One year ago yesterday I had my "3 for 1" heart surgery. (Mitral valve repair, LAD bypass, and Ablasion). Feeling good, actually came out of retirement for a brief work stint this month.(Yikes!). Hope everyone here is on the way to better health. I count myself very fortunate indeed!
Hard to believe its 4 months! I'm doing well, but have a question for the group. Have any of you had a by-pass included with your valve repair / replacement ? The reason I ask is that I am having considerable pain in my left chest wall, even at this late juncture. Cardio says it is from the "harvesting" of the mammary artery for the single bypass which I endured at the same time as my mitral valve repair. He even said it could last "forever". Most discouraging. Anyway... just looking to see if any of you all have any experience or knowledge of this "side note" experience in our continuing heart journey. Other than that, I am doing great!
Always glad to read all the wonderful success stories of which I consider myself a part!
I have been lax (again) in updating my journal. Hard to believe I hit six weeks post op two days ago. Recovery has been steady, but with the "plateaus" that everybody talks about. Got to walking 2 miles by the 3rd week. Threw in a few 3 mile days by week 4. (I get a little "Cardio Bonus" with the terrain around our neighborhood - everything is either up or down in elevation!) Was fighting low energy and dizzy spells into week 3, so Surgeon took me off Metoprolol. Made a big difference. Blood pressure has remained normal, so I am back to only the meds I was on Pre-surgery! Pain was NOT insignificant until lately. Finally nearly pain free. Emphasis on "Nearly". My wonderful wife/nurse/companion/friend (she calls herself Nurse Ratchett) says I overdo things and that's when I bring on the pain. Got a full release from the surgeon on July 13th, also same verdict from cardiologist on July 19th. Both concurred that I probably wouldn't gain that much from formal cardiac rehab, they said to "just get after it!" Works for me! Scheduled for echo on August 25. Celebrated six weeks with a long weekend trip to Steamboat Springs to visit dear friends. It was a great combination of recuperation and recreation. Got to fly fish for first time in 7 or so years. Had a blast. Caught a bit of a cold, but think I'm getting it whipped. Coughing still causes a bit of a jolt!
Hope everyone is well! Prayers and best wishes to all, especially the new folks. It does get better!
Things started getting away time wise after my last posting. Had one quick A-Fib flip flop on the night of surgery, then everything sailed along pretty nicely. Got all tubes out on Tuesday the 20th, did a few laps around the wing and moved into a step down room that night (graduation from true ICU). Spent Wednesday the 21st walking four times and eating sitting in my chair three meals. Even got a nice shower at noon. Thursday they mustered me out by noon.Certainly was glad to get back outside in the sun, and even more glad to be home! Have been walking 30 minutes each day (sometimes 3 sessions). So far it seems like 2 good days, then one "not so hot" thrown in to keep me humble!
Cant say enough good things about the care received at Porter Adventist Hospital and the wonderful work Of Dr. Guber and his staff.
And what a day it was! Started with a 3:45 am alarm and I write this at 11:30 pm. Let me begin by saying what a fantastic team we have here in Denver at Porter Adventist Hospital and express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Myles Guber and his team. My mitral valve was repaired, the ablation accomplished, and my by-pass constructed in a little over 4 hours and 45 minutes. The Doctrine was very pleased with all the results. Not to say there wasn't some "moments", hee hee....To say the process of getting the vent tube out was pleasant would be like saying my favorite activity is being stabbed in the eye with a sharp stick! After the technician's 3rd visit to my room on the subject, I would have given a thousand dollars for a sign I could have held up saying: "YANK THE DAMN THING OUT...NOW!!!!!" Oh well....life does often present its little challenges, eh? Despite the "pains of the day", I couldn't be more pleased with the people I've met, the experinces I've had, and most importantly "The OUTCOME" of this day. Quite a day, yes indeed quite a day.
Yikes, not only am I on the "Upcoming Surgeries" board, I have rocketed to the no. 2 position!
Best of luck to everybody there this week, lets hope we are all smiling when we are through this.
Met with the surgeon and did all my pre-op testing yesterday. It all went very well, that is up to the point when the hospital finance people called and told me how much cash I needed to fork over before this whole party would start on Monday morning. Yikes! Seems there was still a slight gap between max out of pocket and dollars spent, yada yada...Think I got it figured out.
Still plenty to do before Monday, but it will all get done. Best of the best to you all.
A week from now I will be in surgery. Still seems rather surreal. I cant say I am particularly anxious about it, but I will be glad to get on with it. We are enjoying great Colorado spring weather and I have been playing lots of golf. I think I will miss being outside the most. Question for the group: Was there anything you wish you had in the hospital, but didn't?
I have been trying to get a lot of questions answered before I head to the hospital. This website and the good folks here is wonderful in that regard. I have another important question I have not yet floated to my Docs, so looking for guidance here.
For you golfer types out there (anybody?): How long did it take post OHS to start swinging again? I can imagine the release to "chip and putt" will come fairly quickly, but wondering how long it will take to be able to take a full swing and not feel like my chest will pop open like a cheap suitcase. Looking forward to any "case studies" you all may be able to provide.
People keep asking me about my Cardio Team. I caught them in action last week......
Journal posted on June 1, 2017
Well, it's June 1st. I can no longer say I am having OHS "next month". Yikes. Still have lots to get done before the big day, I know it will go fast. Saying prayers for all the June surgery folks as they roll by. Good luck to everyone!
Initially the repair surgery was to be the right thoracotomy (did I get that right?), but the Catherization showed enough blockage in the LAD to get everybody huddled up again. The cardio said it was borderline significant, BUT (have we learned yet there is always a but...) it was located in a part of the artery that would be extremely difficult to put a stent in later. That, plus concerns over past A Fib and possible (Probable according to Surgeon) reoccurrence, we have all concurred that a "3 for the price of one Grand Opening" of my chest will be the best way to go. I.E.: Mitral Valve Repair, By Pass, and Pulmonary Vein Isolation. Although I realize nothing is for certain, with any luck doing all this now will keep me out of the O.R. for good. Let's hope! Thanks for the kind words. Surgery still on for June 19th, as long as I get rid of a nagging sinus thing I have. Working on that now.