Hi Jane, you sound like you are doing great! Glad to hear so many great success stories. By the way, are you "the" Jane that mentioned a donut pillow to Janis? My surgery isn't until March, but I would love to try to find one...I'm taking all these tips from everyone on the site and getting prepared! Is it like the ones for people who have had hemorrhoid surgery????
I have not had ann Afib symptom since that day that I took a second dose of the beta-blocker. I pray it is gone. My Coumadin level has not been in the right range yet. I have gone from 5mg. to skipping nights to 2.5mg now. My Doctors office is using a finger prick meter now, so its not so hard to find my incredibly hard to find veins. My surgery was delayed while they were trying to find a vein. I have gone shopping at the mall, Ciostco(super food store) done errands al over the place with my college age daughter, who is home on break. I am starting to feel guilty not working. I will go back for 2 hours a day next week and offer the secretaries lunch relief from 12-2. I only work part time anyway in an elementary school. I work from 9:30 to 2:00 Mon.-Thurs. I am sleeping well, but still on my back. You sound like you are doing great. Our good thoughts and prays hopefully are finding their way to you. Just think you will be one cool grandma before you know it.
Keep up the great work. Keep on posting.
Hi Jane, Thinking of you and hoping you are stronger everyday. How is the A-fib? Geez, I didn't realize that coumadin was such an ordeal. I'm getting blood work 3 times this week. How long did it take for yours to be the correct dosage? Today I am 8 days post op. Sleeping is still hard, hurting but I know each week will get better. I have you in my prayers for recovery. Janis Kielbasa
It sounds like you are doing great. I have about the same limit of being out and about--2 hours max. I am able to do a couple of walks daily, slow, but at least I don't have to stop every so often like I did a week ago. The cold air makes it harder though. It gets a bit frustrating that my energy is not returning as quickly as my first op in January, but I just try to get up when I feel like it and rest when I need to. I can't wait to finish all the meds I was prescribed; I have a bag full! Today, I see my cardiologist for a post-op assessment; he recommended the mechanical valve replacement, so I am sure I will be quite happy to share my experience and my opinions!
Jane, I think you are doing just fine. Everybody recovers at different rates. I had my aortic valve and and root replaced in August. I felt I really started to recover when I started the cardio rehab. I am almost fully back to where I was in terms of fitness after 4 1/2 months. I started lifting weights again and was happy to see I hadn't lost much strength.
I had an episode of atrial fibrillation four weeks post surgery and that was a little scary but been fine ever since.
Do more when you feel you can. Good luck Brian
Hello Jane, glad to hear you are doing well. I have mitral valve repair Dec 8 at Cleveland Clinic, Thoracotomy (port access). Like you, I developed AFIB after surgery. My surgeon says nearly 40% of patients who undergo mitral repair get AFIB and I was susceptible since my left atrium was enlarged prior to surgery. Like you, I am on Coumadin for the AFIB. My INR is at 1.8 and still not in the 2.0-3.0 range they want it to be at and I am on 7.5 mg coumadin a day. Just had a test yesterday and am hoping it will be up there. I meet with my cardiologist next week to see if the AFIB is still present. I heard someone say I may have to be on coumadin for 3 months even in AFIB goes away. I do feel occasional mild chest pain and mild palpitations. Hope this is not a bad sign. My echo day after surgery only revealed mild regurgitation. Hope this helps. Venkat Ashok.
I believe that DVM is correct in his advice. I would add that there are just some days were you backslide a bit. Don't let that worry you. Still push yourself every day to that day's limit. If you need to rest after, then please do so without a second thought.
Hi Jane. I'm 56 and had my mitral valve repaired in April. And then worked real hard on restoring my fitness. My advice:
1 Move more every day. Start with what you are doing. Up it by 5% a day. In two weeks you'll be double.
2 Enroll in cardiac rehab. It will show you what level you can reach safely. And the social aspects are unbeatable.
3 Listen to your body. It will tell you if you overdo it. And since you are only gradually increasing your activity level, the first day your body tells you "too much" you will only have slightly overdone it, so you can easily make a course correction.
4 Have fitness "projects". Always have a new goal you are working on. My recent ones have been: swim a mile, run 8 miles, do 200 pushups in a day, play ultimate frisbee for 2 hours nonstop, go on a 10 mile hike with my honey (still working on that). OK, those are crazy, but that's me. At a month post op and depending on the level of fitness you are aiming for, your goals will be more modest. Choose what you are already doing and double it as a goal. You will be amazed at what you can achieve.
5 Check with your cardiologist about any limits you might have.
Lastly, exercise and the mild physical stress that goes with it generally promotes healing - as long as you don't overdo it.
Let us know how you're doing -- DVB
Jane, I think you are doing amazing in such a short time. Why you got to set the bar so high, girl? LOL. I will t-r-y to follow in your footsteps. Keep doing what you are doing, listen to your body and each day will get better. Janis Kielbasa
WOW sounds like you are doing a lot, every person is different. For my first 4 weeks I didn't even leave my house to go anywhere except for Doctors Appts. Plus I didn't want to catch anything, I too walk outside on my driveway, and it is cold, but I am bundled up pretty good. I am starting my 6 week since my AVR and I started this week walking 40 minutes and I will start Cardiac Rehab this week. As you heal more and more you will get better and better give it time, continue to do you breathing excerises, Now I am hardly taken any pain meds, I can pretty much tolerate the pain, sometimes I may take something but not that often. I got an exercise sheet when I left the hospital with what they wanted me to do each week and I pretty much stick to that, you will see as time goes on you will get better, remember everyone is different, continue sucess on the road to recovery. jim
In comparison to my third week, your third week is much more active than mine; especially if you had a sternotomy. I posted my weekly activities including my discarge instructions for exercises and my rehab exercises on a weekly basis if you want a comparison. Note that I am 64 years old, but was in good condition prior to the surgery; so my age may be a factor and make a difference.
It is good to be cautious, the time does pass quickly (really). Those of us who have had mitral valve surgery have had different rates of recovery. Listen to your body, read what others have experienced, AND discuss this with your surgeon!
Finally, don't worry about what your neighbors think! You have gone through something they cannot appreciate.
My surgeon also told me that A-fib is often a result of heart valve surgery and usually clears up as the heart heals.
In my case, I had A-fib before the surgery and the surgeon performed a Maze procedure to treat the A-fib in an attempt to clear it up. So my situation might be a bit different. Early on, I did have very strong pulses on occasion, but those have stopped. I was in A-fib when the cardiologist and surgeon examined me in follow up exams, but it seems to have quieted down a lot during rehab, although I still have some symptoms 3 months out.
One of the instructors in my cardio-rehab class said that the Maze procedure did not always stop the A-fib, but that it generally reduced the symptoms; so I remain hopeful.
I got your message via Linda (Thanks, Linda!!). I am already loving this community and based on Linda's, and now your, encouragement, I plan to start my own Journal shortly. Columbia is one my current options. Post a reply and then we can connect directly. Thanks for reaching out to me! And best of luck to you with your recovery.
I had my mitral and tricuspid valves repaired in October, and I started having crazy heart beats and some a-fib about three weeks out. They started after my amiodorone ran out, and they got worse after my metropolol ran out a few weeks after that. It was really bad for about 2 or 3 weeks, but now it is starting to settle down. I am 8 weeks out. My doctor took my off the coumadin (thank goodness) last week. My cardiologist said the a-fib is most likely from the trauma of the surgery, but it may not go away, and I will just have to live with it. I did have a lot of palpitations before my surgery too. It's difficult to sleep when your heart is beating so hard, but I just keep trying not to worry about it. Good luck to you.....hope it stops soon.
Hey you!! Thrilled to read you are doing so well. It is pretty awesome you got a chance to go out for a bit this quickly. You are my inspiration. I will follow in your footsteps. I can't wait to get December 28th behind me and start the recovery process. Keep in Touch and keep us updated!! Janis Kielbasa
Jane, Hello movie star!! Perhaps, a reality show is in the works...."Women with Regurgitation.".....No? LOL. I'm so glad you are doing well. Your progress eases my fears. I am expecting my first grandchild March 30th and want to be 100% for her arrival. I'm planning on doing the baby shower end of February, which would put me 8 weeks post op. I bought my first velour jogging suit Sunday. My daughter talked me into one with slight bling. We couldn't stop laughing in the fitting room. I'm jeans and Ugg girl...but I have to admit it was comfortable and kinda cute. How are you sleeping? Are you using a lazy-boy or your bed? I know with a sternotomy, I may want to sleep in lazy-boy so put one in my bedroom just in case. Keep up the excellent progress. I wish you continued good health. I know its not easy and hurts but after this is all behind us....we will be strong and lead long full lives. My countdown continues....if I have a meltdown...I'll message you. Love, Janis Kielbasa
How are you? I think of you often and hope each day is easier and you are feeling better. I will look for you on Dr. Oz. Was he doing a show on women/heart? I'm getting everything organized at home, trying to not think to much about December 28th's surgery. I'm expecting great things from you and smooth recovery.....I plan to follow in your footsteps. Love, Janis Kielbasa
I am so happy all went well for you! I have been thinking of you and have you in my thoughts and prayers. My surgery is December 28th, a sterntomy as well to repair mitral valve. Wow...how cool, you met Dr. Oz!! Thanks for posting and sharing...it eases my worries. Janis Kielbasa
Will be thinking of you tomorrow at 11:00am when I will be having my pre-surgical testing. Will be praying for the best outcome for you! Be strong! Will be looking forward to updates from you. Think how much better we'll all be feeling in a short while. This is our big step toward recovery from the MV condition. Looking forward to comparing notes.
Angio was fine. I think with the results, I will probably have that under the right breast entry. The surgeon prefers that on women, but was waiting for angio results, I am told that it is a bit more painful, but heals a little bit faster. I want the best surgical outcome. I don't care much about scars. I am mentally ready for this thing. Let's get it over. I would much rather be sharing recipes with you.
Good luck, please keep in touch.
How did your angio go? I am hoping everything went well. As other patients have said, the angio was sometimes more unnerving than the surgery! I felt the same way, but now you have that out of the way. Do you know which type of procedure you will be having, robotic or sternotomy?
Keep in touch, I will post maybe one more time before I leave then will update from the hospital.
The angiogram should be quite easy as long as its complication free. I will pass on this one message. Even if they say you can have your last drink at 4.00am for a 11.00am angiogram - don't. There is no moving for quite sometime after the procedure and along with the drip they are constantly keeping you topped up with there is no toilet pass! mmmm.