Thank you ror your note wow you have been through alot I remember 13 hrs ago I was the youngest by far
I think you asked me last week about my experience with CHF prior surgery. I believe what happened was because they removed my chest tubes earlier and I then had a thoracentesis the next day the fluid never absorbed and I coughed for weeks and had alot of congestion. This time lungs clear as a bell thank goodness. My appt with cardio is Thurs and my biggest problem this time I still have alot of L upper arm, rib chest and heart sorenss/pain. Surgeon said last week that because that was the 3rd time in my heart and sternotomy procedure that he had to open my chest a little wider and he knew that might be a problem, so I still have arm numbenss along the back of my arm. My husband and I have gone to the park a few times in the last week for about 11 slow minutes but then the next day or that night I am wiped. I am so blessed that even up to this past weekend now a month today postop friends and neighbors were still bringing us meals. The home health care nurses are still coming in 2 X wk for PT/INR levels and vitals as I was in ICU for 4 days intitally due to low heart rate and BP, now per surgeon last week heart rate too high so we will see. I loved rehab last time and I know you will find the commaraderie to be tremendous just as I see from you guestbook this has been great for you, hang in there and thanks for your note once again
I hate the h.f. word, too. Need to change it to "temporarily challenged in the pumping department". Probably a little wordy and long but I'll work on it. Either way, it's fixable. If you need some inspiration, check out Dick Cheney's story. He's had like 24 heart attacks, is in CHF so they put in a ventricle assist device, and he went hunting!!
Glad you had fun in rehab.
I was overjoyed to hear that you had positive doctors appointments and things are finally looking up for you. You sure are a true testiment to courage and strength. I'm so happy that things are looking up for you, my friend. Pushing yourself is ok, just as long as you give your body rest in between. You will love cardiac rehab. Just getting out among people who have gone or are going through similar health issues is nice to hear their stories and tell them yours. Makes one realize that you truly are not alone. Keep up the good work. Your in my thoughts and prayers, Diana
I am so happy to read that you got through the week and are making progress. I think you will enjoy rehab - I find that I really like my time there and look forward to it. It's also reassuring for me that they're ckecking my bp 3x week while I'm still having issues.
It's wonderful that your husband will get to come home for a slightly extended weekend, too. I hope the good news continues to keep coming!
Hi Kimberly. I’ve been thinking about you & the fact that it is now the weekend you were looking forward to after that busy week. It’s good to hear that you made it & that you’re now able to reward yourself with rest. The fact that you are able to share good news is so encouraging. Sounds like your therapist may be the one in need of a therapist & your decision to find another one is a sound one. You need someone with whom you have a better rapport & if he wasn’t feeling it, you won’t either.
The best news may be starting rehab. I like that they’re telling you that you may not be doing as much, yet starting you anyway. That’s a philosophy I like to use with my yoga classes – start where you are. Everyone in a class is in a slightly different place, but ideally they’re experiencing it fully which is what matters anyway. So, that’s what I’ll hope for you next week in your rehab – a full experience without judgement. Just do what you can & let yourself feel the benefit afterward. Sorry to get all “yoga teacher” on you, but it just came to mind when I read about your rehab.
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend & enjoy next week as well. Take care, Joy
Good Morning Kimberly
Well, you got through the week and am glad you rested and tried to recover from being superwoman. Good news on the medical front also. Seems the hematoma is being reabsorbed on its' own. As far as the therapist,do hope you will be able to find someone that can work with you and help you. Sometimes people (your ex therapist) must think it's all about them, not their patient.
But mostly, am so glad you have been cleared for rehab. As you have read in Adam's book and from so many of us who have posted here, it does make a real difference. Just being around other people with healing hearts is a plus for your spirit. Am sure the weekend will not come fast enough for your sweetheart's return!! Prayers continue from FL.
Love and God bless
I just wanted to said I was cheered to read your last entry. You've been through so much, (your whole life), I was glad to get some good news.
I love you, & you're in prayers everyday.
Love you, Cheryl(former Mom)
It was nice to hear from you and I'm encouraged that you wrote because it tells me you haven't given up and I commend you for your tenacity. It is so easy to write suggestions but honestly, I know myself I am the last person to ask for help - obviously much like yourself. I`m sure David beats himself up at having to be away at this time but it is what it is.
I suppose we shouldn`t be too hard on those friends who just don`t understand and act upon an obvious need of a helping hand without having to ask for it because illness sometimes makes those weaker fools even weaker. Sort of like those who tell a widow to call them if they need help - yeah, like that`s an invitation you would tend to collect upon. I`m just fortunate my closest friends are pushy and one in particular looks after me still even though she suffers acute pain and disability from her own problems. Such is life.
I guess you will just have to be sure you try and schedule your various appointments etc. a little apart giving you time to rest adequately in between. You really must strive to get those rest stops slotted in - otherwise I`m afraid if you overtire yourself your inability to keep up could cause more stress and anxiety. You need all your wits about you at this time to get through the minefield of testing and doctor appointments until you get yourself sorted out.
Please continue to unload it all here and let us help relieve the emotional burden. You are in my daily thoughts and prayers and I have shared your plight with all of my friends who know about my journal and they assure me you are also in their prayers.
Its good to get the girls off to school as well but with that now comes sports and homework. There are always challenges.
Thank you so much for the post! I haven't stared taking the Lexapro yet because I was told to take it at night and I wanted to wait until Sunday when my husband was home in case I had any complications.
However, thanks to your post and Beth's I don't think I have any real reason to worry. I am so thankful for your sharing of your experience... I thought the pre-surgery panic attacks were simply due to the surgery, but now that they're continuing I don't think that's the case. I'm just not very good at dealing with stress :(
So, how did you end up faring this week with all the other stressors you had going on???
Yep, I incorrectly thought heart surgery was an "older" person's issue. The joke sure was on me!
I was just doing research on all my medications and apparently the baby asprin I now have to take can cause lisinopril (and the other "prils") to not work as effectively in lowering bp. I just used a drug interaction checker on-line. So after all my worrying myself silly about the high bp, at least now I know why it may be taking longer to come down. Neither the PCP or cardiologist thought to tell me this. I'm really very happy with both doctors, but one of them might have told me this in the month since surgery... Ugh!
Anyway, it sounds like you might be feeling just a little bit better mentally/ emotionally? I sure hope so.
And, please don't hesitate to ask your friends if you need anything. I know I always feel bad when I find out later that a friend was in need but didn't call me for help. Wish I lived close enough to help out..
Do your friends have the access to this site? If not, perhaps if they are close enough you might let them in so now and then they could be privy to what you need. You sound much like myself but in the end are you doing yourself any favours? You have such a busy schedule and it's imperative you don't overdo things so I urge you to get a conversation going and try and get just a wee bit of help. It's too bad David has to be away right now but that is just the way it is and I'm sure he's really regretting being away as well.
You are such a strong woman and that is what is seeing you through all of this but even superwoman needs a rest.
Keeping you in my prayers and hoping there is a big pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.
I wish I lived nearby so I could help you. In the meantime you do say you have some friends but that they have their own lives. You impress me as a "giver" and it's hard to be a "taker" (it takes one to know one). I would bet that one of these friends would be happy to help with something if you just let them know. Think about which one and then call them, please. You want to do it all but at your health's expense. Prayers continue for you from FL.
Hi Kimberley. Wow - what a schedule! It sounds like you've organized it in such a way that you will be able to do it all plus take some rest breaks. Finding the balance between too much & just enough will be something you can look back on with pride this weekend. Have a great week - Joy
Kim, I wish we lived closer so that I could help you with all these things you're having to handle this week. Your Uncle Paul is a good volunteer and knows how to get through a lot of this detailed stuff without wearing down.
Unfortunately, living more than 250 miles away, the best thing I can do is keep you in my prayers. I assure you, I am doing that.
I hope that you are one of those people who can take joy from life's little accomplishments. From your update it looks like you have a lot going on this week. I have always been able to make my short list on a daily basis, and prioritize the ones I have to do. Then if I only get two of three things done, I am fine celebrating what did get done, and putting number three on the list for some day later in the week.
Just make sure you celebrate what you do accomplish (accentuate the positive) and be reallistic in what you really can expect each day. In reallity, the things I don't get done every single day is staggering, just ask my wife. But I hang my hat on those few things I did do and sleep just fine almost every night. There is always tomorrow..
I am glad to hear from you more often...because you are the one HVJ person I think about the most. Hearing about your day would make the average person exhausted, never mind those that just went through heart surgery. The point is you soldiered on through all of it..no matter how tired...what pain you were in...you continued forward. You are a fighter...keep on pushing...I hope your reward will be better days filled with whatever you want to fill them with, but without cardiac issues. I will be praying for you, and wishing you only the best. You are our hope and inspiration!
You have a very busy week . . . take it one day (or even one errand) at a time. You'll get through it. If you get tired, rest. If you need to vent or cry, do it! If you need chocolate cake (my cure for all stress!) eat one! I'm glad you are seeing a cardiac psychologist. He or she will help you deal with your stress and frustration. You have good reason to be stressed, or frustrated, or ANGRY! (I would be) Don't feel guilty about your feelings. But do deal with them because that will make you feel better and things will be easier for you. (I hope any of this makes sense.)
You have a wonderful husband and great kids. Enjoy them!!
First, that was a successful day!! You were a busy girl and congrats on making it. I find that it helps to do "normal" things. At 3 weeks post, my doctor asked me if I was back to living a normal life. I couldn't believe my ears. Well, the answer was NO, not even close. And then I felt like I should've been somewhere I wasn't. Anyway, my point is, celebrate the little stuff. I get in dark places very quickly when I am not hitting the milestones I think I should be hitting. Anyway, there have been plenty of dark times, I just don't publish them on here because I've already worried my mother enough and she reads all my journal updates. You really did have a huge day.
I wish I could be your next door neighbor and shop for you and cook. Well, my friends would all be laughing if they read that because what I mean is I'd call Vons.com, we'd order Chinese, and watch tv together. Or just talk about why we got lame mitral valves.
Hang in there. A lot of what you discussed sounds like it's going to heal in time. The nicest thing I've heard is from a dad I was sitting with at my son's basketball tournament this weekend (I was so tired I didn't even see the championship game). He just had double knee surgery, minor to us, but when another lady asked me if I was 100 percent back from the surgery (I HATE that question), he said it takes about a year for your body to recover from the assault it just suffered. He had told me that before and I love him for that.
PS My son is starting his first year in h.s. too.
I'm sorry that you had a hard day today. I am so grateful for all the stories on here because I know a little what to expect in the future. Your beginning is where we are right now. Paul is considered mild at this point but he is very symptomatic. I hope you feel better everyday!
I'm delighted you're back online and putting your feelings on "paper." Many of us look forward to your Journal entries and want you to know that we think about and support your health and well-being, both physically and emotionally.
It's clear that your recovery is going to take longer than many of us, but I can tell you, from first hand experience, that when you're finally on the right road, you will feel so much better. The good thing about pain is that when it's gone, your brain doesn't hold on to that feeling in your memory.
I can't wait to see you write that all's well. It will happen.
Sincerely, Dave Birchenough
We all love you, Kimberly. Get used to it :). When you hurt, we hurt. Before this surgery, I was kind of a survival of the fittest type, not so emotional, but this stuff we're dealing with is hard!! And not that many of us know what it's like. When stuff happens on here, I share it with my ex (who got me through ICU and would read me David's updates when I was in the hospital) and we were with you in cyber spirit. But I honestly feel like I walk through this life thinking about this website and how I can only confess things to you all (I was going to say "you guys" but I did live in KY for a while). You're such a big part of that for me.
I'm fixin' on visiting you at one point or another. We have a lot to talk about. You still don't know my entire story, I hate remembering it or talking about it, but you'd relate. It was about a surgery gone wrong that will always be a part of me. Let's just say my latest surgery recap reported "visible scarring on the heart". That didn't get there by itself. If you ever want to email me at Lostinky@aol.com, feel free, and I will tell you the saga. P.S. I'm not stinky, like my brother says, it's "lost in ky". That's how I felt when I made my screen name. Lol. L, Amanda
Thank you, Kimberly. I didn't ask you if I could share your name in my entry but didn't think you would mind. Also didn't want to make you cry. But, ever since my surgery I find I get weepy more than ever and I have always been an emotional person! Where is David stationed for his reserves? We are in Sw FL. Months ago I said we should find a way to have a big reunion, what an occasion that would be. I am fortunate that we got to see Duane and Peggy twice when they were in the area. There will always be some of us who are close to our hearts although not close physically and you're one for me.
Love and God bless
Hi There! It's Wes Taylor from Micheal's office. I just wanted to say how much I miss your pretty smile and welcoming persona from my meet and greets with you at Side by Side. I've been following your story and have been praying that your outcome is very good. I will continue to do so...It may sound cheesy, but yup, the world needs more people like you in it! Just from the few talks we've had, I have benefited greatly from knowing you :) "Chin up while the sun is up"
Thank you Kim. You were right on the mark in your post to me. So now some kind words back to you.
Faith is the intersection of despair and hope, like any other crossing we choose the path to follow. You have choosen hope and faith and I for one hope to see you keep moving down your path. To your health kiddo.
It must be difficult to not have David with you at this time, but I know you have those children you love dearly and who love you. I was so worried when you didn't write for weeks but I see you were working through your problems. Although we may never meet, you will have a special place in my heart and in my prayers. Cry, complain, gripe, whatever you want to do, you will never be judged by one of us. Lots of love and prayers.
Thank you for your honest and brave words. Even though we have never met, I think of you and what you are struggling with almost daily. Having been on HVj for 6 months, I still try and stay involved in writing when I can. I share with my wife the good things on here, as well as the struggles many are having and you have been in our prayers so many times.
I wish everyone would be able to get through this so easily, and have felt for you and your family that your struggles have been great. I pray you will keep your newly determined positive spirit as you continue to fight. Your family sounds ready to help you, and while we on HVJ are just faces and words, we are here to pick you up when you need us.
You really do have a beautiful spirit and I just think you are awe-inspiring. Duane wrote you such a lovely message so I hope you take it to heart. Don't feel guilty because you are having a difficult time and find it somewhat unsatisfying to share in the better fortune of others here. Your feelings at such a time are true and very human thoughts and those of us who have recovered easier than you do not for one minute begrudge you your thoughts. Please, even on your saddest most depressing day, take the time to tell us. Let us help you. If the shoe were reversed, would you do it for others?
You certainly poured your heart out in your post. You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as you go forward with your recovery. Yes, you have had your share, but it will get better. Maybe life won't be exactly the same as before your journey started, you will have to make adjustments along the way. I call them challenges. But you are a strong person and will stand up to those challenges and conquer them along the way. We are all with you, my dear friend, you are never alone in this.
What a beautiful post....you are an inspiration to all of us on the HVJ. We are all praying for you and will continue to support you in any way we can. I do not know why your journey is so hard, while mine was an easier path. As Duane so passionately expressed, we can not question the why. You must go on....if you need anything we are just a journal away. I think about you every day and will not forget you in my prayers. Prayers also for Lori B....sad, sad time on HVJ.
What a posting! Your honesty, even in your very legitamite struggles, and faith in God will pull you through in the end. And it will take time. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I can't. The last thing you need is someone lying to you. Your pain, disappointment and frustration are all very real. Anyone would feel the same things if they had the same things happen to them. Keep journaling honestly about it. Keep sharing verbally with people you know well and trust. Surround yourself with people who support you. Deliberately do some things you enjoy. Pray. At the end of the day, all any of us can do is do the best we can, the hardest we can, and leave the rest in God's hands. There's no better place to be. Lori's death has also greatly impacted me and the entire HVJ community as well. I too had some very serious complications early on. My wife and I both cried last night. This side of heaven, we will not have the answers to many of our "why" questions. Those of us who are living must not bear the artificial cross of "survivor's guilt." Those were not our decisions. And we know Lori wouldn't want that. We can only go forward, with God's strength, as best we can, facing what life brings us with as much courage and direction as we can. I hope you can start rehab sometime soon, as it will help you so much physically and emotionally. Kimberly, you and David have had so much happen to you, it might really benefit you to work through some of these things with a counselor. We all need counselors sometimes. Forgive me if I've been "preachy" (it's a professional hazard), but I do send along our shared grief, care, support, and prayers to you and your family.
Duane in FL
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
We wait in hope for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
I wanted to share in your sadness, all of our sadness, for the loss of Lori B. I've read your entries and I am crying, too. I've been shaken to my core. I watched her entries since the beginning, as she has the same thing you and I had, and liked her from the get-go. She sounded like such a vibrant, awesome woman. It's so hard to comprehend. Just needed to reach out to somebody I know.
Hope you and David are hanging in there with the news.
Just wanted to drop by and send you some encouragement on such a horribly tragic day. I know you are going through extreme worrisome times and wanted you to know how much I continue to pray for your recovery. I hope you will keep letting us know what you are going through so we may try and help you through whatever comes your way and hopefully soon things will get back on track.
My dearest darling Kimberly . . . thank you for posting for everyone. You amaze me. Period. You and David astound me - period. My prayers have not stopped for you and you both since last year, when I witnessed the beautifully, strongly stated, "I do." Knowing even then, even uneducationally, what you both were faced with, that statement was profound, sure, confident. And it still stands today. I love you both so much, and don't tell David, I love you more for bringing so much joy and happiness into his life. You have the strength of an amazing woman. A fabulous example to your kids. I've always heard the phrase "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." And that applies to you = you won't let the bastards get you down, no matter what. (Here's where I would enter the "Rocky" theme).
You need to share these personal findings on your experience to educate others. You amaze me. Love tap - MJ
I don't know what to say. You certainly are having more than your fair share, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. I think of you often. Hang in there my dear friend and know that everyone here on HVJ is with you.
I remain astounded by your continuing story but am so proud of your resolve. You are such a fighter and I pray you never give in to the depression all of these incidents must cause. I think it is important for you to feel free to tell it all here without trying to sugar-coat what you are suffering. If you are to get the support you need then you have to tell us what is happening and how you are dealing with it even when it`s not pretty.
I`m so glad to see you have finally written in to bring us up-to-speed and I hope you will continue to keep us in the loop. You all need every bit of support you can get right now. I so wish I could give you some meaningful comfort. I`m sending you a sincere cyber hug and keeping you in my prayers that this soon gets resolved and you can get on with your lives.
Kimberly, I have been thinking about you & was pleased to see you had posted. Please do not worry about being truthful with the information you share here. While we all want to be encouraging to others, this surgery is a serious thing & being honest about the journey is equally important. You've earned the right to not be in a good place mentally - who would be with what you've been through? You are one courageous woman though &, at some point, there will be positive news & progress. Sending positive thoughts from Texas. Joy Vera
Right now it seems that one thing after another is happening to you and none of them are good. It is not fair, I know. You went into your surgery expecting as we all do, to come out with an improved heart. It isn't as if you went to some small hospital where they may not do very many valve surgeries. You went to a major heart hospital with a renowned surgeon. What is the heart surgeon telling you or is all your contact thru your cardiologist? I can't offer any solution obviously but have continued to pray for you and have my bible study group also praying for you. I am praying for physical and emotional healing. Stay strong, you have a wonderful husband and children who love and need you, you will get thru this. Prayers continue from FL.
Love and God bless
I am so sad and sorry to read of all the horror you are going through. Please know we are all thinking about you and praying for better days in your future. Do not give up the fight....push on to better days!!!
I will be thinking of you until your next post.
You're often in my thoughts and I was happy to see your post today although I'm so sorry to hear you are still having problems. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you. I hope the specialist has some positive news.
You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.
Dear Kimberly and David
I've been following your troublesome recovery and look forward to read about your progress and hope that it's all positive since your last Journal entry on July 17.
Dave from Nelson, NH
Hey, I just want you to know that I am thinking about you, and saying an extra prayer. I read on FBook that you were back in the hospital. Please keep us updated, I know that must be hard to do with everything going on, but I (and everyone else) really want to know how you are doing. Take care, love you, Wendy
Also, just wanted to say that my first surgery was minimally invasive and was much easier to recover from. If it hadn't been for the fluid build up, I would have been almost back to normal by now. I would definately recommend the minimally invasive procedure to anyone! Especially since I now know first hand what it is like to have a zipper as well! So I have been through both and although there are diffent outcomes for each person, the first was much easier to handle! Get well soon and know that God is with you!