Loved your post. I still click on the site and read the updates. I'm amazed how well we have all done and all those that came after us too. It's good to be well. Continued love, health and happiness to you, my friend! Janis Kielbasa
Hey Mitch -- Great to hear from you. I *finally* got that pastrami sandwich I was craving. Can't believe it's been 6 months. As I was getting used to the idea of surgery, you, Jeff, and Nancy were coming on down to the wire. You were my trail-blazers! Keep healing.
Mitch: 6 months! Wow. What a ride, eh? So true about good/bad sharing. Tell it like it is. Let us all lend support when its needed. I can't count the number of times a guestbook response led to good things. But its a lot. -- DVB
Hey Mitch, First of all congrats on your anniversarries. Time sure has flown by since your surgery. You have come a long ways.
Thanks for your new post. I guess I kinda needed that as I was going thru some stuff, but most of it is resolved. My husband is older than me, has his own health issues and he is scared rightfully so. I think the waiting is just as hard on him as it has been on me. I feel like I am on two different waits. Waiting to get worse and now in a tail spin. I probably could have handled now is the time better than asap. Aug 14th isn't that far away but yet it feels like a long time. I am just so thankful that I found this site and now I have completed reading Adams book. I know I will be going back to it often. So until later brother.
Thanks for the encouragement you give everyone.
I am celebrating my 77th birthday and my grands and family are here to celebrate. We live at the Jersey Shore and today I swam in the ocean with my children and grandchildren. What a wonderful experience. I am three years, three months post doc.
I continue at weight watchers, keeping my weight at a confortable level and eating properly, protecting my heart. I swim four days a week at the Y and do water exercises. I am also working with the trainer at the Y, working on the treadmill and other machines to build muscle. So, after recovering from surgery, it is just the beginning of a new life, and you must protect that special gift. There is Life after Surgery, Go get it.!!!.
Adam should put your post on the main page of this site . . . I could not have said it better. Although I was lucky enough not to have any major problems after my surgery, this site and all my fellow HVJers helped me over all the little bumps in the road that we all encounter.
Glad to hear you're doing so well after 6 months. You'll be amazed that you'll feel even better on your one year anniversary. I'm 2+ years out and I haven't felt so good in more than 10 years (didn't realize all the symptoms I had until they were gone!)
I could not agree with you more.
I have tried to reach out to some peole on the HVJ and have not gotten any response.
I celebrate one year on Thursday August 9 th.
I am so humbled to be around to say that. I know of two peole who , not from HVJ, had the same surgery as I did...one died in surgery and one cant stay out of the hospital...we are blessed to have made it so far IN THE EARLY STAGES OF OUR RECOVERY...this is a life long process...
All would be perfect with me if I could get a better job and lose some weight.....but I have THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET IT DONE !!!!
Our committment to HVJ should be a lifelong one as well.
YOU SOUND FANTASTIC !!!!!!!
LAS VEGAS NV
Great report! It is good to see that you are doing so well.
I used to run a lot in my younger years, 6 to 7 miles was my maximum range. I stopped running after I broke my back and leg in an accident, surgery fixed them, scars coming and going now thanks to the heart surgery, but my core muscles were not strong enough and I never really made the effort to run again.
Now that I am exercising better after my heart surgery, I have started running again for short distances on and off the treadmill. It feels good to do it again.
Don't think I will get to your pace though.
Keep up the good progress and the reports so others can see that there is life after heart surgery.
Reallllly weird. I dont go on for months & when i do i see YOU. Have just posted ! Karma or what ? 7 miles ? Man you go guy. Love it. We are finally on our alaska cruise. Just set sail today. So far - omg.! Great. Coukd neber have done it without new valve. Love my new valve !
I have surgery on Aug 13. I used to run a lot before I was diagnosed, but now I'm not sure how it will be after surgery. I'm resigned to be a walker - which is OK since I don't run fast anyways!!! Your posts give me hope that I can run again!!!
Wow...fantastic!! Remember when you were stuck in the lazy boy wondering if you would ever feel good again?!! Look at you now....better than ever!! Glad you posted, so important for newbies to see the other side and for oldies like me to continue to be inspired. Sending love and cheers your way. Janis Kielbasa
Hey you Bionitc man, lol. Wow are you going to try out for the olymics. My goal is when I walk with my friend later, I want her to tell me to wait up for her. She is a fast walker and I am of course saying wait for me. So that will be my goal.lol
You Da Man! Wanna come try and run with me in the Florida heat in July? Then you'll see a slow pace. Needless to say, I haven't been running much. But then again, I never did before either, it's just not my thing. That being said, I do make myself go (early morning of course) and keeping my heart rate low to mid 150's. I can easily get into the 160's but I just watch my pace and slow up a bit if that happens. Thanks for the data points.
I keep thinking of you and wanting to call you for a chat but the time is never right....like now it's 9 p.m. and seems kinda late. But I do think of you often and how great it was to see your smiling face at the hospital.....and my turtle is my reminder that steady and slow wins the race. Since patience is definitely not my strong suit, my little friend the turtle is a huge help and reminder. Thanks again.
Tomorrow I am 5 weeks out and feeling pretty good but still no real energy. Like I said to Linda D. I don't feel any better than I did pre-surgery......in fact I feel more easily out of breath on slight exertion.. She said it could be from the metoprolol as I take a fairly high dose. My cardiologist thought 100 mg. as prescribed by surgeon was a very high dose and he cut it back to 50 mg. My BP has always been kinda low so I don't know what that's all about. Maybe the beta blocker is more for the heart rate.
I still haven't had an ekg or echo since I left hospital and I have seen both my surgeon and cardiologist for checkups. No one is pushing cardio rehab so I haven't investigated that yet and walking is a bit tricky where I live (hilly, rough terain) so I have to drive to a mall and walk there and I've been quite lax about that. I've been driving since 3 weeks post op. No problem at all with sleeping in a regular bed and going upstairs....also plenty of naps. I think I have to get seriously motivated to exercise more....any ideas? I have a sneaky feeling that 50+ years of smoking hasn't helped my cause one bit......brilliant deduction, huh? I quit smoking this past February so not alot of time to get the ole lungs cleared out.
After reading alot of your journal back to the same time as I am at now, I can see that perhaps I am not being totally realistic about my recovery and not patient enough...lets hope that's the case.
Anyway, all for now, but best of luck in your upcoming race in August (hope it cools off) and your daily recovery routine too. p.s. your daughters are adorable!!!
Since we correspond by e-mail and text, not much more write here. Just wanted to write a quick post to publicly acknowledge your great efforts to get back in shape and to acknowledge what a great role model you been for many on this site from day one.
It is great to see how well you are doing, you have come a long way in 5 months. You will only get better. I am approaching 10 months and feel much better than I did at 5 months.
I have some of the same feelings and received similar comments. When I was exercising on the 4th, I realized I felt better and was doing better than I had in a long time. Although I was experiencing more shortness of breath before the diagnosis / surgery, and I knew something was not right. Since the surgery, people are commenting on my improved color as well.
As you said, recovering from the surgery is not just physical, but recovery also involves emotional, mental, and I think many other aspects. One of my co-workers told me that they had told our new boss that my attitude had changed since my surgery; not in a bad way, just that it is different.
Mitch, That is really amazing! You seriously need to run with your shirt off for all to see that scar. If an open heart patient can train and run a marathon so can the guy on the couch. Impressive and an inspiration!! Just think some months ago we were sitting in recliners healing, hurting and wondering what was our future going to be like. Bam!! You got up and rocked the recovery. Love it. Janis Kielbasa
Great update, as usual, from you! Keep up the great work.
I'm curious if you're doing much work with weights? My surgeon wants me to wait 3 months before doing push ups or similar exercises involving my chest. I am permitted to do curls but with light weights up to 25lbs.
As you know, you've made a tremendously positive impact on my recovery, valve selection and now on my exercise planning.
I will try to call you later in the week to catch up. Thanks
Mitch, This is fantastic. Running with a group really helps, for motivation, for discipline, and for just plain fun. It's also useful to have a specific goal to aim for, which you do. Keep it up, friend.
- Jim Smith
Good to hear from you Mitch. Keep up the good work. For the past few days one of my daughters has been visiting. Today I took her to my Y water exercise class at 6:25 AM till 8:40. Then we did our laps. Did I mention we also swam in the ocean for the past few days. It was just delightful.
So glad we are part of the new technology and we were able to have our hearts repaired.
Hey Mitch, good job on the running! I can identify with your comment about not realizing that you had symptoms. I didn't feel that I had any either, but now that my heart is "fixed", I realize how short of breath I was after climbing the stairs or walking across the parking lot! It's great to feel this good, isn't it? Keep up the great work and keep on encouraging the rest of us!!!
You are amazing, my friend. It has been a
privilege to follow your tremendous progress. I am so proud of you and your determination. Keep it up. There are many more sunshiny days ahead! :) Love ya, Debbie
10K?? NO WAY...and you did have OHS right?? So amazing.....from where I sit today (2weeks from surgery date)....just seems like a "fairy tale".....but I know from other journals...what you say is true!
Congrats on your great health & new life....you put this 2nd chance to great use... Continue to live it to the fullest!!
Very encouraging Mitch....so very encouraging! :)
Thanks for sharing!
Hey Mitch, So glad you found Joan. I did find her on what you had put in. She had no journal or story but guest book is still there, how weird. I wished her well. So thanks for finding out and seeing her.
You take care.
For the long haul
Awesome!! So happy to read how well you are doing. Time marches on and so did you!! We all have come so far and doing so well. Sometimes, I stop and have to say...Holy crap, they stopped my heart, fixed it and I'm okay. Crazy good. Stay well, dear friend. Janis Kielbasa
Great to hear the news of your progress. Sounds to me like you're doing exactly the right things with your exercise plan. As others have said, amping it up gradually is the way to go. Like you, daily I realize what a blessing I've received through the gift of heart repair.
- Jim Smith
Glad to hear all is well. I like the gratitude at the end. You are doing great. And remember, more is not necessarily better. Maybe try doing more "interval" training and not go further. Add some sprints and vary your heart rate maybe.
I'm really proud of you valve brother. You were a month before me and helped me get through the toughest part while in NYC. So happy you're exercising and feeling well. I agree with you, it's hard to believe this all happened! Keep up the awesome work and keep listening to your body!
You should be able to increase your mileage / speed by intentionally upping your workout by a few percent each time. As long as you do the ramp up gradually you should be fine - listen to your body for complaints. If the adjustments are small, the complaints will be small too. For daily workouts a few percent increase in distance per day will double your mileage in a month. Wow.
For speed work, an effective thing to do is intervals: go you regular pace for a few minutes, then up the pace a bit for a minute, then back to regular for a few. Repeat.
Mix up distance and speed work for a balanced program until you find a nice level you want to stay at. Be sure to throw rest days in, sounds like you are doing that.