I am assuming you are the same Sean Murphy that signed my guest book today! Good Luck Tomorrow with your surgery!! I will include you in my prayers tonight! Thanks for the words of encouragement and hope to see you back on here asap!
Hi Sean. I'm at HUP... just here checking out the territory for you. Still don't have test results back, but everyone is acting as though surgery is still on for tomorrow.... so we'll see. Thanks for your notes in my guestbook. See you in a few days. -- Lee
I dreaded the surgery date for some 4-5 months - I can be OCD anyway ;-)
But now that I look back on it, I really don't know why i dreaded it so much (actually i do know why - because i saw my dad and mom both go through it, and yet they turned out fine). Looking back on it, I would actually go through it again (and i may have to someday) but with much less dread, if any. I hope you feel well afterwards in short order. Alot of it has to do with how you are about it in your mind, because Dr Bavaria *will* fix what is physically wrong, and the rest is up to you.
Best wishes for a successful and short stay in the hospital.
Hubert, Lancaster county
Hi Sean. It is an eerie feeling, being this close to the time, isn't it? My husband, Pete, & I were just talking about that this morning - that we can't believe it's nearly time. Jacki will no doubt have her hands full, but I'm sure she'll find the strength she needs & so will you. Take care, Joy
Yes, the big day is coming. Try to keep yourself as calm as you can be. Anxiety doesn't help. Have faith in God, your doctor and all those who care for you that you will be fine and you will be. Prayers from FL.
Sean, How are you holding up? I seem to be driving everyone crazy. I had the handy man over today and I had him moving furniture and
doing all sorts of crazy jobs....I want things
done before I go into the hospital. Do you
find that your nerves are working overtime? I even have a new kitchen floor going in on Monday???I'm a wild woman-nervous energy???I guess I just don't want to think about the surgery. If this keeps up I'll be broke by the 21st....Lee
Hi Sean....Both of us are getting close to our surgery....If I remember correctly yours is one
week from tomorrow and mine is one week from today...I'll look you up in the hospital, or
you come and visit me...My nerves have been doing a number on me, and my tear ducts have been working overtime...See you in HUP...Lee
Yes and I thought the shield was GREAT, especially when in the car it relieves pressure from the seat belt!! For the most part I've had no pain but there are days/nights that the incision is sensitive and the shield is great. Kyle in Montana
I did get a heart shield and did not use it. You might be surprised that the incission itself (if done by a skilled professional) is not painful or gets irritated much. Just don't go swimming for a few days after wards and you will be fine. I did make a water ballon slig shot out of it a few weeks ago and it did great for that application.
I just ran across your journal. You have a beautiful family.
Before my surgery on 1/28/10 I bought the incision shield. It's a pretty neat device, but I only used it once--on the ride home from the hospital. Never used it again. I donated it to the cardiac rehab program at my hospital. They had never seen one. I got along fine wearing soft T-shirts. Would have gone shirtless some, but it was a cool winter in Florida. My grandchildren were fascinated by my scar, so I don't think it would scare your kids. My advice is to pass on the shield.
Yes, yes, hug that pillow tight. Every cough! Every roll over! Every getting out of bed! It'll be your new best friend.
I had a mitral valve repair, so I thought going in that coumadin would not be necessary. But two days post-op I had a cardio-embolic stroke. So looks like I'm a lifer on blood thinner. It's not really too bad. A little hassle geting regulated at first. But I have no bleeding or bruising issues. I was in the hospital 13 days total. Was on track to go home in 3-4 days before the stroke. After the stroke, I had another surgical procedure to drain fluid off the heart and perform cardioversion to get my heart out of a-fib. The coumadin regulation probably added an extra couple days to my stay.
If I understand correctly, your surgery is today. My wife and I will be praying for you and your family. May you all sense God's peace, presence, healing, and comfort, as we did. We'll be eager to hear of your progress.
Forgot to mention, that I had a heart pillow, too. It was a nice size pillow, and I held it close and tight to my chest on the trip home after being released. It was great to have when I had to cough, too. I held my nose when I had to sneeze, until I felt I was healed enough to go through that. I still get a jab when I sneeze in the center of my chest, but not too bad. Don't use the pillow anymore now and I'm 6 weeks post-op.
I didn't bother with the shield Sean. I just wore very soft shirts, or even V-neck shirts and it was quite tolerable. I had skin glue to keep the incision closed for about 3 weeks, and that kept the incision from touching anything. Once the glue wore off, very soft shirts did the trick for me.
I had a median sternotomy and got along fine without the shield. I really did not use the heart pillow either, it is kind of small. A regular pillow does just fine and is softer.. I managed to go sixteen days after my surgery before I sneezed..
Good luck, sounds like you are ready. You are in good hands..
I am not familiar with the Heart Shield and obviously did not get one at Doylestown Heart Institute. But I did get a heart pillow and it never left my side. Coughing hurt pretty bad the first few days after surgery but a Physician Assistant explained to me that the harder I squeezed the pillow against my chest the less movement I would experience and the less discomfort. The harder I crushed that pillow against my chest the better off I was when I coughed. I didn't sneeze for weeks(thank goodness).
It was only after I asked for a heart pillow did I receive one at the Univ. of PA. While in the hospital I did not have much coughing after surgery but every time I would drink something whether taking pills or not I would get the hiccups. The pillow was great as it was the right size to hold against your chest. It was also great in case you have to sneeze.
I spoke with Jacki a few weeks ago, if either of you have any other questions do not hesitate to ask or call me.
I don't remember reading about the heart shield in Adam's book but I do have a book that's 3 years old. If it's what I've looked at online I don't know if I would bother. You are going to have enough to worry about without having to get the shield on especially if your chested is cracked open instead of having a minimally invasive procedure.
You should get a heart shaped pillow or something like that to use when you cough or get out of bed or do anything that requires movement. You will come to love that pillow because you will be coughing soon after you are extubated and it will hurt like h*@& if you don't use the pillow. After moving the first time you will not want anything near your chest. :)
If you have looked over my journal you can look at my entry about surgery (it's a two parter) and getting up the first time. Try to have your filter on when you get up! It gives a good idea of what to expect--but I don't want to scare you--I'm sure you're more of a manly man that I am and hopefully they will not put you on the heath/lung machine through your groin.
Let your health care team take care of you and do what they say and you'll be home before you know it.
Please keep us up to date. We are praying that everything goes great for you.
I had a valve repair in October and was in the hospital for 6 days. My INR from Coumadin/Warfarin use went through the roof so I was cut off until the numbers came to within a normal reading. My heart was relying on the portable pacemaker right up until two nights before I left to come home. I believe most of us here have averaged about 6-8 days in the hospital. I hope yours isn't too long.
As soon as possible after surgery you will be on your feet and gradually will increase that time several times a day. The sooner you get walking, coughing and get the tubes out, the sooner you leave.
First, I would like to tell you what a beautiful family you have. Then, in answer to your question about the length of stay in the hospital, they told my 19 year old son who had similar surgery, that the usual stay was approximately 7 days. His stay was a mere 3 days which made this already over protective and worried mother even more anxious. He is progressing well, however, dispite my fears. He had Aortic stenosis discovered at birth and finally needed to have the repair. I'm sure your stay will depend on a lot of other variables, specific to your surgery. My son, who is VERY active, decided to go with the tissue valve because of the danger from being injured while on the blood thinners. I'm sure your surgery will go wonderfully and your hospital stay will be the exact amount of days you need for your situation. Ironically, your surgical date is on my son, Danny's, 20th birthday, who just had his surgery on July 1rst. Good luck to you and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Mary
It seems there is quite a range in the time required in the hospital. I had a robotic repair of my mitral valve on a Thur and was discharged on Sun morning. I had it done at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. I had to stay in a hotel the day of discharge and be seen by my surgeon the next morning before traveling home home to Sioux Falls SD which was about 250 miles.
Hope all goes well for you. I'll be watching for updates..
Mary Ann Marko, Sioux Falls SD
Your total stay in the hospital should not be that long. I had surgery on Friday morning and was discharged on Wednesday morning--a total of 5 days after having been told to expect one week. I have known some people to only stay 3 days and some to stay 3 weeks. It depends on the patient and the extent of the work that must be done to the heart and the extent of damage (ex. enlargement, etc.) to the heart, if any.
Of course, it also depends on the method of surgery. My surgery was minimally invasive so I didn't have to worry about being cracked open. Sometimes those patients take a little longer to be discharged.
The bottom line . . . everyone is different and every medical center is different. When they think you are ready to go home they will tell you that it's time.
Sometimes I wish I had stayed one more day and other times I'm glad I got my golden ticket and cashed it in!
I have a Bovine Aorta valve and I was out after four days. I was walking the night of my surgery day, not far and not fast but I was up. Moving around is the best thing for you, it gets all the systems flowing again. I also worked the breathe meter( I forget the correct name) heavy the first night, and got allot of my lung capacity back quickly.
If all goes extremely well you can likely count on 4 or 5 days in the hospital after the surgery. If you have a post op complication a day or two longer. As Amanda said, the keys is to let them cahallenge you to get up and walk. The sooner you get up and the more you push yourself to get up and about, the sooner you will get out of the hospital.
My experience was also like Amanda's, in that I was lucid from the moment they woke me up in ICU. I almost immediately started doing math problems and remebering phone numbers in my mind to comfort myself thet at least my mind worked.
I agree with Amanda that the entire experience was not as bad as I had anticipated. You are doing the right thing by reading Adam's book, and educating yourself on what is going to happen during your week at the hospital. It helped me alot.
If you have read enough journals on here, you have also found that many (most) of us dealt with an assortment of post op challenges. Don't fret if you have something to deal with, trust me what ever it might be, your doctors have dealt with it before and will get you through it.
Best wishes for you and your family as you prepare.
I had surgery on the 10th of June and I was in the hospital for 4 days. I agree with Diana, it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Unlike Diana, I remember everything from the time I woke up. They wanted me lucid and walking. That really was the key for me, once you start walking, you are close to escaping the hospital.
The biggest help to me was listening to guided imagery on my ipod. I started to kind of freak about 5 days before my surgery so luckily I found a CD at a place called "Soothe Your Soul". The lady helped me find a CD called Guided Imagery for Surgery. I listened to it twice a day for 4 days and it made all the difference. I was calm, relaxed, and super focused. I attribute my positive surgical experience and recovery to being positive and calm going in to the OR. Fran Z. mentioned this to me and it was the best advice. I think Cleveland Clinic automatically sends these CD's out to their patients 6 weeks prior to surgery.
Good luck and I'll be watching your progress. You're in my prayers and I know you'll do great.
Boy talk about small world. I lived in Levittown for 18 years before moving to Central Pennsylvania in 2000.
I had surgery June 2, and I am doing really well. I had a bovine aortic valve and I was in the hospital 6 days. They can regulate you at home with the coumadin, that is what they are doing with me. I have nurses visit me twice a week and do my PT INR to check to see what my levels are. What hospital is doing your procedure. Really, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. Some discomfort, but not unbearable. There was 3 days after surgery that I do not remember. And even the 4th day is just a blur. My fiance' told me that my brother called on Saturday on the phone, and I sorta remember talking to him, but I can't remember the whole conversation. If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me.
Good luck, Diana
That was some good news from your doctor reassuring you things were okay. We can get ourselves worked up fairly easily when reports come back like that. It would have been better that nothing was said - you have enough on your mind. Good luck as you enter your week before surgery. Are you all ready to go?
Good news that your surgery won't be delayed, Sean. Hang in there & breathe, breathe, breathe. Maybe sounds a little too simple, but just taking a moment to focus on nothing but breathing in & breathing out a few times helps calm me down. Before you know it, the 22nd will be here. Take care, Joy Vera
Good Morning Sean
Good news. When your mind is set on the 22, the thought of anything delaying it is daunting. If any of the kids get colds you'll have to try to stay away and not catch it. Do they require you to have dental clearance prior to surgery? Several of us did. It seems procedures vary from hospital to hospital. Stay calm and enjoy your weekend.
Hang in there, I got allot of my specific post surgery info from the night nurse. She would explain to me what all the elevated 'levels" meant and which one's were typical due to the procedure. It was all common type stuff but the not knowing up to the night she would explain it was frustrating.
Hi Sean. Boy, do I ever agree about being ready to have this over with. That's the point I'm at right now too. I suspect, though, that it's going to be here before we know it. We'll be fine & can read each other's journals afterward. Sending positive thoughts your way - Joy Vera
I just finished writing in Joy's journal that you cannot be too prepared for this surgery. The more you read the other journals and become more knowledgeable, the more it should help you feel confident in what you are facing. As well, the recovery process and how you handle it is very important. Will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Staying cool, checking off your prep list--all good things. Obviously the more you can do ahead of time the less stress afterwards. It obviously makes the time go by. This time in August you will be well on your way to recovery and have this all behind you. Stay calm and positive, attitude is everything.
Hang in there, I know alot is being put on the family, but in the long run it will be worth it. We are praying for a smooth surgery and recovery. Don't ever forget that all your friends are here, just ask and we will be happy to help in any way!
Hi Sean, I read your journal today, and thought that I would get in contact with you.....I will
be having my surgery on 7/21/10--same hospital HUP and same surgeon also same diagnosis.....I
can't seem to figure out how to get my own Journal started, but hope to be on site soon...you can e-mail me at email@example.com,or if you wish phone me at
856-786-1378. Regards to you and your family.
The waiting is the worst Iam still waiting for a date for my op.Like you my energy level is on a down hill slop,I feel I want to do so much but cant.I want to wish you all the best on the op,you have traveled down one road, but have another one to travel .But in the end it will be all worth while.
May GOD look after you and God bless.My thoughs and prayers will be with you.
Hi Sean & Jacki. Just wanted to let you know that I'll be having my surgery about the same time as Sean (I'm 7/21) & wish you the best with yours. I feel sure we will all be fine & have some encouraging words to say to others on the other end of this. That's my plan at least. This site & Adam's book has helped me more than I can say. I feel I know what I'm getting into & the support of others here is just the best.
Jacki - take care of yourself. You're going through this too so don't expect too much of yourself.
Hi Sean - I have surgery scheduled for 7/20 at Christiana Hospital in DE (mitral valve replacement). I think I am getting a bit calmer as the time draws nearer... Staying busy also helps. I was diagnosed Feb. 22, 2010 and have had plenty of time to freak out about the need for OHS. I believe Joy V. is scheduled for surgery on 7/21, so the 3 of us will be going through recovery together :)