Love the video!!! You're looking really good--it's amazing how good so soon after surgery--and they had you sitting up in a chair already, too. I think Jim was up pretty quick too but maybe not quite as quick. You marathoners really are tough! I love the part about others praying you through--that's so true--we help each other when we can't pray ourselves. Love it! Now rest and listen to your doctors and your wife. :)
Bob. great to hear your doing well. Stay focused buddy. Looking at your pictures you have a quite a family to live for. It will be great to be able to breath better and be less fatigued. But be careful for a few weeks. It is gonna take time for that heart of yours to heal up. Ya know, just because you can't see it.....God bless.
Paul and Kathy
I enjoyed reading your journal and am glad to hear Bob is doing well on his road to recovery. I was just diagnosed with Mitral prolapse with severe reguritation a couple of days ago. One of the valves is deteriorated and needs repair and I have been told I am in severe CHF which scares me. I may look at your video and I've ordered Adam's book from our local library. I wish you good luck and strength as Bob continues to improve everyday. Keep the Faith! Karen Campo
Dear Bob and Betsy,
So, so glad! You are inspiring me. I had pre-op yesterday (thanks for the tip on the cognitive test!) and am home now .. gearing up for Monday. Honestly, am nervous and teary.. but your progress and good news is inspiring me. Best wishes, Kate R
Yea! Great news! And what a relief to have it done. Don't worry if he doesn't see you when he wakes up; he probably won't remember! Myself, my daughter and my stepmom all said hi to Jim in ICU and he swears we weren't there. :)
Thanks for the update--So happy for you!
Donna and Jim
Your writings are heartfelt; thanks so much for sharing yourself with us. I hope to meet you; I, too, will be "repaired" by Dr. Adams - my surgery is May 14th. Here's to hoping for great outcomes! I am sure you will do well.
Can you believe it's NEXT WEEK???? I've been really busy at work, just getting things ready for everybody to deal with once I'm gone, that I really haven't had a heck of a lot of time to think about the whole thing. And when I do....I'd rather I didn't! I have my pre-op this Friday.
I wasn't aware that they want you to hang around for a few days after the surgery. We haven't planned for that either, so I'd be interested in knowing how that works for you. Part of me thinks it's not a bad idea to be near the hospital, but then again, I *really* want to be home!
Hi Robert. I had MV repair 4/26/11 at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. They let my wife stay with me the first night and anytime except for an hour a day when they were doing one of the shift changes. Different places have different policies, so give them a call. Hope your place is as "open". Best to you, my man -- DVB
I also went to CCF for my mitral repair, and I left for home the day after I was released. I was supposed to meet with the surgeon a week after discharge, but they let me " sign off" on that and go. I had no problems my first week at home, so I was glad I left. You might want to just play it by ear and see how things are going.
I think that's it--what Linda said--to make sure he stays out of afib. Jim's follow up was on Wed. the 21st and he was discharged the Mon. before (the 19th), although we didn't know for sure when he'd be discharged until after the surgery. We had airline reservations to go home a full week later (the 26th), although we almost changed that. On the 21st he was cleared to go home and got very down because he wanted to go home. But he had the intestinal infection starting the day he was released, and we weren't sure when it would stop. Fortunately it stopped the 21st, but we erred on the side of caution. While in the hospital they will monitor him so closely you wouldn't believe it--they catch everything. Jim was in an irregular rhythm called junctional rhythm for awhile. On his first surgery at Emory, he had some post-surgical complications too. I think these are something kind of common and the hospital knows how to handle them. Anyway, I think you'll feel good about doing the follow up there at Mt. Sinai. Jim was at high risk of afib (why he had the Maze procedure); fortunately he's stayed out of it, but I was very glad to stick around for a few days. Email me if you have any questions!
Hi Betsy, I guess different facilities do things differently. I went to Cleveland Clinic for surgery and I don't have to go back. I was discharged to my PCP and cardiologist back here in SC. Perhaps it is because he is having mitral valve surgery and they want to make sure he doesn't develop Afib before turning him loose. I know it is a bummer, but just try to look at this as one of the "little things" with the main thing being Bob will be fixed!!! This is the hard part and it will soon be over!! God bless you both.
Linda THE Tiger Dixon
Hi! So glad Bob was happy with Dr. A. Being 150% comfortable with my choice of surgeon has made all the difference in this process. I love the fact that you and Bob will be at Mt. Sinai at the same time as me. I'll be getting in on the 11th and Bob will be well on his way to recovery by then. You can walk him down the hall to say howdy.
Bob and Betsy,
So glad to hear the consultation went well. Jim felt the same way--very confident in Dr. Adams. Hope you are feeling better soon Betsy! The waiting really is the hardest part; you are in the best hands.
Donna and Jim
Wow--how about that for a coincidence! You all will be fine; I'm sure Bob will have a list of questions for Dr. Adams. I just wish I'd gone so that I could have actually met and talked to the doctor--I never saw much of him except a quick hi and thank you at his follow-up appointment--literally like 2 minutes! We were fortunate (I guess!) in that we didn't get sick until we got home--last week I had the worst cold ever, and now Jim is getting it; but at least it's on this side of surgery. I'm glad Bob got over his cold way before his surgery too--Jim was afraid of that--that if he got sick the surgery would be postponed. Hope you feel better soon!!
You would be a big support by just writing out all of your questions. Before my consult with the surgeon ( I had aortic valve replacement 18 years ago) I had questions that I wrote out ( he laughed at the long list but was very patient answering each one). I also called a doctor friend of mine and asked her the type of questions that she felt would be very critical ones to ask. Her medical perspective was very very helpful. I added some of those questions too. I'm real interested in how your experience is because the doctor has said my mitral valve regurgitation is now severe although my readings are still in a range that gives me some wait-time and I'm asymptomatic. ( I didn't need the mitral repaired/replaced 18 years ago, because it wasn't severe enough at that point). After consultation and further testing he said I could wait but it still will happen at some point. I'm on a closer 'monitor' schedule now. Good luck!
Sorry to hear that you might not be able to go for your husbands consult. If you have questions write them down and he can take them and ask them for you, that might help a little. It means a lot to have someone there with you for support. I hope you will be better when he has his surgery that is even more important. Good luck hope you feel better and it all works out.
For the long haul
I had AVR and aortaplasty in Cleveland and was discharged on day 4, flew back to SC on day 5. I would have been able to ride back in a car at discharge, but chose to fly instead. It is okay to fly or ride in a car as a passenger, they recommended sitting in back seat away from the airbag. Good luck! It isn't so bad. Positive atttitude is the key, in my opinion.
Oh and they tell you to stop, and get out and walk around a bit about every hour.
I traveled to Cleveland from Wisconsin for my surgery, and I was in the hospital for nine days, but we drove home the day after I got out. It was a 71/2 hour drive and very doable. I signed off on a check up with my surgeon that was scheduled for one week after discharge. I just didn't want stay there that long, and it didn't cause any problems leaving early.
Godspeed and good luck!
Hi Betsy and Bob--check out Lily Cardlin's journal/guestbook--she mentions several good places to eat in the Mt. Sinai area on Lexington, where Jim and I stayed; one in particular is Yo In Yo Out which we and our whole family loved--I think I went there at least 3 times--I highly recommend it!
Happy Easter--hang in there--all will be well,
Donna and Jim Smith
I live about 6 blocks from the Marriott, there is a lot nearby. A Duane Reade drug store across the street so you can get the meds there. A grocery store is 1 block away (Vinegar Factory), plus lots of other smaller places nearby. Everything you need will be within a few blocks that you can walk to. You will probably take cabs to the hospital. If I can help you in anyway, just let me know. My email if email@example.com.
I guess I'm thinking of food tonight (I'm home and now back on Jenny Craig….) A great place for pizza in the neighborhood--Famous Famiglia's--really great pizza and a nice owner who makes you feel at home…
OK--I"ll stop for now. ;)
Hi Betsy--we almost stayed at the Marriott too. I thought the young man that took my reservation there (which I cancelled later in favor of Bubba and Bean) was one of the nicest, most helpful people I'd spoken to in a long time! I worried unnecessarily about it being too far away. It probably will be a hike, but I ended up walking so much in NYC even staying at 101st and Lexington! And taxis are easy to get if you get tired. I've never been in such good shape in my life--back and forth to the hospital; to other parts of Manhattan on the subway with my relatives when they came; to delis and bodegas (small markets) and supermarkets and drug stores and really great eating places all in walking distance! Before going, just walking one block was difficult, but after 2 weeks, I feel like I can walk forever now. New York is really, really easy to get around in. It's organized on the principle of small neighborhoods, so every block or so there is a little grocery, and a laundromat, and a pizza place, etc. I was surprised because I'm a worrier, and I like to have everything planned in advance, but really, you will be just fine. It will cost you some money, though, if you go out to eat….those "small" amounts really add up after two weeks! Just plan on spending as much on food as you are on your room, just about . :/ I was surprised that I did so much really--but when Jim was in the hospital, he was really tired, and after only a few minutes was ready for us to go--lol! Although sometimes he wanted to just rest but to have me nearby--you just have to play it by ear. Bring a book and be willing to sit in the room or in the family waiting room down the hall (note: Mt. Sinai keeps the rooms *way too hot*! but the patient will be cold. Bring tank tops to wear under layers!) We'll be looking forward to hearing about your visit with Dr. Adams. I'm so sorry I wasn't able to go with Jim to his meeting--I had a really bad cold and just couldn't go. I think it will probably really put your mind at ease--it did for Jim. Jim really liked Dr. Anwanyu also, although he didn't meet him before the surgery. He's an amazing man who radiates peace and good will. It's really true what everyone says--waiting is the hardest part.
There's also a "Gourmet Garage" right by the hospital. I don't know the exact address but it's walking distance from the hospital. If you Google Gourmet Garage, there are only a few locations. I want to say it's on Madison, near 96th Street. Excellent food including fresh fruit and prepared foods. Good luck. Lily Cardlin
Hi Bob and Betsy,
Great to hear from you. We used the pharmacy recommended to us by Dr Adam's PA: Duane Reade, which is one block north of Mt Sinai hospital on Madison Ave. We considered the Marriott, but stayed much closer, at the Bubba & Bean guesthouse on Lexington Ave. It's a short walk rather than a cab ride. Donna and I were very happy with that choice.
Glad to hear that Bob is still running. For the time being, my cardiologist is limiting me to walking, but I hope that will change when I have my 4-week post-surgery appointment with him next month.
We also used to live in Houston
Peace and Blessings
- Jim Smith
Yep, this is the waiting part. I'm scheduled for my MVR at Mt. Sinai on May 11th and am getting used to the wait. I've watched Dr. Adams' surgery videos and it's still incredible to me what he can do through a 3" incision. Jim and Jeff are both there now and it's great to watch their progress and read their reports. I take it back -- Jeff is already home!! I truly believe we are all going to be fine.
Hi Bob and Betsy, We found the videos of valve surgery too. As you say, they are valuable. Donna was able to watch all the way through and learned a lot, but not me -- too graphic for me. I could only hang in there about a minute. Not really because I'm the patient; I've always had problems with seeing surgeries or blood on television and movies …. this is the main reason I crossed med school off my list of possible careers when I was in college … who would want a doc who faints?
- Jim Smith
Waiting is hard. You just have to forget about it and keep yourself distracted. I went to a hospital and surgeon who do these all day long so I was confident. I agree with Mitch, the surgery is manageable. Pain tolerable. I had full sternotomy with mitral valve repair. Home alone at 2 weeks, driving at 4 weeks and walking 2 miles daily ever since. Tell him not to worry, this site is filled with success stories. He will be okay. We are blessed to be able to be repaired/fixed and lead a full life. Janis Kielbasa
The waiting is the worst, but it will be well worth it to have the best surgeon do the repair. I believe I was told most mitral valves are repairable unless they are too calcified. The surgeon never knows for sure until he gets in there, but he can give you a pretty good idea of what is going just by seeing your eccho.
As Mitch said, the surgery really isn't that bad. It's not nearly as bad as you are imagining! I think everyone goes through the stages of fear and anxiety, but by the time the surgery rolls around, you will be very ready to get it behind you. It becomes sort of an adventure ......not the kind you look forward to....but the exciting and awakening kind. The whole process is a life changer.......it makes you want to be a better person. So, try to embrace it even though it is probably scaring the hell out of you!
Traveling for surgery is not an easy thing, but it is doable. I think it is actually harder on the spouse than the patient. The patient is in the hospital and is living the surgery and recovery only. The spouse has to deal with the patient, the stress and real life. I traveled from Wisconsin to Cleveland for my valve repairs, and it really wasn't too bad. I would have rather been close to home, but then you don't get the surgeon you want, so it is a trade off.
Godspeed and good luck to you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.
Yes, the waiting is definitely the hardest part. In fact, most of us agree, the waiting is worse than the surgery, because you get all in your head and imagine the worst. Well, the surgery just is not that bad. It is very manageable. Hopefully the days will pass quickly for Bob.
Hi -- me again. Yes, Dr. A. needed the actual DVD of the TEE and the Cardiac Cath as well as the report. They'll put it up on the screen at your consult and explain it. I ended up getting in touch with the Cardiac department of the local hospital where the tests were done. They dubbed the video off onto a CD and I just had to fill out some HIPA paperwork to get it. They actually offered to FedEx it right to Dr. Adams' office, so if that's what you end up doing, don't forget to bring the address with you. Keep asking questions, I'm just a little ways ahead of you.
I just realized, we are going to "overlap" in the hospital! Bob's in for the 8th and I come in on the 11th. Who knows, maybe we'll be walking the halls together. I'll be the one in the wild, hand-knit socks.
Boy, I know what you mean about getting everything together to send to Mt. Sinai. It took me a few days just to figure out where my test results were! The cardiologist's office sent me to the hospital, they sent me back to the doctor's office. Eventually, though, everything got to where it needed to go. Jose and Terry in Dr. Adams' office were really helpful, too. Now that you've made the decision to travel, that's one big decision made. And once you actually meet the doctor, I just know you will feel the confidence that so many others of us feel.
Selma in Woodstock