Amazing weather this weekend, wasn't it?
Glad you were able to enjoy it.
Sounds like you have a good plan for the rest of the week.
Get through it and get it done. You must be looking forward to feeling better. Use that as your motivation.
You're lucky you have such a great support system!
Hang in there!
I had repair surgery to my mitral valve 5 years ago. It was done robotically. I was back to work full time after 7 weeks. I was very tired and it took a lot out of me but each day got a little better. I set goals for myself. It sounds like you have a great mental attitude and much love and support from your family. Just focus on yourself and getting better. Good luck with your surgery. I wish I had found this website before my surgery. This is a great site with a lot of information and support from people from all over. Take care.
Wow I just realized I blogged for the first time!
I was very fortunate my doc was sure he could do a repair and did. I had an echo just a week ago and there is only very minor regurgitation. I went in to the hospital on December 1 and was home for lunch on December 6. I was prepared for really being in bad shape for 5 weeks or more. I was actually feeling pretty good in just a couple of weeks. I just turned 51 years old this month I am self-employed but was back to working as much as ever by early January. I have to say a couple of things Adam's book suggests, mostly the heart hugger and second the recliner. I rented a power recliner and am so happy I did. I only think it was important for the first week but it was nice to have for about two weeks. Regarding being upbeat I was an absolute wreck leading up to surgery yet the day before and mostly the morning of I was the calming voice for my loved ones. All kinds of crazy things go through your mind when you first get the news but bottom line is not only is the chance of something really bad happening unbelievably remote but there is not much YOU can do about it anyway. This seams trite but you will be better than you have been in just a couple months. Right now I really understand what you are going through, this feeling is only experienced by our unique club.
Hi Karen, I'm glad you could have some time for relaxing today, sounds like fun! My friends threw a "send-off" party for me several days before we left because we had to travel for surgery. It was just what I needed, food, fun, laughter and friends!! The idea about the athletic bras is very helpful! I got the seamless ones and do get a size larger, so you can stretch it and hopefully it won't dig in to your incisions too much. It's all I wear now, and I'm 3 weeks out from mitral valve repair with the robotic procedure. I found that the stretchy camisole tops were still too tight and restrictive for me!
I'll be thinking of you and praying for you! Stay strong.
I'm the Marcelle Taylor in the 'Adobe' Network, live in Berkeley CA, but the easiest way to find me is to go to the Heart Valve Support Group page (Adam or someone will add you) and then click on my name in one of my posts, likes or responses.
And I totally agree with the person below who said for 4 to 6 weeks its ok (required even) to make it all about YOU. Its ok to ask for help and also ok to be really specific about what is and is not help...sometimes people mean well, but miss the mark in filling the need. Get enough rest, let visitors know when its time to leave because you need a nap. Naps. Lots of naps at first :-).
You will do great!
You will come through your surgery IN FLYING COLORS!!!!! You seem to have a wonderful,loving support group.BUT REMEMBER......YOU ARE THE IMPORTANT ONE for the 4-6 weeks.Don't worry about everyone else......YOU HAVE TO HEAL,so that will be there for everyone after wards.
I just signed up to receive email updates from you. I have not joined this site but have been educating myself since finding out my Mom needs Mitral valve surgery . This happened very quickly for our family too! Her surgery is the 24th, the day before yours. I will be praying for a very uncomplicated and successful surgery for you Karen! ♥
I too was 'suddenly' diagnosed with severe mitral regurgitation (the word they put on the sheet was 'torrential') and was on the table just under 2 weeks later. This was in April 2009 and I was 43 years old and it was quite a shock because even though I had been pretty miserable for the previous 10 mos (could not walk up stairs or even talk a lot without losing my breath) I never suspected my heart as the problem since I had NO history of heart murmur. Anyways...after the echo-cardiogram, angiogram and trans-esophageal I met with the surgeon who said my mitral valve had calcified, leaflets had broken off at some point and there was no chance of repair. This bummed me out considerably, but its all turned out great. I had the 'minimally invasive' surgery - cut under my right armpit and breast - and got a pig valve and was back hiking at 4 weeks after surgery, at the gym at 5 weeks doing cardio for an hour at a time, ran a 1/2 marathon on my 1st and 2nd anniversaries and generally live a normal life.
The week before the surgery was a whirlwind as I worked to get everything 'in order'...in retrospect it was mostly useful to keep me busy and not dwelling on the upcoming event, but there are some things I'm really glad I did. I went to Target and got a whole bunch of stetchy camisoles and jog bras a size larger than normal, got some 'hoodies' with a zip up for easy on off, increased my cable package :-), stocked up on food I like, and generally made sure the house was as clean and organized as I could get it so I could relax.
Overall the surgery and recovery were 'not that bad' not nearly what I thought it would be. I'm sure you'll do great!
If you haven't visited the Heart Valve Surgery Support group on Facebook definitely do so - so many great people who have experiences to share are very reassuring! I wish I had found it before surgery...
Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to message or friend me on Facebook!
I have been following this site since I found I needed valve surgery. Mine went great on December 1 2011. I had never responded to anyone before.
I can't put my finger on it but I sense you are feeling about how I did. Taking time to relax with friends is the best thing I think. However do not blame yourself for being self absorbed sometimes. This kind of news is frighting for most of us. Comfort yourself and do want you can to stay healthy this week. You don't have to do a thing during surgery! :] Chances are your recovery will be easier than you think!
Jack from Chicago
Keep your positive attitude. It will guide you along with the thoughts and prayers of family and friends (known and not yet known).
I had minimally invasive MVR in Nov 08 and haven't looked back since. If you can go minimally invasive and your surgeon has a long track record with this procedure, recovery time may be shortened. Don't know about the leg approach. Your doc will know what's best for your situation.
I had my MVR on the 20thdec 2011.Was extremely scared upset since last feb2011 after my heart failure that i needed a valve replacement.It went very well.Am on my feet doing every thing.Started driving with in six weeeks.Grateful to the doctors God and my children who helped me after my post op.My prayers and best wishes are with you.Am sure it is going to be an easier challenge for you and you will be able to deal with it strongly.
After seeing my GP because i was always tired and breathless, I was admitted to hospital and was diagnosed with severe mitral regurgitation. This happened last August. It was completely out of the blue and a total shock! Within a week of diagnosis, I'd had the repair surgery (minimally invasive) I can really identify with what you are going through. All details of my experience are on my blog if you fancy a look. I recommend a brand of bra called Sloggi. They do nice soft comfy for post op.
Good luck for your op.
Dear Karen, I had valve repair via sternotomy almost 5 months ago. I am doing very well. My surgery a success. I was driving at 4 weeks & walking 2 miles. Do not worry, you will do great and be fine. I have you in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to reading of your recovery very soon. Janis Kielbasa
I had mv repair (double leaflets, minimally invasive) in September and it's fast becoming a distant memory. Please don't hesitate to read my journal or send me questions. Best wishes and healing thoughts coming your way!
PS: I'd highly recommend disposable wipes for your hospital stay!
Hi Karen, you have already found my jounal here, I did have the minimally invasive procedure done but I had a lot of pain and my scar, even do is only one inch long, it looks like a fat little worm, I spent 9 hours in surgery, my surgeon tried to repair the mitral valve but it didn't work so he replaced it, I often wish that I had had the heads up on my heart conditon like so many here that have known for years that they would need to have surgery eventually so I could have done something about it sooner, my heart was in a pretty ugly place and maybe that's the reason it has taken me so long to feel better.
Wishing you many blessings in your up coming surgery Karen.
I had my mitral and tricuspid valves repaired last October with a mini sternotomy. I can tell you the sternum pain was very minimal......pain was never above a 3. The chest drain was way more painful. I do believe the surgeon gets a better view/access with a sternotomy, so that is something to consider. My surgeon told me he always recommends biological valve replacements when needed because a lifetime on coumadin is riskier than another surgery. He also said he believes most valve replacements will be done percutaneously within the next ten years, so it would just be done through your vein.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. Waiting truly is the worst part, so hang in there.
Godspeed and good luck!
I got moved off the floor where Regina and Kelly are, because they went in a little later than I did. I'm waiting to be sprung -- hopefully tomorrow (though I've been hearing that for 3 days now!! Enjoy your pre surgery time. The decisions have been made, time to just go with the flow. Can you tell I'm a child of the 60s??
I had mitral valve repair on 4/11. My surgeon also said beforehand 90-95% chance of repair and he was right. I had two leaflets strengthened with Gore-tex and the ring sewn in. I did the minimally invasive approach (not robotic.) I believe if you are only having one valve repaired you are not on the bypass machine much longer with that type of surgery (some people choose the full sternotomy to cut down on time on bypass.) For me it worked out great. My scar is almost completely hidden. I was cleared to drive 2 1/2 weeks after surgery which was huge for me with two active boys. I was also out of the hospital really fast: surgery Wednesday morning, home by early afternoon Friday.
One thing I would ask about is the On-Q pain pump. I talked about it and put a link in my journal. It is amazing!!! There are two tiny wires that slowly drip pain relief directly to the incision site under your skin. You wear the bag that holds the medicine in a pouch around your neck and when it is empty you simply pull the wires out...didn't feel a thing!
Hi, Karen. I'm in Mount Sinai right now, having had mitral valve and tricuspid repair. Dr. Adams here has worked on a ton of us mitral valve people -- he literally wrote the book. Its amazing what he could fix. In my case , he did a sternitomy giving him great access to both valves and he repaired them both. No mechanical, no tissue, just me! He has an amazing web site that's worth checking out. Www.mitralvalverepair.org.
I forgot to mention that I was given a 95% chance for repair but also have to decide on the type of valve if it were replaced. I still am undecided. My surgeon and two cardiologists recommended mechanical due to my age, 46. Did your doctors give you a recommendation? It is such a hard decision!
I am currently meeting with surgeons as well for my mitral valve prolapse. Do you mind if I ask where you are going? I have been to Penn--they would do a minimally invasive procedure. I am also consulting with Dr. Adams at Mt Sinai in NYC---not sure which he will recommend. Did your surgeon tell you which procedure they would do?
Did you also have a catheterization?
Best of luck to you!
Hi Karen, when I was making surgery decisions last year, my oldest daughter liked the mechanical valve since it would last a lifetime (unless it messed up), But, I never asked her what she wanted, I decided to go for the tissue valve, I feel that you need to decide becouse it's you who's going to live with it, family members as loving as they can get too emotional and may not know what's best. Weight your options and choose. Best of luck!.
wow, next week, that's quick.
who is your surgeon? Did you ask how many repairs he's done and what his success rate is? why do they want to do it so quickly?
Im having the mini thorocotomy. my surgeon said he could repair it that way, so that's what we're going with. I think if it were a more complicated repair, he may have taken a different approach.
Are you feeling any better? Will you be having any additional preop testing?
Lots happening in a very short amt of time. It must feel pretty overwhelming. Hope you're doing okay.
I will be having surgery on May 29th at Cleveland Clinic and my surgeon plans to do a repair using the mini thorocotemy I believe (under the right breast). I won't know for sure till I meet with him on May 25th after all my pre-op tests have been completed - that will be the final determining factor. He has not even mentioned replacement, so is very confident he can do an excellent repair for me. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Denise K
Kar, My Heart and Love and Prayers are all in line for whatever I can do for you. I know this is a very trying time for you, so I will continue to pray for a good prognosis , with my prayers everyday for you. Love You More,Mumm
Hi Karen, When I get those sleepless nights this is what I do. I turn the tv on to a music station with soothing relaxing music on it and turn it real low and try and get under covers enough to drown out the glare of the tv. It usually works for me, unless you have a CD like that. Happy Mothers Day to you.
For the long haul
I know how it feels to get such a shocking surprise. I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse about 30 years ago and the valve started leaking about 20 years ago. In 2010 I asked my cardiologist if I would ever need surgery and he said, maybe never, maybe next year. Well it was next year! Such a shock to hear that I needed surgery right away when I went for my yearly echo. Especially since I had NO SYMPTOMS. I too had a 4plus leak, but it hadn't caused any trouble at all. To make a long story short, I spent a couple of weeks researching hospitals and decided to go to Cleveland. They were able to repair my valve, and told me if I had gone anywhere else I would have a mechanical valve. But I think Mt. Sinai would also have been able to repair my valve and probably yours, too. Repair is much trickier than replacement and not all surgeons have the skill to do it, but it's worth the effort, as it gives you back your normal life expectancy. My advice is to do your research and get the best surgeon you can, and keep a positive outlook- there are thousands of us every year who undergo valve repair successfully.
Hi Karen, I have been gone for 2 days at a Relay for Life walk in my home town in memory of my mom taken from us in 1983 with breast cancer and in honor of 3 of my 4 sisters who were diagnosed with breast cancer all within the last 3 years.
So glad to see that you got some pictures posted - they all look great. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system of family and friends.
I will contiue to follow your blog and keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you make decisions regarding your valve surgery.
Hi Karen, I am sorry it has taken me so long to get a note off to you. I am thankful to "meet" you - we share so much in common.:). My son's school is aware of next week - hopefully they will be aware of things and help him through. At this point I've been told to let it go and focus on me and my recovery.. So hard when they are so young.. Have you considered Mt. Sinai/Dr. Adams? I hear he is the best.. And people here on this site seem to agree!! I will watch your posts.. Thank you so much for your thoughts. We can do this!!! Kate R
I have felt the same things as you. I knew I had a heart murmur, and was told at the yearly cardio checkup "see you next year" for about 7 years, and then this year went a little differently. I had a stress test, then a TEE the next day, and meeting with an excellent thoracic surgeon a few agonizing weeks later, and now am scheduled for June 18th to repair my mitral valve prolapse. Strange thing is it was almost a life to find out I needed surgery instead of "let's wait another year and see what happens".
You will find this site and the people on it are more than you could have asked for in your journey toward recovery. I was surprised at the openess and understanding of people that I don't know, and yet are ALL feeling the exact same things as me.
Good luck and ask anything, there is someone here with the answer.
You will get through all of this in no time at all and onto recovery and will soon be an after thought. You have a strong will and plenty of support and love. You will be in our hearts and prayers in the meantime.
God bless and stay strong! As they say time heals all wounds!! Lynne
Hi Karen, This site has changed its format. Anyway go into coummunity and click on search journal add name and it should come up. I cont have a whole lot there as I am just waiting and not a whole lot to write about as of yet.But you will see I have had some of those emotions already and still do. Another good one to read is Mitch's and Linda D's journals. Yo will get a lot out of them. Hope this helps you.
For the long haul
Believe me when I say that every emotion you are experiencing has been the same for all of us who have been through valve surgery. It is just plain scary. I will tell you that waiting is the hardest part (everyone will tell you that) and that it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was imagining. Think positive thoughts and stay strong.....and use this site for info and expressing any fears or emotions you are feeling. It really helps!
Karen I've been searching for words. There are no "right" words to say. I want you to know that I love you, and if you need ANYTHING, please let me know. I know you have a lot of support, but I wanted to let you know I'm here for you, too. No matter what. We're family, and family always comes first. I'm praying for you, each and every day.
We're practically neighbors! I live in New Hartford, CT...small world!
I, too, have mitral valve regurg. My surgery is scheduled for June 4th at Yale, New Haven with Dr. Sabet Hashim.
email me if you need any info...I'd be happy to share what I've learned so far.
You can read my journal by searching for Nancy B
Hi Karen I saw your post on Bob Spath's guestbook and looked you up. I feel for you in CHF but you're doing the right thing--research, get on top of it, and don't let too much time go by before getting it fixed. My husband Jim Smith had his mitral and tricuspid valves repaired and a MAZE procedure on March 13 with Dr. Adams--it was a second repair; he had had hypertension and afib/aflutter for who knows how many months because he was asymptomatic--scary--and there was damage but fortunately his EF has recovered post-surgery; we're hoping his atrial enlargement will improve too. Fortunately it hadn't progressed to CHF yet but there's so much they can do now for heart problems. Adam's book is great and you also might read Dr. Gillinov's book--I think it's called Heart 411--someone correct me here--but we are living in fortunate times.
God bless you in your journey,
Hi Karen: In order to upload pics you need to size them to no larger than 1mb. I had the same problem as my photos were all too big. My husband resized them all to less than 1 mb and they uploaded just fine.
I too have mitral regurgitation and am scheduled for surgery at CCF on May 29th
and am counting the days - the waiting has been really hard for me. You can read my story on my page.
Hi Karen, Welcome to HJV. This site is amazing and you will get a lot of new friends to help out. Your feelings are all natural. I have the same thing going on but I am waiting for mine to get just a little worse to get fixed. Hope it is soon. You will do fine. And like everybody told me you can do this. Just turn your faith to God he will help you out and be there for you. I did and it helps. I will follow you and keep up with you. Good luck.
For the long haul