yes, dear Mitch, it is a beautiful day in the neighborhood and it's all about YOU!
Another thing to look forward to is your favorite tunnel of fudge cake. Happy thoughts for a bright and very healthy future!
I pray that you feel peace and that you are able to enjoy the next few days before your surgery. I look forward to hearing about your recovery as my husband, Chris Dixon, will be just a few weeks behind you.
I am glad you got something out of my post/suggestion. Guess what songs I listened to tonight on my drive home tonight?
To be honest, just writing this post to you gets ME teary-eyed. I'm not sure why. Part of it is I feel like a part of me is going in there with you on Thursday. Part is me living vicariously thru you and your posts and what you're about to experience, and
part of it a sense of happiness that I could help a friend in need. In any case, you will be very much in my, and all of us here at HVJ's, thoughts and prayers.
You are a inspiration to all of us. So what if you get emotional! I try to be brave too, but I'm sure when I am within 48 hours of the big day, I will be nervous, scared and who knows what else. I wish I could visit you on Thrursday as I will be in NYC, but you'll be in surgery. I'll pay you a serious mental visit that day.
We will talk again after Feb 2nd. Best of luck Thursday. Got get 'em Mitch.
Hi Mitch. Know that you are doing the smartest thing you can and have done all you could to stack the odds in your favor. That's the best you can do - any other choice - not so good. Know too that you are giving your loved ones the gift of you for many years to come. Wow! I expect to read that they saw your awesome smile as they wheeled you off... -- DVB
Hi Mitch, Well you are almost there. I have enjoyed reading your posts and have gotten a lot out of them. Thanks for being there. Now I will look forward to see you on the other side of the bridge and telling us all with good news, and helping us all to cross the bridge to the other side. I to have experienced nights of not sleeping my mind just going wild about the future. I find if I turn a station on with really good and very low music it helps. I sure will be thinking and praying for you on Tuesday as I am going through with ultrasound. Good luck to you and I will see you on the other side. Until Later Linda H
I just read your entire journal and most of your guestbook posts. You've got quite the following! Yup, you're a lucky man being there in NYC with all those world class surgeons and hospitals. I admire your courage and you've given us a lot of strength through your posts.
I'm not too far behind you so I'll be looking to you soon for advice!
Again, your courageousness, boldness, and moxie in posting your full range of feelings is most impressive, admirable, and appreciated. Beyond the therapeutic, supportive, and crystallizing value it provides you, it also endears us to you and allows us to better support you, knowing better and more fully what you are going through and what you are thinking.
Whether you are sprinting with head held high or stumbling, with chin to your chest, you have people, known and virtually known, who are standing and cheering, and cheering louder when you have chin to chest. When there are moments you consider yourself alone or just down, remember those who are in the stands and sidelines who are there just for you. You are not an island and you'd be shortchanging yourself if you have those thoughts.
This link is not of my cheeky, snarky, and comedic variety. This is something chosen just for you which will resonate on several levels with you.
Please watch it all the way through and please consider watching it more than once (to be sure you take away the meaning, interpretation, and current application to your scenario).
PS - Since it's your last pre-procedure day in the office, be sure and "look-up" at the item on your office credenza, after watching this video; and be inspired. Draw the power.
Hey Mitch, I wish I could think of something profound to say that would take the anxiety away, but about the only thing I can come up with is "DUDE! You are human! If you claimed super human powers, never anxious or afraid or even weepy...I wouldn't believe you. You care too much about your HVJ family, I can only imagine how great you must be to be around. So...my friend, I would think there was something wrong with you if you didn't have your moments. And like you have all been so quick to remind me...that's what we are here for. Let it out...we can take it!!!
Don't be at all concerned about the cath, if you are. There is absolutely nothing to it. I have had 3 and the worse part is having to lay still for a couple of hours afterwards. Well, you don't have to be completely still, just can't raise your leg or head. Of course there is a little "sting" when they numb the area in the groin where the cath goes in, but it's like any time you have to be numbed, sting, then gone really fast, as soon as the xylocaine goes in. And it is very fascinating to watch. They gave me a "little something" for anxiety, but it really doesn't put you out or even close to it for me.
Hope your day at work goes smoothly.
Remember, we are here if (when) you need us!
What you feeling before surgery is normal for just about everyone, if it wasn't then I be a little worried. You are going to do AWESOME, it will be a little slow at first in recovery, but things will kick in and you will see great improvements, once you feel better time will fly by fast. I'm starting my 11th week post op, and feeling GREAT, when I think back I can't believe how sick I really was, what I went through for almost 2 years. I know that I am better, because half the people I see most of the time, don't ask me how I am feeling anymore, and each week less & less people ask me. I guess that is a good thing LOL,. My next part of this process will be getting back to work in a couple of weeks, and after a couple of weeks of working, my life will pretty much be back to normal, it goes by fast, you will see. Keeping you in prayer. take care jim
Hang in there. You are in the home stretch and I know you can do this. I am looking forward to you updates so I can hear how you are doing as well as learn from you as my day approaches in 3 weeks.
Think of this way. You will have plenty of time to relax and recover before the summer gets here.
It's OK to have down days or two or three. We are human. It's the courage and the hope to see beyond on 2/2 or in my case 2/20 that gives us the strength and the will to say. I can..I will..I am doing this.
Hang in and stay connected. We are here for you now and on 2/2 and beyond!!
You will have ups and downs, both preparing for the surgery, and in the recovery afterwards. During the surgery, you won't care! Your feelings after the surgery will fluctuate a bit like a sine curve, but the overall slope will be positive and the fluctuations will decrease!
Condition after surgery = Modifier * sin(Time) + Time
The modifier will vary with time, but overall, it will decrease as time increases. (Sorry, but I could not resist trying to put it into a formula.)
What you are feeling now is natural, and many/most of us experience it from time to time.
You will do well, many have paved the way for you.
Mitch - I have been reading your journal with great interest. After surgery you should write a book (I think you are a talented writer). I had my mitral valve repaired on August 18, 2011. Open heart surgery is scary, but not as scary as it sounds. Within a few days of surgery, you will be walking around and feeling better every day. I went to a party 9 days after surgery. I felt good enough to sit and talk to friends for a couple of hours - no dancing. I know your surgery is in 2 days; but if you have a question, let me know. Good luck and I will look forward to reading your post-surgery entries. I am confident you will do fine. Tim
After seeing Janis' post that mentioned that mantra thing, it came to me that I need to also have a "heart surgery playlist". So, I am making a playlist on my I-Tunes of all songs I find inspiring or have found inspiring. Here is a link to one classic songs' lyrics that I have always found to motivate me through tough times.
Most definitely....daughter over treadmill!!
Well, my friend, you are going to be my new hero, I just know it!
I'm not gonna say much, I don't want to get all sappy and teary eyed myself....but
CHANGE IN PLANS! No HVJ reunion in New York....JEFF HAS A CONDO IN TURKS AND CAICOS!!!!! Of course, I don't think he has approved those plans but...just sayin...
Anyway, just wanted you to know I'm thinking about you. Hang tough...we got your back!
I've been following your journal and you have great courage. I love your mantra and will use it for myself when I have to have my heart valve replaced. Best of luck on your surgery and will pray for you. Yes, you can do this!!! Fran
Not only can you do this, you can do even more.
You can recover, feel better than ever, you can be a great dad, husband, brother and son. You can be the wonderful "poster" on this site. What ever bothered me, I used the words Healthy Heart ______. Like Healthy Heart Chest, when I felt sore. I equated the discomfort with knowing I would have a healthy heart and the chest would get better. I have told you this before, I was amazed at how not painful it was. You will be a beast at this, probably write a book also.
Mitch, Say it out loud, "Yes, I can do this". You have done your training, watched your diet, read Adam's book, and prepared for the day. Your have a good support group out here, and we are with you.
Sylvia Woolworth, Mrs. Claus
Hi. I read your journals with a special interest as I will be looking forward to a valve transplant soon. At almost 85 and in good heath otherwise, I must face the reality that age has certain holds on my system that take the front burner. I will follow your operation with special interest as I must travel that route soon.
Rois at email@example.com
No need to worry bout your friends resetting your chair...your nephew Max has already looked at the schematics of it online and is taking care of it remotely LOL. I'm under strict instructions to be there and video the first time you try to use it. (only kidding) BUT...if you're not a good little patient I can call him at any time. Love you!
You definitely can do this. Piece of cake. Will you please email us your home address. Will you be in the hospital for long? When will you be home? Don't make me call your mother! Cuz I'll tell her more secrets about high school! I read your CT scan post and thought it was funny because when I had one done last year, I had an allergic reaction to the contrast that they inject you with. I went into anaphylaxis - you know where your throat constricts and you can't breathe - it was a good time! We will be thinking of you on Wed./Thurs. I really know it's not a piece of cake - but you will be fine, they have the technology and the capabilities, and when it's all done, you will be better than you were before...better, stronger, faster. (I actually looked up the 6 million dollar man intro on Youtube to get that right). We are sending you big hugs and kisses.
Pam and Scott
Thank you for posting on my guestbook. Nice to hear from you. Glad my words could bring you some comfort. Really, though I wouldn't want to do it again and hope I don't have to (I since have developed AI), it was a very rich experience I wouldn't trade for anything. I know that may be hard to grasp.
We oldtimers have mostly gone on with our lives, resumed busyness, and can't keep up with the journals like we did when we were in the thick of it. But I will never forget those anxious first realizations of "you're going to saw my sternum," "you're going to stop my heart," and "you're going to shave every hair off my body." Not to mention the frenetic getting ready to be knocked out of commission for a while. It's almost here, pal, and that's a very good thing!
Congrats on being the featured patient. I caught up on your story a bit and have signed up for your updates. Your daughters are beautiful! You sound very active, like I am. My youngest daughter lives on Manhattan Upper West.
Glad you found Adam's web site and resources and read his book. I did just like you did when I first found out. Adam is THE MAN! Knowledge is empowering and comforting. You are ready.
I will be thinking of you and praying for you throughout this week and into your recovery. If there is anything at all I can do for you, please just say the word. If you'd like to talk on the phone to someone who's gone through it, I would welcome that too. Just let me know. Praying for a successful surgery and smooth sailing in your recovery!
I hope all is well. I was just read your post and wondered what was the time of your surgery next Thursday. My check in time is 5am and the surgery is scheduled for 6:45am. It is kinda cool to know that someone is having surgery on the same day. :-)
My prayers and thoughts are with you, and like you I have a couple of Mantra's :-)
Hey Mitch Yes you can do it. That little voice you here I believe is God. I heard that voice with my daughters surgery, saying dont worry she will be ok. Then I heard it again when I found out about mine and i joined the church and got baptized. I felt a lot of stress leave. Now it is starting to come back but it leaves soon not to mention the butterflies that are popping up. Until later Linda H
Hey Mitch, Just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking of you and sending out THE most positive vibes - I KNOW that all will go well and you will be better than ever - even bionic! I will be stopping by to get updates and to hold Mom's hand. I am confident that you CAN DO THIS!!!
Ok ok. How long are u the star of the hvj ? I mean geeezzzzzzz. First Janis now you - Do u get to pick the next featured artist ? I'm so glad u got that award ! Proud to say you're my cuz !
Meant to tell you too. They say to eat a lot of protein to heal better /faster ? Might double ck that.
Am in fla relaxing at our condo & will go to Orlando to speak at the big Goodyear conf mon & Tuesday. Trust me that is keeping me busy. But never to busy to think of my new hvj friends.
Be well. - and as I say take good notes ! Me ? I'm still worried about my hair. Agggg
Hi, Mitch....my husband at age 86 was pretty much in the same shape you're in except worse and on top of prostate cancer treatment this time last year. Now, after having aortic root repair and valve replacement done by Allan Stewart at Columbia Presbyterian last April he is 100%, playing golf and going to Central America in March. We found Dr. Stewart on this site and could not have been happier with him and his team. These surgeons are pros. As Dr. Stewart said to us just before my husband went in the OR "This is routine stuff for me. Don't worry." Best of luck on the 2nd!!! Margarita Easton
Hey Mitch. I'm Jeff. 57 year old trial lawyer in LA. Grew up in Massapequa. Left in 1978 for school stayed for the weather. Had a bovine aortic valve replaced August 11. I had an enlarged aorta too. My dr said we will look at it when we go in. If they don't do the root the incision is very small. Like 4 inches otherwise it's the big one. The first question I asked when I woke up was the aorta. My dr, a wonderful man at UCLA Richard Shemin WHO I FOUND ON THIS SITE,, said it looked ok so they left it alone. I was at first worried like you but you are getting another valve 8-15 years so it can always be done then. Did you have an angiogram to see if you need bypass too? I had that a few weeks before the surgery. Check my blog for that story
Forget the vodka in the hospital. You won't be feeling much like it I'm sure. Finishing a meal will be enough to make you happy. You will need much stronger than that for pain relief. No BS. It's a bear. Biggest pain for me was BACK PAIN. you see they spread your ribs about 6 inches apart for hours so you can imagine how that will impact your spinal alignment especially at the rib head. I needed ice bags not chips. Tried 4 or 5 different pain meds. Only thing that worked was vicodan. I was out in 5 days. Dont rush to get out. They may have to play with your heart meds to get it beating right but you will know when things are stable, you have the right approach. Get ready like its a big game or match or race or whatever you have to get your mind and body ready for. It's hard but all things worth having are. One more thing. You may like this. I made signs on a 4x6 card and laminated them and gave them to the anesthesia team and the nurses. It was my affirmations I asked everyone to say while I was out during surgery. You make up what's true for you. Mine said
1- you are a winner and you never give up
2- you always give 110%
3- you have a great life
Hi Mitch....Warren has been keeping me posted as to your "journey" through this process...I think your blog is fabulous and I believe it must be quite a stress buster to share your feelings...the mind/body connection is very important....Warren and I know you will come through with "flying colors" and we wish you only sunny skies ahead....While Warren is away I will keep him posted....You have a great attitude and that will go a long way to your recovery....Best wishes, Maddy Kiersh
Hey Mitch...DO IT!!!! After tomorrow, I am ready to go, can catch a plane in no time. Use that "spotlight patient" power and get me fixed earlier!!! Then you will move from the "not fair" list to my BFF list!!!
Hang tough my friend, soon you will be normal, lol, lol, .....well, you know everything is relative! :-)
Just wanted to wish you good luck on your decision and finally getting the answer you were waiting for. As I go for my ultra sound I will be thinking of you. So glad I found this sight, as the butterflies are starting to wake up and I have only started. My hugs and prayers are with you.
Hi Mitch, Relax and have no worries. I was diagnosed with stenosis of the aortic valve 1 1/2 years ago at a time when I never felt more fit in my life. I had my valve replaced with a cow valve and I can tell you that you will be walking the floors and doing stairs within a few days after surgery. I feel now as though it never happened--I never stopped playing tennis, nor doing spinning, zumba, etc.and am now a very young 60 year old and will be skiing in a couple of weeks. You are blessed. Lynn
Mitch I too am doing Tissue and if we need another one 20 years from now; they say it won't be thru the chest. Maybe in our ear..but not chest. Serioulsy.. keep that great sense of humor. I plan to ask the surgeon if after the surgery I can cook. If he says. YES.. I'll good...cuz I can't now. !
drum roll please.!!