Our 20min wait turned into an hour and half. When we were able to finally go back the nurse told us they have been having a problem keeping her blood pressure up, and had to transfuse a unit of blood. There was no bleeding just fluid overload from surgery. The ventilator was out, and she was able to start receiving sufficient pain medication to start to manage her extreme pain. She has a central line in her neck that she receives all IV meds and the blood thru, 3 chest tubes, and an arterial line in her wrist to monitor her blood pressure closely. We spent almost 2 hours with her this afternoon. Her nurse is great and dad and I enjoyed talking to her while mom dozed in and out. I had brought her back her ipod to listen to to help relax her, and reduce the amount of noise from the ICU to help with pain control. By the time we left her pain was down from 10/10 pain to 6/10 pain. She was very thirsty and started to have a few ice chips. She wanted to make sure I had been posting these updates, so I know she was feeling better!!
Please continue to pray for her night in the ICU that she can rest and be able to keep her pain under control. Pray she can keep her liquids down so she can begin to drink. Please also pray that there are no complications from one of the medications she was given to raise her blood pressure, and that her pressure will remain at a normal level so she can transfer out of the ICU tomorrow. We cannot go back to the hospital till after 8am. Goodnight all, thanks again and God is in control!
"Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us" Psalm 62:8
We were supposed to check at the ICU desk around 1:00 for our visit, but they wanted us to come back around 2:00pm. When we went back she still remains on the ventilator, but is almost ready to extubate. She was pretty drowsy, but did know that we were there. She looked surprised when I told her they were able to do the re-repair. She nodded that she was in a lot of pain, but the nurses were trying to avoid giving her anything for pain right now so she could continue to breath well and be extubated. Our visit was brief but should be able to go back in 20min. and she should have the ventilator out--PRAISE GOD !!
Please don't forget to sign your messages--I want to be able to tell her who is praying and sending their well wishes.
Received our final text on our pager to meet with the doctor at 1045 am. He gave us the update the surgery was almost complete--he was able to RE-REPAIR the mitral valve. He entered from the sternum and repaired the posterior leaflet, as it was prolapsed and leaking blood, he also fixed the anatomical position of the leaflet. He removed the old ring from her prior repair and replaced it with a smaller ring. He performed the "mini maze" procedure to hopefully reduce the risk of a-fib. He reported EXCELLENT results with the procedure. He expects this to be a long term fix and be the BEST option for her. PRAISE THE LORD!! We will be able to see her in about 2 hours in the ICU.
PRAYER WORKS!!! Please continue to pray as they complete the "closing" of the surgery and transport her to the ICU. She will be on a ventilator for several hours to a day and that has been a source of worry for her.
Our visits will be very brief today, but I will update as we visit.
Our morning started very early--about 3:30 am. We were at the hospital by 5am. Just as soon as she signed in they took her back to begin the prep. They called my dad and I back about 40min later to sit with her. She had a visit from the chaplain, and she told him there was a VERY large circle that would be praying for her today!! We were able to spend about 30min with her before they took her upstairs around 625am. The nurse asked her what her stress level was and she said a 0 or 1. What peace she has going into this surgery. Everyone praying and the Lord being present during every step of this surgery gives remarkable strength.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam..." Psalm 46:1-3
The surgery was expected to start around 730 or 800. I will send an update as soon as we know something. I am also going to update some pictures I have taken.
Hello everyone, I am writing this entry for my mom so she can get ready to go to bed for an early morning tomorrow. I arrived in Cleveland around 9:00 this morning and made it to the hotel in time to go over to the hospital with mom and dad. She was supposed to be in preadmission to meet with the physician assistant and the anesthesiologist at 11:15 but had to wait over 2 hours just to get a room, and then it was 4:00 before we were done, and still had not seen the surgeon. Dr. Mihaljevic was called back to the OR this afternoon so we had enough time to go for a great dinner and then go back to meet with him around 7:30pm. What a blessing it was to meet with him, even though it took ALL DAY! He could not have been more professional and yet so personable too. He had a great way of putting all of us at ease and giving us a peace. He sat with us and explained in detail everything we could expect. He started with the question of "what type of valve do you want, if we can't re-repair it?" Mom thought she had her mind made up to go with the mechanical valve, but after discussion with Dr. M., he honestly would recommend a biological valve and trusting his advice she also agreed with his thinking. She will never live down the jokes of having a pig valve. My kids are already calling her "piggy mimi". We are back at the hotel so she can shower in the antiseptic wash, gargle with mouthwash, and put antibiotic up her nose all in hopes to decrease the infection possibility. She is scheduled as the first case tomorrow. We have to be to the hospital by 5am. They will draw some last minute blood work, and start the prep. He expects the surgery to begin around 7:30AM and last approx. 4 hours.
Please pray for a restful night sleep, a safe ride to the hospital in the early morning hours, for every member of the pre-op team to be efficient and proficient in their preperations, and for our Lord to guide the hands of Dr. Mihaljevic during every stage of the operation.
Thank you again for all the words of encouragement and prayers for mom, we know she is covered in prayer!
I will send a update once she is taken back into the OR.
"But as for me, I trust in Thee, O Lord, I say 'Thou art my God.' My times are in Thy hand." Psalm 31: 14-15
I registered early this morning and was taken to the Heart Cath prep room about 7:15am.
They took me back to change and as they were hooking me up with some leads I reminded them I would need to have my INR checked again since it was so high yesterday. The nurse rolled her eyes after hearing it had been 3.0 and informed me the procedure would have to be cancelled if my blood hadn’t “fattened up”. After a delay, someone brought a little portable machine in like the one in my Cardiologist’s office. The nurse said they would test it but would also have to send a vial to the Lab to verify it because the little machines are only about 98% accurate…hm…didn’t know that before. Long story, made a little shorter…the machine registered 1.4…….suddenly no need to check it in the Lab and I was cleared for the procedure. I was the second cath of the day…but no longer registered with Dr. Hobb, the one they told me yesterday that would be doing the cath. So questioned why I was not having Dr. Hobb…they said they knew nothing about it…perhaps, they thought, he might be in his office today. So I went with Dr. Z….. who they assured me was an excellent Dr. The nurse asked if I had a CT scan recently...I did yesterday...she said that because of the radiation that I received yesterday and the radiation I would receive during the cath I might have a red flush over me...she assured me I would not glow. :) They walked me back to the Cath Lab and I stood and watched a guy laying out all the equipment on a table next to THE TABLE. I asked how long this might take …he said it would take as long as it takes…ok..guess I’m satisfied with that answer.:) I got on THE TABLE about 9:00am…they rolled out a special blanket type thing from my neck to my toes and positioned a special window over the right groin area. Dr. Z said he would be using a #4 catheter…they no longer used anything bigger. They gave me a nitro pill to put under my tongue and I was given a numbing injection which had a bit of a sting to it and about 9:15am I checked the clock as the order was given to give me the “happy juice”. I asked if I could watch a little bit…they said that was fine but the screen would be positioned for them to see…not necessarily me. Time seemed to stand still…I closed my eyes briefly, opened them to catch a peak and the room was somewhat spinning. They hardly got started and then announced they were done…my eyes focused on the clock..9:23am. A nurse came and applied pressure to the wound for several minutes and then I was off to the next area. Dr. Z said my arteries had just a slight amount of cholesterol….NO BLOCKAGES and sent me to the recovery area to lay flat, without moving my right leg or lifting my head. They brought me a muffin, water, and coffee as my reward. Lunch came about noon…Randy got to practice feeding me…I told him if he didn’t get it to my mouth he might be fired. The nurse got me in a sitting position about 12:35pm. Went for a walk about 15 minutes later…rested for about another 15 minutes before getting dressed. I was told that there would be “risks” for the next 24 hours…walk a little bit…don’t overdue, don’t lift, check bandage for bleeding…apply pressure above wound site for 20 minutes if it should start to bleed again. They called for a transport to the lobby…which never arrived…so asked if I could just walk myself as the hotel shuttle had come to pick us up.
I was at complete peace the whole time...no worries…a peace beyond comprehension! Great is His faithfulness!
Will meet Dr. Mahaljevic tomorrow after a few earlier things to attend to….then surgery on Thursday.
Love to all,
PRAYER REQUEST: God’s protection against all risks and another good restful night!
Thank you all for praying me through this journey!
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou has been..Thou forever will be
Oh, great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Many thanks for all the guestbook notes of encouragement - you can't imagine what it means to me to know how many people are praying for us. I am thankful that Adam Pick has started this wonderful way of connecting family, friends, and fellow heart valve patients.
Randy is much improved from yesterday. In fact, last night he didn't cough during the night and his snoring was bearable. Praise the Lord!:)
Our flights went well and when we arrived in Cleveland...Cleveland Clinic had sent a complimentary limo to take us to our hotel. Cool! Yes, and the weather is cool too! We can see Lake Erie from our 11th floor hotel window and that breeze is very chilly. I wish I had my winter jacket.
We catch a heartline bus outside our hotel and it takes us to the entrance of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute...about a 15 minute ride. My tests started at 7:00am until noon (fasting from last night at 8:00pm)and then had a quick lunch and more appointments and finished with my last test at 4:15pm. My PT was 3.0 today even though I stopped taking the warfarin on Saturday so they told me to have a big salad (lots of greens) and gave me an RX for 2 Vitamin K pills, plus more greens tonight at dinner.
PRAYER REQUEST: My PT needs to be no higher than 1.8 before they can do the heart cath that is scheduled for 7:15am tomorrow.
This will be my first ever heart cath; Dr. Hobbs, a very "experienced" Dr. will be doing it. The cath is my only procedure tomorrow but I will probably be there well into the afternoon...laying flat.
Cleveland Clinic is very busy and very big..much bigger than I remember from 1998. The new heart institute is about 2 years old. The Cardiologist I saw today asked me what kind of valve I wanted. I asked how long a tissue valve could be expected to last...he said 12 years. I definitely would want a mechanical valve...the warfarin is a non-issue since I've already been on it for 7 years and I have absolutely no plans to come back a 3rd time. :) The Cardiologist said he thought I would have a 50/50 chance that the valve could be re-repaired. He said I should expect that it will be replaced and then be overjoyed if it can be repaired.
Randy's already in bed sleeping...he says these early mornings are killing him...wait till Thursday am.
One last PRAYER REQUEST: a restful night. I didn't sleep much last night...my eyes were closed but I was looking at the back of my eyelids. :)
Love to all,
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will mediate on all Thy work and muse on Thy deeds. Thy way, O God, is holy; what god is great like our God? Thou art the God who workest wonders; Thou hast made known Thy strength among the peoples....Psalm 77:11....
Please continue to pray for good health for both of us. Randy has been sick all week with a cold/cough thing...and now I'll be getting on a plane and sitting next to him. Please pray that the Lord would put a hedge of protection around me and that Randy would be healed of this thing.
Tomorrow is my marathon day of testing...I'll need to be at the hospital by 6:30am.
Thank you again for lifting us up in prayer!
Family and Friends...
I’ve invited you to be a circle of prayer support as the time of my mitral valve surgery rapidly approaches. I have been blessed and humbled by those who have already been praying since November, continually lifting me up before the throne of grace. Please continue to pray for our health this week…there seems to be so many nasty bugs going around. My sinus infection seems to be gone. Praise the Lord! I started to get very anxious about that, wondering if it would be gone before we had to leave for Cleveland…but as a friend told me last week, the Lord knows when your surgery date is and if He wants you to have it then He will make sure you have it at that time. But…if something comes up…don’t fret, because its all in His perfect timing.
The plan is to leave for Ohio, this coming Sunday morning, April 11th. I will have three busy days of testing and my surgery will be Thursday, April 15th. My surgeon is Dr. Tomislav Mahaljevic. Please pray that the Lord will guide his hands (or possibly robot) to be very skillful and a tool of His miraculous intervention. My hope is that a re-repair of the mitral valve can be done, but I realize that there may be much scar tissue from my previous repair in 1998. I won’t know what kind of an incision I will have until I go through the testing…my desire is for whatever it takes for a safe and successful surgery.
I’m so thankful that Randy will be at my side and that Jennifer is coming from TN to be there with us at Cleveland Clinic. The plan is that they will post updates while I am in the hospital. Your prayers and encouragement are so appreciated.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I've managed to stay well and not catch anything until late Tuesday when I realized my eyes and sinuses were aching and something was getting ready to attack. I saw the GP Wednesday and he put me on Augmentin. My friend sent her vaporizer home with me and I've also been flushing my sinuses with warm water w/salt and baking soda in it. I'm staying in bed all day...I am praying I can shake this thing quickly. I teach piano and have been concerned I might be exposed to something from the kids but I think this just came out of nowhere.
We leave for Cleveland Sunday, April 11th. Monday, April 12th, will be my marathon day of testing from 7:10am to late afternoon. Tuesday, April 13th, I will have a heart cath. I have never had one and must say I am a bit unnerved about it. I've been on warfarin (blood thinner) for 7 years (because of just a few episodes of A-fib) so I guess that part is what I'm concerned about. My last warfarin dose is suppose to be Saturday, April 10th. I watched my Dad go through several in '91-'92. Everyone has told me things are much different now...so I will be grateful for that. Our oldest daughter Jennifer will fly in from Knoxville on April 14th, the day before surgery, and stay a week in Cleveland with us. Jennifer and Randy (my husband) will hopefully update my journal while we are in Cleveland.
I've listened to the relaxation guided imaginery CD from Cleveland and have also been loading my ipod up with my favorite music. I have been going over a lot of posts that have given me great suggestions on what to take along to the hospital. I won't know what kind of incision I will have until I get there and go through the tests. Because I had a previous mitral valve repair in 1998 (median mini) they will have to evaluate the condition and extent of scar tissue. I was told Dr. Mahaljevic hasn't given up on a robotic surgery yet..but the other option is the standard (a zipper I presume). For my first surgery, I was very concerned about not having a big scar...this time, whatever it takes to have a successful outcome is fine with me. A big prayer request has continued to be for Dr. Mahaljevic...that God would use him in a mighty way and with great skill to hopefully re-repair my ailing mitral valve.
One thing I was totally unprepared for during my first surgery was that I couldn't even think about trying to raise my arms to slip over a top over my head to wear home. My husband had to take the bus downtown and go shopping for something for me that buttoned down the front. He came back with a Warners Bros. shirt with all the cartoon characters down the front. :)
Back to bed!
I have been intensely involved in many of the heart journals...I freely call you by your first name when I tell my family about you all. Now its time that I stop watching from the sidelines and join the group!
I have surgery scheduled for a re-repair of my previously repaired mitral valve at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio on April 15th. Dr. Tomislav Mahaljevic will be doing my surgery. I am told that there is a 50-75% chance that they will be able to do a re-repair...and that's my prayer.
A BIG praise last week...Cleveland called me with an insurance authorization number! Yahoo!! Prayers answered! Long before anything was submitted, family and friends started praying about our insurance. What a relief after my previous mitral valve surgery in 1998...our insurance company refused to pay after the surgery so for 18 months we fought (didn't help the healing process)and finally the Insurance Commissioner of Florida assisted us and bills got paid. Thank you Bill Nelson!
I will be praying for you Fran and Capt. Bill as you journey to Cleveland. I hear things have changed so much since I was there in 1998. Blessings, Carla (PBG,FL)
"Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9