Hello all! Yay! I'm celebrating my 2 yr anniversary of my heart surgery today!
My overall health is very good. I turned 50 last year and suffer some of the same aches and pains as other people my age do. They come and, thankfully, they go. My heart is in great working order, though. I still have yet to get in a regular exercise routine - but I'm sure this is my year, lol!
For all of you waiting to have surgery - "let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1
He will hold you in the palm of His hand.
Celebrating my 1year anniversary of my heart surgery!
Journal posted on February 19, 2014
Last year on this day, my old bicuspid valve was replaced with a St. Jude mechanical heart valve and my health was improved for the long run. I thank God for inspiring those that developed the St. Jude valve and for all of the skilled and dedicated people that work in the medical field making it their vocation in life to improve others' health :) God bless you all!
Hi everyone! It's been over 8 months since I had my surgery. I have had a great recovery! It is wonderful to be able to keep up with others walking into a football game, or anywhere, and not be out of breath :)
I thank God for the technology to fix heart problems so that people like me can go on to have a greater quality of life. I also am so grateful for the doctors, nurses, hospital staff, my husband,children, extended family, friends and neighbors who helped me get through the surgery and recovery. Thanks for all of your prayers! God bless all of you who are waiting to have the surgery or recovering. Put your trust in God and He'll get you through it :)
It's been 6 months since my heart valve replacement surgery. The best way to describe how I feel is "normal" which is a great thing! When I go up and down my driveway, or stairs or walk very far, I am reminded how hard these simple tasks were only a little over 6 months ago.
I'm feeling very blessed by the outcome of my surgery and hope to get motivated (especially now that school is back in session) to begin a steady exercise program.
God bless all of you who are coming up on surgery and those in recovery mode. Take care, Jean
Just checking in with an update. I'm feeling "normal" and sometimes don't even think about ever having the heart surgery. It's great to feel like any other healthy person my age :) Family life keeps me very busy, so I hardly ever even notice hearing the ticking of my mechanical heart valve. I went to a local zoo with a lot of walking up and down inclines and have to say it is awesome to not be huffing and puffing and to be able to keep up with my kids. Life is great!
The heart surgery and everyone connected to it --- including this site --- were a real blessing to me! I thank God for all of those that helped me through it :)
It's been 3 1/2 months since my surgery. I'm feeling really good. I had noticed a while back that sometimes when I bent forward, I would get a burning/sharp pain in the right side of my chest which went away (for the most part) when I straightened up. I was worried that it might be caused by a loose wire or something foreign inside. It really flared up a little over a month ago after I had been doing some gardening and was bent over for a long period. After a trip to my FP doctor and an x-ray, we confirmed that all of the wires were fine and that the pain could be caused from scar tissue. I have noticed that I haven't had the pain now for at least 3 weeks, so all is good!
Time has really gotten away from me since I'm so busy with family life, and that is a GREAT thing! I am trying to get healthier and have started walking with one of my daughters. Before surgery, I would get out of breath when I knew my legs could walk further. Now, I get a little winded when we're are walking and my legs are what is getting the workout! God is GREAT and life is good :)
Yesterday marked 8 weeks since I had heart surgery. I feel really good --- still a little sore, but almost normal.
I've decided that my surgery was my personal "bungee jump" since I wouldn't ever do anything that extreme and risky........but I did it! I did it!
I finished 3 wks of cardiac rehab and decided to continue into Phase III (un-monitored) of the program to keep the momentum going.
It's an awesome feeling to be able to push myself during a walk on the treadmill and know that it's okay---I'm not going to kill over!
I have no excuses to not get in shape now so I'm looking forward to the challenge.
Keep up the good work all of you other re-habbers and for all of you waiting for your surgery-----you'll be so happy when it's over because it will improve your life tremendously :) God bless!
I had my 6 week follow up appointment with the surgeon and he said I was doing great!
I just need to finish up some cardiac rehab and then I can be on my own without limits.
So glad that the weather will be warming up soon and I might be able to walk outside.
Thank you all for your prayers for me and I hope that all of you other heart patients have safe surgeries and speedy recoveries :)
So, it was 5 weeks ago yesterday that I had open heart surgery.
I would just like to share that if it wasn't for my Lord, Jesus' peace and strength He granted me during this whole ordeal, I would have been shriveled up in a corner sobbing with fear.
" Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9
I bought a key chain with this verse on it when I was about 20 and have carried my keys on it ever since. I never knew I would be blessed by these words so much when I bought it :)))))))
Praying you'll have a good Holy Week and a Blessed Easter!
It boggles my mind that 4 weeks ago I had open heart surgery. So thankful for the medical advances that allow hearts to be fixed and me to have many more years on this earth---God willing. Cardiac rehab has been going well and with each session, I feel like I am getting stronger. It felt good today to be able to push myself (while being monitored) and see how my health has definitely improved with this new mechanical heart valve. I'm excited to be able to get in shape without physical limitations!
I have been so fortunate to have my best friend and husband, Mike, with me over the last several weeks and sincerely feel like he IS my guardian angel :)
My thanks to all of my friends, family and acquaintances that have spent time in prayer for me, fixed meals and helped out in any other way. You have made my recovery go very smoothly :)
I'm 3 weeks post op and had a little trouble over the weekend with my pulse getting lower when I reclined, so had to try to sleep sitting up a couple of nights. It's better now, though.
Started cardiac rehab today which was mostly an evaluation and paperwork, but did walk on the treadmill for 6 minutes which made me feel more energized.
My soreness in my shoulders is almost gone now, but I can feel the healing going on in the chest more.
After talking with the nurse today, I think I'll try to sleep a little in bed with some pillows, too. I've been a little hesitant because I thought it might affect how my sternum is heals up to this point. I really miss sleeping on my side :/
I'm 16 days post op and my recovery is slow, but steady. I'm able to do some light chores around the house, but usually take a few naps during the day.
I'm really glad that I have a recliner to sleep in. I'm sure it's a lot easier than getting in and out of bed.
My husband and I took a short walk at the city park since it warmed up into the 50's today. It felt nice, but I could feel my incision starting to tighten up after a while. We sat down and took a break before heading back to the car.
I'll start my cardiac rehab next week and will be anxious to see what all they want me to do and what my goals will be.
I'm really glad that my cardiologist suggested having surgery in Feb to be recuperated by summertime.
I'll keep praying for everyone out there getting ready for surgery and those in recovery mode. God bless, Jean
Went in yesterday to get my INR checked and I'm finally between a 2 and 3, like they wanted it. I was getting a little out of breath and my BP was pretty low at the doctors office, but pulse was fine. I took it easy the rest of the day, and felt better later in the evening.
Mike said I looked pretty pale yesterday and also today.
I told him I need some steak!
I'll plan to take it easier from now on and take more naps.
I can hear my valve ticking at night when it's more quiet and settled down around here. My two youngest heard it and I'm not sure what's going on in their minds when they think about Mom having something ticking inside of her. Oh, well, one thing I am sure of is that they are very glad that this is helping Mom to feel better :) God bless! - Jean
So far, so good! I'm feeling really fortunate that my recovery is going so well right now :) I just need to get my INR number stabilized.
I am so thankful to have such a wonderful family and friends that have helped us with so much throughout the last few weeks and weeks to come with meals, etc.
Praying for all of you who await surgery and are in recovery. God Bless! -Jean
Yay! Got home this afternoon and beat the big storm that's supposed to hit tonight.
I would like to thank my awesome surgeon, Michael Borkon, and his surgical team from the Mid America Heart Institute at St. Lukes Hospital in KCMO for my successful surgery! I would also like to thank my awesome nurses and nurses assistants who cared for me while in the hospital. It is a wonderful Corporal Work of Mercy to care for the sick with their most basic needs and I appreciated your care so much.
Thank you, Mike and kids, Mom, Bob, Uncle John and Mom Trausch, Bro J, Greg, Rosie, Janet, Shawn & Mike, LInda and Mike and anyone else that came up to visit me. Thank you to all of you who were praying for me---I know it made a difference. To my sweet Momma --- I continuously felt your love and prayers all during my hospital stay. I'm glad that you're feeling better and will be coming to help me out and visit with me in about a week :) I love you, Mom ♥ Thanks Jim, Mary & family who "adopted" the 2 youngest for a few days -- that helped us so much, too. I was so glad to see them when they finally got to visit, too ♥
To Mike, Colleen, Caroline and Maria ---- ummm, remember that some of the things I said during those nights of nausea were to lighten your mood and the other things really were the effects of my low sodium level, heh-heh! Colleen - you know what I mean, lol!
It's soooo good to be home and I wish all of you coming up on surgery to have calm days ahead, you'll do great, and wish everyone else recovering a good and healthy future :) Love, Jean
Whew! It's been a long week. Felt like I was hanging by a thread (energy wise) Wednesday pm/Thursday am. Once they realized that the oxycodone was making me nauseous and switched me to hydrocodone and tylenol, my progress has been pretty steady. Tip for friends and family of future patients: don't wear any strong fragrances or bring any food into the patient's room if they are having problems with nausea. It only makes it worse.
I haven't read anyone's comments on here yet,but I want to thank all of you former patients for your encouragement and prayers.
I also want to encourage all of you coming up on surgery. Yes, it will be really rough the first couple of days, but you will make it through with great medical care, medications, family and friends. You will feel so much better by day 3-4 that the previous (bad) days just seem like a blur.
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, prayers and help. I truly appreciate it and will keep you in my prayers, too. Pax Christi! Peace of Christ!
Wow! What a difference some sleep and food and walking make for recovering. Yesterday - Friday - was an improvement from Thursday. Jeanie was more alert, talkative, walked in the hallway, ate better and had more routine dosing of pain medications. A few family visitors and phone conversations helped to brighten the mood. Today, Saturday, even greater strides. She slept well last night, ate breakfast, walked in the hallway several times and showered. She slept a hundred years in two hours and had a great lunch. Labs and xray looking even better today. A glimmer of light shines for the possibility of going home tomorrow, God willing.
All of the people praying for Jeanie, all the smiles, visits, phone calls, meal preparation, flowers, cards and gentle hugs have been amazing to me. Actually overwhelming. Thank you one and all for all you have done to help Jeanie in this journey and taking care of the love of my life. Deo gratias!
Last night and this morning was kinda rough. Confusion, nausea, weakness and of course pain. After labs, vital signs and nursing assessment this morning I think we found a few answers. Jeanie's sodium level was too low ?128ish, her oxygen saturation would dip to 88% when lying down and using oxycodone every two hours for pain. Combined with no appetite or walking explained the symptoms. She had such a dry mouth she would sip water every five minutes and inadvertantly lowered her sodium leve.
So she started a fluid restriction, a dose of bumex (diuretic), was "encouraged" by me to eat some jello and a couple bites toast despite her objections. Then walked with assist in bedroom and to bathroom. A wonderful nurses aid gave her the first shower in three days which you know really tired her out - to help her sleep better. Then a pretty good dose of her favorite meal of roast beef and gravy and cooked carrots for supper really hit the spot. Late this afternoon and evening she has been more alert, talkative. She even asked her daughter what day it was and said to find CBS TV station to watch her favorite show tonight. But the hydrocodone at 7:20 had different plans for her - nighty-night!! Oh well, that's what Netflix is for, right?
There was around 11 inches of snow today, some light snow still falling. It shut down most all of Kansas City. Our older four children have seen a new side of their mother and a rough introduction to major surgery and recovery. They have been great about helping out with little things as they are able to do.
Tomorrow will come and a new dawn will appear giving Jeanie another day for recovery and her children and I another chance to demonstrate our love through action and prayer. Thanks once again to all who post to this site, text or call - it means a great deal to Jeanie and I.
Jean spent last night in the intensive care unit, a rough night due to pain. All her gee-whiz numbers looked great this morning and was taking oral pain medications that she graduated out of ICU and to step down regular bed after "pulling all the lines!" The nurses have been trying to find a good combination of pain medication and timing to control her pain better. Some nausea this afternoon. Not much of an appetite yet - just a few bites of jello and crackers. She started off well with incentive spirometer this afternoon. She has not walked as of yet this evening. Several of her children have been in to visit with her and she was able to talk on the phone with our youngest two. Her mother-in-law and a brother-in-law came for a visit and brought - ooops - bought! lunch for us. Thanks Mom!!!
We are determined to hunker down here at the hospital and get through this snow storm tonight and tomorrow - predicting 8 - 10 inches in most parts of Kansas City. Lots of school closings. I hope tomorrow will see a few miles put on in the form of walking which should improve appetite and diminish some of the pains.
Thanks to everyone for your guestbook entries. It means a lot to us. I will relay some of them to Jeanie tomorrow as she can tolerate.
SHE MADE IT! The surgeon spoke with me at 3:05 pm and said everything went well and will be moved to intensive care about 4 pm. One more night and she will officially be "on the other side.". Thanks be to God.
Mike writing today -
Pre-op went well yesterday. She went into the operating room this morning in great spirits surrounded with love about 10:45 am.
Nursing updated me at 2:30 that the mechanical valve is in place, she was off the heart lung bypass and the surgeon was beginning to close. He will speak with us shortly, then she will be moved to intensive care for tonight.
God is good. Thanks to all for your prayers and to Abbott Barnabas Senecal for the blessings he gave Jeanie before the surgery.
A week at a spa in Hawaii sounds great right now!
Well, I guess I'd still be out of breath after a short walk, so I better stick with this plan.
Going in for pre-op today. I'm getting anxious, but I guess it's time to "let go, and let God" handle it all.
Please keep praying for my family and I.
I'll talk to you "on the other side" of this surgery later in the week.
Thank you all for your support. ♥
".......Be strong and courageous. Don't be fearful or discouraged, because the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
I go in tomorrow for pre-op tests & x-rays, etc.
It's been good to be so busy and not have a lot of time to dwell on surgery over the last few weeks. Thank God for the busy life as a parent of active kids!
I'm feeling pretty "good to go" since I received the sacramental "Blessing of the Sick" today after Mass. My spiritual house is in order, now I just have a few more chores to complete around my actual house ;)
I would like to thank all of the people that are praying for my family and I and all those that have offered meals, rides for my kids and other things. You are a blessing to me. Thank you so much :)
Well, 6 more days to go. Still hard for me to believe I will be undergoing heart surgery.
My daughter (8) said yesterday, "Mom, you'll be Iron-girl after you have your surgery!" and laughed. We've talked a lot in simple terms about my heart getting fixed and that I'll be healthier after surgery. My other kids seem to be handling it okay, too.
My two youngest asked me what I was giving up for Lent. I'm thinking that maybe going thru heart surgery should cover me for the entire Lenten season, but we'll see...........
Mike and I met with the surgeon in Kansas City last Monday and decided that I'll have my surgery there on Feb. 19th.
Reading everyone's journals on this site have really helped me feel confident that it will all be okay. I pretty much know what the whole surgery will entail, but am not going to dwell on every little detail so as to not get too anxious.
I'm going to try the "ignorance is bliss" approach and look forward to going to sleep and waking up a few hours later with a fixed aortic valve.
Please continue to keep my family and I in your prayers. Thank you :)
Today, I had a TEE and heart cath. My cardiologist wanted to make sure I didn't have any other blockages and take some measurements to confirm that I do need my aortic bicuspid valve replaced. They will schedule a CT to check my carotids from neck down to make sure there's no problem there. My husband and I spoke to a heart surgeon after my tests and he answered all of the questions we had on our list. We plan to get a second opinion after the CT from one or more surgeons in the Kansas City area. I would prefer to use a surgeon that had done a high number of aortic valve replacements.