Thanks for stopping by and signing my guestbook. I'll be following your recovery since I'll basically be having the same surgery as you. And like you, I'm in good health considering. So, hearing your story sure has lifted my spirits a bit. Its all so scary to me, but the main thing is waking up with the tube down my throat, but sounds like it really wasn't a big thing for you. So, hoping I luck out as well. After that, it will be a piece of cake and a walk in the park, so to speak.
Hi Sandy- Just read some of your journal entries about the recuperation tiredness. I'm four weeks out from my heart surgery (mitral valve and bicuspid valve repair with MAZE) and I'm still a little unsatisfied with my progress. I thought it would be a day-to-day thing with noticeable progress seen each and every day. But I've come to believe it more of a week-to-week thing, where if I look back over the course of the week it appears I'm better than the previous week. But there have certainly been days that were worse than others. I think we're all pretty much experiencing similar things.
Keep up the walking...probably the best thing you can be doing. I haven't had a cup of coffee in over four months. I just thought it wasn't needed given my heart condition. I had some tachycardia prior to surgery that needed medical attention, and the caffeine (along with some other mitigating factors) was something that I could control and chose to control.
Hi Sandy just joined this website ,I am due for a valve replacement in a few month and it great to talk to someone who has gone through it so recently.I will be following your progress.One thing I have noticed is that recovery in not a walk in the park as you are lead to believe.Wishing you all the best on your road to recovery.Regards Alan.
Careful walking on that incline--From my own recent experience I can tell you that it's a good idea to take hills nice and slow and get gradually used to them. The block I live on is on an incline, not too steep, but the first few times I walked to the corner and back after my valve surgery my pounding heart told me in no uncertain terms that I'd overdone it. In the early days post-surgery it is so easy to overdo things and it can hit you very suddenly.
In a few weeks the "good days" will greatly outnumber the not so good days, and you will be feeling great!
Go easy on yourself, your surgery was just a few days ago!! Agree with Capt'n Bill, recovery isn't what I thought it would be but my setbacks have been due to fluid in my lung cavities. Just saw my cardio and he says he hears some fluid in both lungs. Will take a chest xray in a couple of weeks and wait and see. May have to have more drained. Am told my recovery will be a good 6 months--egad!!! So, pace yourself, don't overdo, everyone says they pay for it the next day. I drink 1/2 cup of coffee each morning and no problem. Must have been really scary for you to have your heart racing like that. Was coffee a problem for you prior to surgery? Green tea is healthier and if you drink it on a regular basis it will all be factored in when you INR gets checked. It's usually when you don't consume something (broccoli, etc) and then have a few platefulls that your body reacts.Wishing you a steady recovery and am sure they told you in the hospital that some days will be better than others, so be kind to yourself.
My bigest surprise after leaving Cleveland was that Recovery was (is) way harder then they lead me to belive. I did not read the fine print. Each day does get better than the last, sometimes you slip back a few a days but 300 feet will turn into 3000' feet soon. Im almost 6 weeks in post op, starting Rehab next week, fought depression, got off all those nasty pain drugs, still have some fluid issues (rehab will fix) and each day is a blessing! Now where is my heart pillow so I can cough??
I'm surprised your doc(s) didn't mention caffeine s/b a no-no. Definitely a good idea to add to discussion list.
Be kind to yourself and Nancie and try to relax your expectations. I know it's easy for me to say w/o having been through what you have, but go with the flow. Where do you have to go in such a hurry, for goodness's sake?! ;-) I know you're used to an active lifestyle, and it will come, but in the meantime, give your body the TLC it deserves.
Yes, just "being" can be exhausting in those initial recovery weeks but believe me, it eventually does get better but not usually by leaps and bounds - we're talking baby steps. I went on decaf coffee and tea years ago because the caffine made my heart race. Check out the green tea you are drinking because some green tea isn't Coumadin/Warfarin friendly and offhand, I can't remember which but I remember seeing green tea on the list.
Happy homecoming! Now you can really get the rest and relaxation you need to heal from your surgery. I'm now 3 months post-op mitral valve replacement surgery and I still hug my heart pillow occasionally, just because it's a comfort. It also reminds me that I'm so lucky to be here (as if I need reminding!). Even though I can now cough and sneeze without feeling like I'm coming apart at the seams, I still like having that pillow around.
Hope you're feeling good, and remember to take it nice and easy.
Glad to hear you are doing well. Isn't is amazing how little you do can zap you! Don't feel bad about the pillow, I am attached to mine as well, but I had a way out, my 4yr old daughter, Sydney, has wanted it since day one. So this morning I gave it up! But use it until you don't need it, no matter how long it takes. I had a minimally invasive surgery, so they only made a 3-4" incision on my right side, no zipper, but the pillow was still a blessing. Keep up the good work!
Happy that you're home safe and sound. There's no pl;ace like home!
I was dreading my trip home from the CC (in May) because changing planes makes for a long trip and we have to fly commuter planes which can mean steps up and down. Was VERY relieved to learn Continental flies direct from Cleveland and always uses the skybridge at our airport.
Yes the pillow is must. I also love that fact that we can heal is the summer sun. My last one 15 years ago was in the winter months and couldn't get out of the house much. I am on week 2 and feeling great. Good to hear you are also doing fine. It's a nice break to sit down and read some journals. typing and mousing hurts after awhile but I can always come back when the chest feels better. Have a great life...
Good to hear you are home safe and mostly sound. I just can't imagine taking that kind of a trip after the surgery so I'm complimenting you on being made of good stuff! I didn't get a heart pillow so was using a decorative pillow from our bed and I carried that for quite a while. Eventually I carried it in a tote bag just to have on hand and I used it in the car for ages, even after I started to drive. I'm short so sit close to the steering wheel so thought it would be a little added protection just in case.
How wonderful you arrived to such abundance. It'll be helpful to Nancie as well as I'm sure she is equally exhausted.
Don't sneeze without your pillow. I can tell it hurts......Its even wores when you know a sneeze is comming and your pillow is across the room! I am 5 weeks into recovery and think I will have my pillow another five or six years.
So glad you got home safe, but not as "sound". We just have to realize we need to really listen to our bodies. I remember them telling me at the CC to not wait too long as it's harder to deal with the pain once it grabs hold.Deanna Scripture was the NP that gave me all my discharge instructions and scripts. Who did you have. Had a csript for Vicodan (now gone0 my cardio gave me a script for Tyenol/codeine which I take 1 or 2 a day. Today have a lot of tenderness where they drew off the fluid yesterday. Just came in from my 20 minutes of vitamin D. Now that you're home, you will recover faster and maybe your wife can get more of a rest. Thank God we have loving spouses, family and friends, makes all the difference. Thanks for your kind words to me.
Hope you're both home and continuing on the path to a complete recovery... I include you Nancie because this is so much about you too.... Sometimes "caretakers" don't get the credit they've earned and continue to deserve. You're such a terrific couple and we wish you many many years of good health and happiness... Now get into bed with Mesa and wallow in the joy of being home... There's no place like it.
Will be good to sleep in your own bed with Mesa at your side.
Remember, you had major surgery, take the time to heal and take the pain meds. There are no awards for using your strength to fight the pain instead of healing. Do it the Italian way, a siesta in the afternoon and a little glass of red wine in the evening.
Will give you kids a bit of time to chill. Will call on Sunday as that is my day to make 30 some pints of pasta sauce. When you feel up to snuff we will have you for dinner and you can give it the taste test.
Hope you have an uneventful trip tomorrow. Never did find out if you're on a non stop flight from Hopkins? Somehow don't think so, but hope you do. Take advantage of the wheelchair, so much easier and you'll have an easier time getting through security. Post when you get home and settled. By the way, are you using your spirometer a few times a day? Don't think there's a direct link between its' use and collecting pleural fluid as I have. I've used it 2-3 times a day faithfully since discharge, am now using it 5-6 times a day. Back as outpatient tomorrow for left lung cavity to be drained!!
I pray this is the last of it.Have enjoyed meeting you on the HVJ and look forward to your excellent progress reports.
Your recovery continues on a good steady path towards that golf you are anxious to play. Like you said, if you feel the pain and if that causes you to not work as hard then take some meds and get busy. Sounds as if you are doing everything right. Hi to Nancy whom I sure is anxious to have you back in full form quickly as well. A pet can really help towards motivation. It certainly has been working for Beverly.
Hey Sandy! Glad to hear you are doing great! Every little bit you do helps it get better faster. Sorry to hear about Jordan. Dogs are wonderful personal trainers! Glad to hear you're working up a new partner. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your encouraging note to me Sandy. Am so glad you got to get out in the sunshine today. That has to boost your morale and well being. What are you taking for pain? You're right about not being too brave. As they may have told you in the hospital you need to stay ahead of the pain or the meds aren't as effective. I now have a script for Tylenol w/codeine. The only discomfort I have is in my back between my shoulder blades and that comes on about 5-6pm after all day with no meds. Funny enough, if I sit up straight it doesn't bother me it's when I lean back in a recliner of lie in bed. This too wiil pass. Continue to do well.
Guess I spelled Ambien wrong, that's not unusal for me.
Done with the Clinic for now, although in the information they released me with was a one year follow up with Dr. Braizline (?) at the Clinic.
I just called my primary care for an appointment next week to only find out he is on vacation for a month. I will see another Dr. at that clinic. I feel a strong desire not to be to far away from professional attention.
Thanks for the input on the Ambien. Will see my cardio this afternoon and discuss it with him, along with some other questions. Will see how it all goes. My progress is slow, slower than I had hoped going into this, but have had long standing heart problems and an enlarged heart, so all things in time.Thank God I have a wonderful husband who does so much for me and a daughter who lives an hour away and came and thoroughly cleaned 3 bathrooms for me yesterday! Glad the weather has cleared and you can walk outside. Will you go back to the CC and a visit with our wonderful "plumber" before flying home?
Am so glad you're doing so well. All systems go, no backsliding. My cardiologist gave me a script for Ambien which I filled but have yet to take one. After reading all the bizarre possible side effects (sleep talking, sleep walking, sleep driving, sleep eating, sleep sex,etc.) have been nervous about taking it but could really use a good night's sleep. I waken every 2 hours or so and stay awake before falling back to sleep again. I have an adjustable bed so am sleeping on my back, fairly well elevated. Are you propped up on pillows or are you able to sleep flat? Everyone says that puts too much tension on your incision. Well, have a great day and hope spring is coming to OH.
Glad to hear you made it through the surgery with flying colors. I have been following your journal with great interest as I will be having surgery at the CC by Dr. Gillinov on June 21 to repair my Mitral Valve. Best wishes for a continued complete recovery.
Wow! SO glad you are dong so amazingly well. You certainly didn't need our advice because you are way ahead of the curve. You must be elated by all of this. When will you be home?
Shelley and Herb
Wow, they released you already!! Didn't you behave??? Just for the record, I am on Medicare and that plus my supplemental insurance was accepted by the CC. Of course, there is the expense of travel, hotel, etc. But wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else and no other surgeon than Dr Gillinov. he also told me the "plumbing story", so you see how humble he is. Enjoy the next few days with family before traveling home. Keep posting when you are able. So glad it all worked out so well for you Sandy, and know you are glad to have it all behind you now.
Good Morning Sandy
You need to update your journal so that others who have been following you will know you're doing fine (just a suggestion). Did you have any idea your aortic was smaller than normal going in to surgery? He (Dr. G) told me it is just a plumbing job, but what a plumbing job!! Congrats on the smaller incision, recovery should be easier. If the stairs are too difficult at your brother's home is there a downstairs recliner you could sleep in? Just a thought. But, if you can climb stairs 4 days after surgery, you are amazing. Keep up the good work.*ost again soon with how your recovery is going.
Good morning, In reading a previous message from Alan, I see your surgery went well. Have been on pins and needles praying all went well for you. I will relax now, but continue to pray for healing. Will be curious to get your impression of CC and Dr Gillinov.
Wake up now, it's all over and you have a great little valve that will keep you going forever - or at least until you get back to train this dog not to eat everything in sight. Now it's Nancy's turn to have several glasses of wine and relaxation. Just don't forget to cough! Kathy and Alan