a year ago today Sgt Pepper taught the band to play?
Journal posted on August 8, 2014
One year later and doing great. Open heart surgery was scary, overwhelming and life changing. But it was completely doable. Thanks again to everyone here who helped me through my journey. My only lingering problem is some shoulder pain which keeps getting better. My cardiologist said everything looks good, enjoy life and come back in a year. Who could ask for anything more.
18 weeks not months.... post op and I remain medically boring.
I still have shoulder and chest pain when sleeping but that's about it. For the longest time I would get chest pain on one side with deep breaths and had to purposely remember to take deep breaths when I exercised. From what I'm told these symptoms were from my collapsed lung. I have been very blessed. Thanks to everyone here for all your guidance and encouragement.
I'm doing great. I continue to have no significant issues, pure dumb luck on my part. Still have some chest pain and having trouble sleeping in bed, maybe it a consequence of the collapsed lung and having the chest tubes so long? I keep waiting up with one of right chest, shoulder or arm pain and moving back to the recliner.
My doctor didn't think I needed to go to cardiac rehab which I still wonder about. He thought I didn't stand to gain much from rehab. How much has rehab helped other people? Hope everyone on the site is doing well, especially those of you who have had some set backs.
Worked a forty hour week in four days, then had off Friday. So I cut the grass for the first time this year. It was good to be getting back to normal. I'm feeling well. Down to ibuprofen a few times a day and a couple at night. Wow, what a long strange trip it's been. Hope everyone here is doing well.
I'm getting close to being able to get a good nights sleep in bed. Shoulder and chest aches keep me tossing and turning through the night. But I'm getting better everyday. I'm thinking I'll be feeling normal in a month or so which will be 3 months after surgery.....not bad. Common tip, get a recliner for the first few weeks at home was a must.
Still lots of aches and pains, still some chest pain with complete deep breaths but getting better. I'm thinking it will take me a few weeks longer to get to normal. But hey that's isn't bad. All in all I am happy with how things turned out.
Seems likes the 5 week point is where you get feeling good enough to hurt yourself. After I was told I was doing well I decided to seriously over do things and hurt my sternum. Dumb, dumb, dumb..... so I lost 1/2 day Tuesday and all day Wednesday back on pain killers. Started to feel better on Thursday. Still feel dumb. Gees. Oh the bright side I'm cleared for half days of work as of next Thursday. I'm looking forward to getting back....
Only problem I had with the balance of my stay at CCF was a collapsed lung from surgery. So I had to have one chest tube in for 6 days until it cleared up. I had pain breathing and some trouble getting anything like a good deep breath for a while but it got better and the tube came out. Got out of the hospital in 7-8 days and spent 4 days with my inlaws outside of Pittsburgh. Recheck at CCF on Monday the August 19th and then home.
5 am arrival time for surgical prep. The staff at CCF were great, kind, caring and calming. No issues or surprises going to surgery. After surgery I had a couple of problems. The first was waiting up in the ICU right after surgery and waking up being told that I had used too much pain medication, it was suppressing my oxygen level and I would not be allowed any pain med until my O2 levels were good. This turned out to be about 45 minutes. I remember all 45 minutes, I was really hurting. Also sometime in the ICU I either remember or hallucinated having both hands on my breathing tube and trying to pull it out and my nurse getting help to get my hands restrained.. I honestly don't know if it happened or not.
Eventually everything got where it needed to be, I got my pain pump button back and my breathing tube pulled. Soon after I started to wake a bit as my family visited me in the ICU. I was never happier to see them all.
On Wednesday we met with Dr Svensson at CCF. My aneurysm had grown from 4.8 cm to 5.5 cm in about 3 months, yikes..... So my surgery timing was pushing it. Other than this meeting we had Wednesday free. Our kids were on their way from Wisconsin and were planning to be into Cleveland late dinner time the night before surgery.....About 6 PM we get a call from our daughter, our completely reliable car has the alternator light on and electrical equipment is shutting down. We tell them to use the gps and get off the Indiana Turnpike at the next exit. They do and they end up about a mile from the closest motel with a room when the car dies. A local policeman finds them along the road and gets them to the motel and the car towed to the closest Toyota dealer. They call us and let us know they are OK and have a motel room...But they aren't going to arrive before surgery. Their dilemma gave me something to worry about other than my surgery. Went to sleep wondering how they would get the car repaired and when they'd get to CCF....
So on Tuesday, August 6th I was scheduled to have my cardiac catheterization. I was pushed back to last on the schedule so I could take medicine to counter act my newly discovered allergy to contrast dye. Ended up not getting done with my Cath and released until about 730 pm. The cath turned out to be a piece of cake. The cardiologist made an extra effort to converse with me to relax me. Which helped a lot. Eventually he had to tell me he needed to concentrate and couldn't continue talking with me. My cath was clear so no bypass needed. Late Tuesday we got a call from our neighbors back in Wisconsin. They told us that our house had made it through the tornado just fine, we had a bunch of trees down, but the roof was still on our house. This was the first we had heard about our neighborhood being hit by a tornado. Tuesday was another long day.
I'm going to backtrack a bit so here goes. We arrived in Cleveland on Sunday and overnighted in the now closed guesthouse. On Monday I had a laundry list of tests. First thing in the morning my Cardiologist discussed how my aneurysm was at the border for surgery and how we would have to re-evaluate surgery after testing. Not what I wanted to hear since it was so emotionally draining to get myself to CCF. The only thing of note was I discovered I had developed an allergy to the contrast dye right after my CT. Shortly after I got very nauseated and felt like I was going to pass out. I was in the middle of the main floor, in t n I froze in my tracks unable to move for fear of collapsing. My wife eventually got me back to the CT team and one of the doctors checked me out and kept a person with my for about 15 minutes until I felt better. Boy did I feel bad for a while. The rest of my Monday was long and busy but uneventful...
Now, 3 weeks after my surgery, I getting to the point of really thinking about all I've been through. So I will post my way through my experiences, Soon. The most important thing is my surgery was successful, my aneurysm replaced with a graft and my aortic valve repaired. For me Cleveland Clinic was the exact right place to go.
Well it happened, my wife put me and the dog in the car and told us we were going to the dog park. About 2 hours into our ride to the dog park I realized what had happened. She was driving out to her sister's northwest of Pittsburgh. When we drove past Cleveland she offered to go to CCF so I could have a look around. She and our daughter have already been there to check the place out. Now I know where I'm going next, our dog still is expecting to get to the dog park. For me, Cleveland after visiting with family. Heading out this evening.
Surprise, surprize, surprize now we're getting all our things ready to leave for Cleveland tomorrow. That's Saturday tomorrow. I'm numb. Let's get this show on the road. Too everyone who claimed the waiting was so bad.....you are right. Testing Monday, Cath Tuesday, meet with Lars on Wednesday, surgery Thursday. I still feel a little cheated now that he's confident I won't need a new aortic valve to replace my bicuspid one. I sure don't want to do this again soon. Before I know it I'll be climbing onto the operating table, golly.
Well I'm in the home stretch. All our plans are made. We have our reservations at the soon to be closed guest house. I'm rereading my instructions. I wrapped up my last day at work for a while. I'm on the slow march to Cleveland. I keep wondering, how in this world am I going to do this? Of course, I have to......
We'll be heading to Cleveland on Saturday for surgery next week. Still need to pick a valve, I'm thinking of deciding on Wednesday next week the last possible day. Have a lot of questions for my doctor...... Why not replace my current bicuspid aortic valve, Maze, what about my aortic root, why did he change his mind from watchful waiting to I need surgery soon, how soon until I can go home, how would he explain spooky action at a distance? Kind of walking through my days going into surgery as though I'm in a dream. I'll be glad to get this done and stop worrying. This site has been great help.
2 wks to go. should never have believed the Mayan calendar
Journal posted on July 25, 2013
Yikes wow am I anxious and scared. I'm two weeks out from my aortic aneurysm surgery. ELO " And I can't get it out of my head, No, I can't get it out of my head" So what can I do other than thank God that I was on watchful waiting, my migraine headache symptoms did change and my GP had me go 2 years early for my echo which found my aneurysm so I can schedule surgery before complications. Though I did joke to my GP that I complained about migraine headaches and he sent my for open heart surgery.
I just got my insurance confirmation for my Cleveland surgery. Cleveland submitted for my ascending aorta and not a new valve so I'm pleased that though Svensson wants me to pick a valve he is definitely not planning to have to replace mine. I wonder how quickly my bicuspid valve could go bad and will ask what he thinks the risk of not doing the valve are. My mom, has been asked her doctors about Cleveland and they have been very positive. It's very hard not get overwhelmed at this point. I can't believe I have to have heart surgery. We have our guest house reservations made and are making our plans...
Three weeks out from my march to surgery. Yet another domino has fallen, insurance pre-approval for everything Cleveland Clinic proposed. One less excuse for me. This is starting to get real and scary. Rats.
Hi all. As I'm getting closer I'm getting nervous, naturally. I read that some Docs at CCF prefer patients get the cardiac cath at "home" so the dye load can be completely cleared by their kidneys before surgery. Does anyone know what is the norm?
Reading all my medical records- 6 week to Cleveland
Journal posted on June 21, 2013
Saw they sized my ascending aortic aneurysm at 5.6 cm in my recent echocardiogram. Now I know why all my tests were listed as emergency. My CT showed the aneurysm is closer to 4.9 bad but not 5.6 bad. So I was blessed with the option to schedule surgery within a year. Though my cardiologist recommended within a few months. So off to Cleveland I go.
I'm hoping waiting is the worst part. Actually I think it is. It's been very helpful reading about others' experiences and concerns. In many ways the not knowing what to expect was making me more anxious. Now that I have a much better idea of what to expect, I'm feeling less worried. Still an open issue on the aortic valve, Dr Svensson thinks my original factory part can be reused or if I will need a bypass.