Hi Sean....I'm Home !!!!! I was in the nursing,
rehab for 2 weeks...When I left I wanted a cheese steak, so I must be getting better....
I think of you everyday, and wonder how you are
doing. You have a wonderful wife and Mother...
When I can drive again, and feel strong, I hope
to visit you....When is your appointment with
the rock star-Dr B? Stay Well, and give my love
to Jacki and Mary....Lee
Hi Sean - great report from your doctor! I can relate to the stiffness in the AM. That's still the case for me too but it's better than it was when I first got home. We're getting better. Can't ask any more than that. Take care, Joy
Don't be too concerned about your INR. I've been on it for over 8 weeks now and its still not at the level it should be. By the time it is, I'll be off of it. Its not uncommon for it to take a while to regulate it. So, just relax and it will be fine. The girl at the coumadin clinic told me the more active I get, the less effective the coumadin will be because it gets pushed out of your system. She told me not to worry about it tho, she will take care of it on her end, and I continue to do my thing. So, that's what I do. Sounds like your improving each day, and that's wonderful. It only gets better and better.
Hang in there. It sounds like progress is being made, and I am sure once you get you Coumidin under control it will be a relief mentally as well. Make sure you keep up your walking and moving about Sean. That will really speed up the healing process and get your body in better shape more quickly. If the heat is an issue, head to an indoor mall.
Ugh! I'm having such a tussle with my INR numbers. I was 1.7 when I exited the hospital but that was after I admitted I was eating all the greens in my hospital meals and didn't hear about the vit K thing until my third day post-surgery. I quit with the greens and my number was up to 2.6 one week out. Yaaay! Then the weeks following that my numbers were 1.6, 1.0, upped dosage, 1.3, 1.6, upped dosage. I'm 8 weeks post-surgery and going in for a test on Monday. I really hope I get the numbers I need (between 2.0 - 3.0). I'm supposed to be on blood-thinners for around 2 months post-surgery because I got a repair but the way things are going, it might be a few months longer. Apparently people get it down and figure out what works for them, I'm apparently not one of those people...yet.
Good luck to you. I feel your pain. Oh, and I wanted to let you know, I also had brutal back pain, too. It was below my right shoulder blade and hurt worse than my sternum. The doc explained, in front of my friends and they still talk about it, that when they opened me up, the ribs in my back acted like a hinge of a door. That got some groans out of my visitors. I'm 8 weeks out and feeling so much better. Still feeling it in my chest but nothing too bad.
Hang in there, both of you :)
Guess you could say I'm some what of a coumadin expert as I've been taking it for 15 years. I do recall that the first several weeks I took it, there wasn't too much regularity about it (that was in the days when it was done by veni puncture!!). It finally settled down and have been maintained on a total of 7 mgs a week! Now, after all this time, my numbers are coming in at 1.6-1.7 with no change in diet. I have my own machine and test at home weekly so that is convenient. Don't let this frustrate you, as long as they adjust your dosage appropriately you'll be fine.
Hang in there, Sean. Mom's blood pressure has been trending low as well so she is watching her blood pressure really carefully before taking any meds that may lower it further. She says it's all one big chemistry experiment. Give my best to Jacki.
You say you are worried that everything is so good. Are you expecting the other shoe to drop? I hope not. Glad you got your medication dose. lowered. Be positive.I took my pain pill at night for several weeks due to pain in my upper back. Never needed it during the day but it did help me to sleep at night. Do what ever you can to be comfortable. Better days ahead.
Hi Sean. I've found that, when lying down, it helps to place some sort of support under my knees to encourage my back to relax. Fairly firm pillows, rolled up blankets or towels, something like that. Your knees are in a bent position, but still able to relax against the support, which can relieve tension in the low back. I hope you are feeling better soon. Take care, Joy
It takes time for the INR levels to get where they need to be. My INR levels have been all over the place from 1.1 to 3.5 when I left the hospital and a low of 1.8 just about 3 weeks ago. Last week it was finally in the safe range of 2.5. We got that only by taking 7.5 mg of coumadin three times a week and 5 mg the rest of the week. I go in just a couple of hours to see the doc and make sure that my at-home meter is working correctly so hopefully I'm still in the good range.
Your diet plays a HUGE part in the final number. Too much protein, your number goes crazy, etc. There is a genetic test the docs can do but it will only show if you need a low, medium or high dose of coumadin.
Its not unusual for your INR levels to be low. I'm 9 weeks out from surgery and my INR levels still aren't right. Last week they were 1.9, and have been that for 3 weeks now and they keep increasing the Coumadin. They told me that sometimes they don't ever get it where its suppose to be, just one of those things. By the time they get it where its suppose to be, I'll be coming off of it, around Sept. 8th.
Sounds like your in one of your lows of recovery. You'll hit a few of them before things begin to turn around. All part of the healing process. Most of my days are all good now, unless I overdo, and then my body reminds me that it was only 9 weeks ago that I had surgery. But, I'm feeling stronger each and every day. Its a beautiful thing! Hang in there, Sean, you'll get to that point, too, very soon.
Don't be discouraged about the INR, it takes a bit of frequent adjusting in the beginning. Hope they told you that if you eat greens to be consistent in eating them (don't avoid for a week and then binge for a week), it will affect your INR.After 15 years on coumadin and on basically the same dose, my INR is dropping and I need to take more coumadin, so, who knows. keep healing and moving. Have you tried moist heat on the sore back?
Hello Sean, I'm happy your doing fine, I hope to be joining that club soon - I will be going with a cow valve - I told my wife someday I will be able to give a good qt of cream she said ha ha - How great was that day u saw your kids for the first time after surgery? - I so look forward to that day - Aug 6th is my day for surgery - Thank you & Good luck.
I was glad to hear that all is going well with you. I bet the kids were glad to see you. You looked wonderful the day you left the hospital, and I was so happy that you came by the 12th floor to see me. I started doing rehab and find it very exausting. On Saturday I had 10 visitors, then had rehab. I was so tired last night that I had problems staying awake--I slept 12 hours!!!!
Hi Sean & Jacki. Just wanted to say hello and I'm so glad to read that Sean is doing well. I was delighted to hear that you and Mom were able to meet in person on the day you were discharged!!!! :) :) :) She asked about you every day she was in the hospital. Jacki & Mary's visits were so appreciated. What a lovely family you are. We feel blessed to know you all. Mom is being released today and will head to a rehab center for a few weeks til she's strong enough to head home. She should have internet access at the rehab, so she'll probably be in touch with you herself. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way for your continued recovery. -- Colleen (Lee McAvinia's daughter). :)
Welcome home!! Isn't it great to be back home again?! Thank God for your progress! It is reflective to be one week post-op. This week marks 6 months for me; time has flown by. I would encourage you not to expect every day to be better than the one before it, because most recoveries have their share of ups and downs, but to look a the overall gradual climb! At 6 months, my life is essential the way it was--I drink a lot less caffeine and take a lot more meds now. But, except for hard core endurance exercise stamina, I'm doing everything as before. You'll get there soon too. Keep on moving up!
Hi Sean. I'm starting my 4th full day home & can honestly say I've felt better & better each day. The change is slight, but I do see improvement. If you have a bad day or few hours, just know that there will be better ones coming. Glad you're home & I'm sure your family is too. Take care, Joy
So glad to hear that you are now home. Nothing beats sleeping in your own bed--if you can sleep and get comfortable. The first night home I slept on our chaise. The next night we rolled up blankets to prop me up and I actually slept decent in my bed. We had a memory foam pillow that we were not using and combining that with the blankets and my regular pillow that is how I slept for about two weeks.
My lower back and butt hurt after I got home and the only thing we can figure out is that it was from sitting up in the bed/chair at the hospital so much it put pressure on that area. Took about 2-3 weeks for that to clear up.
In a couple of weeks you will look back and all of the pain and discomfort will be a distant memory--until you sneeze or cough!
Good Morning Sean
Now you will start to feel better in your own home. Am sure your children are happy to see Daddy. When I was in the Cleveland Clinic in March, I got to meet Captain Bill who had his valve surgery the day before. As you did with Lee, it was great to connect. Use your spirometer, walk for several minutes a few times a day and rest when you're fatigued. You'll do well. best wishes from FL.
So glad to hear that your home. Its a great feeling, isn't it? Just remember to take it slow, no matter how good you feel. I had visiting nurses, too, and they came for about 6 weeks until the surgeon released me and allowed me to drive again. In the beginning they came twice a week.
Yep, the hot and cold will be with you for a little while, but it does go away. I didn't have the neck or back pain, but did experience a good amount of discomfort along my chest, like a band was on it. But, that went away, too. The first couple of weeks home, you'll have ups and downs. Its all part of the process. By the time the surgeon released me at 6 weeks, seems to be when I reached my peak and then its been nothing but good since, and getting each and every day. I'm still amazed how wonderful I feel.
Welcome home, Diana
I'm so glad to hear that you are back home. Everything should hopefully get better and better. The hot and cold "malarial" feeling i know well. I would wake up with my pillow soaked. Then at times I'd be real cold. the visiting nurse told me that since the circulation was so disrupted (with the cardio by-pass machine), that the body is simply readjusting to normal circulation and that it will slowly go away. i forget how long it took, but it does go away.
The soreness at the shoulder blades or neck is from when you were opened up with the retractors for the 4-4.5 hours (same time span I was). It is very normal to feel such aches and pains. It too will slowly go away. I found that if my mind was distracted by other things, I wouldn't usually feel it, but when lying down or just being on my own, it would seem to be there. but it does go away.
Welcome home and enjoy your family!
Hubert, Lancaster county
Hi Jacki & Sean - glad to hear the tubes are out. That was a happy day for me. I've had some chills & sweating too, but actually have found it harder to get comfortable in my own bed than in those at the hospital. Go figure. Hang in there. We'll get better. Joy
My son had a terrible time with chills and sweating the whole time he was in the hospital after his surgery, too. In fact, the first time we were allowed in after surgery his whole body was twitching and scared me to death. In a note of encouragement to you, today is four weeks after his surgery and last night he was shooting his basket ball for hours in our back yard. I e-mailed his surgeon to make sure this was safe and she said it was. I think us caregivers are the ones who will have the heart attacks. Hang in there better days are coming soon. Mary
Glad to hear that Sean is doing as well as he is at the point in the process. When I was in the hospital I too had the hot flashes and the cold chills. I think it is due to the pain medication.
I would pass out after getting the medication and then have crazy dreams (ex. fighting people, etc) and wake up soaking wet from sweat and then get just as cold as could be. Some of my dreams seemed so real that I scared my wife one day by throwing punches while I was knocked out and holding on the sheets as hard as I could because I thought that I was falling! I think they had to change my sheets one day because they were so wet. Once I got home and got off the pain medication no more crazy dreams or excessive sweating or cold chills.
Hope you continue to improve and get home before too long.
Hi Sean and Jacki
Glad there's walking going on. Up and moving is the best thing. Every day will get better. You just have to realize how serious valve surgery is but the outcome is so worth it. Jacki hope you are trying to get some good rest. Prayers continue from FL.
Hi Sean and Jacki,
I experienced the hot flashes and chills, too. It stayed with me for about a month. I actually will still get them from time to time. It is nothing unusual. I even ran a low grade fever for about 2 weeks after surgery. Not a big deal, maybe 99.2, 99.4. That evidentually went away, too. There are a lot of ups and downs you both will experience the first couple of weeks. to maybe a month. But, it does get better, I promise.
Hang in there, those first few days after surgery have ups and downs. After my own heart valve surgery (mitral valve replacement in Jan. this year) my blood pressure kept going way down after leaving the ICU. I've read the experiences of lots of other people on this site and the low blood pressure post-surgery seems to be fairly common. Mine resolved itself in a few days. I know how scary it is to hear those low numbers, though.
Stay strong, take care of yourself, and you and Sean will get through this. Glad to hear his surgery went well.
I really feel for you since it was my 19 year old son that had the surgery. It is hard to be the one seeing our loved one go through this surgery and recovery. Of course, we just want everything to be "perfect" before, during and after surgery. However, nothing is ever perfect or standard when dealing with different individuals and their reaction to surgery and medications etc. My son, who incidentally was sent home ONLY 3 days after surgery, was having problems with an irregular heart beat in ICU (scared me to death) and than another problem showed up on his Echo before sending him home. All of it resolved itself but I understand your concern. Try not to worry so much (If your a better person than me) because most times the doctors figure out the problem and resolve it without much concern. I'm praying for Sean's quick recovery and your sanity. Hang in there (my sister's name is Jackie, too) better days are coming. Sincerely Mary
Keep yourself rested as much as possible. Let the doctors worry about Sean because they have seen it all before and know exactly what to do. Try and keep calm which in turn will help calm Sean. I'm glad the surgery is over.
He is where he needs to be, they have seen it all before and things just take time to settle down. I had an allergic reaction to the morphine the evening after surgery. The codine based stuff made me too loopy to my liking, so I just tuffed it out after the second night with the motrin. After another day I had worked out my pain medication schedule to the minute.
Hang in there,
Several of us had to deal with low blood pressure post-surgery. My bp dropped to 80/50, possibly lower, and the morphine was the cause. It has happened before so the nurses stopped the morphine. Ugh!! Anyway, they have seen it before and will take great care of Sean and get him through this. Hang in there, girl!
The time it took for surgery, the one day in surgical ICU and then being up and walking around (chest tubes and all) sounds the exact same as my time at HUP. Is Sean on the 10th floor or 12th floor? They had so many cases I was up in the 12th floor.
Sounds like he is experiencing the normal early recuperation process. Walking is the best thing and he will find that the little thing you blow into will help alot in regards to the chest tubes getting pulled. Use it every hour, even if he doesn't make it rise much at first. I hope is not being shy about pain medication. I think it is absolutely essential to have it especially early on so one can concentrate on other things than any potential pain.
Glad to hear he is recovering - the dread is over!
Glad to hear that your surgery went well. Sorry to hear about your day delay. My son's surgery was rescheduled two times and we know how difficult that is on the nerves. Glad to hear your up and walking around. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. Mary
hi sean with a name like yours you must be irish or have irish roots so here a short note from ireland ...hope all went keeping you and your family in my prayers i know how you all feel i am waiting for a surgery date for ross procedure for my 2 year old son.looking at your photos you have a lovely family be strong and try to recover fast for them. good luck milissa