I figured I should get back on here and see how everyone is making out. yesterday was my 5th month aniversary of my surgery date. I really can't believe it at times that this year has been real. I never really thought I would be in this situation, both before my surgery, and learning to live after the surgery. For someone who was so certain I would be dead on may 2nd, 2012 to be writing this in october in my eyes is a miracle. I'm so very thankful for everyone thats been a part of my journey from my family to my surgeon / nurses/ to everyone who ever wrote me a note of support on here. I know I am for sure not one of the most in touch people on here. But please don't think I've abandoned this site and the heart comunity. I honestly just have a hard time with it all. Even to this day. If anything this surgery was made me realize my time on this earth is not guaranteed. Just trying to cope and live a good life and adjusting to the meds, bloodwork and INR stuff and restrictions has been quite the time. I ususally stay within 2-3.2 INR when I get checked. this is good I hear. Still in pain in my chest at times, I really tried to get back to things too soon and I caused myself un needed pain and an extended healing period. I am back to work out of town again, I decided working in my city wasn't a good option as it's harder on me physically. Out of town sucks because I miss my family and little niece vienna dearly, but the money is a lot better and it's easier on my body. I hope to be here until march and see about a new career. I hope everyone I had spoken to before is still kicking around here and doing well. Believe me without your words, I don't think I would have made it through everything. You guys are my heros. It's unfortunate we all have to belong to such a club, tied together by a faulty body organ that brings us life, but knowing the courage and strength you all have to deal and overcome, has made me a much better person.
I Will try to upload some pictures of my surgery post op and some along the way of my recovery.
Once again in closing, I Will pray for you all, I hope you know you aren't alone, even though some of us are a little more quiet than the rest.
always available to talk if anyone needs it.
Just writing this message to everyone out there, If you are waiting for surgery, have recently had a surgery, have questions or anything like that. Please feel free to get ahold of me if you need someone to talk to or anything like that. I know I'm not on here very often. Tomorrow is 2 months post surgery for me and I am doing quite well. I really just don't have much to share so I don't post often. But I feel I owe it to anyone out there who may need some help or anything because There was so many people that helped me on this site when I was waiting for my surgery, losing my mind worrying etc. If it wasn't for this website I would have been going into surgery pretty much blind. Adams book really opened that door for me as well. So once again like I said if you need someone to talk to or have questions, feel free leave me a guesbook message, or even email me email@example.com
Happy Canada day to all my fellow canucks out there and hope everyone down south in the good old USA has a great 4th of July as well!
Take care everyone!
Truthfully, I feel kind of bad that I haven't been on here in quite a few weeks. I really just am not super big on computers, and wasn't in the mood for writing about things. I thank everyone for the well wishes and thoughts though. It does mean a lot to me.
Everything many of you said was true. The wait for the surgery was the hardest part. At almost 7 weeks, wednesday will be 7 weeks, I am back behind the wheel, My ribs feel a lot better. They didn't give me many painkillers to begin with, at first I was very upset about this, being in constant pain. But I ended up on morphine for about 2 weeks. I've been off all pain meds for about 3 weeks now and I'm feeling pretty good. Other than tossing and turning in bed and it still hurting a bit. Supposed to start cardiac rehab soon, Not too sure if I really need to take it though.
I feel great though. there was some waves of depression, i would end up crying over nothing for whatever reason, but I think it's come to pass. Still trying to get used to the mechanical valve and the ticking noise. I sure hope it can last my lifetime, Don't really feel like getting split open again.
Other than that, pretty much all that's been going on.
I'm hoping the best for everyone else out there about to go in for surgery and I pray that everything turns out good for you when you get on the other side of the operation!
Hey everyone, Thanks for all the kind words in the guestbook. I wish It was easier to reply to them, I will get it all done soon hopefully. My incisions are healing up well, Lungs are good, but still in a lot of pain, my heart rate is ususally 105 at rest. I think my diruetics aren't working anymore as I have went from 292 to 301 in a weeks time. My output isnt as high as the imput. I have an apointment to get in to see my family doctor tomorrow so I can address my issues with him. Still have fluid around my heart I need to be concerned about. I came into this assuming I would heal a lot quicker considering my age, But wow sure seem to have a lot of complications. Oh well, better than being dead right now! how does everyone reading this journal that has a mech valve find the warfarin? is it easy to keep in good range?? so far I stay between 2 and 3. I'm still not eating much. and still getting blurry vision.
anyone else out there encounter this? if you move in a certain way it makes your sternum area where you were cut kinda make a popping sound? like it might be shifting? it only hurts for a quick seccond, but I'm not too sure if i should be concerned or not.
ps. thanks for all the concern. I had no internet acess in the hospital that's why I couldn't get back to you guys until I came home.
It means a lot though!
So I had to go to the hospital last monday in an abulence because I thought I was having a heart attack, it felt like someone my size sitting on my chest and my heart was racing, and I had pains in my left wrist. As soon as they showed up, my vitals went back down and I felt a lot better. But I was taken to the hospital and I spent another 5 days in there to be acessed. They did two echo cardiograms ( not the most plesant things on a freshly sewn up sternum) and I have some fluid around my heart, they figure it will go out with time. I lost all my water weight. But I now have a hematoma on my left groin where they took the IV out of, it hurts quite a bit. I'm doing better now. Sometimes my vision gets pretty blurry, like I've been staring at lights, I dunno why. I didn't even care to ask, I just wanted out of that hospital. To top it off they only gave me Tramadol/Acet for the pain which I hear is like a weaker tylenol 3. Which would explain the great deal of pain I'm in. my INR has been staying pretty consistent always between 2 and 2.8 I'm actually in great spirits all things considered, just pissed off about the lack of pain meds, even though I told them several times it doesen't work. I'm taking percocets in the mean time that I had from a previous injury. Well basically that is everything that is going on with me. Hope all you mothers on here are having a lovely mothers day! God bless you all.
just have a few questions about after surgery healing.
my chest feels pretty tight, is this normal? how about having a big bump at the top of the incision? my heard rate is still aroound 95 -10 resting but when i walk it can get uo to 130-140 is this normal as well?
im nostly concerned about the chest tightness. it doesent hurt but I'm not used to feeling it.
thanks for any help everyone!
Hey guys, sorry about the delay in writing. I didn't get the internet at the hospital. I did make the surgery, sure was scary seeing that operating table. It was small and looked like a cross, they never had any meds to calm me down before hand. when they started putting the gas and anastesia on it was the craziest feeling as I tried to fight it off. My surgery ended up taking 7.5 hours, but they got it done. I awoke in the ICU way earlier than I should and I tried to pull my breathing tube out and caused a scene, so they had to put me back under and restrain me. Once I came to and realized what was going on I just laid there. They took the tube out after 4 hours, and wouldn't let me drink for another 4 hours, pure torture.. I was only in the ICU for half a day and then was taken to the regular cardiac ward. I did really wel, sitting up for almost 2 hours my first day out of surgery. Did lots of walking and sitting. The nurses were pretty horrible, would withold pain meds and were generally pains in the ass so that was a downer. some were nice though. I got out yesterday sunday afternoon so it was a 4 day stay. Glad to be out and back at home.
You guys were right the waiting is the hardest part. Other than the pain I feel great! I will post some pictures up here to show you guys how I did. thanks for all the well wishes and prayers.
Sorry for not replying to everyone that's been writing in my guestbook, I read them all and I'm thankful to know that people can read what I say and comunicate with me. I've just been quite busy trying to stay working and keeping my mind off things until I get to go in again. I'm all signed in to be there at 5:30 am for a surgery at 7:20. Trying to go over all the notes and information they have sent me to read since I haven't looked into it since the last time I was supposed to go in a week and a half ago. Trying to stay calm, a lot calmer than I was the last time. I know that I may get bumped yet again. But I'm quite nervous still. worried about dying on the table, or complications and all that. Kind of hard not to worry. I know the majority of everyone on here says the wait is the hardest part.
but I have a question for you. how did you handle going into the surgery? what should I expect? or anything else I should know about?
Thanks for the support I really appreciate it.
ps. is it typical to lose some weight from lack of appitite or anything like that with this surgery?
Someone must have needed my space more than me, I've been bumped till may 2nd now, next week. Which I hope I work out better for that person and everything. But this emotional roller coaster is so hard on me. I spent all day trying to get in the zone for this, dealing with all my loved ones driving me nuts trying to comfort me and crying my eyes out on and off. I just want this to be over. Anyone else ever get bumped?
Hey guys, I got in tomorrow morning at 5:30. surgery starts around 7:30 I assume. the stress is getting bad I can actually see my heart pounding through my hoodie. I can't really sleep. I don't want to eat anything, and my mind is racing. I have family flying in from all over to be here for this, which makes me more stressed out. I really hope everyone is right that the worst part is the waiting game. I still have a bad feeling in the back of my mind about dying on that operating table. I'm 29 and I have so much to live for. I just hope as soon as I get in they can shoot me up with some kinda sedatives because I can't handle this. Everything is getting surreal. I know I need this done to be able to live a longer and fuller life, but I've never been through a major surgery before. I know they are pros, and things can happen. The Surgeon said it's less than one percent of anything happening to cause me dying, but I can't help but worry. I've been crying all day and I don't want to look weak but It's something far greater than I ever assumed I would have to endure. I know I'm no special case, and many people have had far worse things to deal with as far as this type of procedure. I really hope if there is a god or some kind of higher power or anything that they will look out for me. I have many things I need to do before I kick the bucket.
Thank's for reading, if everything goes well I should be back on here in a couple days to report how things went.
Hey guys, just curious if anyone out there can inform me of what a diet after having a mechanical valve inserted into you is like? I heard that you can't really have vitamin K and green foods, but I really am not sure what I can have. I weigh 295 ( down from 350 last july) my weight can go up and down really easy depending on things. I hope when I am healed and can get back into the gym to get down to 220. I'm 6'1 and have a football players kinda build. Muscle covered with fat haha. I just want to be able to know if I can still have alcohol, something I haven't really been having in a long time, or things like Redbulls or what all a guy could possibly have. I really have no choice but to follow the guidelines. I just want to be prepared for them!
well it's friday, and I am 3 days away from the surgery now. I had to get a dental exam and cleaning done, Spend a day at the hospital going over a pre op session, x rays, blood work, breathing into machines and the works. Today I had to go for a CT Angiogram. way different than I thought it would be, I thought I was getting a Catscan and a seperate Angiogram. This one was easy, Lay in this donut like camera I assume, and they inject dye into your blood and get the pictures. Well I can tell you that sure felt interesting feeling the heat it gave off.
I also found out what that termanology was. the one is the ascending aortic root replacement and the aortic valve. I met with my surgeon, He was recruted to the U of A hospital from Stanford in california, he has worked on NBA players, CFL football players, and even Arnold swarginegger (sp?) consulted him about some heart issues. He handles heart and lung transplants as well so he seems to know what he is doing. he said I have less than 1 percent chance of dying, and he won't allow that to happen. I hope he sure is right. He said he thinks the On-X carbon valve is the best option for a guy like me, good for life and eventually might not require the blood thinners. So I will take that option if it means no more surgeries.
Now I just play the waiting game until the surgery. Try not to get sick and stay healthy for the big day and relax.
Thanks for all the kind words everyone and for reading! always nice to hear from you guys and your own stories!
Well today was pretty interesting. I had to go to the dentist this morning to see if I could get a fresh exam and the records for the surgery, I have to go back on friday before the angiogram and the CT scan. Also went to the family doctor for a record of my history and a physical along with bloodwork. Tomorrow is going to be a pre op day at the hospital where I assume it will be a bunch of tests, and talking about how everything will go down. I'm taking the weekend off work to just relax and try to stay calm, the last thing I really need is to spend my time working and trying to stay cool. Still a lot of mixed emotions, but as many of you have said, better to get it over with now than later. Just hope I don't get a cold or get sick, or end up getting bumped from this date, I just want to get it done and carry on living!
Hello everyone out there, Haven't been on here in a bit, as I was busy moving into a new place. I was given the news today that My aortic valve replacement surgery has been set for monday, april 23rd. Today is tuesday. Not a whole lot of notice. Now I have a few days of going for a physical, getting a dentist examination (anyone have any idea why?) going to the hospital for a pre op day where I assume they walk me through everything. then friday I have a catscan and angiogram to do. Monday at 2:30pm I go under the knife. It was estimated to be around the 3 months mark. Not 3 weeks.
So I will admit I'm very scared, not trying to freak out about it. I'm very worried about not making it through the surgery as I have plenty more to accomplish in my life. Everyone in my life says I will be fine, but it's hard for them to understand as someone who hasnt had to endure this. I hope someone on here reads this, and can possibly tell me what this means?
AVR ASC AO <- is what it says the procedure will be.
I haven't even been informed of what type of valve or what type of procedure they will be doing on me.
Thank you for reading, and any information would be greatly appreciated.
Just wanted to post a quick note before I have to go to sleep, about all the kind words I received in the guestbook after my first post. Makes me feel a lot better knowing I'm not alone in this and that it can happen to anyone.I hope when it's all done and I'm healthy again I can help others as well. Because we all most likely know this feeling pre operation of doubt and worry.
Well not really too sure what to say. It's been about 2 months since I found out I have to go for a valve replacement in my heart. The Aortic valve. I'm still fairly uneducated on a lot of the termanology in regards to the heart, so maybe someone can help me out with it. I went in for an ECG test with the pads, something came up a little off, So I was sent for another ECG but this one was with an ultrasound, which is where they discovered my valve leaks because it is missing one leaflet (a birth defect) in turn my heart has to work harder due to this, and has enlarged. I had a TEE (Trans Esophagal Echocardiogram ?) done two weeks ago where I swallowed a camera to get a better look and it's now been confirmed I am in need of a new valve.
so playing the waiting game. it's pretty severe so they want to do it within 3 months. I read the book by Adam, very useful stuff. I am still very scared and have a hard time coping with everything that has happened.
So if anyone out there reads this, and might have some suggestions on what I can do to make this a little easier on myself, feel free.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for giving me a place to vent a little bit.