Best, best wishes Vel. Hang in there.. your body will get adjusted to all this "newness" on its own schedule and you will be just fine. I know it's hard... one day at a time. Kate R, fellow regurgitater :)
Vel, checking on you every day and really happy to see your progress!!! Sounds like Carl is finally getting some rest too -yea! You are such a strong woman and will continue to have everyone's love and support! With our continued prayers,
Cheryl & Dick
Hey Vel, Prayers are going your way. Hope they can get that new heart beating to the drum the right way. Tomorrow will be better but you have a nice new room so that is all good. Good luck to you.
For the long haul
Thanks, Vel, for helping us to understand just what you've been going through as you've prepared for the heart valve surgery. You've handled this with grace, faith, and unbelievable organization! Now all that's left is for you to heal and fully recover, which all your friends are praying for. And Carl, we're including you in our prayers, too. Blessings, Jane Clapp.
Hey Vel Have been thinking about you. Glad to hear all is going good for you. Keep up the good work and will be looking forward to hearing from you. Prayers and hugs. Good luck.
For the long haul
Hi Carolin girl, just "dropped by" to see if we had an update on how you are doing. I didn't feel like journaling myself for several days, so I'm guessing you are concentrating on getting up and getting out! Take care and God bless!
Linda Dixon, AVR 3/13/12
I am praying for and thinking of you these days when you are going through this period that can't be pleasant - to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing you again at bookclub and having someone who usually agrees with me on books!
Vel, I am glad to hear that your surgery went well today. You and Carl are in ny prayers. I don't know how they will make your heart of gold any better...but now it will work like it is supposed to do. For your listening pleasure while recovering...I am going to send youa cd by Il Divo. They are a classical quartet and are fabulous! Love you, Krista
Hey Vel, It just hit me that it looks like your big day is tomorrow?. Just want to wish you all the best luck in the world. I will say a prayer for you. Hope all goes good and you will shine on the other side of the mountain. Keep us all posted. Hugs
For the long haul
I understand what you are saying about people's reactions. Some say "oh, it is good that is it minimally invasive" or "don't worry I hear they do this all the time now", but then I find myself correcting them on the fact it is still OHS. I don't get "annoyed" by it really, just that I don't want to diminish the challenge in which we find ourselves. I look at it as this is MY thing, and I will feel about it the way that I want. I have chosen to look at this as a positive experience with a little bit of scariness thrown in for good measure.
I realize that most people are only trying to say comforting things because they simply do not know what else to say, and count that as a blessing.
As a side note, when I told some of my buddies about my "procedure", one of the group spoke up and said, "I get your spot on the river trip".... ha!! The nature of our group is such that I knew he was only making light of the situation, and that is the type of response I like the best.
Oooooh, you got the iPad. You'll love it. Just remember to bring the charger with you to the hospital! Glad you're having a good weekend. I think we all stressed about the vent....it's like stressing about exams. You *know* it's gonna' happen, but hopefully it won't last long and then it will be over. Over the next few days, if you can keep yourself a little busy, write lots of lists, get your music together, and stay healthy -- before you know it, it'll be your turn at bat.
I listened to a lot of music in the hospital. You are right about the reading...I love to read, but couldn't really focus enough for a couple of weeks. Somehow it just wasn't that enjoyable. I think music (of all types) is so good for us!
Vel, I bought a very inexpensive MP3 player to download the guided imagery recordings that Cleveland Clinic provided on their website. This was a relaxation recording for pre-surgery and post surgery (which by the way, I found very helpful). Anyway, I also added some of my favorite music, hymns to flat out rocking and country. They even allowed me to use this in preop which was very comforting to me. Don't know if you have a player or not, but you can get one pretty reasonably at Walmart. That way you can listen and not disturb anyone. Go for it!! It's a great idea!
Hi, Vel -- If you had all your music downloaded to an MP3 player or iPad and brought headphones, I can't see any reason why you couldn't enjoy music of your choice once you were out of ICU. Failing that, a small, portable CD player would work; you'd just have to deal with more stuff.
You are right, it is great to have a good support group that helps out. Our church provided meals 3 times a week for 3 weeks for us! It was great, and I still haven't done much cooking, after one month! I'm enjoying the break, but am sure my husband is ready for me to step it up again!!!
If you have time, make some meals to put in the freezer, it really helps. And remember, you will need good protein to heal!!
Remember, after you get home from the hospital, you'll still have a bunch of water weight. they'll want you sticking to a low sodium diet. When I think of 'church lady dinners' what comes to mind are sodium laden casseroles and such. You might want to give them a heads up as to what you'll be able to eat. Same goes for those delicious canned veggies your hubs will be preparing.
Its not easy sticking to a healthy diet...how much chicken can a person consume before you start craving a good old hot dog?
We should start a 'recipes' section on this site. Maybe we should suggest that to Adam. We could share our heart healthy recipes that actually taste good!
Your day is getting closer! Glad you were able to identify the ear infection and get on some drops!! It's hard waiting, and then to think it may be postponed again. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you get through these next 7 days!
Hiya, Vel --
I stumbled on this website while doing research on my MVR. There's another forum out there, valvereplacementforum, which deals with a lot of the same issues. Dr. Adams' office actually sent me home with a copy of Adam Pick's book. I did a bunch of reading here and finally got up the gumption to start journaling and reading the journals of others. Smartest thing I did before surgery.
Hi Vel...Linda D. here! (Fellow Carolinian...South, but hey, Carolina girl just the same!). I found Adam's book several years ago when I "googled" aortic valve replacement. And the rest is history! It was even through Adam and this site that I came to be seen and treated by Dr. Gillinov at Cleveland Clinic. I read the book when I initially purchased it and then re-read it last year when I finally heard the words "its' time"...YIKES!
The only bad thing I can say about the HVJ site is - BEWARE!!! HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!!
Good morning, Miss Velma. :-) I'm allowed, since I'm Miss Selma. Just checking in on you today -- I'm following a few folks out there who are on deck. I can't even imagine how crazy-making it must have been to have had the surgery postponed, so any time spent "in your head" is totally understandable. If you *didn't* have a certain amount of anxiety before this, I'd be wondering about you!
Glad you're picking up on nesting. :-) We work hard and are firm believers in the "my home is my palace" concept, so we've tried to arrange comfortable, peaceful places for ourselves. Some are inside, some are outside. I'm acting a lot like my cat -- following the sun from room to room, walking a bit, resting, eating a little kibble. Oh, wait. I don't eat kibble.
In any event, you'll go through it, it'll be hard for a few days, then it will get better, and you will be amazed at how fast you start feeling like yourself again. We couldn't have a more beautiful time of year for our recovery and that helps a LOT.
Before my surgery I had a wicked sore throat and was very congested. I also went on some meds. When I when in for my pre-op they just wanted to check how clear my airway was. As I was on the meds log enough to kick out the infection if I had one.
I was that way right up to the morning of Surgery when I started feeling better. They did seem that worried.
When you go in for your Pre-Op you will meet the Cardiac Nurse Laurie. She is great and will take good care of you.
You will be in such good hands and you will be fine.
Manoman, can I relate. I've been hanging around waiting since last NOVEMBER! Now I'm 5 days out and absolutely ready, willing, and able to get this done.
Hope those of us who are coming up for surgery next week will be able to help calm your nerves and reassure you that you'll do fine. It sure helps me to see all the people in front of me coming through with flying colors.
I know how you felt my journey began in early February and now finally May is here and the long wait is almost over, May 7th for me so just a few days now. It's been an emotional ride but we are about to climb that mountain and come out better on the other side!!! Hang in there as you approach those final days, God is good and he will see you through....
Hi Vel, Thanks for your thoughts about my friend. At this time all I know is that he made it to Madison Wi Va Hospital ok. His vitals were good and he is on heart bypass until one comes in. Haven't heard anything since.
I see my reg doctor in May and am going to be telling him a few things and wanting to get a second opinion. I am so tired of this emotional roller coaster Im on. Makes you feel like you are living a bad dream and its all in your head espically when I have been healthy all my life. Good luck to you. Hope you are having a good day.
For the long haul
Vel--I checked with my stepmom--she bought a recliner for my Dad who had Parkinson's--I remember it took awhile to get just the right one. I thought it was really comfortable--it was a brown leather Lane brand. I think it did have an electronic control. It also boosted you forward a little so it was easy to get in and out of.
--Jim and Donna Smith
Thank You! I am doing well. I’m glad you read my journal, I hope something in there helps you!
The leg massager’s that I talked about in my journal are what the hospital had me use while I was in there. I just wrapped them around my lower leg and it would automatically massage them. The hospital said it was to keep the circulation going and to help prevent blood clots. You may ask your surgeon if they have those available in the hospital your having surgery at, then you won’t have to worry too much about that issue.
When I first met with my surgeon and cardiologist, they both said that I probably wouldn’t hear my valve ticking. But sure enough, I can. I still hear it and it has been 5 ½ months. It’s not a bad sound though, it sounds like a small wrist watch or a small clock. I like it and I’m used to it. I don’t hear it all day long, most of the time its if I’m alone and it’s really quite. It doesn’t keep me awake at night or anything like that either, it really just seems like I have a watch on. My cardiologist now says that sometimes it just depends on the person and how the valve resonates in the chest cavity. I know another lady that just had her Aortic valve replaced with the St Jude’s mechanical valve and she couldn’t hear hers at all. I guess it just depends?
Vel, try to locate a "Best" recliner (that is the brand name). Very easy to use, very smooth operation. Like I said, I bought an electric recliner just for surgery, but find myself preferring my "Best". Hope you can find one to rent. Happy to provide any helpful info!