I met with the cardiac surgery team at Mount Sinai last Wed.June 22. They said that everyting looks good and that they do not intend to see me again.
I met with the electrophysiology doctor today because of the atrial flutter that I had right after surgery. He said that the odds are that the flutter will not return because this is a common occurrence that is related to the surgery. He took me off of the drug (Amiodarone) that is an antiarrhythmic agent, but said that I should continue taking the blood thinner (Pradaxa) in case my heart becomes irregular which may lead to blood clots. The blood thinner reduces the possibility of getting blood clots and thus strokes..
I hope that this is my last journal message and that I will uneventfully continue my recovery.
Thank you for your interest and your well wishes. Your support was very important for my recovery.
I began cardiac rehab this morning at St. Charles Hospital. Rehab is three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My first impression was very positive. The rehab will allow me to know how much and how intense I should perform. It was my impression that they will want me to improve as fast as possible and will develop a program based on my fitness. Right now my exercise is just walking.
I met with my cardiologist today. She said that I am doing well and that I should begin cardiac rehab. I meet with the Dr. who will review my health for rehab next Monday June 6 and if he says go I will begin my rehab on Monday June 13.
The great thing was that the cardiologist said that I should next see her on Aug. 31, three months from now. That bodes well.
I have been doing well since I returned home last Thurs. Every day I get a little better, but still tire easily. I have been going on small "adventures" almost everyday. On Friday I picked up glasses to replace the ones that were lost when I was moved out of the ICU.
On Sunday Darlene, Saimoen and I went to Radio Shack to buy a clock radio to wake me up. I need to take my first medicine of the day at 6 AM.
Today Janet and I are planning to go to the car wash. Not real exciting adventures, but at least they get me out of the house for a short time.
My cardiologist said to mostly rest this week, but that I could walk a mile each day in 0.3 mile segments separated by periods of rest.
I have not suffered any pain, although there is some discomfort and I have to be careful not to lift more than 5 pounds with one hand or 10 pounds with both hands.
I have an appointment with my cardiologist tomorrow Wed. June 1. I hope that she will recommend that I start cardiac rehab
The first symptoms were on Tuesday when my blood pressure was averaging 85/45. I may have been light headed but I did not feel much different. I had an appointment with my cardiologist on Wednesday 5/25, after seeing my EKG, she said I should go directly to emergency room at Stony Brook University Hospital.
The procedure to correct my atrial fibrilation/flutter was a shock to my heart (cardioversion) to reset the beat. After one shock my heart began beating regularly. I was able to go home Thursday evening. I have been told to take it easy until I meet with my cardiologist on this coming Wed. She did say I could walk a mile a day, which I do in three separate walks of 0.35 miles. Darlene and her children accompanied me on the evening walk yesterday (Friday 5/27)
His heart is beating irregularly--atrial fibrillation and flutter, I think it's called. No, it has nothing to do with any "too much, too soon" issues--his cardiologist tells us it's very common after heart surgery--1 in 3, she says. To me, the totally ignorant, it isn't surprising. I always wondered how his heart after the trauma of being cooled down, stopped, sewed up, and then shocked back into action was supposed to go merrily ticking along as if nothing had happened. Anyway, at 11am today (Thursday) they will insert a "camera" into his heart area to check for clots and if none are found, then shock his heart back into rhythm. Please forgive me for not knowing the names of these procedures--they don't sound so weird with proper names. We are not supposed to worry about this, it's all very common, and he's in good hands. --I'm off to the hospital.
PS: TransEsophogalEchocardiogram (TEE)/cardioversion
I am not in pain, and can pretty much do anything physical without help which is not what I expected. The problem is that any small effort makes me tired. However, yesterday I was able to go out for two 300 yard walks. I was hoping to do the same today, but it continues to rain.
Gil was discharged from the hospital about 2pm today. Our son-in-law Edmond navigated deftly through outrageously backed up traffic both in Manhattan and on the LIE, so the long ride home was exhausting. Gil moves slowly and carefully, but doesn’t have much pain except for his throat that is still very raw from the breathing tube during the surgery. That will heal, of course, and time and exercise will strengthen his body. This is the last report from me—I’m turning the Journal back to its principal.
Barring any unexpected developments overnight, Gil will be discharged tomorrow. His 'medical team' says all readings, x-rays, EKGs, etc. are good. Today the wires and final drainage tubes were removed. I was a bit concerned over seepage after the final tube was removed, but everyone tells me that's normal and not to worry about it. Gil is tired of being tired and now starts the arduous work of getting back into shape. So Saturday will be a big day for us.
Gil took several walks around the patient care area today including up and down a set of about 5 steps that are there for practice. Of course, I'm used to him walking 10+ miles without blinking, so seeing how exhausted he was after a turn around the floor just demonstrates what his body has been through. It was good to see him eating as if he enjoyed his food today. All the periodic checks on blood pressure, heartbeat, etc including a CT scan were good. Tomorrow is another day.
Little by little throughout the day various tubes, monitors, etc. were disconnected from Gil, and finally he was moved out of ICU about 7pm and into a room up on the 7th floor. It was all very exhausting for him, but things should get better soon, now that he'll be able to move around a bit.
Yesterday was a hard one for Gil, but just what he expected. The draining tubes were removed--a bit traumatic but quick. A few hours later a chest x-ray confirmed that all is well. He ate liquids for lunch and a bit of solid food for supper. He's uncomfortable mostly from sore neck muscles. A physical therapist moved him around a bit yesterday. He hasn't gotten up yet because he's still connected to a pacemaker. We'll see if they move him today. I read all the comments and e-mails to him--both well wishes and work-related. He enjoys hearing all these very much. Thank you all!
Gil went in to OR at 12 noon--the operation started about 1:30 and he was brought to ICU at about 7pm. I was allowed in to see him at 7:30. He was just barely awakening, and the doctor said they want him to sleep a few more hours. All of his monitoring devices were giving good numbers, they assured me. I am not allowed to stay with him overnight, so will go back to the hospital tomorrow morning. The nurse said he should have no pain tonight, but that tomorrow and Wednesday will be more painful for him. We expected this, and the main thing is that the surgery was problem free and successful!
This is from Janet to be sure I know how to enter information to you all.
I went with Gil to Mt. Sinai Hospital for his pretesting session last Tuesday, May 10th. Everything is ready and approved. Yesterday Gil received the message that he is to report on Monday at 9:30am for the surgery. I'll be in the 'family' room and will receive a full report after the operation is finished (4-6 hours they say). I'll pass all this information on to you then.
Love to all,
I found out that I had a mitral valve regurgitation in 2000 when I was required to have a physical for a gym that I wanted to join in Munster, Germany while I was on sabbatical. In 2002 an echocardiogram showed that I had moderate to severe regurgitation. I have regularly had echocardiograms since then and now have severe regurgitation. Mitral valve repair is required before my heart becomes damaged.
I have made arrangements with Dr. David Adams of the Mitral Valve Repair Center (http://www.mitralvalverepair.org/) at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan to have the repair on Monday May 16, 2011.