Since my surgery, i have had more bad news about friends and family than I would like. My friend, who was diagnosed with Kruetsfeld Jacok disease shortly after my surgery, passed away this week. My sister fell and broke her tibia in 4 places. She will be in a rehab hospital for a long time. My moms house is being rebuilt from the fire.
So, I thank my lucky stars that I only had to have my aortic valve replaced. This surgery definitely makes you have a greater appreciation for life and friends.
I am going to Cardiac Rehab 3 times a week. The exercise helps but I am still a lot more tired than I used to be.
I am hoping to be able to ride my moto in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how that goes!
Today was my 1st day back at work. I only worked 4 hours. When I arrived home I decided that I would take a short nap. That short nap ended up being 4 hours. I didn't realize that I was so tired. Hopefully I will have more energy each day since I start work full time next week.
I also signed up for Cardic Rehab today. I figure I might as well take advantage of that since it is cheaper than my trainer.
For the newbies......FYI... When I found out that I needed OHS, I checked my inurance to see how much I would need to pay. However, when my hospital recommended the Home Health Care, I didn't check the costs because they said the insurance company covered 200 visits per year. I had one visit and decided that the nurse was not doing anything that I couldn't do. Just received the bill today (Blue Cross) for 300.00. My portion is $44.00. So I would recommend that you check the costs prior to signing up for Home Health Care.
I have not even started using the Scarguard and my scar looks fantastic. The advantages of this surgery certainly outweigh the aches and pains that I have experienced.
Looking forward to getting back to a normal life with tons of energy.
It's been awhile since I journalled. The past month has been very difficult for me. I'm fine though. However, there are other people in my life who aren't so i have been distracted for awhile. My 88 year old mom had a fire in her home. The house was destroyed. She then had a heart attack. She is doing fine after four stints.
My 53 year old friend was diagnosed with cancer late last year. She died on April 8th.
Another friend, Dina, had OHS a week prior to my surgery. We have been comparing aches and pains. She has experienced a lot more pain than I because she had a tumor removed also. Dina was devastated when she received a phone call that her daughter was in ICU with four blood clots in the lung. She was moved to a room this past weekend.
Another friend has a 9 year old son who was diagnosed with leukemia. He has been in ICU for several weeks but was just moved to a room. It breaks my heart to see a sick child.
Lastly, another friend who just retired last fall was diagnosed several weeks ago with a rare brain disorder. She is 65. The doctors gave her a couple of months to live. Her family took her to the beach this past week so they could all be together one last time? The sadness from her children and grandchildren is breaking my heart!
I visited the doctor a couple of weeks ago. I told him I was having a lot of pain on my left side and left arm. He told me to use heat and give it three more weeks. This will be my seventh week out of work. I go back to work part time next week. The pain is much better this week so I figure the doctor knows what he is talking about. Hopefully, by next week I will be pain free.
I am grateful that I was able to have OHS. I never realized that I had shortness of breath until my surgery. It is amazing to have energy again. We never know what tomorrow will bring so I have a much greater appreciation for life after the past few months.
Dr. Andrews was recommended by another cardiologist that had my same surgery. Thought if he is good enough for aother cardiologit, he is good enough for me. He was also with Cleveland Clinic but decided to move south. I highly recommend him if you re in the Charlotte area. Also, the staff at Presbyterian is top notch. Feels like a five star hotel.
Feel good enough to go home today. However, my doc is in surgery all day so doubt that is going to happen.
No pain meds since Tues.
My daughter watched the wires come out of my heart! She kind of freaked out, I laughed. Oxygen came off today.
I feel pretty good.
YAY, I can finally say post-op and cheer others on.
Ok, I was worried about splitting my sternum. Wrong thing to worry about. I have barely felt pain except the horrific pain in my neck, shoulders and back. However, that only lasted one day. Tues was the last day I took pain meds. Took Tylenol yesterday and nothing today.
I think I overdid it today...laps around the hall and I have been up all day.
I am still on oxygen for another couple of days.
Love all the nurses here. Very attentive and handle everything immediately.
In private room now. Surgery was 4 hrs. Valve & aorta pretty diseased. New porcine valve and Dacron aorta. No arrythymias so far. Bob staying tonite. Daughter and g-baby visited today. Pain not so bad, sore neck shoulders. Hope to go home Fri or Sat.
3am and I can't sleep. Just saw Jim Smiths journal about heart songs. Lmfao"....Now Elton's song is going through my mind. I'm told that on Monday my memory will be erased! Am I going to hear this song till then? Ok, good way to put some fun ino my last weekend of being able to do lots of things that will be temporarily halted.
Having facial and massage today to relax me for a couple of hours!
My husband, Bob, will be journaling on Monday.
Have to be at Presbyterian in Charlotte at 630. I can have coffee at 5am! Surgery at 9 am. Dr says surgery will last 4 hours so I figure I will be doing laps around the floor around 9pm!
Thanks for all the support. I'll be happy to be a post-op old timer on here come Monday.
Surgeon visit this morning. I really like my surgeon. He patiently answered all my questions and showed me visuals to make sure I understood. We discussed the mini but don't think I am a candidate. Dr. Andrews will make the final decision on Monday.
The post-op visit absolutely wore me out! I feel good about the team that will work on me though. Everything was explained to me in detail. And, I guess I just got a sampling of what is to come on Monday.
Also received some flair! Wearing a very annoying ID bracelet for the next few days! Oh well, could be worse. However, when I went to lunch, I received several stares. Guess they thought I escaped from the hospital since I had bandages all over both arms and a bright red plastic armband.
One more day of work. Someone asked me if I started my vacation next week. Hmmm, don't know if I would call it that. But, I will call it a new beginning for a healthy future.
Hopefully I'll be saying post-op on Monday. Well maybe Tues since I will probably be in wanna wanna land on Monday.
I have a consultation with my surgeon tomorrow. We are discussing the mini. Not sure if I am a candidate since I have an aneurysm. However, it is worth inquiring about.
Then, I have my pre-op appointments. There is just so much to do to get ready.
I had a great weekend with my granddaughter. I thought it would be difficult for me to take care of her for a weekend since I was so tired, but she renewed my energy.
On the drive home, I was very anxious. I took 1/4 of a Zanex tablet. When I arrived home and wanted to take another, I could not find the pills anywhere. Called dr today and explained that I lost and only needed a few pills. She sent new prescription in. When I went to The drugstore to pick up, the pharmacist talked to me like I was a druggie! Very annoying since I rarely take any medication.
Ironically, it is like Mitch said, you have an eerie calm the last few days. So let's see if that continues though the weekend!
13 days to go..any tips on relieving stress at this point?
Journal posted on February 21, 2012
I'm anxious, sometimes nauseated, heart palpitations, restless, and it is difficult for me to focus on accomplishing tasks!
My mind s going in a million directions. I'm trying to get meds to take for a couple of weeks but I'm not even sure what I need because I have a low tolerance for drugs. A 1/4 of a ambien knocks me out for hours. Nausea often follows.
Jimmy Johnson and I have the same surgeon so I know we are in good hands.
Even if I try to be optimistic and not think about the Surgery, I can't get it out of my mind.
I've always loved the month of February. Valentines Day is my favorite. We can do a simple good deed or make a simple card that includes a heart and it will put a smile on someone's face. I can remember drawing and cutting heart shapes since I was a young child. I just wish that my heart was as simple as the ones I draw!
I celebrated my 64th birthday today. My daughter and son in law gave me headphones that I can, hopefully, wear in the hospital. And my husband, Bob, gave me a gift certificate to Urbana Spa. At least I can relax for a couple of hours the weekend prior to surgery.
For some reason, I have been overly anxious today. Maybe it is because I have a holiday on Monday which means more time to think!
I feel like I did at 9 months of pregnancy. I seem to be going through the nesting instinct. I awaken at 2am with thoughts in my mind of what I want to accomplish the next day.
The doctor said I was an ideal candidate for open heart surgery but there is still that 1 percent of worry that something will go wrong.
I want to come home to a clean house and enough bottled water to last a month. I want to mail pictures to people who will treasure them for life, record a book for my granddaughter to tell her how much I love her and make sure tht all my legal documents are in order. These are things I should have accomplished long ago because none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
Luckily, I have never had to take much more than a couple of aspirin. When I have taken other medications, I always seem to have problems. I have taken warfarin for 2 months and have decided there is no way I can take it for the rest of my life.
I have gotten used to the weekly blood tests while we are trying to get my INR to an acceptable level. I haven't gotten used to my feet being so cold that I have to wrap up in a blanket and being so tired that it takes great effort to make it to work each day. I was full of energy prior to taking this drug.
My surgeon recommended the bovine valve which seems like the best choice for me.
December 23, 2011 - As I sat in the doctors office, I was texting my husband who was riding his motorcycle to the mountains. Just happened that he had stopped for lunch and saw my message. I told him I was being admitted to the hospital and thought I would be there a few hours so there was no hurry for him to get back. In the meantime, I was flipping through my phone trying to figure out who I could call to take me home if I could go home earlier.
I remember overhearing some doctors say, "You don't want to be in the hospital during the holidays unless it is an emergency." I soon found out what they meant. After I was wheeled from the doctors building to the hospital, I sat in a wheelchair for about 45 minutes before I was taken to a room. My husband called two hours later and asked what was going on. I told him that I had been in the room for two hours and had seen no one. Finally a nurse walked in with an IV. After two attempts, she was unable to stick the vein. I have never had a problem with IVs. Six nurses and 12 IVs later, we had success! I think all student nurses should practice on other nurses before they are allowed to administer to a patient.
The nurses said I would receive my first injection of lovenox at 6pm so at that point, I knew i woudn't be going home. The next day the doctor said if I could give myself injections, I could go home on Chistmas Eve. Thankfully my husband agreed to inject me. I was on my way home.
My cardiologist scheduled my heart cath for one week after returning from Brazil. I was to arrive at the hospital at 6 AM. We were impressed with the quality of care. I was awake throughout the procedure but felt nothing.
The following day I did not feel normal but just thought it would take a couple of days to get back to my old self. At my one week followup visit, I expressed my concerns about my symptoms but was assured that I was ok. A week later I called the doctor because I was having excruciating pain in my right leg. After having an ultrasound the technician asked if I had someone with me. I knew bad news was to follow. The on-call doctor came into the room and said that I had a blood clot in my right leg from my groin to my knee. I was not allowed to move.
My facebook profile reads "It will be ok." This was written several years ago when we lost our grandson at birth due to a heart condition. Those words still seem appropriate as I try to convince myself and others that I am ok.
Prior to November 2011, I was convinced that I would not need surgery for ten years.
The November cardiology visit drained me of every ounce of energy that I had built up over the past six months while working with my trainer. The doctor said, "No more exercise, no trip to Brazil, and heart valve surgery ASAP!"
I could not believe what I was hearing. I had a trip planned to Brazil with my daughter, son in law and their new baby girl. Since we would be gone until Dec 6th, I had planned to decorate for Christmas before I left and finish my Christmas shopping. I accomplished neither. And, I didn't take the doctors advice about travel.
The flight to Brazil was eight hours. I awoke after a few hours to swollen ankles. After walking around and repositioning myself, the swelling disappeared. While in Brazil my right leg hurt but I just thought it was from all of the walking.