Hello Sheila! I am so glad you have had the wonderful times with family and friends before your surgery. Now you can enjoy the memories as you look at the pictures while recuperating. See what prayers will do for you? God hears them and answers. What a joy and relief to know you have such peace. The Lord has all of this in his hands and you will be doing more of those kinds of memory makers again soon. Thank you for allowing us to take this journey with you through your journaling. Will keep you in my prayers. Love you much! xoxoxo Adrianne
wonderful that you have come to peace with your sucessful replacement...Wonderful that you are with family, friends, and those you love. So Happy for you that you are enjoying the week before the surgery...and thanks for keeping us updated....xxooxx kit
I am still trying to decide what to wear during my first few weeks of recovery. Tank tops are really easy but you will need to have an equal number of button up tops. My. Movement is not restricted by the surgery but you may have a different experience. Lose sundresses are also really great because you do not have to pull up - down when going go the bathroom.
One of the best items io vested in was a recommendation by Adam Pick- he mentioned renting a lift-chair which really helps me with the pain of getting up and downright now.
I found a hospital equipment rental site ontbe web . They had affiliate in NYC and I was able to rent for one month which is all need.
I can sleep in the chair also and there is a leg lift which helps with circulation especially with the post op water retention which just happened and is de reading daily.
Like you I cherish my independence and anything I can suggest to help w the post op I will send to you ASAP.
Relaxation was key to my rather remarkable ICU recovery. The breathig tub es came out w such ease that the nurse was stunned. The anesteiologist thought it was related to me having my I-touch playing relaxation and healig tapes during the entire surgery and recovery before the ICU.
Stay calm and try listening to relaxation tapes 2x,s a day up to the day of surgery.
Hey Sheila... I wear loose comfy tees and comfy tanks with cotton capris. It sounds like you have a good plan. Once you get home, you will need help with shirts. I was concerned about his issue too but button shirts weren't necessary. You can move your arms just not high over your head.
Take Care and Hang in There!
It is hard to wait...I remember.
One thing to remember is everyone's recovery is different and you might need to be patient at times as I am learning.
Hi Sheila. I am a band director. I thought about your question. It's a little sore to conduct, but I'm 2 1/2 weeks out post op. I'm hoping things will improve over this month. :) recovery has been fast for me, with exception of coming down with C-Diff! Grrr!!!! I'm able to handle bumps in the road, when my husband hits them. Sneezing is the only really painful thing for me.
I will be thinking about you! Keep busy, that's what helped me the most going into it all. My house was soooo clean!!!! :)
Last night, over a basket of fries, a nurse friend of mine told us, in way too much detail, about sitting in on a couple of aortic valve replacements. Bottom line is you'll do fine and your recovery will go better than you expect. Love, Jamie
Don't you wish you could jump forward in time about 60 days, and have all these fears behind you? I sure do. We will both make it through because there is no other choice but to be successful. I can't wait to look back at these fearful times and laugh about them!
I had my aortic valve replaced last July 16 at Cleveland Clinic. YES -you will notice the difference in how you feel!
I look back at the way I was before surgery and am amazed at the improvement. You might want to look up my journal. I am in Greece right now - having just returned from two weeks of sailing. Would be happy to answer any questions when I get back to a full size keyboard!
I actually just read your whole story.I cannot believe you just went camping..you are going to do GREAT.and you have faith.the best medicine. I think Tony did best the first time because he was in such good shape. We had been watching his valve since he was 2 years old .Most of his pain came as they were taking him off the resperator and they were adjusting his meds.Once adjusted he slept thru the pain.He didnt have rehab,it wasnt an option,so, he just hung out at our house when his wife worked and walked every day.He has so much faith he kept our spirits up. Im sorry we couldnt have all hooked up sooner.He was so sick he was comfortable trying to sleep only when everyone else was awake. Im going to hook Larry up with the journals before he goes in for his surgery.Ill keep looking in on you.Tonys grandmother lives in AppleValley. You keep trusting and soon you will be telling everyone how great you are feeling. God Bless
Sheila, I'm so glad that this website is available to you to receive support from others who have gone where you are going. And I'm also glad that it gives those of us who care about you information into how you are doing along the way. It's a wonderful resource, isn't it?
You are an awesome woman and knowing you is a very good thing.
I've been following my friend Kent who just posted and wanted to tell you that when I had my valve replaced, I don't remember any pain...except the day the nurse handed me a pillow and told me to cough...and swinging too hard when I was playing golf :) That was almost 27 years ago and I'm sure they are doing it better now!
Sheila, I know what you are talking about it when you say you are stressing about the recovery - that 's what we are going to know about and work through - we'll sleep through the procedure but I guess the good part of it is when we wake up in pain, discomfort, we will know we are alive and on the road to recovery. I am having my surgery on 12 July at CCF so I will be think about you (you can bet) on the 11th.
I know how difficult the wait can be. I have had my surgery date for a month and every date brings a new set of emotions (mostly fear) and anticipation for me.
Your Fathers Day hiking trip sounds amazing- I envy you for having the courage and stamina to climb mountains a few weeks before surgery. I went to Sag Harbor NY this weekend w my family and grandson and spent time on the beach. Very relaxing but I am always afraid of over doing things although I am a-symptomatic but in real,need of a new aortic valve.
Please know that I am thinking of you. I will have surgery this Friday so I hope you little prayer for me on Friday between 11 and 2pm edt.
I am going to leave this to God and Dr Smith who is the surgeon.My job will begin again during recovery.
Heidi is Jackson and Tyson's mom. She doesn't have the mechanical valve. So far they have used something different. I really think it came from a pig. Not sure tho'. Not asking alot of questions right now just giving them time to let it all sink in....again.
I will keep you updated as things progress and I am watching you also.
I rec'd news a few minutes ago that my daughter-in-law must have open heart surgery again to replace her valve for the 3rd time. The first time she was 15 years old, the second time she was 26 and he 2nd child was 5 months old. She is now 41. The heart muscle is strong so that is good. Heidi has been so tired for a few months now and instead of going to her cardiologist she chose to go to her GP hoping it was hormonal or something. She went to her heart doctor today and was told it's time to do it again. My son called me very upset and I held back the tears while he let his emotions roll. I have reassured him that all will go well and that of course I am available for whatever I can do to help them. They have 2 very active teenagers, thank the Lord they are good kids too.
They are hoping to get it scheduled early this summer so that I can go to Utah and help with the household and the boys. Jackson is a Senior in High School and Tyson is an incoming Freshmen and they both play Varsity football. So ...this is how it is. Praying for you Sheila and now my daughter-in-love Heidi. God is in control
Hi Shelia, I watched the short video for the procedure and it helped me to feel much better. I will be praying for you. I think the waiting is the hardest part! Well, the hardest worrying part anyway. I pray that you can do something to take your mind of the waiting. And then soon you will be done and on the way to recovery and back to your active lifestyle. You are so awesome! I love you, Cheryl Thompson
I know you are going to do well. You come from great genes. Your surgery is going to be a "hiccup" in your life for a few weeks but after recovery you will get back to your normal routine. You and I have faith in God and since He has brought you to this point in your life, we can confident that He will bring you through it. Praying for you on a daily basis, Sheila.
Sheila, I am looking forward to the surgery. Only 21 days away for me. I just want it over so I can start on the road to being energetic again. My fears come at night as I stress over being cut and gutted. Otherwise, I know I can do just fine afterward. I'm mentally prepared for the pain. I look at the recovery phase as a great challenge.
I know this journey brings many emotions for I am on it too! When you feel yourself lost, feeling scared and alone, remember that God is always with you :)
Enjoy your time before the surgery. How wonderful it is that we live at a time where modern medicine can detect and treat our problems with such success. On Father's Day, I couldn't help but be overjoyed that the air smelled sweeter and the breeze that I felt on my face reminded me of so many great times before in my wonderous adventure of life.
You are going to be fine!
Thank you for asking about how things went with my CATH.I take the CATH tomorrow morning and given all of the good insights from those on this website, I am not as anxious as I was.
I am having my Valve Replacement surgery a week from tomorrow so I think I know what you are experiencing. This is a numbing experience if you will and given that you are swimming daily and fairly active I can imagine that you wonder why this is happening to you.
My hope is that I can keep focused on a good recovery and feeling so much better after this is over.
I had a reality check on how many valve replacements are done daily/weekly when I called my surgeons secretary to schedule the procedure and she asked me if I wanted to have surgery at 5;30am or 11am.
I felt like scheduling something that is not quite routine but is done a lot.
Not sure if you sent me the note about your experience with a CATH but if it was you, many thanks. I have a sense that it will be fine but like you I have not been patient other then to have a baby so this is anxiety producing and added the list of worries associated with Aortic Valve replacement.
Thank you for helping me to feel just a little bit better of this challenging experience.
I can identify with your experience as you appraoch surgery because I am scheduled to have a Aoric Valve replacement on June 24 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. This Thursday I will have a Pre-Op Cardiac CATH to make sure there are no blockages and then the following week I will have surgery.
Also resonating with your feelings of anxiety which I think are increasing as I approach both procedures but mainly surgery.
I ordered a great book and tape on Preparing for Surgery. The CD has relaxation exercises that have been so comforting and calming. I listen 2x a day or more.
As a psychologist I have ahd a lot of experience with relaxation imagery but I never really accepted the true value that this technique can bring to a person waiting for surgery. I will wera headphone in the "holding area" on June 16 and 24.
Please stay in-touch and I know you/I will be fine and have an excellent recovery but this is some journey in life.
Thank you for the encouragement! I will be following your journals as well. I know what it is like to stay up worrying. Just remember that God allowed you to find this condition early and in time. You will be fine :)
I'm Dan Cline. I'll be having my surgery at Loma Linda on July 12th to replace my aortic valve. I live in Cherry Valley. My night time anxiety is just like yours. The days are fine, but sometimes I dred the nights. I live alone but have family close by. I'll be following your progress.
Hi Sheila, I am here for you through your journey. Please call me 760-885-5808 cell or 760-244-1600 home so I can pray with you and help you with any anxiety. I have a great book on positive thinking, Christ centered, and many scriptures that were shared with me to help me through my difficult times. I would love to share with you. I am praying for you daily. Love, Tanya
cool site girlfriend...thanks for including us...and in particularly ME...it's been wonderful catching up with you! and looking forward to our reunion after this is behind you...
Have had many heart issues myself, but do know, its all in the attitude, and you have the best, so you will be up and running in no time...xxooxxoo
Whoops...Sheila....I meant to type 35 to 50 min re the walks...not miles...sorry....just call me "pump head", my new rationalization for being forgetful or saying or typing the wrong word......barry (pump head) on the mtn in NM
..on the droid. Sheila...best vibes to you. Re training before your surgery. I don t know how it is with a stenosis, but with my mitral regurgitation I was advised not to work at much intensity before my repair so as not to agrivate my left ventircle....could cntribute to enlargement....tried to behave...but did do some decent walks and.decent length ...35 to 50 miles I guess... bike rides on a flat course very carefull to keep the heart rate no more than 130 BPM. You should probably have individual advice from your cardiologist. BTW...last time I talked to my cardiologist he said I have no restrictions. I recommend Ellen Charnly's book Living Life to the Full. Google her. The book tells all she went through with her heart surgery and could help with anxiety....barry on the mtn in NM
Hi Sheila. I'm your age & had a mitral valve repair at UCLA almost 7 weeks ago - the full open heart adventure. I was pretty active before with hiking, trail running, x-country skiing, kayaking, and ultimate frisbee. Am back on the trail and field: running a couple of miles, hiking twice as far, and keeping my own playing ultimate one point at a time - not all on the same day! Steady progress, clearly discernible week to week. If you can be excited going in, that's a good place to be. It will help you focus on what you need to do to make it the best it can be. Peace -- DVB
Hi Sheila. It's natural to be apprehensive, even anxious leading into a surgery like this. You may find calmness in knowing that you are making good choices that are leading to the safest and best possible outcome. Do what you can to stay healthy and strong these last few weeks before surgery - certain payoff in terms of recovery. Taking charge of being mentally and physically prepared can work wonders anxiety-wise because you will know you've done everything you can to tip the odds even more in your favor. Don't dwell on what could happen, instead think about how grand it will be to recover your strength and stamina and to spend decades more with your loved ones. You can only think one thought at a time, so replace bad thoughts with good thoughts and you will feel better. Easier said than done, but with practice you can do it. -- DVB
I believe you are the person who signed my guest book. The Lord’s heart goes out to You in your struggles with anxiety and worry about what lies ahead and You can be sure that it is His will for you to have peace. He has said in John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, but as I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Now my intent is certainly not to fire of a battery of scriptures at you and leave you feeling like a schmuck and loser for struggling in your journey. It is VERY natural for anyone to feel the way you do in your set of circumstance. Notice the word “natural”, if you will.
If there is a “natural” and human way to feel that begs one to wonder if there is another realm or dimension whereby we can respond to our circumstances differently. Just to put this in perspective, the humanity of Jesus recoiled within Him on that terrible night in Gethsemane. So my first point would be to encourage you to cut yourself some slack, in the sense that we are all human and react very predictably when faced with life situations.
The second point I would like to suggest is that if there is a “natural” inclination in our responses, that leaves me wondeing if here is a “supernatural” way for us to respond. Just to jump ahead her for a bit, if this could be true, then it would have to be God in us responding, as He alone is supernatural. I invite you to consider the following scripture.
Gal 2:20b …..the life which I now live in this body I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
This verse is saying to me that in our natural state we simply don’t have faith. It’s not something we can conjure up within ourselves at the time we need it of struggle and strive to believe. So simply put, you don’t have any faith of or from within yourself or your own resources, but you have the God of the universe living in you. And He has faith. He created faith, it was His idea, we don’t fully understand it, but in another place Scripture is very clear that God has given to every person the measure of faith. Rom 12:13
Now there is another scripture that seems to conflict with what I have been saying.
It is Mar 11:22 And Jesus answering said unto them. Have faith in God.
Now if I was your average run of the mill believer that would give me some serious stress. It seems like Jesus is challenging his disciples (this was the fig tree incident as I recall) to have the same (amount?) of faith that He has. What? For me the answer would be “I don’t think so”.
However, there is a remedy. if you break this down into the Greek and then put it back together into English you get the following paraphrase: Paraphrase: Hold onto my faithfulness.
Wow!! That changes everything. God has the faith, I just cling to Him. I stop struggling to believe and I look back at the many times He has shown Himself to be faithful through all my journey past, and because He NEVER changes, He will NEVER stop being faithful.
These truths have transformed my life. I used to pray as the man with the demonized child, “Lord I believe, help Thou mine unbelief”. That is a valid prayer if you don’t know Jesus and have no awareness that He wants us to have a passionate love affair with Him. But you and I are His precious children. I think of Psalm 139. He wants us to have peace and He is our Peace, Ephesians 2:14.
May I say a prayer for you?
Father help Your precious child to become exactly that. A child in Your arms. Every night give her I pray a picture of You holding her in Your strong and loving arms. May these truths find the mark in her heart and carry her forward and onward in victory. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
PS. When I sense myself getting anxious I listen
to scriptures in song that are focused in the Lord, His faithfulness and Peace. Youtube is a good source, I just capture the video and convert to mp3 using freeware that's out there. Then at bedtime I listen and fall asleep in His arms listening to His comforting words of truth.