It is hard to believe that my 6 month anniversary passed me by. I have been busy between going back to work full time the first of November and Christmas right around the corner.
I feel pretty good for the most part - am back to walking 2+ miles a day on the treadmill and still doing strength training 3 times a week as well. I had some concerns a couple of weeks ago and went to see my cardiologist. Out of the blue I was experiencing shortness of breath going up and down stairs and was waking in the middle of the night with heart palpitations. He did an EKG which he said looked great. He listened to my heart and said even with the post op regurgitation it sounded good as well. He speculated that the Metropolol may be the culprit. I was taking 12 1/2 mg in the am and 12 1/2 in the pm and since it stays in your system 12 to 18 hours I was getting an overlap. He is weaning me off of it so I am currently just on the a.m. dose and once I am completely off of it wants to try an ace inhibitor. He said studies show it is the treatment of choice for patients with valve regurg. Apparently it forces more blood to be pushed out into the body resulting in less back flow, thus reducing further dilation of the left atrium. He said he would put me a very low dose and we would go from there. I will continue on the Metropolol until the first of the year and then switch to the ace inhibitor. Anyone out there familiar with this?
We also talked some about my disappointment that I had a less than perfect repair. Even so, he said I am better than before the surgery, so in that light it was successful in improving the regurgitation and that is how I have to look at it. Easier said than done - but I am trying to move forward.
With the Christmas holiday approaching I am going to focus on all my blessings - my family - especially my 3 grandchildren! I am so thankful for all of my family and friends - including all of you on this journal who have been there for me with your prayers and support.
I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
As always my thoughts and prayers are with those just starting their journey and preparing for surgery or going through recovery. God Speed!
I had my echo stress test on Friday morning at CC. The doctor was impressed with my effort and endurance during the test; howver, the echo indicated no change in the mitral regurg - still moderate - but my heart is functioning well in spite of it!. It also showed improvement in the size of the left atrium which was moderately dilated on the TEE that I had done in August. It is now only mildy dilated which is really good news - it is headed in the right direction! I was really concerned about that after my August visit - what a relief!
Dr. AlJaroudi said I should have another echo stress test in a year and follow up with my cardiologist in 6 months. He said my heart sounded good and as long as I continue to maintain a healthy weight, exercise and watch my sodium and caffine intake he did not forsee any problems.
I have finally accepted the fact I am in the 3 to 4 % of patients who don't get a perfect repair. It is disappointing, but I do not regret having had the surgery. The leaflet repair and annulus band placement were successful and I no longer have a murmur, just that crazy leak!
Ric and I spent a relaxing weekend at my sister's lake front condo in Port Clinton and arrived back home late this afternoon. It was nice to get away!
Thanks so much to all of you who have been praying for me and thinking about me. I appreciate it so much. This group is such a blessing to me!
I will try to post something once a month to stay in touch with all of you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
As some of you knew I have been having daily occular migraines and went to my GP who ordered an MRI. I wanted to let everyone know that my MRI came back normal, so I guess I just had a bad week with the ocular migraines, but I am glad I had it checked out just the same. My GP said my heart was sounding nice and quiet - no sign of a murmur - that was very encouraging!
I spent a wonderful weekend up at Lake Erie with my 4 sisters this past weekend for our annual sister's get away. We had some celebrating to do - 3 of my 4 sisters are breast cancer survivors - 1 diagnosed in 2009 and the other 2 in January of 2012 - all have completed treatments and are cancer free at this time. We lost our mother to breast cancer in 1983. We also celebrated my recovery from OHS as well. We decided that 2013 will be a better year for all of us with no major health issues.
I have 2 more weeks of cardiac rehab - am really going to miss the nurses - they have been wonderful and so much fun to work with. I will also miss my fellow patients - we have had such fun working out together over the past couple of months.
I am looking forward to the echo-stress test at CC on Nov 2nd to see how the leak in my valve is doing. I feel pretty good most of the time and don't seem to have as much fatigue as I was having before rehab, so I am hopeful it is a sign that the rate of regurg has improved. I will try to post something from Cleveland the evening of Nov. 2nd to let you know how it went.
My thoughts and prayers are with all who are preparing for surgery or in the midst of recovery, and of course all those that are completely recovered.
Ric and I have had a very busy September which explains why it has been a month since I last posted an update. It is hard to believe I will be 4 months post surgery on the 29th!
My cardiac rehab is going well. Today I was dubbed the "energizer bunny" by one of the nurses at cardiac rehab - lol! One elderly man who just joined the class asked me if I was really a patient or just in the class to intimidate the rest of them - lol! Is it obvious I am the "baby" of the class at age 59?!? Now that I am into my 5th week I am actually starting to enjoy it - it seemed like torture at first! I am still quite tired after the hour long work out, but it will be worth it the end. My workout consists of 15 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the X-Rider, 5 minutes on the rowing machine and 15 minutes weight training in addition to a 5 minute warm up and 5 minutes of cool down stretches.
I am hopeful that all exercise and conditining will pay off and that the Echo Stress test at CC on November 2nd will show good results.
I feel pretty good most of the time, but do notice the fatigue that goes along with the mitral regurg. I did have some episodes of shortness of breath last week, but have attributed it to a sinus infection after a visit to the doctor. Now that I have been on the antibiotics for 5 days the shortness of breath has disappeared - thank the Lord!
I am still working just half days until I finish cardiac rehab at the end of October. That in itself has been a blessing! I am so thankful to work for a company that has been so supportive of me through all of this.
Well, not much else to report. My thoughts and prayers are with all who have recovered, are still recovering or are awaiting surgery.
Finally, I was able to start cardiac rehab last week. I started out doing just 2.2 on the treadmill and gradually worked up to 2.8 on Friday. Today I walked at 3.0 for 15 minutes and then onto the recumbant bike for 15 minutes. I tried the Nu-Step on Friday but my left arm and shoulder did not like it one bit - had a headache and my left arm, shoulder and neck were really sore all weekend - ugh! My rehab coach decided we should table the upper body stuff for right now. I may give the X-rider a whirl next week - seems like arm and leg motions are more fluid in that one than in the Nu-step - we shall see.
My blood pressure has been running really low - was 92/60 at start of rehab today and have been having occasional dizzy spells because of it. Several times it has been in the 80's/50's range which is a little scarry! I have an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow to see about cutting out my evening 12 1/2 mg dose of Toprol. I told his nurse that I start back to work full time on Wednesday and don't want to freak out my co-workers if I were to pass out from my low blood pressure!
The hemotoma from my seroma is almost completely gone as is the swelling around the incision. I still get a little sore from the exercise, but it is tolerable. I am just so thankful the surgery that was done a month ago on the seroma worked and is finally healed - YEAH!
I will try to check in on all of you from time to time, and post a couple of times a month to see how all of you are doing and let you know how things are going.
My thoughts and prayers are with those in recovery or getting ready for surgery. Take care and God bless!
I got great news after my TEE and Transthoracic Echo today at CCF. I do have a leaky valve. It is a moderate leak, but functional, and my EF is 55 - YEAH! Dr. AlJaroudi, a cardiologists who works with Dr. Roselli performed the TEE and as I was coming out of the conscious sedation he advised me I had nothing to worry about and would not be facing another OHS. Thank you Lord and thanks to all that have been praying for me over the last couple of weeks. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I prayed for a miracle and God has granted me one!
Ric and I met with Dr. AlJaroudi to look at and discuss the films from both tests. He also checked my seroma site and said it looked like it was healing fine. He said Dr. Roselli would explain further what he thinks happened to cause the leak.
We met with Dr. Roselli around 10:45. He apologized that I had to go through this and said he was very surprised at what had occurred because I had a perfect repair and he said my surgery was one of the easier Mitral Valve repairs he has done. After looking at the films he speculated that some scar tissue may have formed on the repaired leaflet causing it to not close all the way, thus the leak. Only a guess, but the valve appeared to be functioning quite well except for the leakage. He said this happens about 2% of the time. He thinks that I should be able to live with this with no problems and said i should start cardiac rehab as soon as possible. He will have me scheduled for an Echo Stress Test in 3 months with Dr. AlJaroudi and then wants me to have annual follow-ups at the clinic with him to keep an eye on me.
After eating some lunch, I called Julia Messineo and we met her for coffee and talked for quite a while as she waited for the staff to move Charlie from ICU to J5. Ric and I then went with her up to Charlie's room and for 24 hours after surgery Charlie looked great. We all visited for about another 1/2 hour, then my photo-bug hubby got his trusty camera and table top tipod out and took a photo of the 4 of us which I will be posting on the blog for all to see. Also, got a photo of me with Dr. Roselli earlier.
After not sleeping much over the last 2 weeks I think I can finally relax and get a full nights sleep tonight.
We are thankful for all of our family, friends and HVJ friends for all of your kind words and prayers. We are so blessed have all of you in our lives. Most of all we are thankful to God for watching over me and granting this miracle!
Take care and God bless! Denise:-)
P.S. You can chalk up any errors in my post to the conscious sedation during my TEE - LOL!
I had my 10 day follow up appointment with the vascular surgeon today and she said everything looks good at the seroma site. I had a couple of swollen areas that she said is the hemotoma which will continue to bleed out under my skin as well as some scar tissue starting to form. She advised me to use some lotion and do gentle massage on the area a couple of times a day to help smooth it out. I was so relieved not to have to go through the whole wound vac thing.
We are headed to Cleveland late tomorrow afternoon as my TEE and Echocardiogram are scheduled starting at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, then meeting with Dr. Roselli at 11:30 to discuss the tests and options if a re-operation is necessary. We plan to meet up with Julia Messineo over a cup of coffee after all my appointments. Charlie has his surgery tomorrow morning. If he is out of ICU we hope to be able to meet him as well.
I know God has his hand on me through all of this, but it has been difficult coming to grips with the fact that I may be faced with another OHS. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband to walk this road with me. Ric, you are the love of my life and we will get through this! I love you!
We are so thankful for our 4 wonderful & supportive children and a wealth of extended family and friends all supporting us in prayer - including all of my friends on the HJV blog.
I will try to post something on Friday night or Saturday morning to let you all know how everything goes.
Keeping everyone in recovery or preparing for surgery in my prayers.
Now that I have had time get all my emotions out and digest the latest news I will share with all of you what is going on.
My cardiologist said the fact that I am feeling good and not fatigued is a good sign, but he did detect the pre-surgery murmur today when he listened to my heart, not sure if that can come and go depending on stress level or not, was too upset to think of questinos to ask. He said the fact that I am feeling good other than the pain from healing seroma surgery is a good sign. He recommended I go back to Cleveland and see Dr. Roselli and have them run their own echo and TEE, so I will be Cleveland bound on Friday August 10th. Of course I am hoping that the interpretation or the echogram done in Dayton is flawed and I get a miracle, but will have to wait till Friday to find out.....
Good news from my vascular surgeon though - yesterdays ultrasound showed that the groin area is healing and no new fluid has built up - thank the Lord! I am still pretty much relegated to reclining and limited walking - my cardiolotist said no rehab until the groin area completely heals.
On a funny note, my 5 year old grandson asked me the other day if I was waddeling because of the boo boo on my leg - kids hold back nothing - LOL My 3 year old grandson still wipes his mouth after I kiss him because he doesn't want "wipstick" on his face because that is for girls - LOL These are the little things that keep me sain through all of this.
My STD benefit and FMLA runs out on August 21st, not sure what that means regarding my job. I may see if my boss will allow me to work virtual from home so I can pace my sitting time througout the day.
I love to read so have buried myself in books to keep my mind off this whole thing with my heart. I am not in denial about all this just trying to find ways to keep myself sain and calm.....
I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers from all of my family and friends and my HVJ family. I am sorry I do not have the time to sit and respond to all of you. Keeping all of you that are in various stages of waiting or recovery in my prayers.
To Connie - I will try to call you today sometime to talk now that my emotions are in check.
Hi everyone. I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back on the computer, but I have strict orders to limit the time I spend sitting upright in a chair. Sorry that I am not able to respond to individual guestbook messages, but I did read them all and appreciate all of your well wishes and prayers.
I am ready for this roller coaster ride I am on to end - I never was a big fan of roller coasters anyway!
Saw my surgeon today and she has ordered an ultrasound of the groin and surrounding area as I have developed some swelling adjacent to where the seroma was which she is hoping is just post surgery swelling and not the seroma taking up residence in a new spot. They will call me tomorrow to let me know when and where to go for hte ultrasound. It is still painful walking, but she wants to to be up and moving as much as I can tolerate - easier said than done at this point.
Tomorrow at 3:45 I meet with my Dayton cardiologist to discuss the July 10th echogram. I am still waiting to hear back from Dr. Roselli's nurse regarding his interpretation of the those same echo results but it will take them a couple of days to get those records - I am hoping to hear something from her before the weekend. She finds it hard to believe the echo results since I did so well with surgery and the echo done in Cleveland 4 days post surgery showed only minimal residual regurg.
I am feeling very discouraged right now - trying to take one day at a time - please keep me in your prayers.
As always those recovering or getting ready for surgery are all in my prayers.
Denise was better today, for a while, and then developed some swelling below the incision and has a bit of brusing and perhaps a hematoma. The surgeon wanted to see her today, but I was on a intermediate run to Indiana, so she had no was to get there. She got off her feet and warm compresses settled it down a bit, so she is scheduled to see the surgeon tommorrow, the 1st at 12:30PM. She is walking, with a bit of a limp, but able to move. She called her Cleveland cardiac surgeon's office today and told them of the latest Echo and they are requesting the films and report to review the results themselves. This should be interesting to get the interpretation from her cardiologist who first recommended the repair (on 8/2) and the surgeon who actually fixed? it. She attempted to get on this blog her self earlier but the site appeared to be down for a while. I just wanted to give the daily update. One day at a time.....
Denise is back at home as of noon today, the 30th. She (not the nurse or the doctors) suggested a combo of Vicadin and Torodol, since the Percoset with the Torodol was not working. The nurse wanted to get approval for the stronger percoset, Oxycodone I think.. Denise insisted that the Vicadin with Torodol be tried. It worked. Her pain finally was being adequately controlled to recover. She was discharged this morning around 11 and is doing significantly better. Sore but manageable while she heals. We will take one step at a time and visit her cardiologist this Thursday to discuss the regurg issue...
Thanks for the notes of support from many of Denise's friends on this blog. I know she will answer all of you when she returns a bit more to normal. The leg is better today and much of the feeling has returned, but it is still weak and she walks at best with a heavy limp and assistance. Most of this now is from the pain inside the incision site. She just cannot beat the pain. They tried Torodol 30MG which worked pretty good, gave her relief, but then switched her to 10MG pills and were ready to discharge. We refused since there was not way. She can do little more than lay in the bed. Bending at the waist is really awful for her right now, and guess how you ride in a car? So I pretty much told the resident that she was being rushed and was in no condition to leave yet. So she is there one more night and they are going to try another drug. We have been told you can take only so much Torodol, hard on the kidneys.
As for the Echo, there is no mistake, I have the copy of the report and it is from 7/9 and the results are somewhat different than her original from the same practice on 3/12 but both have the same conclusion, severe mitral regurg. And the report states that she is post mitral valve repair..... Go figure.... First things first, we need to get this incision site healed and go from there. At least they wrote orders for her to be off work again until 8/6. Will check in tommorrow after we see how the night goes. Ric
Hi, it's the other half Ric again....Denise is still in Miami Valley Hospital recovering from the repair of the seroma. All indications are that this went fine and was cleaned out, and closed without incident. But Denise must be really sensitive to the anethesia that is used to numb the area. As of this morning, Sunday, she still has some loss of sensation in the left leg. Foot works fine, but makes it difficult to walk. She reports that it is slowly wearing off. Her pain is significant and she finally took some morphine after percoset and vicadin did not give her any significant relief from the incision site. So she is down about this. Even more importantly, The anethesiologist who visited her prior to surgery yesterday, told her she still has severe mitral reguritation. As you might expect this was an emotional blow that she did not need right before surgery. She is due to see her local cardiologist (on 8/2/12)to discuss the latest echo that he did on 7/9/12 so we did not have this information yet. She is quite upset now and feels that all of this may have been for nothing. That is jumping to conclusions, but certainly is troubling until we get to the bottom of the test results. Hopefully, Denise will be discharged today but with the pain and numbness in the leg this is unclear. (UPDATE) just got a call, new pain med Toradol, and at least another day in the hospital just ordered from another doctor in the practice of the surgeon who fixed the seroma. More later.....
I had my appointment with the local vascular surgeon today. Ric and I both liked her immediately. We talked for a few minutes about what has been going on with my seroma and she decided it was best to try to drain it and then go from there. She was able to pull some clear fluid out, but said there were several pockets of fluid, some which have already started to encapsulate.
She said the next step was outpatient surgery to clean out the area and seal things off. I asked her how soon and she asked if tomorrow was too soon and I said no. I just want to get it taken care of. I am scheduled to be at MVH in Dayton at 11:30 tomorrow morning. Once again, I cancelled my cardiac rehab which was to have started today at noon, but hopefully will be able to get on with it by the end of next week if all goes well tomorrow.
My blood pressure was running high last night and again this morning, and also at the doctors. When I returned home after my appointment it was back to normal 115/74 - I think I must have been over-stressing about the seroma.
I will try to post something tomorrow night to let you all know how things go with my procedure tomorrow.
Take care and have a nice weekend! Denise
Hello everyone. I returned to work this morning - half days only for right now. It was nice to see all my co-workers and they were happy to see me happy and well. I am certainly glad I did not attempt to go back full time right away. The seroma gets pretty sore with prolonged sitting so 4 hours was enough and I was ready to go home and put some moist heat on it. By the end of the morning I was starting to have tingling in my left leg from pressure on my sciatic nerve and the femoral artery. It is frustrating to say the least, but I am hanging in there until I see the local surgeon next Tuesday. I sure hope all is well with those in recovery or getting ready for surgery. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care. Denise K
Cleveland Clinic follow-up and visit with Connie T today
Journal posted on July 19, 2012
Hello to all my HVJ friends. We made our last trip to CC today for my final follow-up. They did an ultrasound and when they compared it to the last one it actually showed my seroma is getting smaller, so they decided not to drain it. I am to follow up with a vascular surgeon here in Dayton in 2 1/2 weeks for another ultra sound. The on call surgeon at CC thinks it will resolve itself without intervention - will just take some more time. I can return to work but just for 1/2 days until I follow up with the surgeon here. I was a little disappointed that they did not want to attempt to drain it but they are the experts, right? Anyway, the very best part of my trip to CC was getting to meet Connie T and her husband Dan. Connie looks amazing for 2 days post surgery. Dan and Ric took pictures of Connie and me together which I hope to upload to my photos - Connie actually gave me permission to allow everyone to see her in her designer hospital gown - LOL. What a trooper she is! Since we live about 50 miles or so from each other we hope to do a lunch or dinner get together with them after Connie gets some recovery time under her belt. It was just so neat to actually meet someone from this wonderful HVJ family. I hope everyone is doing well and those who are awaiting surgery or in recovery are in my prayers daily. Take care and God bless!
It has been a while since I have posted - been busy with family birthdays and an out of town bridal shower for my niece. I am feeling really good, and my energy level is great - no more fatigue like I had pre-surgery - YEAH! I am still dealing with the seroma. My family doctor thought it best for me to return to Cleveland Clinic for my post-op release and was hesitant to do anything until then. I tallked to the NP at Dr. Roselli's at CC on Monday and she said they will do another ultrasound while I am there on Thursday and then most likely try to drain it. I got a referral from my cardiologist to a good vascular surgeon here in Dayton to follow-up with next week. I am hoping that it only has to be drained once, but know the high probability that it may fill up again. I am supposed to return to work on Monday, not sure if I will be going back 1/2 days or full days, depends on how this all goes. I had my assessment with the Cardiac Rehab nurse yesterday and that went well; however, I am on hold as far as starting until the seroma is healed as the exercise will just aggrivate the condition. It is frustrating to say the least, but in the grand scheme of things this is a minor inconvenience. Oh, and did I mention I will be visitiing Connie T. tomorrow while I am at Cleveland Clinic. She had her surgery on Tuesday and lives about 50 miles north of me in Anna, OH. I can't wait to meet her and get some pictures to post on the site! She told me she would be the patient in the designer gown and slippers with the new "bedhead" hair do - LOL - just love her sense of humor! We have talked about getting together for lunch or dinner with our hubbies once she is home and recuperated since we are practically neighbors. I will try to post an update with pictures tomorrow. Take care all and my prayers are with Summer who is in surgery this morning.
Tomorrow I will be 6 weeks post surgery. I am doing really well except for this bothersome seroma that is not resolving on it's own. It seems to get bigger when I walk, so exercise is limited - ugh! - and I am supposed to start cardiac rehab in 2 weeks. As CC suggested I think I will make an appointment with my family doctor and have her refer me to a general surgeon here in Dayton so I can get this taken care of, since my body isn't absorbing it on its own. I will keep you all posted on how that goes. I hope all is well with everyone in your various stages of pre-surgery or recovery. Take care! Denise K
We got back from Cleveland at 6:00 tonight. The ultrasound showed that the fluid collection in my groin increased a little since my ultra sound I had done in SC. The on call surgeon felt that it would be counterproductive to try and drain it because it was not causing any pressure on my femoral artery. He said it is not worth the risk of introducing bacteria into the pocket of fluid which is always a possibility. He advised me to wear a light weight tummy control panty to put some compression on it to squeeze the fluid out of the tissue so my body can absorb it and use warm compresses as well. He said this is a common occurrence for some patients and it takes some longer to absorb the excess fluid. I go back for my 6 week check up on July 19th to be released to go back to work. He is hopeful that it will have resolved itself by then. In the event it gets larger or I have symptoms loss of circulation I can get a referral to a general surgeon from my family doctor and have it drained here in Dayton if need be. It was a long day, but I am glad I went back to CC to have them evaluate it. I will keep you all posted on how I am progressing with this bump in the road. Take care!
Hi Everyone: We arrived back home early last evening - it is good to be home - our dog Austin was especially glad to see us - his whole body was wagging - LOL! I thank God for a safe trip back with no bad weather and no traffic issues to slow us down. The grandchildren were good little travelers. Little Genevieve was ready to sell her car seat by the time we got to Dayton, but I can't say I blame her - I was ready to get out of the car for good as well! On my last post I mentioned the swelling in my groin - I ended up calling CC while still at HHI and was told to go to the emergency and get an ultrasound to make sure I did not have an aneurysm or blood clot. We went on Wednesday night and the ultrasound showed I have a possible seroma which is not life threatening but needs to be addressed. I called CC on Thursday and am scheduled for lab work, ultrasound and an appointment with Dr. Roselli's nurse practitioner at 10:30 on Monday morning. Sooooo back into the car we go again tomorrow morning for a 31/2 hour drive to Cleveland. I am hopeful they will be able to drain it and that they won't have to admit me. I will keep you all posted on how it all works out. I hope all who are recovering or waiting for surgery are doing well - as always you are in my prayers. Denise
Hello to all my friends in HVJ land. We arrived on HHI on Friday afternoon. The trip down was not bad - I was just a little sore and tired. I am enjoying the time with my husband, children and grandchildren and am so glad I felt good enough to make the trip. Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks post surgery. I will probably be starting cardiac rehab in the next few weeks. I do need to have an issue checked in my left groin where the bypass was done - I beleive I may have a seroma as I still have a hard area with swelling that just doesn't seem to go down. I am going to call my cardiologist when I return to Dayton to have it checked to see if there is anything that can be done or if they will just watch it for awhile. Needless to say after the complication and pseudo-anurysm that I developed after my heart cath I am concerned about this. I will keep you all posted on what I find out. I hope all of you are doing well and those who are awaiting surgery are hanging in there. The waiting is the hardest part! Take care and keep on tickin!
I was so thrilled this morning when i took my blood pressure and my resting heart rate was at 76 and stayed there all day - it has been running around 95 or highter since returning home. I am hoping this means my doctor will cut my dosage of Toprol down when I see him on Tuesday. It is working to keep my resting heart rate under control but my blood pressure has been running 100/60 or there abouts most days which really leaves me tired. We are supposed to be leaving on our annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island on Thursday my husband and I are still dbating whether we should attempt the trip only 3 1/2 weeks after surgery, will see what my cardiologist has to say about it on Tuesday. I will keep you posted......
Hello to all my friends in HVJ Land. I am seeing improvement with each new day. I have been alternating Vicadin with Ibuprofen for the last 4 days and that is working well for my pain. I still have numbness in my right breast and certain movements trigger pain in my right ribcage and underarm, but for the most part I am functional. I have been trying to walk around my house 5 times each day for 5 minutes each time and also doing some exercises to help with the stiffness in my right arm and shoulder. I am going to attempt to sleep in our bed tonight - Ric will be glad for that! He has been sleeping on the couch in the living room next to my recliner so he can help me in and out of the recliner during the night since it requires too much force to open and close it - we are both ready to be back upstairs in our comfy king size bed again! A good friend came by today and did some house cleaning for me which was really nice - it is frustrating to see some of the things that need to be done and not be able to do them. I will be seeing my local cardiologist on Tuesday and am anxious to see what he thinks about how my heart sounds since surgery. My family practice doctor who I saw on Monday for an incision check was amazed at the difference - no more murmur from the prolapse and regurgitation. I am so thankful for the gifted surgeons in our country who are able to perform these surgeries and restore health to all of us with defective heart valves. I wish the best to all of you who are still recovering and those who are anticipating your surgery in the near future. As always you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care!
Hello everyone. I finally feel like sitting at the computer for a little while. As Ric had previously posted I have been having trouble with the pain medications - specifically Tramadol (Uritram) - I finally decided after yesterdays episode of shortness of breath to eliminate it completely and stick with the Vicadin at night and a combinatino of 1/2 Vicadin and and extra strenght tylenol during the day. I just can't stand the spaced out feeling being on straight vicadin gives me, not to mention the constipation issues - lol - that is even worse! My main frustration is not being allowed to lift, pull, or push anything heavier than 10 pounds for 6 weeks post op. I am so used to being active and I just hate the inactivity. In addition I need to figure out how to get comfortable in my bed - have been sleeping in a reclilner and that is just not working for my neck and back. any suggestions from anyone? My appetite is improving daily but still not what it was - I know this will take time from everything I read prior to surgery. I am havimg a small issue with my groin incision seeping a little and called the on call nurse line at CC. I was advised to just continue to keep it clean and also to put a dressing on it and see my family doctor if it does not show improvement in the next day or 2. All in all, my recovery is going well, just need to weather the emotional ups and downs caused by the inactivity and the pain meds. Hope all of you are doing well, will try to catch up on reading all of your journals now that I feel a little more like sitting at the computer. Take care all and God bless! Denise
It is Ric, substituting for Denise. She just has not felt up to writing, and part of that is simply that she spends all day on the computer at work and isnt a big emailer or other social media stuff. We arrived back home from Cleveland this past Friday evening. She had been staying with her sister in Willoughby awaiting the initial followup visit with the surgeon. That went well and she was finally precribed the Lidoderm? patches to wear near the incision to numb the area. She was really quite uncomfortable without them and the hopspital discharge staff (nurse practicioner) did not orignally see the need for her to have them. They help. Denise is slowly progressing, and told me to write something since she just didnt feel like it. She has good moments and bad moments which should be normal being that we are just 12 days after surgery. She is mostly frustrated by the pain meds and how they make her feel so she is still tweaking that to find the right combo to ease the discomfort but not make her feel like a space cadet... She has always been sensative to meds. She has reactions to just looking at medications, :) So her first big test will be to muddle through the day while I am back at work on Monday. I think a little self effort may help her find ways to handle the daytime hours.....until later....
Looks like Ric did a great job keeping you all posted on my progress. It is 8;00 and my energy is dwindling fast. I had a good day today and should be discharged tomorrow. The nurses, and entire medical staff on on J5-3 have been awesome! I'm a bit nervous about hsving all the medical staff close by but am sure I will do just fine. I am praising God for seeing me safely through surgery and trusting in him to get me through recovery. My wonderful sister Diana and her husband Jeff will be taking care of me through Friday when I have my post op visit with the NP at Dr Roselli's office - then back home to Dayton. I will sign off now and try to post from Diana's tomorrow night. Thanks to all of you in HVJ land and your words of encouragement, Love you all - Denise
Denise has a question for those of you that have experienced this surgery. How long did your heart rate reamin elevated. She is now at the point that she feels she should be feeling better than she does, post surgery, 5 days, but her heart rate remains elevated between 90-100 and while just walking the halls goes up to 115. She has been put on 50MG of Toprol twice daily, which is 4 times what she had taken to control the MVP. Any thoughts and words of encouragement for her?
Today was a better day. Lots of things going on again. Got the news that the drainage had slowed and the chest tube would come out. That happened around 1 PM and you could almost immediately see the distress in Denise's face melt away. I am sure that was awful for 2 days. The Q ball ( a nerve block for the site of the incision) came out. Those leads were also buried in the chest. "askyoursurgeon.com" is a web site that will lead you to answers about this thing. Dr. Roselli is one of the few to use it here from what we understand.... Anyway it helped a lot at the site of the incision.
Denise also got an assist from her sister today to wash her hair with a soap designed not to be rinsed but blotted out. Anyway, lots of use of the spirometer, lots of bathroom breaks to get rid of excess water. She was up and walking a few times to day also. So progress, Tommorow brings an echocardiagram to see how good the results of the surgery are 4 days in. Hopefully it's all good from here.
If Denise has a tough time, it was through the night last night. The chest tube is pretty uncomfortable for someone as small as Denise is, 5.0 109 lbs. I stayed here at the room on the luxury pull out "bench" and recall her fidgeting a lot though the night, being unconfortable and wanting Ice chips, a lot. Six or seven cups.. From my vantage point, things have progressed a lot today as the day got started. It is now 3PM and she has had a big day. Used the breathing thingy 4 times so far, 20 each time, IV's have come out and on oral pain meds. Has taken a walk. Had a chest X-Ray, Ate reasonably well for the first time at lunch. Basically still has the chest tube until tommorrow due to drainage. Not a lot, but enough. Also had a Reiki treatment, the healing touch. I have also avoided using the TV in the room and keep the Soundscapes music on the entire time to keep her relaxed.. The kids all visited yesterday and I sent them back to Dayton last night. Two of her sisters are due to arrive shortly for a visit today. Denise is resting in a recliner right now, so she has been up in a chair for about 3 hours now......
That's all for now,
continued good news this morning. Denise had some minor naseau, and pressures dropped a bit, but meds and fluids were given to take care of that. She had a restful night. So did I, having returned to the hotel to get more than a few hours sleep. Arrive back this morning after the nurses were all done with their tasks to find Denise up and sitting in a chair. She actually looks pretty good for having surgery less than 24 hours ago. I have been told she will be going to a step down unit soon. So probably by early afternoon she will be moved. That will be an emotional boost for her. She must not feel too bad, she already asked what her hair looked like.
That's all for now.
By now Denise is in the ICU at Cleveland Clinic and I am sitting down to update all of you from the rooftop Pavilion. Denise went in to surgery around 7:30 and we were advised that the first incision was around 9:21. What that really meant is still a bit of a mystery. Her Dr. had two operations to perform this morning and the other patient was ready with anesthesia a bit sooner than Denise was so he did her first. Her Dr, Eric Roselli claimed that he started the actual repair or work on Denise around 11:00. Actual heart work around noon and he was finished and we were called to meet with him at 2:03PM. A little antsy waiting that long, but he assured us that she did just fine and there were no real issues to deal with. Everything went fine and the repair was pretty straight forward. I have been told to go to ICU around 4 and she should be settled in and done with the intial care of being in ICU. I sent my kids (all grown) off downtown in Cleveland so that they could blow off some excess energy and allow me to see Denise by my self at first. We expect and many of you all know that she will still have the breathing tube at first and still have drainage tubes and not quite look hereself. The important thing to me is that she has been fixed and will begin to recover so I can keep her around for a while yet. We only have 37 years in so far and that is not quite enough....So that is the short story for now that all is well and I will continue to update until she feels up to taking over and speaking for herself. I know how much she has enjoyed and been made at ease by reading all of your updates.
To all my friends at HVJ:
Many, many thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers going out for me tomorrow. I have to be at the clinic at 5:15 and surgery is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. I rested all weekend thanks to my wonderful husband and my big sister Diana and her husband Jeff. They waited on me hand and foot as I am still healing from the nasty complication of the heart cath on Thursday. I am hoping Dr. Roselli can drain the hemotoma I still have in my groin that is draining out, but taking it's good old time. He looked at it on Saturday before I was released and said if it still looked bad on Tuesday he would just fix it while he had me under. I would be lying if I said I am not afraid, but Dr. Roselli so reassuradly told me on Saturday and I quopte, "It is perfectly normal for you to be afraid, but I just want you to know I am not afraid". That was such a comfort to me. Well guys and gals, I will talk to you all in a couple of days. My four children will be arriving at the hotel soon from Dayton and I am anxious to see all of them. My husband Ric and oldest daughter Krista will be taking over my journal for the next couple of days.
My response to everyone responding to my previous post
Journal posted on May 27, 2012
Hello everyone! Thanks so much to all you who responded to my last post with well wishes and prayers. We are all so blessed to have this site to talk over our fears and support one another. I am in much better shape this morning - after getting an uninterrupted nights sleep - even went to mass with Ric and my sister and her husband. My sister had arranged for the priest to take me back to the sacristy after mass and do the annointing of the sick. He said a wonderful prayer for God to bless the surgeons hands and the entire staff that will be working on me on Tuesday. and to surround me with angels. It was very comforting and I feel at peace that all will go well on Tuesday. My surgery is scheduled for 7:00 a.m.
Keep on tickin everyone! Take care and God bless all of you for your support and prayers. Denise
Hello everyone! I apologize for not posting for awhile. I have been in Cleveland since Wednesday for pre-op testing - Wednesday with the battery of tests and labs. On Thursday went in for my Heart Cath which went very well - all my arteries are clean as a whistle which is what we expected. Closure was done with the plug method. However, back at the hotel later in the afternoon I felt an intense pressure in my groin as I was attempting to update my journal and felt a huge lump the size of a golf ball and growing bigger by the minute - to the size of a baseball - needless to say it was very frightening! My husband called 911 and I was transported to the nearest hospital which is in the CCF network. After doing an ultrasound it was determined I had developed a pseudo-aneurysm in the groin from a leak in the artery. I was then transported to CCF main campus where all my doctors I am working with are located and spent the rest of the night, all day Friday and Friday night there. Mind you I had not had anything to eat since noon on Thursday after my cath and of course they would not let me eat or drink anything thinking I may need surgery to correct the problem. Thank God a CCF Vascular team was called in and while viewing the aneurysm using an ultrasound were able to inject a drug called Thrombin sp? into the area and like magic the aneurysm was gone - simply amazing procedure. A pressure bandage was applied and I spent another 6 hours flat on my back to try to get the rest blood and fluid be absorbed by my body. I finally got to eat but had to do this with only a very slight elevation of my head - not a fun way to eat, but I was starving by then so I managed.
Consequently, I missed my appointments Friday with the Anesthesia group, Dr, Roselli, and the To Come In appointment. The staff at CCF was awesome and found that Dr. Roselli was the doctor on call today, so he came to my room and spent an hour with us assuring me that this little bump in the road would not delay my surgery and we would move forward on Tuesday morning. Ric and I were very, very impressed with Dr. Roselli - very down to earth with a great bedside manner. He assured me that if there was a defect in the artery due to the aneurysm he would just fix that when he repairs my valve - pretty amazing!
After my meeting with Dr. Roselli the pressure bandage was removed and another ultrasound done to make sure all was well - which thankfully it was. I was discharged at 2:30. We are now at my sisters home in the Cleveland area where we will spend the weekend then back to CCF on Tuesday for my surgery which is scheduled for 7:00 a.m.
Sure hope all of you are having a better couple of days then I had. I just thank God that my surgery did not have to be postponed. Now on to an uneventful restful weekend. Take care all....
Hi everyone, I have been busy getting things done in preparation for our trip to Cleveland on Tuesday. I start pre-op testing on Wednesday. I have a sister who lives 20 minutes from Cleveland Clinic so we will be staying with her and her husband over the Memorial Day weekend after my pre-ops are all done on Friday until surgery on Tuesday the 29th.
I am trying to think positive thoughts as my surgery date draws closer. I am so blessed to have a support system of family and friends who have all been praying for me. Ric has been great - thanks honey - for putting up with my ups and downs the past several weeks - you are the best!
We spent Satuday evening celebrating our twins (Dan and Kathy) 29th birthday at Ouback - got to see and play with our 6 month old granddaughter Genevieve - best therapy to keep my mind off things.
I spent time being pampered by my yougest daughter Kathy today - she is hair stylist and owns her own salon - so I was treated to a relaxing pedicure today. Afterwards, took an afternoon nap with hubby and then we were off to 6:00 p.m. mass.
Tomorrow morning I will be spending a couple of hours with my dauaghter Krista and grandsons, Bryson and Dominic - have to get all those little hugs and kisses in before I leave for Cleveland.
Oh my gosh, I just looked at the clock and it is way past my bedtime - this blog is addictive - lol! I will try to post again when I am up in Cleveland to let you all know how my pre-ops are going. Take care and God bless all of my friends at HVJ.
I went to the Relay for Life walk in my home town this weekend with my daughter and 2 grandsons. I walked in memory of my mom, and in honor of my 3 sisters who are breast cancer survivors. I paced myself, and was able to walk about 5 miles total during the walk, in addition to chasing my grandsons around in between - lol! Spent today with my husband, son, his wife and our 6 month old granddaughter. Having the little ones around really takes my mind off the upcoming surgery.
I will be wrapping things up at work this week, then spend the weekend and next Monday getting ready for my trip to CCF on May 22nd for 3 days of pre-op testing.
I hope all the mom's out there had a wonderful mothers day! Take care and God bless.
I have been having a really hard time sleeping - can't seem to turn my brain off at night. I have no problem falling asleep - just staying asleep. I think it is just anxiety over my upcoming pre-ops and surgery. I am sure I am not the first person to experience this pre-surgery anxiety - pretty normal I think. My poor husband isn't getting much sleep either with me up and down and tossing and turning all night long - sorry Ric! I just have to get through 2 more weeks at work feeling like a zombie. I am still managing to make myself get on the treadmill in the morning before work and walk a mile, but just too fatigued in the evenings. Okay, I know, I am rambling - thats what sleep deprivation does to me - lol. So, I am going to sign off, put myself out of my misery and go to bed.....take care everyone.
I got to spend some time with my 6 month old granddaughter Genevieve this afternoon after work - the best therapy to take my mind off of things. She is such a happy baby and she greeted me with a big smile - just melts my heart! Hope everyone out there who is waiting like me is doing okay today. If not, hug a baby - does wonders to lower the stress level. Take care.......
Hello everyone! Today I called the dentist and found out I am due for my 6 month cleaning the end of May. They had a cancellation tomorrow so I am going in to get it done, along with the x-rays I need for surgery clearance. One more thing to check off my pre-surgery list of things to do. I am trying to stay busy so I am not dwelling on this constantly. During the day when I am at work is easy, it is the evenings at home when I have time to think about it and some of my fears start rearing their ugly heads. But I will get through - all of you who are on the other side of surgery have made it, so will I. I have a great support group of family and friends who are all praying for me which is very comforting. Take care all......
I just received my patient packet from CC with all the information on the facility in addition to when to be there and where for all my pre-op testing. Waiting is the hard part - I just want to get this taken care of and get on with life and have my energy back again! Ric and I have 3 beautiful grandchildren (5, 2 and 6 months) - and they require energy plus!!! Fatigue has been my only constant symptom (and I thought it was just my age) with occasioanl shortness of breath, other than that I am pretty asymtomatic - for which I am thankful. Our 4 adult children and the grandchildren are hopeful that I will be feeling well enough to accompany all of them on our planned family vacation to Hilton Head Island, SC the last week of June. I am hoping I am recovered enough to feel up for the trip. We shall see.....
Just six short weeks ago I was not even thinking about heart valve surgery until my annual check-up with my cardiologist. A routine echocardiogram to check the status of my mitral valve showed it had progressed to "severe" regurgitation with some other noteable changes. After much prayer, and with my husband Ric's full support, I made the decision to seek a second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Eric Roselli. We will meet with him for my pre-op consultation on May 25th. My surgery has been scheduled for May 29th. I feel very confident in my decision to move forward with surgery and in Dr. Roselli's ability to repair my valve. His staff has been awesome from my first phone call to all the follow-up calls to get everything in motion. Thus, my journey back to a healthy heart begins.......