Mitch, that was fantastic! I'll miss your post, but am very happy you're moving on. Thanks to you and your group who took the leap before us. Your attitude and willingness to share of yourself makesa huge difference to those of us following in your footsteps.
Thats a great rap !!!! The website has been such a blessing. I remember when I first was diagnosed...had no idea what was to come...except FEAR....Adam's book, the support of everyone on the HVJ gets me through.....THANK GOD FOR THIS COMMUNITY....
Mitch , Glad you are doing so well !!
Thanks for your message about recliners etc. and also a belated thanks for your offer to help me way back in Feb. I think I was so stunned at that time that I didn't respond to anyone and for that I apologize. You even offered to meet me in NYC as I recall. I'm still amazed at how helpful and supportive the folks are on this site. And I am so glad I found this site (just cruising around the interest) and Adam's book etc.
Yes, I am at peace now with going to CC and my best friend has offered to close her business for a week to go out there with me. That immmediately put me at ease and a calm descended on me. I thought I would be going out there alone. We plan to drive; it's only 8 hrs. I live in NW N.J. near Pa. line, so going East to Newark to board a plane for a 1 hr. flight seems more hassle than driving.
I gather you had the full sternonomy??? I've learned that CC does mostly mini invasive surgery....so I'm hoping that I get that.
I hope I don't have to wait a couple of weeks to hear from the doctor out there. I sent my info to Dr. Gillinov (Linda Dixon"s doc).
I will check into that furniture co. you mentioned.
I wish you a FULLrecovery ASAP !!!!!
Thanks again for your help.
Great journal post Mitch! I'm glad you took Friday off and got a little R&R. I just sent a letter to Stelzer's office asking for work release. I'm already climbing the walls at 4 weeks (today) and will start working from home next week. So happy you're still doing well buddy. Can't wait to hear how this week goes -- don't overdo it! :-)
That is awesome, back to work already such good news and feeling so good, could not be happier for you. And boy that is a brisk walk you got going there, good for you!!! It's all uphill from here on out.
Sounds like a good week!! Glad you are back at work and doing well. Wow, you walk fast, very impressive, sir!! I'm doing 18 minute miles. I better stop looking at landscapes and birds and step it up. LOL. I know bills are huge, aren't they? Adding in pre-surgical tests, operation, doctor, etc...so far well over $150,000 has been paid to hospital from insurance. My out of pocket...so far...$3,500. I did not add my daily baby aspirin for life. LOL. Thankful, I have health insurance. My granddaughter due any day...can't wait. I will babysit M-F in late May. Gonna need all my stamina to watch a infant but ready for it!! Keep up the great work. So happy and proud of you!! Janis Kielbasa
Great update! Thats some great walking time. I'm doing 1.1 mile in just over 19 minutes. So that equates to a 17.25 min mile. I'm walking almost as fast as I can, I thought. You must be really booking it. I'm going out now to walk and see if I can get some "Mitch" time in. Can't wait to get my hospital bill etc, I have a $10,000 deductible with about $8,500 left to pay. Yippee!!
Like you said can't put a price on what we have now!
All my best,
Glad to hear you survived your back to work experience. I'm not sure I ever read what it is you dofor a living. I'm really concerned about going back to work after surgery. Irish I could show up in jeans and tee shirt, hang out until I get tired and then go home and take a nap. Instead, going back to work involves this ritual that begins with getting ready in the morning (hair, markup, clothes, etc) way earlier than I'd normally get up. Then a full day of meetings, phone calls, stress. It's just too much too soon and really hard to get acclimated and still take care of yourself. I sympathize with what you went through this week.
Would you have done it differently?
Hey Mitch, Glad to here that you are doing well. Nice walking pace. Some of the tips that you gave during your recovery I have taken to heart (no pun intended) and has helped me alot. My cardio-rehab has been great and I am getting better each day. I do feel like sometimes I try to do too much, but your body will let you know it. Take care.
Rather than rehab - went back to my trainer. Who is great. Going 2ce a week - and getting back in slow & steady. Not doing the full hour yet. But back to weights - etc. I can do up to 20 lbs. cardio says & after 12 weeks no limit.
I still hate lunges & think I'll tell trainer that's bad for me hmmmmm
Mitch, Take it easy, buddy. As you now appear to realize, you went out way too fast after the starting gun sounded for back to work. No way you can finish the race with a great performance when you do that. Pace and discipline is everything.
- Jim Smith
Good luck at work on Monday.
You will be surprised at how well you do. I was. It was just really nice hanging around with no work. It felt like summer break when you were a student.
I am looking for an update on Linda today. I hope we get one.
YAY Mitch...great news on the valve. What a relief..huh?? If I really thought about it I would have known that I probably didn't have a leak since I was without symptoms....but what a great thing to get an Echo and KNOW that all is well in there!! Rehab does start slow but everyday I add more into my workout. ALSO have enjoyed the daily talks on issues dealing with diet and nutrition, food labels and other good ways to do things. I have actually learned quite allot. Hope you do well there too. Thanks for the great news Mitch...I am happy for you. Sorry you have to go back to work so soon....I will pray that you have the stamina to get through the week.. Jamie Todor
No leaks...good news!! You did amazing through all of this. You'll have great days and some sloth days, all normal considering we had open heart surgery. Concentrate on all that you have accomplished and let go of anything else. We are warriors!! Janis Kielbasa
Glad to hear the echo was A-OK..
Returning to work was not easy......I returned to work 3 months after surgery and did not have the energy back to do the full work week.
I cut back to four days a week and that helped a lot.
It is not easy, I walk about 2 miles 5 days a week...but overall I do not feel like I was before surgery....better in some ways and fragile in others...
Enjoy the spring weather in NYC, I am from the Bronx ...been in Las Vegas 15 years now.
I split into an ear-to-ear grin the moment I saw my post-op echo. What a beautiful sight seeing that valve slapping closed real tight! Don't you love it when it all comes together?
OK, here's the DVB challenge. If you can do 15 minute miles, then you can break out into a little trot every now and then too. RIght now, next time out. I'll bet you can get to 8 minute miles at the end of 12 weeks of rehab (for a minute, sustained, on the flat). That would get you from about 5 MET currently to 12.5 MET, which is squarely in athletic territory.
The way to do it is the usual: push the envelope, but not so much to risk forward progress, To increase speed through training a good way is to do intervals: alternating 1 minute modest pace, 1 minute faster pace. Or experiment with slightly different intervals, everybody is different. To get maximum benefit, it should feel hard going at the end of a fast interval after 3 or 4 cycles. So if you are doing 15 minute miles try 1 minute 16 minute miles, 1 minute 14 minute miles. Rinse, repeat over a 15 minute treadmill session. Then after a few session graduate to 15/13 minute mile intervals etc.
You can do pyramid intervals too. With those you start with, say a 16/14 interval, then do a 15/13 interval , then a 14/12, 13/11, 14/12, 15/13, 16/14. Adjust to taste. I got up to 8/6 intervals by the end of rehab doing this. Your mileage may vary!
Hi. Glad to hear all the good reports. But yes. We need to listen to our bods. I was telling a friend of mind I would have passover dinner & man did she scream at me. Telling me to take a full year of that stuff off. Didn't take much to have me say " ok". So I'll bring something to the in laws vs having it at our house. I refuse to push it as the last thing I need and want is a relapse So going back to work little by little. Still loving my naps - and less worrying about the little
s. t. So glad you had good times with all our new valve friends. And look forward to end of may to meet you.
The journal was priceless during the pre & post hard weeks. And now while still interesting - am finding less and less time for it Owe a few more poems. So I'll be around.
Take care. I'm so glad that our paths have crossed - and wish you the very best, mitch
Hugs. Nancy. St Louis mo. 2/9/12. D o n e !! 5 weeks Thursday 3/14/12
Yay! That's great to hear--no regurgitation….what wonderful news. I like what you said about listening to your body, and the rehab. I know Jim wants to go and do as soon as he can, but that he will have to pace himself. He's only one day out of surgery and feeling very, very tired of course. But he's in a regular room, out of ICU! We just enjoyed meeting you so much. I know you will do great, and it's inspiring reading about your progress.
Gee how time flys. Doesn't seem like I have been talking to you that long. Glad you are doing ok. And taking your daughter to school I hope you have stayed off the desk. lol. That story was so funny. Good luck getting back to work.
For the long haul
Just stopping by to say, hi. Did you start rehab yet? I know back to work will require much energy but getting back to normal is a good thing. I think recovery after 4 weeks takes a lot of mental stamina. I talk myself well daily. LOL. Hope all is good with you. Janis Kielbasa
I've always loved your attitude and your willingness to be open. You've decided to go to work on my last day of work prior to surgery.
As far as being foggy - I'll bet that as soon as you go back and get into the swing of things, the fog will clear. You've been excersizing your body -- but have you really been excercising your mind as well? My guess is probably not as much as prior to when you knew you needed surgery.
Going back to work is the next step in your healing. You've got your body working and it will continue to improve. Now it's time to get your mind back in the game and soon you'll be ROCKING THE WORLD!
Yeah, you are already walking 2-1/2 miles a day, an hour or so. Rehab is an hour usually, so if all they let you do is walk the treadmill, then bah. What you can do is talk to them prior, interview them really. Find out how much they can sign up to on your plan for what you want to accomplish in rehab. I'll bet too that you have multiple rehab options, so pick the best one for you. If you are like me, you will want to challenge yourself physically while the telemetry is on. Then you can compare how you feel with the numbers. In all likelihood it will give you confidence in pushing it. As you expand your envelope just don't do it so dramatically that your body has the chance to make major complaints. The idea is to risk only some minor discomfort, not your forward progress. Most of the folks in rehab are not valve patients, mostly they are bypass and heart attack patients. You have a much higher fitness potential, so you will get to be the monster of the class. If you enroll, and they aren't really helping you out, be sure to have a conversation with the head of rehab before it gets to that point. Rehab centers may need to educated about valve patients' needs, which are more 'hardcore' than their typical patient's. Proud of you, bro -- DVB
Mitch, I'd say go, see if it is something you'd benefit from. I don't think all rehabs are created equal. I dropped out because mine consisted of snail pace treadmill walking and heart monitors. I was walking at a faster rate on my own. You should at least, go once and see...maybe yours will have more action. Try it. Janis K.
Mitch...just wanted to let you know that my cardiologist told me that it was a waste of my time too. For me, it is all about feeling good about pushing myself and knowing I can trust my heart and BP, etc. It has been very comforting to know that ALL is well. I was walking before I came here but not as much as you!! I did tell my cardiologist that it was very good for me....because it gave me confidence in my heart, But like I said in my HVJ...he said my heart was great!! BUT I HAD TO KNOW!! Like you said,,,.if you go and don't like it then you can drop!! That is so cool you are visiting Chris and Jeff! Blessings and have a great weekend. Jamie Todor
Mitch, 2.5 per day, you are logging the miles. I didn't do a rehab program after my first surgery; my take is that it's best for people who are not used to aerobic exercise or need the structure to stay motivated and on task. We're flying up to NYC in the morning
- Jim Smith
Hi Mitch, just stopping by to say hi. How are you doing? I hope each week brings you closer to good health. I'm well, putting most of this behind me and thinking ahead. As long as all my repairs stay in place...I'm good. I find my biggest battle is fatigue. I know once spring/summer hits...I will be outdoors and re energized. Take care of yourself. Keep up the good fight. Cheers. Janis K.
I see that you had a consult with Dr Girardi….did he perform the surgery for you? I am in the process of scheduling a consult with him within the next couple of weeks. I was wondering how your experience was with Dr Girardi and NY Presb Hospital. Hope you are doing well.
Mitch, it sounds like you are doing just fine. Just remember that the healing will be up and down. Some days, or weeks, you'll feel amazing and others will be just ok, and some will just down right suck. But the bad days will happen less and not last as long, the farther out of surgery you get. At four to six weeks I could do everyday things that the normal person could do but it's been 8 months and I'm still not my normal self. But it gets alot better. So keep your head up and don't get discouraged. A big turning point for me was about 6 months. But I think over doing it to early may have set me back a little.