Jeff, So glad your surgery date is almost here, the anxiety of waiting will be over and you will be repaired and on the road of recovery. You will do awesome. You attitude is key in recovery and yours is positive as can be! I think its great that you have affirmation cards and have been reading. I did not have a mantra, thankfully remembered someone's from here and used it when I woke up and still had tube for 12 hours. It was Prayer, Hope, Don't worry. I still use it when I'm pushing to get in my 2 miles. You,being young, good health, in shape will have a good outcome and recovery. I have you in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to your recovery posts!! Janis Kielbas
Hey Jeff, thanks for the idea about the cards for the affirmation statement. I'm gonna steal that! You know, I ordered the Peggy Huddleston Book and CD over a week ago and I have not received it yet. It also has not been charged to my credit card. Hmmm...guess I have something else to straighten out.
I don't know if you are a spiritual or "religious" man, but you know there is scripture which I will paraphrase: " the prayers of a righteous man availeth much". To me that says when God fearing people pray for you (your 2 patients) that really gets God's attention and He gives it "special" consideration.
In all honesty, right now I can't get much past "God, please protect me". I think maybe that is good enough!! I am facebook friends with Dr. Gillinov and I see all these links where he is at all of these signings and events promoting his book and I just want to scream at him "GO HOME, REST UP, DON'T OVERUSE YOUR HANDS!!!" I find myself wondering if his "mind" will be where it should be on my day! Hopefully, he is really good at compartmentalizing!
So, my friend, we are getting down to the wire now. I am pretty good, I do have some pretty big butterflies from time to time, and have to fight back the tears on occasion also. Guess that just means we are human.
Hey Jeff. Start now with your healing affirmations. I made laminated cards and gave them to the anest and a nurse hung one from an iv. Give them to all your patients and write the date and time of your surgery. Above all be happy and give thanks for the great drs and scientists we have in this world that let us get heart valve surgery and be out of the hospital and walking around in 4 days. I know you have lots of people to get advice from but I have a similar perspective and motivation as you. I hope I can help you. Take care. Jeff P
In return for stealing your February 27 date, I'll be sure to take good notes in the hospital for you. I plan on running out of the hospital 30 minutes after surgery and setting a new record for recovery time. :-) Thanks for being there for me Jeff.
I just read that your surgery is only two weeks away. It sounds like you have done everything that you can to prepare. Try to get some rest and think about the peace of mind that you will have after the procedure. Sometimes in life you have to stop everything you are doing in order to take care of yourself. That is the best gift you can give your family. I just wanted to wish you well and let you know I was thinking about you.
Hi Jeff, I dont think I have talked to you. I want to wish you good luck on your day. My doctor has put me on hold for at least 5 months. Guess that is ok but I would rather erase all of this from my mind. So I will be here for the long haul. So take care and good luck to you.
Until Much Later Linda H
The hospital I had my surgery at offered a massage when the patients are in a regular room. The first one was free and the others were 35. It was so great. I was able to call upon my methods of relaxation and immediately feel great. They only do the areas they have access to without disturbing you. It was mostly neck (while still lying on my back) shoulders, arms and hands and feet. I think it is one of Dr. Oz's grants that provide it. The massage therapists were lovely. I wish every one could have that offered to them. Check and see if it is available to you.
I'm starting to hone in on peace. Something is starting to pour over my soul as I get closer. People are right Jeff, something is happening. I'm praying for you my friend. Big hugs to you, Carol and your beautiful children.
By the way, I am COMPLETELY in on the "Union" in Orlando. I think I told you that we had to cancel our Disney trip at Christmas because I was feeling so dizzy all the time. I can think of nothing better than to pick right back up where my life briefly paused. I really want to take my kiddos to the Keys too. Can't all your heart valve brothers and sisters just crash at your place? C'mon, I'll even do all the cooking. :-))
I saw your comments about the relative useful lives of the various valves. I am coming up on my reop after 20+ years with a bovine valve. It has finally given way God bless the little thing. I was only 33 years old when it was implanted in 1991 and I was told it would last 8-10 years. Ha! Needless to say I am getting another one! I hope I haven't further complicated your decision. I wish you the best of luck and let me know if I can give you any advice or words of wisdom.
So...with all this reading and listening and writing....are you gonna work any the next two weeks, lol??? I bet your patients are lining up to get those last minute adjustments before you go out.
Two weeks for you, 3 for me! Dude...what happened to the time???? Was I really complaining before????
So, let's just breathe, that's bound to help. I asked Dr. Gillinov if he had any tips for pre-surgery jitters. His response was: "relax, exercise, take a walk...a glass of red wine!" Okie dokie... I can do the red wine, check. Take a walk...just around the house..foot fracture you see. Relax....R-I-G-H-T- easy for you to say Dr. G.!
But...actually I'm doing okay the last couple of days. The wine helps, lol. So, I leave for Cleveland the day after your surgery. Since it seems you guys are in a race to see who can bounce back the fastest....isn't Jimmy something else?....you will probably already be up walking by the time I go flying.
Wow, Jeff, it is really, really getting close!
I simply cannot believe that you are doing all of this:
"...reading 3 different books, doing a relaxation and guided imagery CD, compiling my surgery song playlist, writing a surgery affirmation, writing my pre and post surgery "healing statements" that the surgeon or anesthesiologist will read to me, and so much more..."
You will be fine, my advice to you would be to try to relax, read fun book, watch a good movie, trust the doctors and it will all be just fine!
You are young and otherwise healthy so there is no worries, OK?
Well, aren't you the little Julie McCoy (social director on old show The Love Boat for all you youngings out there). I love the idea, but I thought we decided like a hundred of us were cramming into your studio apt in the Turks and Caicos????
I do not get on here much anymore, but wanted to check on Kelly's status and I decided to check out a few journals. I had to send you a quick message to let you know I had surgery at Mt. Sinai in NYC on March 2, 2010 with Dr. David Adams for Miral valve repair surgery. I wanted to let you know that my experience at the hospital was positive from beginning to end. Everyone was kind and helpful. I am doing great almost two years later. Good luck and go with your gut. I almost changed my mind about surgery under the right breast versus the typical way, but my gut said stick with your plan...and I did!
I just learned a the sister of a friend of mine had open heart surgery in Oct. Also, valve replacement due to rheumatic fever as a child. She didn't have the Ross procedure, but also isn't on coumadin (sorry about spelling). She is doing very well!! Thinking of you and wishing you only the best!
Hi Dr. Jeff
This is Gadiel Vargas from PCCF just wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration to me and to our profession. Going through this life altering experience and sharing it with the world shows transparency and courage. I hold on to the time spent in your office as a dream made into reality, and as motivation to work harder than ever to move pass the ordinary and achieve excellence. I look forward to your smooth operation and swift recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Good luck and best wishes, Jeff....look at the bright side....after the surgery you'll be better than new...We will hold you in our prayers...Have a quick recovery...and and try to post as soon as you can and let us know all is fine
We love you
Brenda and Stuie
I like that you are doing homework and reading everything you can up till surgery date. I think you are wise to know all options. I had chosen port access then 3 days before surgery told doctor I changed mind and wanted old school sternotomy. He had no problem with my change. My inner voice kept whispering to me and I listened. I agree with you, go with your gut. Janis Kielbasa
Hello Jeff. I had my aortic valve and part of my aorta replaced in Kissimmee (Osceola Regional Medical Center) June 7th, 2011 (5 days after my 40th birthday). The surgeon who did my surgery has since moved to Pittsburgh. His name is Dr. Vinay Badhwar. He used an On-X valve because of my age and a current trial trying to prove a need for lower doses of anti-coagulant. I had an amazing experience from start to now. If you're willing to travel, I'd research him as well. I have heard wonderful things about Dr. Accola as well. Either way, I'm sure you'll do great.
Jeff, first of all, thank you for calling me a hottie!!! That made my day!!! Make that my year!!!
2nd...I so feel for you, I don't exactly feel your pain because the Ross has never been (I don't guess) an option for me. Just the decision of tissue vs mechanical is driving me crazy. I am actually feeling a little pressure to go with the tissue rather than mechanical (from Cleveland Clinic) and I don't know if that is what I want or not. I probably will because although I have taken Coumadin in the past and had no problems, I realize I am getting older (still a hottie though) and my risk of falling, etc. is greater, therefore my risk of bleeding is greater if on Coumadin. People tend to discourage you from doing something other than what THEY think is best. I know how much research you have done and as Mitch said, you have been thinking ROSS the entire time. I would not presume to offer any kind of advice, except to say don't be afraid to go with your original plan, but also if you have doubts, don't be afraid to change your mind.
I pray that the right decision will be revealed to you and that you will be at peace with it. And just remember...your HVJ friends will support you, whatever your decision.
You send mixed signals, sir. On the one hand you've got all the confidence in the world in Dr. Stelzer. On the other hand you still want advice from others. As Chuck Holmgreen says, "Give it a rest." Why are you knocking yourself out? Stressing yourself out can't be good.
Hi Jeff. As Clinton once said, "I feel your pain." I hear you agonizing over what's to come. I told you from the beginning that you should look into St. Francis Hospital. Here’s why. Here are stats from NYS Health Dept for the years 2006-2008 (the most recent available):
In 2008, only five hospitals had lower Risk Adjusted Mortality Rates (RAMR) than the statewide average. Mt Sinai (MS) is not one of them. St. Francis Hospital (SF) is.
The RAMR is a way of putting all hospitals on a level playing field.
The MS RAMR was 2.84 while SF was 1.33, which is considered “significantly lower” than the statewide average (1.81).
MS had a total valve procedure case load of 1273 while SF had a case load of 1848
Certain procedures are isolated by type: replacement or repair.
MS repaired 47 while SF repaired 81.
MS replaced 129 while SF replaced 168.
Dr. Stelzer performed 18 procedures. Doctors at SF (there were seven) perfumed way more than that. The lowest case load for one of our doctors was 115. Dr. Stelzer’s RAMR was 2.91. All the doctors combined at SF had a RAMR of 2.45
If it's not too late, and if you’re still checking things out to get some peace of mind why not speak with the Chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at St. Francis Hospital, Dr. Newell Robinson.
100 Port Washington Blvd.
Roslyn, New York, 11576
The link for the above info is:
PS- You can mention the Brave Hearts. Dr. Robinson was our guest of honor at our last Dinner-Dance.
Jeff, Thanks so much for sharing your research and letting us know about healing options and for providing informative links. You have done your homework, and I know whatever surgery option you choose will be the right one. Continued prayers and good thoughts sent your way. Janis Kielbasa 7 weeks post op and doing great!!
Jeff. I am sure that outlook plays a central role in the success of your your recovery. With you outlook your surgery will be a success. I hope I wasn't out of line with my comments. Wishing you all the best
It seems to me that you are comfortable with your decision and surgeon. It is important that you have that confidence as the date approaches. I found that I had a feeling of over-whelming calmness when the day approached. I was almost excited to get the show on the road already.
I do have a question about the "cold laser" treatment. What are the benefits? I think my scar is healing really well. What would I look for that would indicate the need for the treatments?
You will be amazed at how well you will do with your surgery. I am now 11 weeks and don't ever think of my journey when I am not on this site. My walking and exercise is back to pre-op and better. I went back to work at 4 weeks, but my work is not as demanding physically as yours. Wishing you the best.
Brother, you are doing the right thing. Doing your homework, getting smart and getting comfortable with your decision. That is what intelligent people do. So, continue to weight all the facts. The most recent Dr. was spot on, there are no wrong decisions here. It is a matter of what your gut tells you.
You have been focused on the Ross procedure since day one. That seems to be your calling. You met Dr. Seltzer, you know you are comfortable. Put this aside for a day or so, hug your loved ones and the right decision will come to (if you are still not sure). If you know what you want, then go with that and never look back. Your fill fly through this and before you know it, you will be fixed. A truly good feeling.
I'm here for you bro, let me know how I can help.
Well Jeff...if stress messes with your adrenals...mine are toast! It seems between my husband's illness and death, my heart problem, retiring from work (it's not all it's cracked up to be) and now surgery...stress has been my middle name for the last 9 years!
This makes perfect sense to me, stress and cortisol levels have been linked for years. And you are right, I too have noticed the fatigue complaints, even from those who didn't have symptoms prior to surgery...and this is pretty major surgery...like the biggest!!
Jeff....please be careful with any supplements you take. Check with your cardiologist and surgeon before taking them because they can interact with some of the meds you will be on when you go home (and you will be on a lot of them!)
I read your note about feeling GREAT right now. Same boat for me. I am scheduled for pulmonary valve replacement Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Stewart 3/15/12. Feel super, work-out, no symptoms. Work with patients as an occupational therapist.
I am staying positive and starting to explore Peggy Huddlestons theories for pre-surgical preparedness. We're not in this alone. Stephanie Cole
Jeff. All,good info as u have heard. Proud of ya bro! Totally convinced as well the attititude does wonders too. Great combination Being blessed with meeting new folks ( ok yea like u). Was a big help.
You'll ace this easy. Please let me know how long u might be gone from fla - so we can coordinate a few things.
So, good looking, witty and smart too! I knew I liked you for a reason. Great info about the mechanics of what we are going through. I have found if you give into your body's need to nap it makes a HUGE difference. Even the short 20 minute cat naps. Plus, frequent eating is a big help too, especially I'm the early stages of recovery when you have a limited appetite.
Thanks for all the advice. Speak soon.