I don't think you'll forget about your "rebirth/second chance". The blunt force trauma that led to my being on the 'someday' list for AVR was a result of an accident that should have killed me, or left me brain damaged or permanently disabled in some way. No question I was "Humpty Dumpty" and had a difficult battle to get back to being very physically active. Now that I'm back to my old self (but for a leaky, wheezing, pathetic-sounding heart) I still continually give thanks for my good health and my ability to physically push myself with many challenging activities.
Something like this *does* change your perspective and makes you realize that you don't need to sweat the small stuff in life. Each day we have is a gift (no one has a guarantee of how many days we have left). Although it may not always be foremost in your mind every day, you'll get regular reminders of your good fortune. You won't forget or take your rebirth for granted.
I can certainly see how the mental/emotional aspects can be the toughest part. Remember, no one expects anything from you. You set your own goals and you know what you can or should or want to do. I feel the same way about this rebirth/second chance stuff BUT I don't know how I will be on the other side. I know I have a lot more life to live and there are things I am here on this earth to do. I know we will both make the world a better place moving forward. Take it one day at a time and always remain grateful for all you have. Below is a link to a video I was sent yesterday by one of my employees. It puts it all in perspective. Keep on rocking' bro! You are doing great and we all are proud of you.
Mitch, I just finished reading your entry and didn't want it to end. You write wonderfully. For all of us waiting your words are like candy. So sweet. You are an inspiration. Keep writing... A book maybe? Thank you for showing us how we can recover if we choose. Steph Cole
Hey Mitch That is great news. I like the way you think about being reborn. I kinda look at it that way. Cause if we didnt do this I know what would happen, so these doctors are making us all new again. Just remember now you are fixed and your life will be better cause you dont have to worry about your problem. I'm glad you are here for support but I have to say the same thing to you. Thank you for all your support. Please dont go any where. Oh and I walked 3 times today and I didn't take the dog. After reading about Kelly I was a little upset so thought I would go for a walk and talked to the neighbor and told her the news. So over a cup of coffee and good conversation it helped. Then the whole neighborhood well us girls went walking after dinner. It was so beautiful today and 78. Well talk later
For the long haul
You give me a lot of hope for my future surgery(when? I don't know) I loved reading all your entries. I'm so happy that your surgery and post surgery have gone well. By the way, you mentioned Kelly. What happened? the last thing I heard is what Adam Pick sent out about 11/2 weeks ago.
Just read your update. You must be the poster child of recovery in NY. I was told "I" was the poster child of recovery in Illinois. lol. I knew you'd do fine. You had attitude going in and that is key. I'm so happy you are well. I am not as deep as you, shallow me...I have found my rebirth consists of not wanting to waste one day with people who are not excited about living. If crazy comes walking...I cross the street now. lol. I feel good but sad that I can't kayak this spring, told possible late summer. Can we go zip lining? I love doing that on vacations. Can we ride the roller coaster? Am I doomed to wearing New Balance gym shoes? I did not ask these key questions. Janis Kielbasa
Loved that post Mitch. I have had very similar thoughts and have found myself getting angry at myself sometimes when it feels I am slipping back into my "old" self. Nothing bad but like you said, this is my chance to really improve and I am determined to do so.
You have been a true blessing to so many on here and have made a much larger impact that you may realize. Keep up the great work in your recovery too and soon you will join the Has Been Club.
Ok. So talked about you at dinner. One of our condo neighbors is your NYC neighbor. Is t that strange. ?? Small small world !
Doing good . Not walking as much as u but u r one week ahead of me. I'll get there !
Amazing when folks ask me how I am I have stop and be sure they mean me. Isn't that fun. Who woulda thought ? Glad your doing so well. When do u go back to work ? Too soon now I now. Just curious. Hugs. Nancy Friedman. ! St Louis mo
Glad that you are doing so good, keep up the good work, it is 14 weeks post op for me, hardly no one ask me how I am doing, these days, I guess that is good. LOL, it is almost like a forgotten operation I went through. This will be a GREAT year for so many of us, and a year to count our BLESSINGS. Take care stay strong and run the good race, Jim
Congrats on the 18:30 mile! It's a blessing that you're doing this well. You need to tell me your route so that I can follow it when I get out of Mount Sinai hospital next month .... My plan is to join you a few days after my surgery ..... Jim Smith
Hey Mitch, Well three cheers to you. Enjoyed reading all of your blogs and got me to thinking. After being there for Stephanies surgery and seeing what went on there, and seeing what is happening to me got me to thinking. I havent even gone thru all of this yet and some of my family is doing the same thing.With 4 kids that I raised and only 2 really care really hurts. But you know what? I have all of my new friends on HJV and my church family, sons family and of course Stephanie. I am not going to worryabout the rest of them. There day will come,Enough said about that.
I am so glad you are doing so good. I enjoy reading what you put in here. I always go to look to see what Mitch has done today. It keeps my going. And I am glad that Jimmy finally got back to us all. I told him I was thinking about where he went and I am impressed.Well talk to ya later friend.
For the long haul
Hey Mitch. As other posters have said, other folks just don't "get it". You've looked deep into the abyss and dealt with the end of your life if you didn't do something huge. Not many get that "opportunity". You faced it with wisdom, courage, grace and love. And now you are different from them. -- DVB
Thanks for sharing your experience. I followed your case with interest, as we have some similarities. I'm very fit for my 55 years and am in 'wait and watch' mode, after blunt force trauma 2 years ago resulted in severe aortic regurgitation (and a heck of a diastolic murmur), followed by an enlarged left ventricle to help compensate (just below the threshold, 'need surgery' size). But I'm still very exercise tolerant so I'm told it's not time now, but it's not 'if', but when I need aortic valve replacement.
It was very reassuring to see how quickly you've bounced back from major surgery. Way to go! Thanks for being a great role model for those of us that have open heart surgery in our future! I will aspire to match your pace for recovery when my day comes.
HORSE-HOCKEY - Keep on posting, bud.
1) Those that follow in your tracks need to know what to expect and anticipate and deal.
2) Those of us who get sucked down into the mule muffins of everyday living need to be reminded of the miracle that you just experienced, (A) So we can empathize and support you; and (B) So we can remind ourselves not to get harangued into the cesspool aspects of life but to step above and grab some gusto, hourly, as possible. That's what your posting do for US.
3) It's got to be therapeutic for you; keep on writing (and if you don't we're going to make you open a Facebook account).
Are you going to choose water over wine? Grab the wheel, Mitch, and drive....that's all courtesy of Incubus - listen to this; listen to the lyrics.
Prior to my surgery, I had several individuals say they would check on me and visit me. So, it was a surprise after the surgery when I only heard from some of them occasionally and others not at all, and actually had only one visitor during the 7 weeks of my recovery while I was staying in town with my son. People just get wrapped up in their lives and don't realize the miracle we have gone through. But then, I was surprised by some of the people who visited me while I was in the hospital and heard from other folks who checked on me regularly afterwards that I had not expected to see or hear from at all. I also have to admit that on occasion I have behaved in a similar manner when I knew people were going through serious illnesses or other issues.
I have noticed that there is now much more interaction among people here in the HVJ than I experienced when I first joined up before my surgery. At least for me, maybe others were and I was just out of the loop. I used this website to post what was going on to whoever was interested in keeping up with me. However, that has changed for me now. I have really enjoyed communicating with other people in the HVJ as time has passed.
We have experienced remarkable experiences in our surgeries even though others might not realize or appreciate it. But I think most people have difficult issues to deal with and that we have no clue about what they are experiencing.
I am not sure that I have made any sense here, just kind of vented a bit myself.
You are doing well and have added a lot to this website by discussing your experiences and feelings. Many of us have experienced somewhat similar experiences and feelings, we just have not expressed them.
Mitch, you are truly an inspiration. I am yet to have the same surgery, and you are helping me face the facts everyday! Most people have a weird reaction before the surgery(HORRIFIED!) now I know it will be just as weird after surgery.
You are doing great with your recovery!
I understand completely. People who haven't been through this have no idea. You are doing so good, Your so positive. Thank you for sharing so much of your emotions. You're an inspiration!! Keep up the good work.. all of us who have been through it and that are going to go through it soon are so proud of you!
It is impossible for them (the people at school) to have any idea what you have been through. Everyone is so engrossed in what they're doing, what needs to happen next and how they will survive their own little dramas. The roller coaster they are on is never ending.
If they could stop the coaster and look up from their lives, they would surely say WOW you are amazing, and they would be right. Not just for surviving this incredible ordeal, i.e., overcoming the fear and fighting through the pain but for the integrity, courage and, dare I say, heart you brought to this whole experience.
This thing would crush most people—especially the ones “at school”—they would never be the same again. You, however, will be better in many ways and that my friend is saying something.
I remember feeling the same way when I started getting out and about. Except for my family and close friends, people didn't even acknowlege I had been "to hell and back", as you put it. Get used to it. People just don't get it and never will unless they have to go through it themselves. That's why the heart valve journals are so great.....EVERYONE on here gets it!
Glad you are doing so well. It truly is an amazing, overwhelming and humbling experience.
You is kind, You is smart, You is important. Okay, so I stole it from movie, "The Help". LOL. Seriously, you are doing amazing at 3 weeks, and I think that makes others think we are 100%. I am doing so well for 7 1/2 weeks, everything is expected from me...like I didn't just have open heart surgery. If we were dragging our feet, IV in hand, people would give us more sympathy. Face it, Mitch, we just look to damn good! LOL. And per pajama day...that is to be expected. I can't get dressed, walk or do much today. I'm giving myself permission to do nothing. I think its my body saying, Hey, I need to heal. Rest is part of the healing process. Just keep doing what you are doing, keep healing. You are on the right path. And if you need a smack upside the head, I say to your wife...do it. Cheer up, Charlie. I stole that from Charlie & Chocolate Factory. Janis Kielbasa
I will miss your journal, but you have graduated and now you must continue to take care of yourself, be conscious of what you eat and protect that heart. Sign up for rehab even though you are walking at least a mile a day. You will exercise, and they check your vitals.You will meet other people who have also gotten a second chance. Be well and good luck.
It will be three years for me in April, the 17th to be exact, and I am 76 and swim four days a week. Sylvia
Hi Mitch, Well I told you I was here for a while to cheer everyone on until my day of whenever so here is my cheers. Three cheers to your wife lol. That was so funny. You must be a hoot to be around never a dull moment type guy? I enjoy reading your journals and what you send to me. It means a lot.Walks are good. I kinda cheated myself today by taking my dog for a walk. She was fine until we meant the neghbors dog in the neighborhood and that is a no no. You take care and no more desks. Guess you will be seeing Chris pretty soon. Tell him I said hi. Until Later
For the long haul Linda H
Hi Mitch, I enjoy reading your posts. I can so relate to what you are experiencing with your recovery, it just lets me know that I am on the right track. I have back pain, back spasms and yes valium is my friend too. I have no pain from the surgical site, thank God for the robotic minimally invasic approach. I haven't started my mini walks yet. But I know it will do me a lot of good.
Hi Mitch- I saw your post on Travis's page about working out. I would like to know what your surgeon said about post Surgical exercise? I was an avid soccer player (90min games fast-paced) and a runner. You think lll be able at some point?
I am sooo proud of you. I knew you could do it and do it well. We are going to enjoy every minute ahead of us knowing that we got a second chance. I can relate to that great feeling you are feeling. Remember to take good care of yourself. You are still really early in your recovery. I know that somewhere around the third week for me, I just knew I was really on the mend.
Hey my friend...you sound great!!! I am so impressed! You are my inspiration! You will be "back to normal" in no time.
I am doing pretty well, have had 2 unemotional days in a row, so that's good. Just had my recliner delivered, not sure I like it, it's not nearly as comfortable as my old "manual" recliner, but it will stand me up if I need it to. Just hope it doesn't throw me!! Willie, the chihuahua doesn't like it, lol, so that's a good thing, don't have to worry about him jumping into my lap!
So, I'm in wait mode. Keep up the "I'm doing great" posts. Makes my day!
Great post, today. Glad to hear the upbeat tone and optimism.
You're not ready for this tempo, but soon, play this in your Sony Walk-Man during your walks and you'll step lively. PLUS, she's got inspiring lyrics! Great musician's name, to boot, Carolyn Wonderland. Enjoy!
Very encouraging words my friend. I'm so happy you're healing and maintain that positivity -- it gives us all hope. I'm 2 days from flying to NYC and am going through so many different emotions. I will be healing with you very soon and will then help others as you are.
Mitch, you are doing fantastic! 2 miles walking a day. Keep working it, a bit at a time and before you know it you'll be breaking into a trot. The exercise accelerates healing as long as you don't overdo it, and the way to not overdo it is to just extend by a little each time so any complaints your body has will be minor. Take care, my man -- DVB
Well...I just might need to drop Nikki a line or two...hmmmmm...give her a little warning in case she hasn't been reading the journals. I think everyone deserves a chance to prepare for you, lol. I'm going to write in my journal a little later, have had a lot going on this weekend, all good, but I will let you know, I finally decided to bite the bullet and bought me a fuel injected, automatic ejection seat lift recliner today. I already have 2 very comfortable recliners, but they may be a little difficult to get out of, so I decided to go ahead and get Nancy off my back, lol. (just kidding, but she said to splurge on myself). Glad you are still doing better and better. Keep it up!
Hey Mitch! Glad to see your back and doing well. Told ya it would take time to recover and just take it one day at a time. Didnt I tell ya to hold on to that pillow when you sneeze too. :) You know what Im talking about now dont ya? Your scar is much much bigger than mine. Mine is around 3 inches or so long. Not big at all. Well hope that back problem gets better. Keep up the good work you will be feeling completley new before you know it.
Hey You, just stopping by to say hi and sending continued good wishes for recovery. Are you ready to switch from "Patient Spotlight" to " Men's Health" yet? LOL. With the way you a Rockn recovery....I see a possible magazine cover in your future. Shhhh, don't tell her but don't you think we should stick Linda Dixon with the next spotlight. She'd be awesome. I quit rehab today. Yesterday, I hiked 1.5 miles of various terrain in the woods. It was so much harder than my street walking (no pun intended). LOL. I'm going to get healthy and live to be 100. Just sayin.... Janis Kielbasa
Hi Mitch, your journals are fun to read. Glad you are doing good. It looks like we had our surgeries around the same time. Mine was 2-7-2012. Showers for me are a little tiring too but maybe its because I am in there so long? I still havent been able to sneeze yet but can tell its gonna be painful, lol.
Hey buddy...thanks for another "entertaining" journal post. Funny strange and funny haha. You know, I noticed a trend with the post surgery showers. That seems to be a common post surgery phenom. Wonder why? You can walk a mile at the time but showers are exhausting. Hmmmm.....is right. You do sound great. This is good, this makes me happy! Hope the nights are getting better. Let's talk soon.