Welcome, Paul. Reading the journals is what helped me be more mentally prepared, but Adam's book was the starting point - a review might be in order if it has been a while since you read it. Lots of good feedback on CC here so you've chosen well. I also benefited from listening to relaxation tapes daily before my 7/21 surgery. I also used them one evening in the hospital when I was having difficulty getting to sleep. I bought some, but I believe CC provides these to their patients. Best of luck on your journey to a healthy heart - Joy Vera
You are in excellent hands at CC with Dr. Gillinov. With just two weeks to go I would reread Adam's book one more time. I will say the day of surgery is very similar at CC to Adam's book, but easier to experience.
Spend time reading peoples journals and what the experience was like, and know that you will be fine when all is said and done. Most of us had a little complication or post surgery issue, but that is normal and generally it is addressed and you move on.
I am sure most of the better hospitals are wonderful in treatment of cardiac patients, but I have only experienced CC and I can't imagine it can be any better anywhere else. Relax, listen to your doctors and nurses and you will be back to normal very quickly.
I too am a CC alumna. Dr Gillinov did my surgery on March 18th. Had a bovive mitral valve and a tricuspid repair. Knew about the mitral valve and was expecting a repair on the aortic valve. When you get to most favorite hospital you will be pleased with what a wonderful facility it is. With the hundreds of people who go through the heart pavillion on a daily basis I never felt like a number. Everyone was friendly, helpful and kind. Had 2 days of testing and then met Dr. G. the day before my surgery. I was so impressed with him and we felt sure I was at the right place with the right doctor. He is also very humble for a doctor with his talents. I had to wait almost 2 1/2 months for my surgery so had lots of time to read the journals and be educated. Really, everyone tells you the surgery isn't bad and i would definately agree. Just do what the staff asks of you as they are the experts and you'll do fine. I have your name on my prayer list for August 11.
I returned from CC six days ago and it was the smartest thing I ever did! Dr. Mihaljevic replaced my aortic valve and I feel terrific. I couldn't believe I had open heart surgery on Friday, got out of the hospital on Monday and flew home on Tuesday. It wasn't hard at all and my recovery has been uneventful so far.
CC is so state of the art! Go into it with as little anxiety as you can muster because I think that contributes to a good outcome.
An orthopedic surgeon looked at my 3" incision yesterday and said "How did he DO that?" Well, I'm not sure how but I am so happy I did it! I have had no pain - just some discomfort. My shoulders were hurting and then I went back to Adam's book and found that he used his spirometer when that happened to him. It made a BIG difference!
I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have - you might be interested in the synopsis of my surgery that I posted about 4 days ago.