Congrats on your grandmothership! Must say, you don't look old enough to be a grandmother. It must be a great feeling.
I'm so glad to hear your wound is healed. I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been.
As far as insurance goes...it depends on your policy and what they rejected. You may want to call the hospital billing office too...they may have billed it incorrectly. If you got a rejection from the ins co and not the hospital, it may bethat the Hosp figured out what they did wrong and are refilling already. Good luck!
Excellent news Holly. Its amazing how our bodies can fix themselves, even if it take one-third of the year :-) Glad to hear that this annoying chapter is finally coming to an end.
As for me, the home nurse suggested I stop applying wet-to-dry dressings and see if it "airs out" since the minor leakage I still have now may be due to the heat buildup when it's covered by gauze and tape. So far it is still oozing a drop of yellow stuff every couple of hours and there is a small "ball" of flesh that has slowly grown over the past month. Will attach a photo to my journal in case you are interested in taking a look. Later today (Mon) I am going to try and get an appt with the surgeon to see what he thinks.
I can't stand how our insurance industry works. Have received about 6 or 7 bills totalling around $2K that the insurance originally said was not covered. So far each one has eventually been sent back for re-processing, but it's stressful thinking they might try to make you pay something that should be covered. What a messed up health care system to have no clue what something will cost before you get the bill! I really hope your doc's note works and that ridiculous bill goes away.
Congrats on the new grandbaby and look forward to hearing from you!
Glad to hear you are doing well! I still can't wear a regular bra yet either. Good to know about the Aah bra though.....LOL......Stay well. I think I am going to try a 20 mile hike in the White Mountains this Fall and see how that goes. But three flights of stairs still makes me want to use an elevator instead. HA....Hey I am 53 now, not 17yo.
Good luck. Keep up the updates.
Holly, glad to hear that all is going well for you at 3 months and that your incision is almost healed. That is great that you are walking 5-7 miles a day at work. I have been wearing my pedometer here at home but must say you are strides ahead of me. Once I get this seroma healed watch out - I will be on the move - LOL! I too have noticed I have so much more energy since my repair, even at only 7 weeks post op - it is a good feeling to not have the chronic fatigue! Take care! Denise K
You sound fantastic!
Sorry your incision hasn't completely healed. I met someone at rehab that had a sternotomy in March. Her incision is infected in one tiny spot still. They think her body is rejecting the wires used to hold her sternum.
I've had several internal stitches surface. At first they freaked me out to see them and then I realized they were dissolving and I could just pull them out without taking an internal organ with them. :)
thanks for the posting about how great you feel at 3 months. Im still lacking some stamina and lung capacity. It's good to know that should becoming back in a month or so.
Holly. Sorry to hear you are still fighting that incision. That is pretty amazing it is taking so long to seal itself up. What are the Dr's saying about it. Must be some reasoning to it? Hmmmm. Just be real careful with it.
Yes I still have a bit of numbness at a couple of spots. Oddly enough right on my sternum where the skin just covers the bone. Also a little bit on that big incision under my arm pit.
I was thinking these little holes I have would start to turn white or something but they are staying a bright redish color. I wonder if they will stay like that?
I have been using Mederma scar creme on them but it does not seem to do anything. Anyway. Life goes on. Thankfully. Hope to be off the Coumadin soon too. Also the BETA blockers if I can.
Hope you are well other than the incision. Don;t work so hard and take it easy on your feet.
How's that incision site? All healed up yet?
I cold bring over my duct tape and staple gun if you need them? No? Oh well.....
Just wondering how the long shifts were going? Hopefully your feet are keeping up with your heart now. Ha.
Wow Holly - I am impressed - a 12 hour shift at weeks post op - that is great - and with your incision still not completely healed - what a trooper. I am doing better each day - ran errands with my hubby today - then came home and took a 2 hour nap - resting heart rate is down to 76 - yeah! Ric and and I are reconsidering going on family vacation in SC since I am doing better - do you think 12 hours in the car with 2 hour stops will be doable at 3 1/2 weeks after surgery - what would you do?
Wow! Back to work for 12 hour shifts, less than 2 months after open heart surgery, are you serious? Heck, I barely make it through teaching a 50 minute class at the university after my surgery. Take care, Holly.
- Jim Smith
Hey Holly, thanks for responding..I am currently not on any meds...i tried beta two times and hated them..make me feel worse..yes i have had sleep test and do have mild sleep apnea...I know i have mitro valve prolaspe with regurg...I am due a eco in next week or so ..waiting on dr referral..it was mild three years ago..but lately my heart flops about evey three min or more..I am very tired and feel like my muscles have to work extra hard just to wlk sometimes.I am not taking anything..they have tried lasex for swelling. I think initially my new family dr thought all my symptoms were from the slep apnea..and I was hoping too..considering i first started problems three years ago..I just want to feel better..Thank you so much for your response and I hope your getting much stronger.
Hey Holly, i am new to this site..been trying to do research on mitro valve prolaspe with regurg.. i was told two years ago i had it after gaining un expected weight and fast heart rate at resting..i have tried everything from beta blockers to now my dr thinks my main problem is sleep apnea...i have edema in ankles and legs for past 5 months and last few my heart feels floppy so to speak every few min...they said mine was mild two years ago but it has worsened in the last year...i have no breath and tired all the time and bruise alot, just feel aweful most days.i have had dizzy spells too...i have been trying to find others who has it and what their symptoms may be..because i am 37 or young according to my family dr they dont take me serious..curious to know your symptoms......thanks, Tiny
So Holly. What is up with that incision? Are they not able to seal it up with increased number of stitches or that weird super glue they used on me? Keep us updated on that.
Hope you have hit that "Hey everything is gonna be OK day." Back to work full time yet?
Good morning Holly-
I am on the fence about the cardiac rehab. They will be sending a cardiac nurse to see me next week. I am 45, but prior to the surgery had pneumonia in April and congestive heart failure so I need to build myself up more than the next guy perhaps. Did you return to work and if so full-time?
Been a few more days. How is the walking 20 miles a day, 100lb barbell sets, 200 jumping jacks pushups, and such going?
I just finished my forst week back to work and I have to say it feel like I never had an operation. Well, just that I breath a bit better now.....Hope your doing well.
Now I think I may have some work to do with that Chrisy after reading her journal. She is quite the worry wort....LOL. I hope she did well today BTW....
Have fun and keep on healing.
Great news on the back to work (I think?) and the walking sounds like good rehab. Was there any damage/swelling to the right side of your heart due to mitral valve issue on the left?
Glad you are sleeping as that has been a challenge for me one week out from surgery. I think I am more anxious/restless than pain.
Glad to hear your feeling well. Are you happy to be going back to work? I'm looking forward to quiet and solitude during recovery. I'll probably be dying of boredom after a while.
Hope youre incision heals...won't that be uncomfortable to wear normal clothes at work?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts at one month post-op. It is informative for those of us headed in for our surgeries (tomorrow-yikes). Glad to hear you are progressing well.
Keep the updates coming.
Yeah Holly I agree. But the weird thing, at least for me, was I got to this one point where all of a sudden I felt 100% better. It was like one day I woke up and felt great. I'll bet you are about to have that day as your surgery was very close to mine. I go today to meet my surgeon and hope to get the all clear sign. I don't think I will go to rehab. My work is pretty much all the exercise I'll need. I hope. Now I just have to get used to not napping during the day. Gotta love all the naps though....eh?
It's been a month for you? wow, time does fly!
what's involved in packing a wound? sounds kind of grousome. It's yous main incision under your breast, right?
It's 11 days until my day arrives. I hope I do as well as well as you, Kerry & Selma. I wish it would just get here so I can get on with my summer.
Take care. I hope you continue to feel better and heal.
Yes Holly, one thing about us all...we each have the BEST surgeon, went to the BEST facility, chose the BEST valve and had the BEST method!!!
(At least I did, hahahahahahahaha!!!!)
I think we are all incredibly fortunate and blessed that we were able to be fixed at all! I think maybe we have these little issues to make us more mindful of how blessed we really are. Take care, hope the antibiotics work and remember to TAKE THEM ALL!!! Take it easy too!
Holly, Sorry to hear you too are having some "issues". Well you already know about my stitches issues. The one in my neck also got infected. Nasty stuff also came out when they removed it. The one in my groin had no stitches. They used super glue and some weird plastic/cellophane type of tape over it that slowly dissolved over time. Sorry to hear about the opening up, but maybe letting it air out for a while and not stretching anything is going to help. I know I could feel my incision under my right armpit pull whenever I raised my arm. made nervous about it opening up.
Good luck though and keep us posted.
Sorry to hear you've reached a bump.
What type of doctor do you go to for the stitch issues? Is it your PCP, cardiologist or surgeon?
It must be uncomfortable having your incisions opening up, especially right under your breast.
I hope the antibiotics do the trick.
Let us know how it goes.
Holly, I had one stitch that worked itself out of the bottom of my incision after about 8 to 10 days. I called CCF and was told to leave it alone, not to even touch it to put antibiotic cream on it or anything or it could become infected. My incision was not opening up, just the tiny (less than 1/4 inch "fishing line" protruding. It was irritating to me however, so I went to my PCP and he clipped the protruding part using sterile instruments. I haven't had any more problems with it thankfully. I also wonder about rehab so soon after surgery. The cardiac rehab at my hospital does not let you start until 6 weeks after surgery. Wonder why there is such a big difference? I still have not been able to start, have had to postpone for 2 weeks due to developing bronchial pneumonia. Havent had even a cold in over a year and then get one just when "life was getting back to normal". Oh well...that's life I suppose, just glad it didn't come when my chest still felt like it was ripping apart every time I sneezed!! Take care of yourself and maybe consider a rest from rehab until your immune system can get your body healed?
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
Ummmm....Does anyone think it strange that Holly is doing cardiac rehab so soon? My Dr. told me no exercise for a few weeks after surgery. Obviously if stitches are pulling and incisions opening, I would be questioning why this happening. I only had two stitches total. One was taken out before I left the hospital the other was left in unknowingly I guess, and that one got infected. Since that one was pulled out and the infection gone I have felt 100% better.
Holly, you might want to relax a bit more and let those incisions heal before doing things that will open them up again. All the exercise in the world is not going to help if you get an infection and/or endocarditis in your heart. This far out nothing should be draining either. I think you need some nap time....Not sure if I said this a 1000 times before or not.....RELAX dammit! Geesh! Your making me worry about YOU now.
Holly, not to scare you, but don't assume because you haven't heard anything yet that your cultures are clear. If you were just cultured on Friday, your doctor may not even have results yet. And unfortunately weekends tend to create "cracks" in the system that patients sometimes fall through. Call your doctor's office just to make sure. I am a retired microbiologist, worked in hospital lab setting for many years. Reports are usually automatically faxed to doctors now and all sorts of things can go wrong with that...no paper in fax machine, etc. Call him just to make sure. Keep us updated.
Sounds like you're springing leaks from all over! What's up with that? I hope your culture comes back negative. hospitals germs are not good.
I'm really shocked and sad about Cindy too. Her family must be devastated. I'm going to make a donation to the AHA in her name. I don't know what else I could do. I feel like I knew her.
Hope you're able to 'hold' yourself together.
Haven't been on pain medication in quite some time and I really wasn't on much to begin with. In fact, since I got home, I've only been on Ibuprofen 400mg but haven't even used that in awhile. So, for me, the pain wasn't that bad and when I felt I needed it, Ibuprofen was enough. I don't have any leg stuff to deal with so can't help you there and I don't wear bras so I can't help you there. - LOL
HA....I am right there with Jeff. I still have to hold onto my pectoral whenever I drive in the car. I try to wear very soft T-shirts at the very least. Very sensitive. However even tonight it was much better while taking a drive. Under my right arm pit was almost numb for quite some time but that has gotten much better now. So Holly it just takes a while. I still think you are doing better than most this soon after surgery. So count your blessings. Just don't jinx it. LOL.
It is tough to get air to that Lower incision, but try to keep it dry. Keep up the great progress. Life is great.
I'm so glad to see your doing well. It's so encouraging for me. If I can be starting rehab two weeks after surgery, I'd be a very happy camper.
Did you have high blood pressure before your surgery? I started taking meds for HBP about a year ago. I'm hoping that may resolve after my valve job. It may just be wishful thinking though.
Keep up the good work!
Glad to see things are getting better. It really does overall get better each day and week. My right chest is still numb, 2 months later, though not as bad. At about 3 to 4 weeks I developed a lot of skin sensitivity the upper part of my chest, mostly on the right side. For two weeks there, I had wear gauze pads between my shirt and my skin because it was so irritable. Then, suddenly it kind of went away. So, I had numbness in one part and hypersensitivity in another. But it's all getting better. Hand in there, the numbness will fade but that may take some time.
Thanks for posting in my guestbook. It reminded me to check on you. I am so sorry I missed your big day. I was not signed up for your updates. Now I am. Anyway, I see you are home and getting better. I am glad your surgery went well and welcome you to the other side. You will not believe it, but in a few weeks, you will be feeling so much better. I am 2 months today and I am just doing great. I will keep up with you now :)
Holly, so happy to hear all is going well with your recovery so far. It is so encouraging to me as I too have MVR and am anxiously awaiting surgery on May 29th. Take care and don't over-due - I know - easier said than done - lol!
I work in the IT dept of a 100 bed hosp. I am a computer programmer and since we upgraded our software recently have been given the duty of supporting the clinical staff on a rotating basis. It's been different for me. Last week I got to go in the OR during as endoscopy. I've been spending a lot of time in the ICU too. I think it helps to feel comfortable around a hospital setting when you get to be on the receiving end.
The pain I was having has gone away. I had two episodes that were quite painful. I couldn't walk and I didn't know what was going on. To be honest, I felt a whole lot better after I went to the bathroom. There must have been some nerve thing going on as the pain was not anything I've ever experienced before. I feel a whole lot better today.
Thanks for asking.
Wow Holly! You're doing great! I'm so happy for you and am so encouraged by your progress.
It must be hard to know how much activity is too much. I tend to overdo and have a hard time staying still. I guess you do what feels right and hope you don't make any bad decisions. I'll bet rehab will give you some confidence back in your hearts capacity. Hope that goes well for you.
What do you do at the hosp where you work?
Are you clinical? I'm not, but support the clinical people on the computer software we use.
Congratulations! It is wonderful that you are well and that you feel better. I look forward to the day when I have less shortness of breath. I hope things continue to go well; I will follow your progress :). Kate R
Hi Holly. Yes it was Paul. I keep forgetting to sign out. I agree on taking the walking thing slowly. You really should not be going so fast as to feel your heart in your chest. Walk real slow. No trotting. Remember you have sutures in your heart that need to heal and skin over. that takes a lot of time. I started out slow. I still walk slow. But I walk farther now. Just slow. Hey I'm on vacation for the next month ya know. I figure by next week I will start picking up the pace a bit and raising my BPM up by 10-20. No use having a setback due to over doing it. I still have numbness around my pectoral incision. Actually it hurts a bit still. Even three weeks out. But my breathing has gotten much better, I am not as tired at the end of the day and I can actually lay on my right side for a minute or two now. I still get a bit of a head rush when I stand up to quick, which tells me when I have been sitting too long. I can actually sleep in my bed now without propping up. Showers are still fun. I can't stretch my arm back far enough to get my right side back. Some of my scabs are starting to fall off, so I guess that is a good sign. So anyway, you have a couple of weeks before things start getting better enough to notice I think. after that I feel you should be on your way out of the doldrums, and back to feeling better.
Oh and sorry no I did not have any oozing from my drainage points. But then I was in the hospital a few days more than you.
Keep those points clean....Keep yourself hydrated and eat well. Protein and carbohydrates as well as B complex vitamins are key to wound healing.
Google nutrition and wound healing. makes for good reading while you REST up.
And I got my BPM rate regimen from my Dr.. Plus I know my regular resting rate and figure I would just up it slowly on my own.
Good talking to you. Now take it easy will ya. No chest beating for you!