Hope the cough gets better soon...funny I have had one the last day or so but think mine might be allergy related.Although I did have them take out the breathing tube 41/2 hrs after surgery...I begged. My husband is also a big help as I begin my recovery at home....I will miss him when he goes back also. I am glad you are out and about..can not wait until I have achieved that.
That's too bad about the cough but that is the same thing that happened to me. I went through H1N1 season with many distressing looks as I coughed and coughed. Like I said, I bought lots of Halls and Fishermen Friends cough candies and they kept it at bay when I needed to talk. Let's hope it doesn't last too long. Did the doctor say what type of injury they did? I also noticed immediately after surgery and for quite a while I choked a lot - you know, when you swallow it goes down the wrong side. That happened at least once or twice a day and that's why I was thinking something happened because that wasn't like me. Does that happen to you at all?
Sorry to see Richard has to get back to work. I'm sure the company and companionship was fun for a change. Nice that your mom is close enough to help out. Enjoy your outting.
What did the doctor say about getting back to your bagpipes? Take care. Cheryl, Ontario
I'm sure your husband appreciates knowing how much you value his help. I had a laugh when you were in the hospital and you didn't seem to be cooperating with his suggestions and he sounded like he was walking on eggs! He said he wanted you to use the spirometer more so he said he didn't think he'd even go there again.
I was just reading Joseph Minnucci's new journal posting and he found a cough relief method that worked for him pretty well. Rather that try and tell you about it I thought I'd just let you know and you can check his journal out for yourself.
Thanks so much for your kind words in my guestbook about the loss of my cat Lucy. We love our "fur babies" knowing that we'll probably outlive them, but when the day comes to say goodbye, it's always tough.
Hope your cough is getting better. That certainly gets in the way of recovering peacefully at home and being able to get out and do things.
What a nice tribute you wrote to your husband! Mine is also a saint, for putting up with me and taking on so much. Your tribute reminded me it was time to give my husband a great big hug and tell him how lucky I am to have him.
Take care, and feel better soon. You'll be piping again in no time. I'm now 7 weeks post-op and sleeping comfortably on my side again. You'll get there too, before you know it.
That is just great about your Hubby. Yes, he is a great man.
I hope you get over your cough. It probably is from the tube.
You are getting better. Great!!!
My family and I are still praying for you.
Don't know how bad your cough is, but I coughed constantly for a full 3 months post-surgery and it ended up being an irritation caused by the breathing tube. I was going through at least 2 packs of Halls per day and sometimes a package of Fishermen Friends. Eventually the thing just started getting better on its own. I coughed every time I talked and then some and it was most annoying especially when I was trying to carry on a work conversation. I'm just suggesting this might be the source of your cough. The surgeon, general physician and cardiologist all suggested that was my problem and even went on to say it could last six months. Don't want to depress you if yours isn't that bad.
Nice to hear you are otherwise getting along okay. Working from home I was able to keep myself busy unlike those who go outside of the home to work. Cheryl, Ontario
I'm happy to hear that you continue to get better daily! I'm constantly amazed at how resilient the human body is! (Especially one like mine that wasn't in that great shape to start with!)
I checked into the Mended Hearts here in Iowa. Actually joined the organization, but there doesn't seem to be an active chapter here. I was looking for opportunities to do volunteer work in hospitals and rehab centers for heart patients. As it turns out, I'm already back to my 60 hour work week, so there isn't much volunteer time left!
Are you back to piping yet? That should be better for your lungs than a spirometer any day!
Hey Fellow Tulsan,
It’s been amazing following your speedy recovery. The information you have posted for all of us still in the waiting room has been extremely helpful. The Scotch flavored lip balm has been a hit, much better the vodka. I’ll send you a royalty check as soon as I get it approved by my Scotch expert Gary. I thought I would walk through the big blow up heart this weekend to see what is getting fixed and what happens when it is stuck with a big sharp object.
Good Morning Kathy
In my post yesterday I forgot to mention there's a web site you can go to and type in coumadin and you then can check out food interactions. www.drug.com. have another great day. Thanks for your prayers for my upcoming surgery.
My husband,Ken,had MV repair on Nov.4th and I think he started sleeping on his side at about three weeks post op. Honestly it kind of freaked me out because to me that would be the last position that sounds comfortable after the surgery but he said it was fine. I would suggest just trying it while someone is there with you just in case you need help to reposition! Glad to hear your appetite is back! Hope you have a great recovery!
Hope you ate the brocoli. Have been on coumadin for 14 years and have always eaten what I wanted, but have always eaten consistantly. In other words,don't eat any greens for 2 weeks and then load up on them. Greens (vit K) will actually lower your INR. It will all work out, be brave, sounds like you're doing really well.
You are just sounding so great. Regarding the INR - I would keep with what you are used to eating and change the level of your Warfarin to meet your needs. You eventually start to get used to what makes your INR go up and down and soon enough when you think you've eaten too much Vitamin K you'll know to adapt your pills or go get a reading done just to be sure. It just takes time.
You'll have to let us know how you make out sleeping on your side. Hope it goes well. Cheryl, Ontario
Kathy, I slept on my side even in ICU. Nurses obviously had to move me there, but they actually enouraged it, as I was on my back most of the time and they wanted me to move around more instead of being on one position. When I returned home I found I could not sleep in my bed on my back. I think the lying flat pulled my incision too much. So for the first two weeks I was more upright in my recliner in my living room. That worked up until last weekend when I finally returned to the bed after 3 weeks. Give it a try.
Great that your appetite is back! Your body needs the fuel. A nurse told me while I was still in the hospital that I could sleep in whatever position was comfortable for me and that on my side was okay. Normally, I am a back sleeper anyhow, so that hasn't been hard for me. I rolled on my side once to try it and I immediately didn't like the feeling on my chest. I have awakened during numerous nights but have generally been able to fall back asleep. From day one home, I have slept in the bed. My recliner is for short cat naps, though sometimes they're not so short. Four weeks post-op, I am sleeping many more hours without awaking (at least 6), so it gets better. Keep walking forward and looking up.
You are making me laugh. Gosh, when you're up, you're UP!!! Sounds like you are going the way of social butterfly Barbara T.
I started sleeping on my side at about 6 weeks and that was with a pillow between my legs for support so I didn't crush right over. I think as you feel comfortable you will begin to roll over and not a minute before. Usually with any break - isn't it about 6 weeks healing time? I just think you'll know because it won't hurt.
If something exercises your lungs it can't hurt. The breathing exercises are to make sure water doesn't get into your lungs. If you feel you can breath deeper, that shouldn't hurt anything. Looks like Richard is going to have a tough time keeping you down now. The full bagpipes - yep, better run that one past the doc.
I believe much of what you are and aren't allowed to do has to do with your heart rate. You might have to get your questions going and run everything past your doctor to get real clear answers on the important stuff.
Are you going to be going to rehab eventually? That still wouldn't be for about at least 6-8 weeks post-op I would think. You might want to invest in one of the wrist pulse monitors (about $70ish at Wal-Mart or a sports store). That will help keep you on the right track. The doctor will give you the target rate but that's down the road.
I keep suggesting books. Read books. I had a dreadful time sleeping through all of this so I read and am still reading. I bought a little book light and clipped it onto my book and would read 'till I got sleepy. When I woke up I read some more. It's the only thing that helped me fall asleep on my back.
Boy, we're going to have to think deep to keep you occupied. You are my chuckle for the night. Well, of course after having already read Bill's packing list. Go check it out. I'm really happy to see you so positive. Cheryl
It's great to hear that you're doing well with your recovery. I believe the Spirometer was invented for the Spanish Inquisition... that explains the pain... ;-) It really does get better after a while, and it's worth a little pain to avoid worse complications down the line. I know what you mean about your appetite. I couldn't eat anything except grapes for about 3 weeks... but now I'm back to my old fat self!
take it one day at a time, and don't push too hard. You'll do great!
You are sounding so much better. I'm so proud of you and the way you are handling your post-op. I wouldn't worry too much about the numbers on that spirometer either just yet. The fact that you are working at it says a lot and as time goes by, the pain will subside more and you'll do better. Something is a darn sight better than nothing.
So you got a bear? How neat. I'm thinking I should start a program at my hospital to come up with something other than a flannel sheet folded a zillion times and returned upon discharge!
Anyway, reading your journal this afternoon made my day knowing you were healing well. How is Richard? He too has been through the emotional mill so all the best to you both. Cheryl, Ontario
I believe that your pain is normal as of right now. You just got cut wide open in surgery. It would not hurt to check with your doctor to see if anything else you could do. Your body is weak.
I am very glad to here that your appitite is improving.
We are praying for you.
Do call your doctor with any questions at all. But it's been my experience that the exact location of my chest/incision/sternum pain and discomfort has rotated around during recovery and been in different places. That has surprised me. I have had the shooting pains around the ribs you have described. I've also had shoulder pain, muscular time pec pain, really all over. Sounds like you're doing great. Remember everyone has a different recovery journey. All the best and our prayers from Florida.
You must be returning to the land of the living and that is surely great news. I see your appetite is kicking in so I hope you enjoy your mac and cheese.
As you begin to feel a little better and become more mobile you will feel pain everywhere including the incision! I think they turn us inside out. I had huge pain in my right shoulder, right breast and back. It took weeks to leave and sometimes I found I was taking Tylenol to stop that pain as opposed to the surgery pain. But, when in doubt, you should call and ask even if it only sets your mind at ease. This is no time to become stressed out when the answer is but a call away.
Just wanted to say hi and glad to think you are beginning to feel a little better. You continue to be in my prayers for a full and speedy recovery. By the time you are ready to begin walking outside the weather there should be halfways decent. Good luck.
Wow, you're home fast! Glad to hear it. Thought of you last night - I'm the MC of a local Celtic folk club and we had a couple of pipers (Uillean and Northumbrian) and it got me thinking of inviting some Highland pipers to our next show. Wanna come? ;)
Sorry to hear that you are in pain. Hope today is a better one for you.
Welcome home! It's kinda scary when you first leave the hospital and the care of the professionals, but ain't it great to be home?! Sorry food is still an issue for you. That's really common (though it wasn't for me--I was an eating machine as soon as I got out of surgery). Just eat what you can and do try to push just a little. Your body needs the nutrients. Your appetite will return when it's ready. Keep on the spirometer. Do keep on an upward path. We are pulling for you and praying for you from central Florida!
Good to hear that you're home and trying to do it all. Would think when you get real food down and feel stronger things will look up. You're a strong lady and so is your husband. My Pete will be strong for me when I have my surgery in a couple of weeks. Hope you'll be doing cartwheels by then!!! keep posting.
I am glad that you are home from the hospital. I hope you get well soon. You seemed rushed while you were at Oklahoma Heart Institute to eat solid foods when your body was sore and had trouble even with liquids.
We are praying for your quick recovery.
Kathy, good to see you're home and already posting! Keep up the good work on the spirometer, and you'll be playing the bagpipes again in no time! You are right, it doesn't matter what the numbers are, just that you continue working at it. And some days you'll be stronger than others.
Hey there Kathy, you too Richard
Really great to see you on the journal. That's too bad about being sick but you know the nurses have had to deal with worse than that. Hope you didn't ruin any of your own clothes. After eating next to nothing all week, those meatballs just didn't fit the bill.
This surgery does hurt so no way to disguise it. I found sleeping mostly sitting up on two raised pillows helped me. Pete had to help me get there and help me get up in the morning for the first couple of weeks. He took me by both shoulders and brought me to a sitting position and then helped me get my legs over the edge of the bed. I just didn't have the strength to use my elbow to get me up. It was several weeks before I could start lowering the pillows.
Use the spirometer as best you can. I sense you've got great lungs.
Yes, Richard sounds to be pretty great and thank goodness. You need all the support you can get your hands on and lots of empathy. Our spouses and partners do have to be put through the hoops sometimes but I'm sure they understand.
It was really terrific that Richard was able to keep us posted as it helped keep our minds at ease. Glad you are home safe and sound and can now begin to heal. It's early. You will begin to feel better and better as you are able to get up and move. Little walks at first. In a couple of weeks you'll see you have made great gains.
We haven't met but I am Richard's sister, Colleen. I am sure you have heard plenty about me, probably most of it bad. But I am writing to tell you that I had mitral valve prolapse, was born with it, have had a heart murmur all my life, and had a double heart bypass in 2000. Since then I have had two open heart surgeries, and it does get better. I hated the spirometer, there was no way I could blow it to the doctor's satisfaction. I have two stents, but I am healthy now. I do have to take a lot of heart medications, including Toprol XL, Lisonopril and more, but I don't mind because they keep me alive. My mother's birthday was yesterday (feb. 26) and she turned 87, her sister is 94 and her mom lived to be 87 - so looks like I am destined to live a long life. Good luck to you and God bless, Colleen
Hi Kathy - Penny gave me strict instructions tonight to post and say hi from her. She is thinking of you and sending loads of positive energy your way.It's tough when your appetite goes, but try sticking with the foods easy to handle. The nurses should know that everyone's different so don't be forced into eating beef stew and potatoes just because someone else did!
Hi Richard - it's gonna get a little tougher for you as the carer, so stay calm, stron and keep the faith!
Hi Kathy and Richard
Haven't seen a posting in a while so just wanted to say hello. I'm hoping you are feeling very much better and will soon be home in your own surroundings. Take care. Praying for you. Cheryl, Ontario
Hi Richard and Kathy
Another day has gone by and hope the pain is less and you are blowing, blowing! Seems like you should be an expert at it with your bagpipe You'll have a big advantage over me.Rest and heal. Prayers continue.
That is all normal. Timothy did go by Kat's Room today around 12:05pm but she was asleep so he decided that she may need her rest.
We are all hoping for the best. We are glad that Kat has come along way in her recovery. She has aways to go yet. We are all praying for her to be well. It is all in God's Timing. It is all in God's Timing.
Hi Richard. I am one week post op now for mitral valve repair, and I can empathize with all that Kathy is going through. It is very difficult to eat, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. Once the nausea subsides, her appetite will return. As for the spirometer, it IS very painful. I did better on my first days than the later ones. But I was so afraid of developing lung problems that I did the exercises regularly without much urging. Tell her I said to think of it as prep for playing the bagpipes! And make sure she gets plenty of pain meds before to help her through it.
Give Kathy our best, and let her know we're thinking of her and you. Hang in there.
Hi Again Richard
Sorry, but I forgot to add in a comment about the spirometer. I had a dreadful cough post-op and everytime I tried to use the spirometer, I coughed more so....I hardly used it at all even though I tried numerous times. I coughed for over 3 months after my surgery so as much as I tried to use the spirometer, it was probably ineffective in my case. Cheryl, Ontario
I will hope that Kathy gets to go home by the weekend and perhaps then she'll relax and feel a little more cooperative. Kathy knows the importance of using the spirometer and has been reading all of the journals so I'm thinking once the stress of this week leaves she'll get busy and do what she has to do. Just be there for her Richard and try to understand what this life changing experience has meant to her.
She'll appreciate you all the more for just being in her corner and letting her make the decisions, for good or bad, let it be her choice.
She needs your strength, your empathy and your shoulder to lean on. PMS doesn't hold a candle to the emotions that can be brewing here. Hang strong. You sound like a really great husband. Give her my best. Cheryl, Ontario
Hi Kathy and Richard,
I was due to have my surgery yesterday but it has been postponed until tomorrow - nothing to do with me, just the system at the hospital. I don't know Kathy except through this website but we have corresponded a bit and she strikes me as being a very strong and independent woman. I have asked my husband and daughter to be very tolerant of me both pre and post surgery and to not try to bully me into drinking/eating/breathing/walking more than I want to - it may make me go the other way, I am so stubborn! I know that it is because they love me so much and want to do everything that they can to help my recovery but continually being told what to do can be very wearying and stressful when we are in such a weak state both emotionally and physically. Be gentle with her...
I'm thinking of you both and wishing Kathy a slow steady recovery.
All the best for now with warmest wishes from Penny (Scotland)
So glad to get an update. Have been waiting to know how well Kathy is doing and that she is coming along. From what I read, the nausea is a biggie. Are they giving her any medicine for that? Tell her she has been in my prayers and will continue to be.
Hi Kathy and Richard
I too was very nauseated and found it was the type of painkillers I was taking so I asked to have them changed. For 3 days I couldn't eat a thing. Amy went through much the same thing as well. Very important for Kathy to drink as much as possible such as the broths. She feels like crap right now and might be a little stubborn so just keep trying. Getting her up walking is a good sign. The therapists will start working with her and she'll get the hang of that spirometer. Keep your spirits up Richard. There are better days ahead. Give her my best. You are both in my prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
My mother says that Kat is probably doing as good as she can now. Her is free of the tubes which were inside of her so she will be sore in there. Kat is doing right as of now in eating jello and chicken broth. She does however need to try to eat more broths and drink more juices. When her throat gets better then she will be eating solid foods and alot better.
My family and I are very pleased with your progress in recovery.
Little by little you are getting back to being your old self.
On the second visit to your room with my mother and brother Mark I thought you looked even better then my first vist with you.
Praise God that you are recovering nicely.
We will keep praying for you!!!!
Hi Kathy and Richard,
My name is Tara and my husband Ken had MV repair Nov.4th. We can relate to being the young one on the floor and everyone being so surprised at such a "spry" recovery. Tell Kathy to keep doing the breathing exercises and walks, there is nothing like coming home and having all that hospital mess behind you! Happy healing!
It's hard to keep track of time when you are spending such long days at the hospital. Time flies by, or not!
I am really happy that Kathy is doing so well and trying so hard. It is such a great feeling to know that surgery is behind you and you are okay. There are just so many fears we have to face. Make sure she keeps up with the breathing and coughing exercises. She has to have fantastic lung capacity so I don't imagine she'll have any problems there. You are both in my prayers and hopefully she'll be able to return home very soon. Way to go Kathy. Cheryl, Ontario
Good evening Richard
I didn't see another posting so I'm assuming you are fulltime now with your wife and that's exactly where you need to be. I'm happy the operation was successful and Kathy will soon be in recovery mode. Give her my best. Prayers for the both of you. May your night be peaceful. Cheryl, Ontario