Hi Ricki. Four months! I remember reading your journal before your surgery (which was before mine) & following your progress until....well, until now. I tend to run out of steam in the evenings too. I've been told that it actually takes a year until one feels fully recovered. I guess we'll see if that's the case, but in the meantime, it's good to feel mostly good. Take care, Joy
I have thought so many times through my surgeries that like all other experiences in our lifetimes regarding any life altering event that if we can touch just one person with encouragement and empathy we have served our purpose. There will always remain an emotional attachment for you as I have found as well Take Care
All great news. I just passed the 6 month mark and am not 100%, but getting there. Hope your rib pain lessens as each week goes by. We are fortunate to have had excellent physicians and lots of support to come through this. Wonderful you could share your insight with someone. Must have meant a lot to them. Keep smiling, life is a blessing.
Isn't it just amazing. I am just amazed at how far I've come, too, and look back all the time the very first time my doctor told me I would need my valve replaced. The sheer terror that ran through me, but it really wasn't anything to really fret about.
I, too, am still experiencing ribcage discomfort. Not bad, but its still there, and my incision on the top is still paining me. Itches like crazy some days, and others aches and pains me. But, like you said, nothing compared to what I went through a few months before surgery. I run out of energy in the early evenings, too. Like somebody unplugged me, and I just can't go anymore.
I'm enjoying rehab. I'm almost at the end of that run. I think October 8 I'm slated to be complete with that, and another chapter closed.
You sound really good. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the info I have tried various beta blockers in the past to no avail, low heart rate and BP but I know I will not be able to to proceed with rehab if resting heart rate over 100, I will give the Rx another try. I am glad you are doing so well, it's funny this surgery I never have had incisional pain, tenderness, just this nerve damage to my arm. I assume that your discomfort has subsided. I didn't realize how close you are to us as we are @ Lake Norman north of Charlotte. I read your story as I was curious as to where you had your surgery. Take care and keep in touch, love to hear from those of you who are months ahead of my present progress, gives me hope for a quick recovery!
Came across your journal randomly, searching my name and my husbands name....my name is Ricki(full, legal first name, not a nickname) and my husband's name is Ron! LOL
Anyway, glad you are doing well and hope the root canal goes well!
Ricki--keep up the good work. I am glad that the pain has become just a dull ache. And of course, the root canal thing is just another irritant. You have already done the hard work. Miss seeing you!!!! Liz
You're right it is definitely always something! So glad to hear you are doing good in rehab. But sorry to hear about the tooth. I know how much a tooth can hurt. And I think all of us on here can understand the nervousness of an infection. Good luck next week.
Thank you for the sweet msg you left on my guestbook. Every single word helps:) I think of you often also.
Thoughts and Prayers,
I'm sorry to hear about the root canal, but just wanted to let you know, I've been reminded over and over agai that I will need to premedicate with 2 grams of amoxicillian (or other antibiotic) for EVERY dental appt. the rest of my life, routine cleanings included. I just had to have a ton of dental work done before my valve surgery and it was scary thinking about contracting endocarditis...
I am on antibiotics until the root canal is over. (I'm now taking them anytime I go to the dentist.). I've never had one but I know they're not a big deal . . . have novacaine and you can do anything to me! If it wasn't for the valve I wouldn't be at all concerned.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn't bad.
Oh no Ricki,
You know that's one thing that I've been praying wouldn't happened. Having a tooth problem during this process. Hope they get it all fixed up for you and your back on the road to recovery again.
All my best,
You can do it, a root canal is a walk in the park compared to valve surgery. Will you be taking an antibiotic prior to your dental work? I didn't discuss that with my doctor, but believe I will as a precaution. Glad rehab is going well.
Hi Ricki. Well, I don't now about yoga queen, especially since I've not done any poses since the surgery. That may change though now that I'm beginning to breathe better. Thanks for the feedback on rehab. I'm really counting on it helping me regain some energy so it's great to hear that was your experience. Glad to hear you are feeling more "normal" these days too. I appreciate that you take the time to let me know what you are going through - helps more than you know. Take care, Joy
Hi Ricki. Thanks for letting me know the showers were tough for you too & for how long. Gives me hope. Actually, I know I'm making progress. Had kind of a rough afternoon & evening yesterday. We had a lady in to clean house in the afternoon &, for some reason, just having her here for 3 hours felt sort of stressful. Nice lady, great job - there was really no reason be stressed about it. Maybe it's because I'm used to cleaning my own house or maybe I was just tired anyway. I don't know what it was. Anyway, I feel much better today but I think a little of the flavor of how I felt yesterday must have found its way into my post. Thanks for listening & I hope you have a good day tomorrow. Joy
Good to hear from you. Sounds like you have everything all worked out as far as rehab and work goes. That's good. I can only make rehab twice a week, Monday's and Fridays because of my situation with my Dad. But, they are wonderful at rehab and work with me on that. I still have incision discomfort. Still mostly along the top of the incision. My incision is a little longer, about 5 inches. But, I'm off all pain meds, I feel I can work through the discomfort. I just love rehab. I really feel like I've had a really good workout when I leave there. I feel the same way as you do, the surgery was absolutely nothing like I had imagined, in a good way. I feared that I would be in a lot of pain, for a long period of time. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that at 8 weeks post surgery, I would be working out and feeling as good as I do. And not experiencing any of the symptoms I experienced before surgery, to boot. Way cool! I have found this experience to be a positive one, for sure.
Hi Ricki. It's great that you are able to work around the rehab schedule. From what everyone here says, it's really important. Coincidentally, my surgeon said something during my last appointment regarding blood pressure & exercise. It does go up apparently. He told me to keep mine below 120/70 normally & 130/(don't recall the 2nd #) with exercise. I guess that makes sense, but I'd never given it much thought until then. So, depending on how much yours goes up, it may not be a problem. Good to read how well you are doing. Joy
So glad you were able to work your schedule so you could attend rehab. How long does it last? Mine is actually 40 minutes of cardio then 5 minutes of cool down stretches. I find that how well I feel during rehab is directly related to how well, or poorly I slept the night before. Haven't been a good sleeper for years and find it is getting worse--argh!! Do your rehab nurses think the shortness of breath, etc will improve with time? Keep up the great work.
Hi Ricki - I just ran across a post you sent me while I was still in the hospital regarding lack of appetite. Made me smile again when you said yours was BAAACCCKKK! Mine's coming back too, but the unfair thing is - when I weigh in the morning, I haven't lost anything. I sure thought I'd be minus a couple of pounds, but no such luck. Hope you are having a good day! Joy
Thanks for popping by my guestbook. So far, so good! Today was incredibly beautiful here and I just relaxed and enjoyed it. The bird feeders that were ruined by the bear are sort of hanging on by a thread but they are serving their purpose for now. It's in the mid 80's here and just about perfect. So glad to be out of Cleveland although I will never forget what they have done for me. I think the surgery and care I got was light years ahead of what I could have found in Denver.
Yes, Theresa was just the best. I think she loved me too because I didn't cause her any work! I think Shirley hit the nail on the head when she told me that attitude going in to surgery had a lot to do with recovery. My anxiety level was ZERO and I never doubted that for moment. I wonder if other hospitals/clinics prepare you as well as CC does.
I have to go out and get another walk in before dark. It's hard to find a place flat enough around my house. It is either uphill or downhill so I have been going up and down the hall now that my walks are very short.
I feel great and am loving the sound of my new heart!
Good to hear from you. I'm feeling really good for the first time in a while. Its truly amazing! Had a bit of a rough night last night, had a good amount of discomfort at the top of my incision again, but I think between the weather, raining off and on, and moving around at rehab, has things a little unsettled. But, otherwise, its all good. I'm able to go up and down stairs now without getting out of breath, chest pains, or the feeling of getting faint. And I'm able to come up them at a good clip. Truly amazing and exciting!
Glad to hear that you continue to improve, too. So very cool!
You are doing fantastic and I'm so glad you've started your rehab. If anything - it will give you confidence and sometimes that alone is a boost if you are the least bit concerned about how you should feel during exercise. It certainly made me very comfortable with the new me.
We've had a great heat wave here in southern Ontario and I'm loathe to complain because of the lengthy winters we have. We have friends who live in SC and they are on their way here to visit us now looking for some relief. Last year they got plenty of it because I don't think our temps got over 80 hardly and that was an unusual summer - rain and cold so I'm soaking up this heat like crazy - well, sitting in my zipped up bugfree gazebo reading!
Thank you for being so thoughtful to tell me about your pain in your neck and shoulders after your surgery. I guess I am just an anxious mother trying to make my son as comfortable as possible after his surgery. Just knowing it is a common problem alieviates some of my worry that something is going seriously wrong. It is the FIRST real time he has complained about any pain and so I was very concerned. Thank you for taking the time to relieve my anxiety. All of the people who write in these journals are so caring and understanding and have helped me tremendously. I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. I would LOVE for Danny to do some heart re-hab of some kind but the doctors tell me they usually don't accept teenagers and younger people. Well, I will keep you in my prayers for your continued good health. Thanks for your assistance with Danny's problem. I'm very appreciative. Mary James
Sounds great! I'm so happy to hear your doing so well. I'm doing pretty good myself. I'm down to 1 pain pill a day, taken at night. Still have a little pain along the top of the incisions, but not bad at all. I just got the paperwork for my rehab. Will contact them once I see the surgeon on Tuesday. I'm off the medication that was pacing my heart, and have had no problems with that. My heart rate has been pretty low, ranging from 52 to 58 beats per minute. Having a little problem with my blood pressure being a little high. Will keep an eye on that, and if it continues, will get in touch with my family doctor. I can't believe that it was 5 weeks ago that I had my surgery.
Its very hot here, too. We are suppose to get thunderstorms this afternoon and bring in cooler weather for a few days. The poor grass is brown and crunchy.
Keep up the good work.
Good to hear you're feeling so great. Now when you are fatigued, there's a good reason, not because your heart is not functioning right. I just had my 13th rehab visit and I will most likely attend all 34. Stay in the ac, although I did hear the heat wave is lessening!
I hope you enjoy rehab as much as I did. I had 24 classes, probably because I started a little late in the recovery process. I really do think it strengthened me
A lot. The classes after the work out were very informative.
I know what you mean about "freedom". I can't wait until I see the surgeon and get my "walking" or "driving" papers, too. I'm feeling pretty good, still have good days and not so good days, but the good days are beginning to out number the not so good ones. I'm completely off the pain meds now. Other than some tenderness at the incision site and above my breasts where its sore and numb, the discomfort is quite manageable. I still get pretty tired, but don't take many naps anymore. I'm sleeping a lot better at night. I know what you mean about getting short of breath, or I like to say, winded now. I still get that, too, but not anyways near what I had before surgery. Its very exciting, I can see my life starting to get back to normal again. Have a wonderful and safe 4th.
I too have been given the OK to drive short distances. Definitely progress.
Hopefully, you'll be able to increase your iron level without medication. I have already been prescribed Ferrex but have put off taking the pills because when I was previously on iron pills I became nauseous.
I agree with you shopping sure does make you feel better. What great therapy!
Time and nothing else will heal that pain/discomfort. I didn't find the Tylenol helped so I just put up with the discomfort noting that it was taking a lot of time to heal. It did heal and now I just feel the pain of aging! Glad you are doing so very well.
I'm so impressed by the whole way you've approached this whole heart valve issue. Not enough people are aware of the support system you provide for everyone in this situation. When you walk the mall, invest in blinders.....
Hope to see you in the fall.....Love to you and your guy............BJ
Glad you're doing so well. I know what you mean about rehab. My first appointment was an orientation telling us what it was all about, how the center works, etc. Next visit was the exercise showing me what machines i would use, how they work and what they do, But, I did exercise that day. I just finished #11 today and I can see the improvement. My cardiac lab has 6 different sessions starting at 6:30a for worker bees. I guess you don't have that available to you? We are all healing, slow but sure and I'm especially thankful for God's graces. Keep improving.
Look at you! Wow, the time really flies; I can't believe you are already 5 1/2 weeks out. It seems like I was just reading about you coming out of surgery. I'm at 2 1/2 weeks and I want to know about the pain management around the incision area, too. I'm still being a pansy and taking 2 darvocet every 6 hours during the day. Making it through the night without anything but, boy, when I wake up, I quickly pop pain pills. Breakfast of Champions right there.
Keep us posted on rehab. I saw my cardiologist today and they said to start rehab already. Geeze, really??? I'm still in my p.j.'s and kicking it in my recliner. Milking this one for all it's worth...LOL!!
Yeh, I know what you mean about the false starts at rehab. I just completed my 18th session and I feel great. They also tried to get me to go for nutritional and psychological consoling as well. I took a pass even though it comes with the program. I have been on low sodium and low fat diets since the 90's. As for psychological, I could use it but not for my heart or heart related issues.
If you are still looking for sleep med, I think I found one that has been working for me. It is called Sleep and made by NatureMade.
Can you believe how far you have come in the weeks since the surgery? You will feel better as you get into the exercise.
I'm still waiting for my 4 weeks followup with the surgeon. I emailed them, and they told me that they would be in touch. So, I just wait. It will be 4 weeks on Wednesday. My gosh, where did the time go. I don't know about you, but I'm peeling like I had a bad sunburn along the top of my breasts. The visiting nurse told me that it could be something like a chemical burn, that they scrubbed me good before surgery and my skin is reacting to it. I tried to stop taking the pain meds, and yesterday I wasn't feeling well at all. I had a lot of discomfort, and nothing I put on was comfortable, so for now, I'm back on the meds, only I'm taking half the dose, and that works. Still have a dry hacking cough, very annoying.
I'm so anxious to start rehab. Its been very hot here, too, and I have a hard time functioning in the heat. With Dwight working during the day, its hard to get somewhere to walk with air conditioning and when he gets home, the last thing he wants to do is drive me somewhere so that I can walk. I do move around a lot at home tho.
Good to hear from you Ricki. Yes, I was dx'd with MS in 1992, and was not in too good of shape for a while. Walking with a cane, etc., and going in and out of flares every 6 months, and would have to have IV steriod treatments each time. YUCK!!!! Hated that! But, I got out of a marriage that wasn't working and moved to the mountains in Central PA, in 2000 and have not had a flare since. Got rid of the cane, started working out in the gym, and have been able to manage my symptoms on my own without medication mostly. I do take the Neurontin to help with the neuralgia.
Like you, the seat belt is an issue and most of the time I hold it away from my chest. I wasn't prepared for the ups or downs either, Ricki. I thought after surgery I felt pretty good, and thanked my lucky stars that I didn't have hardly any pain at all. Then all of a sudden, the pain started settling in, and I've had more pain now then just after surgery. Quite surprising since its 3 weeks after surgery. Like you said a roller coaster of ups and downs, I didn't expect, either.
We've got to hang in there, Ricki, it can only get better with each day.
Your in my thoughts and prayers.
Thanks so much for the note you left in my guestbook. It was a big help. I am sorry to hear that you are still having pain. Like you said, those darn breasts just keep getting in the way:)I am still unable to wear a bra which wouldn't be so bad if I was smaller...I hope your path to recovery continues to get smoother with each day.
My prayers and thoughts are with you,
Sounds great. Your doing really well. I, too, have trouble sleeping at night. My incision is quite tender, mostly at the top. Most of the glue has come off except for about an inch at the top. I'm finding a lot of my muscles in my shoulder area is very tender, too. Especially my pictorial muscles. Otherwise, I'm feeling really good. Yesterday did a lot of walking in the grocery store, which wore me out. Too hot to walk outside right now.
Keep up the good work.
Glad to hear you are doing well. I know how your incision feels, mine does too. I also have that feeling of it "tearing" from the inside out when I wake up in the morning. Oh well, morning stiffness I guess, but then again I am still sleeping in the recliner. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers!
Glad you're doing so well. Looks like you'll be able to drive yourself to rehab, you'll feel so grown up! It's been almost 3 months for me and I've only been able to sleep on my right side (my favorite sleep position) in the past couple of weeks. Prior to that have been sleeping on my back with the head and legs elevated (we have an adjustable bed). All good things take time I guess and you are doing so well.
So glad to hear you are doing well. The parties here in the office just are not the same without you. Summer orientations are going well. It looks like we have another crop of amazing students.
Best wishes for a continued great recovery!
Ricki, Am thinking of you often these days and am amazed how well you are doing. We all thank Ron for taking such loving care of you. Love the photo, it brings great memories of Greenville. Linda and Dave
No, I got a bovine valve. But, they have me on blood thinners for a few months to prevent clots. The norm, I understand.
Had a bit of a rough night last night. Couldn't get comfortable no matter what I did and had a little more pain then usual. I think it was because I was up more yesterday. Lots of highs and lows. I see my family doctor tomorrow for a check up.