Why do they do this......just when I was getting use to the idea that May 14th was coming up quickly, the surgeons office just called and changed my surgery date to May 19th. Said something about having to schedule another surgery that day, and so changed mine. I will be his only surgery that day, for now anyway. They are definately going to drive me crazy!!!!!
Just got an email from my doctor and he said that it sounds like I'm beginning to heal. If I start to get pus out of it again, he wants to see me right away, otherwise, to keep doing what I'm going and it should be just fine. Whewwwww......(big sigh of relief)
Good Monday Morning,
Well, another day without any oozing from my wrist. That makes it 2 days now. I had to switch from bandaids to gauze tho, because my poor skin is getting very sore from the adhesive. The redness is a lot less, is not as sore to the touch, but I still have a little hole in the middle. I'm going to email my doctor this morning and let him know how it is and let him decide if he wants to see me. But, I really think its beginning to heal. At times, I get an itch feeling, so I believe that;s a good sign. I never had anything like this before, was scary, especially being so close to the surgery date. And the fact that its exactly at the cath site. But, I was tested for MRSA among other infections, and all came out clear. Just a speed bump along the surgery road, I suppose.
Well, its was a very productive weekend. Dwight and I went shopping for a recliner. Little did I know that Dwight was on a mission. We hit a great sale at Wolf Furniture and we got an electric recliner. No handles to push or pull, just a push of a button and you can go into any position you would like. Its very comfortable, tried it out last night. Was watching TV, and ended up watching the inside of my eyelids. ;) So, if need be, I'll be comfortable during my recovery, in the sleep department.
My wrist seems to be doing better. Today was the first day that I didn't get any pus out of it. Still keeping an eye on it, but even the redness seems to be less and its not hot anymore. I've been doing what the doctor told me, putting warm compresses on it 3 times a day for 10 minutes each time. I'm hoping its a good sign and all will be ok. I looked up "sterile skin abcess, and believe it or not, there is such a thing. And everything my doctor has told me to do, is exactly what it says to do on the site I looked up.
Got a lot of projects done around the house this weekend, too. Dwight will be going to NY on Friday to pick up his Mom and bring her down to stay with us during my surgery and recovery. My Dad will be staying with us, too. We'll have a house full, it will be nice. Everything seems to be falling into place.
Got an email from my doctor and he told me that the culture came back negative, so he said it is what they call a sterile skin abcess. He wants me to put warm compresses on it for 10 minutes 3 times a day and continue to use the antibiotic cream. If it doesn't get better by next week, he wants to see me again. So, thats what I'll do and go from there.
Well, its Friday and my wrist is still oozing pus. I've been using peroxide and a antibiotic cream on it, but its no better. I emailed my doctor this morning and I'm waiting to hear from him now. The culture came back fine, so is not staph or anything like that. It was healed up after the cath, but the redness really didn't go away. Then it started to get a white head on it. The doctor broke it, and its been draining since. I'm 2 weeks out from having my surgery and if this doesn't clear up, I'm afraid they will postpone, and that would be disasterous. Have to wait and see what the doctor has to say.
Got up this morning and took a shower, then removed the bandaid that the doctor put on my wrist yesterday. And ewwwww...a bunch of pus and blood came out, and I have a little hole in the middle. The good news is the bump is almost gone now and the soreness is a lot less and so is the redness. Its not hot anymore either. I put some drawing salve on it and a fresh bandaid. I'll check it again in the morning.
Had the Cat Scan today and also a Urine culture. Took longer to drive to the hospital, 1 1/2 hours, then the 2 procedures combined. Afterwards, Dad and I went to Denny's for breakfast and then home again. Hopefully, that will be for the running until surgery day.
Been sitting here thinking of things. Can anyone tell me what you suggest on packing for the hospital? I have toothbrush, toothpaste (because one of the nurses told me the toothpaste the hospital gives out is nasty) slippers and a robe. Once fully awake will have my cell phone. Do I need anything else?
Just got back from the doctors. He called it a skin abcess and its just on the surface and not deep. He relieved the pressure and took a culture, and doesn't feel that antibiotics are necessary, right now. Keep an eye on it, but feels that that should do the trick. Feels a lot better already. The pressure was relieved as soon as he opened it.
Tomorrow is my Cat Scan. Should be fun!!!!
Thank you Fran, hopefully this should be it. Hope your feeling better, too.
Well, have a doctors appointment this afternoon. Looks like I'm starting an infection at the cath site on my wrist. I have a red bump with a whitehead starting on it. So, getting it checked out. My appt is for 3:20 this afternoon. Don't need an infection just a few weeks out from surgery. I was very careful with it, and kept it covered like they told me, but for some reason something is starting. Will let you know how I make out.
Well, yesterday I met with the surgeon, did all my pre-admission testing. Have to go back on Tuesday for a Cat Scan and then that should be it as far as testing goes.
The surgeon is an awesome man. Very soft spoken, 65 yrs young and not too bad to look at either. ;-)
He explained that he will try to do the minimally invasive procedure, cutting from the bottom of my neck and down about 3 to 4 inches. The reason I said will try, is he will start the surgery that way, but if need be, he may have to cut and split open all the way because people with bicupid valves tend to have misplaced arteries, and if that's the case, he will need more room to work. So, won't know until its all over. I'm going to have a bovine tissue valve because of all the activites that we are involved in. No blood thinners that way, which he said even the slightest bump on the head could cause severe complications, if not death. So, sounds good to me. The bad part of it all is no motorcycle riding for at least 6 months and no shooting for at least 3 months. So, motorcycle riding for this season is a wash. Disappointed in that, but has to be. Surgery date is Friday, May 14th. Have to be at the hospital at 5:30 am and surgery is scheduled for approx 7:30/8:00 am. Will be roughly 5 hours or so and he said will be in the hospital 5 to 10 days, depending on how I do. Yesterday I had blood work, EKG, chest xrays, and a ultrasound of my caroid arteries and also on my legs. I have black dots on them to map out veins, in case the surgeon needs to harvest them. I have to keep the black dots on my legs until surgery. Even gave me my own marker. I have to take Folic Acid, Iron and Vitamin C until surgery to build up my blood. The richer the blood the better. Even told me things that I should minimize eating, is now a go ahead to enrich my blood. Beef, liver, beets, eggs, etc. Anything high in iron I'm to eat as much as I can of it. Music to my ears....hahaha! Afterwards, I will be doing cardiac rehab for 9 weeks, 3 times a week. I took Adams book with me to my appt. yesterday, and Dr. Woods was very impressed, even took the time to scan through it. He felt it was a terrific idea to read it. Turns out, Dr. Woods did his training in the Cleveland Clinic and knows most of the doctors that Adam mentions in his book. Small small world, huh?
So, things are all set and put into motion. Dr. Woods is going on vacation next week. He's going to Disney World with his grandkids, so he should be nice and refreshed when its time for surgery. Everybody I met yesterday was awesome. After being in ICU for whatever time I need to be in there, I will be transferred into a room. Geisinger has built a new wing onto the hospital and thats where I will be. Hospital of Advanced Medicine. My room will be a private room and the nurse told me is very big and roomy. She told me that they will want me up and walking as much as I can, as soon as I can. And that I should feel like a new person after the surgery, so looking forward to that.
So, now we wait. Have a lot of mixed emotions that I'm still struggling with. Guess that will be that way until its all said and done with.
Just another task done before surgery. Got my hair cut on Friday. She cut about 5 inches off. Its shorter then I have had it in a long while, but you know what, I really like it. Might keep it this way for a while.
Tomorrow is the day I meet with the surgeon. My appointment is for 10:30 am and then at 12:30 pm I have pre-admission testing. I'm really nervous and scared. But, at the same time, kinda, sorta will be glad to have it all behind me. So many emotions you go through in this whole process. One minute your up and the next your shaking in your own skin and in tears. So many people have been so supportive, it is really heart warming. I'm very blessed!
My arm is a lot better from where I had the cath done. All different colors of blue, black, green, and yellow. But is healing nicely. Hardly even sore anymore.
Will let you all know what happens tomorrow, for sure.
Just got back from the dentist where I had a good check up, got the pearly whites cleaned and my dentist also wanted a set of full mouth xrays done. Sending a letter off to the surgeon that my mouth is nice and healthy. Another step completed.
Yesterday my arm was just throbbing from the cath on Monday. Was quite swollen, too, but today it feels a lot better. And the swelling has gone down pretty good, too. Just occasionally I get a twinge, but no biggie!
Got back to the mountain to find that my bear had raided the feed bin. He ate all the food I had stored in there for him and the deer. He left the deer food, but ate every morsel of his food, so had to go out today and get more. Don't want him to be a hungry boy!!! They are so fun to watch.
Have a great day everyone, and I will chat again soon.
Well, had my cath yesterday, and like everybody said, IT WAS A PIECE OF CAKE.
They called me into the suite where I had to change into one of those really fancy gowns and footies. ;-) The nurses were absolutely terrific. By this time, I'm petrified and in tears. I had 3 nurses tending to me, one asking questions, one was taking blood and putting in a IV and the other was doing blood pressure and pulse ox. They moved so fast, it was actually a little intimidating. I was next in line, they had an emergency come in, a gentleman that was having a heart attack, so after they were finished with him, I was to go next. By about 9:45 am I was in the cath lab. The technicians were wonderful, trying to make me at ease as best as they could. One nurse took me under her wing and we chatted while they were getting prepared for the test. Next thing I know another nurse is telling me that she is putting a little sedation into my IV and I should feel relaxed. It did sorta relax me, but I did not sleep. The worse part of the whole procedure was the injection to numb me and that wasn't bad at all and very short lived. Oh, forgot to mention they did the cath through my wrist. Within a minute of giving me the local, the tech is telling me that the cath is in and they started taking pictures. I had a hard time seeing the screen because the machine they use to take the pictures was in the way, but I did manage to see some. Truly amazing! I didn't feel anything when they put the die in, no warmth, or sensation of having to pee. The only thing that I did feel was when they were near the end. My vein didn't like the cath in and started to spasm a little. I said to them, WOOOO, I feel that, and they explained to me that that happens sometimes. But, it wasn't painful, just a weird sensation. The next thing I know they are telling me its all over, that I had no blockages and the nurse is tending to my arm. They put a pressure sleeve over the incision where the cath was and that was it. Back to the suite where they took vitals and got Dwight to come sit with me. They brought me something to eat and drink and after a few hours I was released. Back home by about 3:30. All in all it was a pleasant experience.
My wrist and arm is quite tender today, and the bruising is starting, but nothing that a little tylenol won't help with. They told me that I have to see my dentist before surgery to make sure everything is good in that department, so I have an appt tomorrow to take care of that.
Next is a haircut so I don't have to fiddle with it after surgery. The next step is seeing the surgeon April 20th. They told me yesterday that usually surgery is scheduled within a week to a week and a half after seeing the surgeon. So, time is coming up quickly. If surgery goes as good as it did yesterday, I will have it made in the shade!
Thank you everybody for helping me through this first stage.
Well, down to 3 days til I get my heart cath done. Feeling really anxious, but will be glad when its all behind me.
Have been taking it easy, not pushing myself. That way my symptoms are under control. Trying to keep myself occupied with pleasant things so that I don't think too much. Did a little decorating in the new house today. That always makes me feel good.
Til next time.....
Well, this time next week I'll be on my way to the hospital to get a heart cath done. I'm still scared, but feel a little better about it after Cheryl explained how things go. Thank you Cheryl for that. My symptoms have gotten a bit worse. Getting out of breath a lot easier and the chest pain is very scary. In a way, I'll be glad when its all done and I can mend and do the things I enjoy. Hopefully I'll heal quickly so that I can enjoy getting on my motorcycle and feel the wind and breath the fresh air. I'll probably ride a little bit before the surgery, just no long distance.
Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday and I will write again.
What can I say? The support everyone is given to me has blown me away. Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart. I will try and email everyone that I have met on my journal site, it may take me a while, but please, I will get to you. It is very reassuring to hear from everyone and hear your stories. After the day I had yesterday, which was the worse yet, it certainly eases my mind some hearing everyone's experiences.
I'm taking it easy a bit today. We moved into a new house in January, so I'm just doing a little finessing, nothing taxing. Don't want to go through what I went through yesterday, even tho what I was doing was really nothing. I'm finding when I bend over a lot is where I get into trouble. Did anyone remember experiencing that?
Talked with the nurse this morning. I will meet with Dr. Woods, the heart surgeon on April 20th at 10:30 am at Geisinger Hospital in Danville, PA. He will go over my heart cath results and schedule surgery. I will have testing done after his visit for EKG, chest xrays, etc.
I had a serious problem just a few minutes ago, which tells me that I made the right decision to have the surgery sooner rather then later. I was walking around the yard, picking up some branches that had fallen over the winter, which was only a minute or two, and I barely made it in the house. I had a very hard time breathing, I felt like an elephant was on my chest, and for the first time, I actually saw stars and I think was on my way to passing out. I managed to fall onto the couch and tried to control my breathing and after about 5 minutes, it all passed. The stuff is really really really scary!!!!!! I look forward to when I can walk outside and look at the flowers and trees blooming. This is my favorite time of year, when everything is coming alive. I can't enjoy it, as I am right now.
Just talked with my cardiologist. Sweet man! He said, "So your ready to do this". Not really, but have no choice. So, the first step is a heart catherization, which is scheduled for April 12th. It will be in and out the same day. Want to check to make sure I don't have any blocked arteries that need tending to while getting my new aortic valve. Makes sense! As I'm sitting here I'm trembling. I'm scared out of my wits. Can't wait to talk with Dwight, he will calm my nerves. Then the next step will be to meet with the surgeon and set up surgery.