I joined our local health club because they have an indoor track and Tai Chi classes available. I try to walk the track (13 rounds is a mile) at least 2 - 3 times a week. After walking one mile yesterday I was able for the first time in almost 30 years to actually slowly jog one round (1/13 mile)!! My heart rate was up to @ 168 but came right down after a short rest. During walking the rate was steady at @ 135. I could never elevate or slow my heart rate down because with the murmur it was always hight. I think it is working - it takes a long time but I was really proud of myself, even if it was just 1/13 of a mile! :-) I keep on walking.
I had Dr. Don Glower. He is THE leading man in that field at Duke. You can check him out online and he does a lot of research in that field. He is very nice to deal with and I was very satisfied what he and his team did for me. He is very dedicated to his patients. I got a repair of the mitral valve (not a replacement-YES!), and the minimal invasive surgery. It is not a cake walk and you will have a large scar under your arm and a couple of smaller ones around your breast BUT it beats breaking your breast bone. Recovery from the surgery is really fast and you have not much pain. You will not feel better right away and the recovery of the heart itself takes time. I got up a flight of stairs yesterday and I did not breath hard or break a sweat. I think I am getting there. Heart rate is still up but I have a feeling it will get better with time. Let me know how it went and I wish you good luck! Helen
It is now @ 11 weeks after my surgery and today is one of these days I am really frustrated. My heart rate is still around 110/115 when I am sitting still. This morning I did lite house work and it went up to 140/145 and stayed there for awhile. I had some cold med last night and a little coffee this morning (I am not into coffee like some people). I basically still feel the same as before the repair and I am angry at myself for not doing better. I like to start running and doing stuff that I have not done for almost 30 years.I bought a Timex heart rate monitor to keep a check on it. I see my doctor next Friday and I hope he is not putting me back on the meds. They really screw me up. While I am writing this my heart rate is down to 115 what is "normal". I feel like I am 100 years old sometimes!!
I heard that East Carolina has a great heart center, too. Talk to your surgeon and see how you "click" with him. I knew when I talked to Dr. Glower at Duke that he was "the one" for me. He basically lives at the hospital, and he came by late in the evening to check on us poor souls. He is no nonsense and you can see he lives for his work and patients. Just see how it goes. Duke recommended me for a diff. surgeon but I really wanted him because he does the minimal invasive surgery. It paid off for me. Good luck and keep us posted. Helen, NC
After my operation on Friday I got home from the hospital today - YEH!! The first 48 hrs are really the hardest. You can not rest because the constant march of RN's take your blood, medication, etc. I slept for 3 hrs nice and toasty under my blanky on my sofa at home today. I got pics of my valve - before (none existing!) and after (a perfect seal!) I got the biggest annuloplasty ring they had in stock (Ha, 38MM). My breast bone is deformed so it pushes my heart to the left. It was a tricky part but I got the minimal invasive procedure done. Now I take it easy and see how my recovery goes. Thanks to the great team at Duke University and the great gift that my surgeon Dr. Glower has. :-)))))
OK - it is official - Pre-Op tomorrow and surgery on Friday. I have been ask for my part of the cost so I am sure I am on! I can't believe how expensive it is!! If 2012 will be the end of the world, and I would know that for sure, I don't think I would go ;-) All my friends and co-workers are positive about it. We see how it goes.
Otherwise - here goes Helen! Good luck to everybody else!
Everything was setup and ready to go until Saturday morning when my surgeon called me to tell me that my surgery has been pushed back to the 20th of November. I am not mad because everything is for a reason but now I have to wait another week and a half. I am an emotional wreck and on top of all that my dog is not in good shape and I may have to put her down after 14 1/2 years. I need more x-rays because of my breastbone deformation and I just hope I can go with minimal invasive surgery. Right now it is about 50/50. Back at work today for a couple of more days!
OK it is official my surgery date is November 10th at Duke in Durham. I try to figure out if my husband can donate blood in case I need it. My surgeon told me he can not take a pint of blood before surgery because I would not have enough to support me through surgery. Vampires would not be happy with me :-). I have anxiety sometimes at night and I want this to be over with and done.