So sorry it has taken me so long to get back in touch, but thought I would wait until you were well over the worst before I sent you a message. I'm so delighted that things have gone well for you and that you haven't experienced any real pain from the operation. It certainly sounds as if everything is on the Up and Up, so just take it easy and time will see you back on your feet. I guess at the moment Steve and Georgie are relatively relaxed and not having to chase you all over the place to sit down and take it easy. I'm also sure that will change very quickly as your health improves and then they will have their hands full.
On another note the Scottish Slimmer at Technip weight loss continues with our Group having lost 468.5 bs or 33.5 Stones over 6 weeks. I'm really pleased to say that I have contributed 14.5 lbs to that total, so beginning to feel the difference and can get back into a smaller pair of jeans. If this continues we will both be completely new women shortly and not recognise each other next time we meet.
Anyway great to hear you are doing so well, love to all and will hear how you are doing very soon.
Hi Penny! I'm so glad you're on the other side of your surgery. You look wonderful! I had mine on February 4th, I think...I'm going through an amnesia period due to the anesthesia and my short-term memory is awful and I'm driving my daughter crazy because of it.
The upside at the hospital was the food. It was fantastic. I would recommend a chef be hired for all hospitals. It's a real morale boost.
The downside was that my husband died a few days after my surgery. I called and called him and got no answer, so I asked my stepson to have the Sheriff do a "wellfare check." (He lives in Oregon and we're in Arizona.) I had an ominous feeling about him. The Sheriff called back with the news that he'd passed away. He hadn't been well for a long time, so it wasn't totally unexpected. Nobody was home but him and my dog, a six pound Yorkshire Terrier, was put in the pound, and I had a fit. Fortunately my daughter was able to retrieve him the next day and had him board at our vet's. Nonetheless he was traumatized and somehow contracted an abscess in his left eye. The upside is that he keeps me distracted and makes me move around more than I would without him.
My sternum still hurts, but that's all. I want to walk more and get over this hump.
You sound as though you're way ahead of me (and I'm jealous). :) Keep it up! I love reading your progress.
Penny, glad to hear your sternum is healing nicely, and hopefully you will start regaining your strength very soon since you're now on an iron supplement. They actually started me on iron in the hospital, and I have to take it one month post op--along with a multivitamin. I'm not sure whether my blood went down during the surgery or whether this was given as a purely preventative measure, as were some other meds like Prilosec and Zocor.
Keep up the breathing exercises. They are my favorite to do, because they make me feel so much better and seem to give me lots of energy.
We're thinking of all of you every day, Penny, Steve and Georgie. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and may next week bring you much progress and big smiles.
Hi Georgie and Penny
Thank you for your post to me and well wishes for my surgery. I guess everyone loses a certain amount of blood during these major surgeries and as Penny was right about the level for having a transfusion, they opted not to do so. Lots of iron rich foods, iron pills and rest. God created our bodies to be amazing. It'll take time but imagine she'll be up and running in no time. Hope your weather improves for an outside walk am sure that will help. Prayers continue.
Thank you for writing your mom's journal so we are kept apprised as to what's been going on these past couple of days. Good thing to keep on top of the anemia too by the way. Penny is just so lucky to have you and Steve by her side because she really does need some help and pleasant company. You'll have to keep an eye on her that she doesn't try to take on too much because rest is a big part of her convalescence. Sounds as if you have your work cut out for you for the next bit but eventually things will start to come together. Please let Penny know I'm thinking about her and sending many prayers her way for a decent recovery. Hugs. Cheryl, Ontario
Hi Penny, so glad to hear that you are home and recovering so well. I thought your bullet points for impending hospital stays was excellent. I got a chuckle from some of them as well as instant memories about Richard's. Like the hair - although his hair isn't long, he has naturally oily hair so after a week in ICU, he was always wanting it combined and the first time they let him go to the bathroom by himself, he insisted I wash it for him (no showers yet) - that wasn't easy). Also the bed clothes - interesting how that is an issue or concern for everyone in different ways - again for poor Richard , his sleep attire just showed too much too often while he was out of it and just couldn't be avoided. He too had muscle weakness when he walked that he did not expect in his thighs and even his shoulders would hurt after walking from changing his position, I guess. Coughing is another good one - a huge sneeze made his eyes see sparks once!
Also one thing the nurses had told him when he came out of surgery was, and I quote, "farting, coughing and burping are good" so no one should feel embarrassed when that happens to them after surgery!
Please keep recovering and improving and having a quick recouperation!
Richard's wife, Susan
Hi, Penny. So gald to hear you're having a good recovery. It's true that it's not as bad as you expect. I am amazed at wk 5 I'm back to work and walking more than I ever have, ever!!! My sternum is still sensitive, but it should be, right? But other than that, everything seems normal.
I enjoyed reading our journal and wish you a very quick recovery.
Great idea to pass along your experiences and great advice. Try not to rush things. It's easy to do when your mind gets telling you just a little more or a little further. Be kind to yourself and know when enough is enough. Do you still have lots of snow there or can you get outside to walk? Take care. Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
So glad to hear you are on the mend. Your suggestions are great. I never wore pajamas stayed with two hospital gowns. I was lucky I never felt nausea or even had a headache. You are right about hospital toilet paper. I also felt the experience was not half as bad as I anticipated. I am home recovering...it is such a nice feeling.
Yay...so pleased you are back home and even more excited to see a posting from you...although I was grateful to Steve and Georgie for all the updates.I send you lots of love,peace and strength as you begin your road to recovery at home at home. Take care,rest and be kind to your body. Love always Sharlene xx
Capt'n Bills entry says it all and with more humor than I could.Your info is so helpful. Have to say, there was one day early on where there was no post and Cheryl and I were concerned. Had to remind myself that Steve and Georgie's focus had to be on you and seems that they did a wonderful job. My husband and/or daughters will do my postings. It's coming up fast. Keep healing.
My Scotch drinking friend has promised to take me pub crawling in Scotland next year. That gives real motivation for a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for posting your notes, it gives us in the waiting room an idea of the fun we are going to have, very soon. ”Here's to the heath, the hill and the heather, the bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather". Heres to you!
I've been anxiously awaiting a journal entry about your expected return home. You were so on my mind as I kept looking at the time yesterday thinking and wondering how far you might have gone already. I was worrying about how you were going to make it on such a long ride but I see all those things had been well thought out beforehand.
It's been a long week, eh Penny? But, you did it and all three of you have pulled through with flying colours. Your immediate post-surgery days weren't sounding too great with all the nausea you were experiencing.
I'm really glad you are home and feeling as well as you do. You were totally surrounded by love and Georgie and Steve did a fine job of keeping us all posted. I can well imagine Georgie and Steve are exhausted. We can never forget how difficult our surgeries are on our loved ones.
You make sure you get your proper rest and exercise and enjoy your home and family like you never have before.
Good Morning Penny
Like Duane, I looked for your post. The best news ever. Thought the trip was 12 hours, 8 was so much better. Must have been Steve at the wheel of that Mercedes! Keep healing and posting. You are blessed with Steve and Georgie. Don't know how people get through the tough times without loved ones.
Hope Penny is doing well and tell her she has my prayers and good wishes, from one with Scottish roots, being sent across the pond from Boise Idaho USA! AF seems to be something that stumps many of the doctors and the attitude of mine is that it can't always be fixed ... I think with some of us it's just normal to be abnormal! My surgery is on 4/1 (either repair or replacement of mitral valve) and the doc may try the MAZE procedure but he says sometimes it works, sometimes it works briefly, and sometimes it doesn't work at all. How's that for a definite diagnosis??? Hope you are also holding up well. Support systems, I am finding, are sooooo important! My hubby has had bunches of surgeries over 25 years, so now I guess it's my turn! I'm trying to take it easy on him as he'll be 84 in July. I do have several bosom buddies plus kids and grandkids on my side, for which I am eternally grateful.
MY VERY BEST TO BOTH OF YOU!
safe journey home and a soft landing in Scotland. You deserve all the best. Steve, you (and Georgie) did a great job keeping all of us on the other side of the pond informed. Will wait for Penny's post after she gets home and has a good rest. Continue healing.
Hi Penny Steve Georgie
Sorry to hear about the return of the A-fib but knowing Richard and Duane and some others faced the same problem and resolution gives hope it might be temporary. I have the opposite problem - my heart beat is slow and irregular but drugs do wonders! I'll be praying Penny doesn't have too big a problem with her AF.
I'm really excited for you guys knowing that tomorrow brings the first return to normalacy. Sleep well tonight. Cheryl, Ontario
So glad you have been sprung!!! I am happy you are in recovery mode and send my best wishes for a speedy recovery.I am hoping to be out tomorrow...wow that sounds so wonderful. I visited England, Scotland and Ireland. It was my dream trip and my husband gave it as a 40th birthday trip. I only got to visit Edinburgh in Scotland, but loved it so much. So, nice sharing your journey.
Oh boy, catching up on Penny's journal via Georgie is sure interesting and brings back recent issues of much the same. Richard's AFib was an issue as well as you might know. It is getting better so I am sure Penny's will too. I guess a lot gets disturbed in there and it takes time. Amazing what all you (heart valvers and caregivers) must go through, but it is worth the trip to get to the other side where that sun shines again - and it does, right Duane, right Richard, right Cheryl and so many others in this "exclusive journal club."
I know that just getting Penny home will be a good start to her recovery and a joy for you and Steve too - it helps and it will be a very emotional home coming for sure
"Scotland here you come."
Richard's wife, Susan
Steve, you're a good guy! What a blessing you and Georgie are to Penny right now! Wow, so you're out of the hospital...that's awesome!!! Even after my cardioversion, I've had a few bouts of AF. It's not unusual after heart surgery. My doctor said it's nothing to be too concerned about unless I'm in AF and it's over 125 bpm. I pray that Penny gets back into sinus rhythm soon and that you guys have a safe and uneventful journey back to Scotland.
Hi Penny, Steve and Georgie
Such terrific news that the sinus rhythm has returned to normal with one try. As I'm writing this on the other side of the world, you should soon be getting ready to pack the car for the long trek home. I pray your trip is smooth and comfortable. Watch the potholes! Prayers. Cheryl, Ontario
Hello, Penny, Steve and Georgie
D Day, finally. Hope all goes well with the discharge and the long drive home. Lots of stops and some walking at the stops. Will she be released wearing compression stockings? Can't help but believe Penny will recover faster at home. Even the brogues will be comforting. Prayers continue. Thanks for the excellent journaling for all of us on the other side of the pond/
Great to hear the cardioversion was a success! I know I felt worlds better after mine!! A-fib is draining! I hate AF!! You guys, do be careful driving back to beautiful Scotland. Penny and Georgie, you two have been an amazing support system. Way to go!
Pen and Steve - very much still thinking of you so much. It sounds to me as if you are making remarkable progress after such traumatic surgery. As they say - this is only now....and there is the whole summer to look forward to! It's still pretty cold and very wintery up here, so enjoy that English spring while you can. Lots of love Birdie & Brian xxx
Penny, we are all here pulling for you and praying for you constantly. You have come so far in such a short time, what with two valves repaired and the maze procedure. You are amazing! And I know you will get through this next step with grace and courage. Matthew and I send our love to you.
Steve and Georgie, may God send you the strength to be at Penny's side at this time. We are thinking of you always.
Hi Penny, Georgie and Steve
Always glad to hear when there is a plan B. It's when there isn't that we need to worry! Stay brave everyone. It's almost over and you'll soon be enjoying the bumpy long ride home. Continuous prayers. Happy thoughts Penny. Cheryl, Ontario
You guys all keep hanging in there. We know what a long and winding road it can be. You may (or may not) recall that about 1 week post-op, I went into big-time rapid a-fib (130-159 bpm), felt really weak and dizzy, and on Friday, 2/5 I had to go back to the Operating Room for a pericardial window to drain fluid from my heart (altogether about 700 cc's) and do a cardioversion. Please encourage Penny that, compared to what she's already been through, it's really not bad. I had some tears in my eyes when a team of doctors told me I was going back into the OR, but my surgeon's kind nurse Sandy grabbed my hand and promised me it wouldn't be a big deal and I would feel a lot better. That helped me, and I sucked it up and got my mind back in a proper frame. And she was right. Penny may feel much better after the cardioversion. But I know sometimes you just don't feel you can take even one more little thing! Be encouraged. You'll ge through this. We keep your in our prayers.
Glad you were able to climb those stairs, difficulty and all. Motivation of a discharge is a great motivator. Hope nausea leaves quickly and you'll be able to get some strength back. Also hope the cardioversion will work and last. I had it done many years ago. Wish I could have been awake for it as you just picture how it's done on tv, but of course those are always on hearts that are not beating. Yours is beating strongly, just to its' own tune. Prayers continue. Hope all 3 of you are able to rest.
Great news about the wires. I'm really worried about that, I sell wire for a living and not sure if I will be happy wire wires comming out of me. It could be a great sales tool. Keep up the good work and we are praying for you.
Slowly but surley,little steps, big progress i bet you cannot wait to be at home theres no place quite like it. Progress might seem slow but its in the right direction, come on Penny you can do it.
Steve and Georgie best carers you could have wished for.
Love Lesley and Ged xxx