Hi Ricardo. You have come to a good place to read about the experiences of individuals as we go through this. Keep reading journals & you'll learn how everyone deals with their recoveries. One thing I think you have on your side is your youth. My husband worked for years with welders & when I asked him if he felt that the surgery I just had might prevent someone from welding once they have fully recovered, he said no. So, his feeling is that you should be able to weld again, but he also wondered why you might have thought otherwise. I'm guessing that you are perhaps a little frightened & lonely without your family. Stay here, keep reading. Like the rest of us, you'll have a period of recovery, but ultimately you should be just fine. Take care, Joy Vera
Your doing good, hang in there. I can understand your worry and frustration. Believe me, been there, done that. But, after surgery you will look back and wonder what in the world were you worried about. After some healing you will feel like a new person. And I can't see why, after the doctor releases you from his care, why you won't be able to go back to welding. All your symptoms will disappear after surgery. Its amazing really. I had such problems before surgery, even passed out 2 days before surgery. That was really scary, took my fiance' almost an hour to bring me around. All that is gone now, no more chest pain, no more shortness of breath or the feeling of passing out. The only thing I have now, is some discomfort when I end up doing too much, because I feel so good. Its easy to forget for just a minute that I had surgery just 8 weeks ago. This weekend was outside working in my gardens, weeding and making them look beautiful again. Felt it later that evening. But, back to feeling good again this morning. Will try to take it easy, but probably won't. That's just me tho. ;)
We'll hold you up, Ricardo, when your feeling down. You don't have that far to go before you meet with the surgeon. It will all be just a memory soon.
You are sounding so despondent and worried and I really feel for you. Perhaps if you had your family closer you mightn't feel so alone in what you are facing. Try and believe stronger in the skill of the doctors and your own resilience in pulling through and being better than ever before. The doctors are doing this surgery all the time and while each case is different, they are also routine. Of course you will be able to return to your welding career or any career you choose to experience. There absolutely will be some recovery time and you may have to start back to work just a little slower, but soon enough you will be back to your old self - better than your old self.
You have a lot going on all at once so perhaps you should concentrate on one thing at a time. You have a wedding date set - so spend the next while planning on that and going ahead. There is no real need to cancel your plans and wait. Make your fiancee a happy bride.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Your appointment a few days before should not interfere with your plans. I am hoping the doctor will discuss with you what kind of surgery you will need and the date for it. Sometimes not knowing can be difficult. You and your new wife will have a long life together and it is very important to believe that as our minds are as important as our hearts when we are getting ready for surgery. As Diana said, you will feel like a new person afterwards, I do. Best wishes from Florida.
Before my surgery I had a lot of chest pain and discomfort, palpitations, shortness of breath and I actually passed out 2 days before surgery. Was really scary. After my surgery, I feel like a new person. All my symptoms are gone, and I'm slowly getting my energy back. The surgery was not bad at all. Really, there was some discomfort, but I can't honestly say that I had a lot of pain. I wouldn't postpone your wedding either. You will do just fine and will feel like a new man. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
my case as i told u aortic regug . and am working in a hospital as an engineer this hospital has the largest cardiac center in my country and i know that after a while u will do ur normal and routine life including sex . do not think too much lit the doctor have chance to solv ur problem . they are doing in our center 7 to 10 case every week and its not worldwide center . what i mean do not think to much just keep up . in our case we have to way either to do the surgery and after three to six months u will be normal or go under cardiac depresion because of thinking to much and have defficulties in life ? i think u will chose the first one right ? just keep on . and learn how to live with ur condition .
I'm glad to hear you and your girlfriend were up to the rafting. Good for you both.
How do you handle pain normally? If you are fairly active, that doesn't usually come without some mishaps and if you manage those mishaps okay then you should be fine. When you get hurt does it hurt or are you in terrible pain? Sometimes it's all how you look at pain so don't anticipate that this surgery is going to be over the top painwise and stay at that level.
When you initially wake up you are going to know you were hit by a bus but the pain meds will keep the pain manageable. It will hurt like heck when you move and you'll need help. The next day you will be out of bed and sitting and/or walking and again will need help but you should notice that you ache as well as feel some pain. By the third day you should be in a room and should be taking the pain meds orally. Hopefully the pain will be downsizing to hurtful.
Pain levels are subjective and personal but don't spend your time 'till surgery worrying about the pain because in the end, that will be the most controllable of your symptoms. Spend some quality time making sure things at home are caught up and ready for you to be relaxing for a few weeks. I had a full sternotomy and was on Tylenol Extra Strength (not Tylenol 3) on the third day.
As far as intimacy - I believe the paperwork says about six weeks and you might have to be a little more creative so you are feeling comfortable. You will be given lots of paperwork to read once you get to the hospital and your surgery is completed and in there you will find some guidelines. There are guidelines and then there is you and common sense.
Everybody reacts to pain differently. I had surgery June 2 to have my aorta valve replaced. As long as I took the pain meds, the pain was quite tolerable. It will be 6 weeks on Wednesday, and I'm down to taking 1 pain pill at night. Nothing during the day and other than some tightness and tenderness in my chest area, the pain is just about gone.
As far as physical activity, do what is comfortable for you. For me, it happened about 1 1/2 weeks ago. I'm a belly sleeper, and I have been able to do that for about 2 weeks comfortably now. Your body will tell you what you will be able to do, and what you won't be able to do. I was able to walk around the block 4 weeks after surgery. Even walking up inclines, so it all depends on you and your pain tolerance.
I wasn't able to take the percocets for pain, because it made me sick to the stomach, so they switched me to Ultram, and that did the trick without the side effects of narcodics.
Really Ricardo, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. Good luck and I hope that things go just as well for you.
With respect to pain, and when you might be pain free after surgery, that is hard to answer as it is very unique to each person. As you read through journals you will find people who are pain free quickly, while others who have nagging pain for weeks, if not months after the surgery. In my case with a median sternotomy, I was off pain meds at two weeks, and pain free at 7 weeks. I played 27 holes of gold last week at 8 weeks post surgery with no problems. Your pain can be managed with meds, and you will be mostly comfortable.
With respect to physical activity, again everyone is a little different, but you should expect your life to be very much back to normal within 2 - 3 months after your surgery for any activities you enjoyed pre surgery.
It was nice that you and your girlfriend could enjoy some time on the water and be pain free. As far as pain after surgery, it varies from person to person. While you are hospitalized, they do a good job of making you as pain free as possible as they know you will not be able to eat, sleep, walk, etc if your pain is too much for you. When you go home you will be given a prescription for pain pills which you will be able to take a few times a day as needed. I was fortunate not to have much pain at all and basically used my pain pills to help me sleep at night. Then at some point you could possibly use some of the non prescription medicine available (Tylenol, Motrin, etc). This should all be discussed with you by your doctor. The question of sex should be asked of your doctor. Please don't let the fear of pain overwhelm your thoughts, you'll be fine.
hi ricardo .. how is things ... welcome to this site which is realy helps me . the real thing in our cases is how to keep up . what i mean is keep always busey .. always stay in touch with ur freinds . try to forget about that u have heart valve proplem . i have so many symptoms affect me like PVCs like electric shoulk in different areas in my body . pain in chest and strong pulses every day and still the doctors says that my aortic regurgetation is mild to moderate and dont need surgery at the moment . even i have these hard things but still try to enjoy my life ... beleive me when i see eyes of my little daughter i remember that this child is looking after me and she wants me takimg her out side the home and go withe her to the market . so for that reason i always keep up . the surgery as i read is easy just 4 hurs and u will be out . my father he had disk operation near to 6 hours ?? and he was not able to walk for nearly two months ?? so our operation easier in my opinion than the disk operation . in 1989 i was having abdominal operation it tooks about 4 hours and the recovery about 40 days . beacause of the advancement in technologys now the heart valve surgery is 3-4 hours . few months after the surgery u will forget every thing about the pains before surgery . welcome again and hope for u good helthy life ..... mohamed
Very sorry to hear of yours and your girlfriend's loss, especially when you are already going through an emotional trauma waiting your surgery. Your girlfriend needs a big hug and lots of comfort as well right now.
I had mitral valve repair surgery in Toronto on Oct 1/09 last year and have recovered quite well. When you have recovered fully from your surgery you will be better than new and can go about any and everything you wish to do. Full recovery is an individual experience but I want you to know that those people here who work return to their jobs in about two month's time, some sooner. I work in my home doing office work and returned part-time 13 days after surgery. Your job is much more strenuous and no doubt you may take a little longer to achieve a comfort level handling the tools and lifting things or keeping your arms above your head only because you will still be feeling some discomfort depending upon your pain level.
I hope you take some time and read through as many of the journals here as you can. The more you learn the better you will feel about heading into surgery. Gaining as much knowledge as you can about the surgery and recovery process will give you the power to be confident in the outcome. Don't just read journals of mitral valve patients because the process, set-backs and recoveries are pretty much the same. A healthy positive attitude is paramount in your recovery process.
It's going to hurt but that is all managed by drugs and soon enough you'll be shaking the drugs off and wanting to feel more like yourself. A strong support group is also helpful in seeing you through.
I've been having a few internet problems these past few weeks but hopefully I'll be regularly following your journal as much as I can.
Welcome to HVJ.. You will find a lot of help on here, as most of us have either been through this already or are preparing for surgery.
I had aortic valve replacement 8 weeks ago, and my life is already pretty close to back to normal. I would venture to guess that you will be able to continue welding as a career after your surgery. You would benefit if your surgeon is able to do a minimally invasive surgery (smaller incision) rather than a full sternotomy (bigger incision down the middle of your chest) in that the recovery time for the minimally invasive is a few week quicker. With either procedure you can get back to work, it is just quicker with the smaller cut.
Read Adam's books so that you know what questions you want to ask of your doctors and surgeon. You are in charge of your treatment, so get educated on it. As most of us can attest, your life will improve greatly once you get your valve corrected and allow time for recovery. You will find you feel much better and have more energy.
It is scary to plan for, but it is a very routine surgery and you will be fine in the long run.
Guess I have the honor of being the first person to write in your journal. There are several people from Canada who write on this site. I had my valve surgery this past March. I also had mitral valve regurgitation and narrowing. I got a new valve and the surgeon repaired a defective valve. It is major surgery but it is amazing what our surgeons can do these days. As the days go by you will have many questions and there are many of us who will help you with answers. Don't know if there are any welders in this special group, but am sure you'll hear from them if there are. Be positive, once it's all over and you are recovered you will regain your energy and live a healthy life. keep writing!