me confidence in what and how much I could do. I have to admit I would have been somewhat timid to begin exercising on my own and perhaps would have delayed challenging myself. One class of exercise per week obviously doesn't build my heart muscle so I have to be smart enough to follow-up on my own. I've attended weekly with the same people and now it's become quite social as well. We learn from each other and the rehab nurse is there to run symptoms and advances through. So, for me, I'm really glad I'm attending. I highly recommend it.
thanks for you take on Dr. Gillinov. I have a good feeling about it. I am a bit upset that my cardiologist did not think pulmonary hypertension was something to address. Dr. Gillinov was very direct in stating that when you have that, you should be proactive about fixing things. Glad you are doing well.
Thanks so much for the care and concern:)I had another visit to the dentist this morning and they did another packing which did not work very well. So I got home a couple hours ago from work and I am reading up on dry socket. My worry is that it will not be healed in time for surgery??? Hope your birthday was a great one!
Hi Fran. Actually, he did tell me that the replacements would most likely be done with a catheter through the groin in the future - another factor in my chosing a tissue valve. I have always had problems with nose bleeds & bruise easily so I was really not enthused about blood thinners. The offer still stands on any help you need with pranayama exercises (breathing). I'm just an e-mail or phone call away. You are correct about consistency but, you know what? Just do what you can do & it will be fine.
Wishing you the very best birthday ever this year Fran because mentally you have to be so proud of where you've come from recently and not seeing the road ahead as being so terribly long. Rehab - see, that's progress. I was just so glad to read you are actually recovering and not being left in limbo of this and that creeping up and biting you in the butt. (I had written something else there but thought I'd better clean it up!) Huge birthday hug and as always continued prayers for a dear friend.
What a great birthday present with such a good report!! You are always there for each of us with such a positive attitude and your good news has caused us all to rejoice with you. Slow but sure...and giving us all hope.
Good news! I'm so happy for you. I remember your journal a few weeks back where you were looking forward to someday logging good news, and it's finally come for you! Wishing you a very special day for your birthday, and many great years to come. You've been such a rock for all of us, and we truly appreciate your always being there.
Happy birthday to a truly amazing person. I am so glad to have gotten to know you through these journals. Hope you have a great celebration..you deserve it.
A birthday hug to you..