Today is my three year anniversary of my OHS and heart valve.
This year has been quite the year..after a life changing event for my sister we moved my father from North Carolina to Las Vegas to live with us.
We did everything we could to make his life comfortable.
Unfortunately this past July 20 th he died after a brain tumor diagnosis and a 10 day hospital stay.
We did all we could for him so I can kneel before God knowing we did all we coulod.
Now me..my heart is still going..I just cant lose weight...the rest of my body is "attacking" me..my heels. my hips and back....
It has been a long year and now need to focus on myself..
Oh yes I did forget to mention my lady, Lourdes, as of February has begun dialysis....she is doing OK...she now hopefully can await a transplant.
As Padre Pio said PRAY , HOPE and DONT WORRY...I will continue to do that.
Bless you all
LAS VEGAS NV
On June 9 th I will celebrate 22 months since getting my valve.
These past six months I have had a series of ekg,echo, colonoscopy and two endoscopies and everything has checked out strong. I certainly am keeping the medical profession going ! Now everything would be perfect if I could only lose some weight. That is my biggest challenge.
To those of you facing a surgery..PRAY HOPE AND DONT WORRY...I almost feel , in many ways, like I never had the surgery.
I praise God I am still around, I just lost a friend last week who was 50 years old, I dont know exactly what his cause of death was but it was a shock.
ENJOY THE DAY
LAS VEGAS NV
it is now 18 months for me !!!
I face a colonoscopy here March 6....related to my anenmia..
Anyone have the experience of going off coumadin and going on louverox..
I have non heart valve friends who have colonoscopy at 7 am and are back at work by 11am....
my coumadin nurse speaks about getting my inr levels back up.....anyone with this experience
LAS VEGAS NV
I just would like to wish everyone in our community a
Journal posted on December 23, 2012
On an inspirational note the referee who was the head ref in the Seattle San Francisco football game had a valve replacement in 2007....it took him five years to be able to return to his passion of being a referee....
Lets never give up on our dreams...GOD BLESS
Today I learned that SAINT JOHN OF GOD is the Patron Saint of Heart Patients !!!
JOHN was born in Portugal 1495. He was a shepherd-boy until he was 22 years of age. For 18 years he was a solider in many parts of Europe. Even though he led a wild life, he loved the poor and suffering.
JOHN was over 40 yrs old when he left the army in order to make up for his sins. He went back to Spain and rented a house. In it he gathered all the sick, poor, and homeless of the town of Granada. Often carrying them there on his own back, he washed them and dressed their sores, and begged food for them. He brought many sinners back to God.
His motto was "Labor without stopping; do all the good works you can while you still have the time"
He died of a failing heart and is therefore honored as the patron saint of heart patients.
I NEVER KNEW THAT UNTIL TODAY..I adore his motto
LAS VEGAS NV
As you may know I am 13 months post surgery with a mechanical valve.....I have been diagnosed with ANEMIA and am being referred to a Gastroentrologist....anyone have experience with this condition....please let me know
LAS VEGAS NV
This past September 9th was 13 months since my surgery.....THIS WAS THE FIRST "ANNIVERSARY" DAY THAT PASSED WITHOUT ME REMEBERING MY SURGERY !!!
Time passes and we are reminded that we must go forward, forge ahead and not live in the past.
Well thoughts of my surgery and heart valve are always present but now it is something we simply include as a part of our everyday lives.
To all of you facing surgery, take comfort in that, if I could do it you can do it...
Physically I am OK....still need to lose 50 pounds but let try to lose 10 first and go to our next goal..
LAS VEGAS NV
I remember getting wheeled into the OR and knowing if I survive my world would be different.
It is..it really is...
My faith is stronger
My enjoyment in the smaller things in life is stronger
My overall appreciation and knowledge of how precious life can be is stronger.
When I am not living up to my potential in any endeavor...I get mad because I dont want to miss out on the gift I have been given..
It is amazing how time flies !!
For all those facing surgery..be not afraid..God is with you..
My heart is reasonably strong and my health is fair
I just cant seem to escape the valleys in my life that come by so quickly..
Between my Lourdes facing dialysis, this past week having two tickets and an accident on my job....I just dont know where to turn
I do turn to God knowing he loves me and made me survive the surgery for a reason...i just dont know the reason yet..
just need faith....i need to pray , hope and dont worry
I am still humbled by the fact that I am still on earth
Journal posted on June 24, 2012
Even though it is approaching 11 months post surgery there are times I cant believe that the surgery actually happened AND I HAD AND SURVIVED OPEN HEART SURGERY.
I am humbled, especially at Mass after receiving communion, to know that God chose me to survive and I am still around to try to make my life pleasing to God.
THANK YOU LORD
It will be 8 years this week I started driving a taxi.....it has got me by...IT HAS GIVEN ME A NEW CLEAN PHYSICAL HEART.....also it is 10 months ago this week that I became a valve replacement survivor !!!!
Blood pressure medication has been cut in half.....still cant lose significant weight...although not gaining.
But my blessings never stop.....and God gives them to me from all areas in my life.
Three months a go after returning to work I decided to reduce my schedule to a 4 day work week.....I just could not pull 60 hours a week.....so I knew I would be facing a little shortfall in income...but somehow I would survive...
My blessing came three weeks ago when one of my taxi customers who uses my services only asked me to house sit and care for her cats the 80 % of the time she is away. Right there my "lost" income has been replace and nearly doubled.
I could go into details but I wont...lets just say this blessing through Gods wisdom came from the most unexpected source...YOU NEVER KNOW
PRAISE GOD..lets survive the hot summer and look forward to football season..
Here i was in 97 degree heat walking with basketbll innhand to play hoops.
laying in ICU for 10 days I never thought this could happen, i walk 2 miles, this week i worked 5 14 hour days....I am getting stronger.......BUT I DO FEEL DIFFERENT
Great Acomplishment today. getting ready to celebrate wo year anniversary of diagnosis,,,,,i want to help people get through this process here on thre HVRJ and somewhere locally in person.........being a survivor I OWE IT T THEM
any suggestions ...GOD BLESS john madonna
My significant other is probably going to be facing dialysis in the near future.
I want to be able to help her as she helped me through my surgery.
Does anyone know if a similar online journal, like HVJ, exists for dialysis or kidney patients.
It has now been over 7 months...just a thought or two
Journal posted on March 11, 2012
When we become a member of this elite group of valve replacement recipients....WE ARE CHANGED FOREVER...this is a watershed moment in our lives.....I know physically , on some levels, we are better off....and of course we should try to attain better health going foward..
The biggest changes , in my opinion, are emotionally. HOW WE THINK AND PERCEIVE GOING FOWARD...
One of my biggest changes is how emotional I can become when observing creativity OR when I observe sincerity......those "acts" really make me feel that staying alive was worth it all...
My surgery and inability to work 4 months post-op really set me back financially....but I am still holding things together.
I have a large amount of debt....last year my out of pocket medical expenses were $8,000 dollars...now keep in mind I drive a taxi so thats a lot to me and to most people..
But honestly I DONT WORRY I am keeping things together,,God is with me and this "cross" I bear will make me better for the rest of my life....
I am still trying to find a career change, driving a taxi was something to do 8 years ago....thankfully I was insured by the taxi company for my $355,000 operation....
I am rambling a bit.....THIS EVENT IN OUR LIVES CHANGES US FOREVER....we got through it because God has a plan for our future that is much larger than we can conceive..
of my surgery valve replacement and new journey in life.
After almost of 4 months dedicated to recovery I was moving in the right direction physically and emotionally.
Upon returning to work, driving a taxi 60 hours a week, it was clear I cant keep up with the rest of the pack. So I am reducing my work schedule to 4 days 48 hours, the day will be devoted to exercise, spiritual clensing and a job search, a new career.
Driving a taxi is not a job for a mechanical valve replacement survivor.
With this gift of new life I have been given I desire to honor God.
The job market here in Las Vegas is awful but a light will be opened unto me.
We all have survived this lifechanging event in one way or another.....my eyes and earss are oen God just pooint me where I need to be to serve.
LAS VEGAS NV
I am so thankful to be around for this Christmas!!!
On August 9th, after coming off the Heart Lung Machine my heart did not start up again. BUT HERE I AM.
Praise be to GOD for my gifted surgeron Dr James Daugharthy and his team. Thank God for the angels that took care of me for 8 days at VALLEY HOSPITAL ICU.
Thank God for my primary care physician Dr Cherubin Sumaway and my cardiologist Dr Chris Caraang for discovering my aneurysm.
Life is different post surgery ....i get emotional when I see or experience SINCERITY and when I see people who are CREATIVE, musicians, writers speakers...
Returning to work has been difficult... I have not been able to produce up to the levels I was Achieving prior to surgery...I dont know if it is a physical obstacle or outside forces influencing the business.
I also believe I need to be in a job more rewarding and less stressful...I drive a taxi 60 hours a week...
If you read this all the way through..THANK YOU....in this Journal I try to respond and reach out to strangers because being a survivor I BELIEVE ITS MY OBLIGATION TO HELP OTHERS
LAS VEGAS NV
LAWSUITS.....I know there are lawsuits for Fenphen as it relates to Valve Surgery.....In 2000 I was prescribed Phentermine.....subsequently had valve surgery August 9 this year.....does anyone know if there are class actions for Phentermine and Valve Surgery?
4 months since my surgery....I am so much more subdued and relaxed..I try not to let the small things bother me, I TRY, my blood work came back strong cholesterol is 114.....it truly is a miracle my life was saved...I will enjoy fully everyday from now on.
As a taxi driver in Las Vegas I do have to face the reality that my income is down 40 % from three years ago....economy bad, new wave of classless tourists,,,,,I deal with that. But since my surgery I approch things calmly, I dont let traffic bother me, I try to find the best in the customers and truly appreciate the great ones..
By the way if anyone has any influence on a great job in Las Vegas...I have a degre from Michigan State and lost of experience and post surgery am a new man,.
I wish I could do something where I could help people facing heart surgery and post surgery.......i will continue to contibute on this forum.
JOHN MADONNA 4 months next week
Getting stronger each week...planning on going back to work in NOVEMBER, drive a taxi...its a 12 hour shift hopefully my stamina will be there..
If anyone has an answer to these questions..
My surgeon is all done with me said I am healing on track......I forgot to ask him....CAN I GO IN MY HOT TUB will the chemicals affect my scar?
Also when at the airport will my MECHANICAL VALVE be noticed in the metal detectors?
Thank you all for your words of encouragement during these past 9 weeks......not like thiis is an ending ITS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE..
It has been about 50 days since my surgery, had my aorta replaced, had really bad valves...a 9 hour operation. Still hav numbness in my right hip and hand, but other that that I do my stationary exercises and walk 30 minutes a day. My problem is I cant sleep more that five hours at night and during the day take 2 0r 3 naps.
Thankfully I dont return to work for another 8 weeks but the sleep pattern concerns me..
Sometimes I sleep one hour felt like I slept 8. Can anyone provide me some insight , maybe you had a simialr experience.
5 weeks after my surgery and my recovery has started strong. Blood pressure is great, heart function sounds great, EKG is great....we will have an echocardiogram next month.....I am well on my way to getting better....My thoughts this morning turn to those people ready to face surgery this morning, wherever you may be , my thougts and prayers are with you.....PRAY, HOPE , AND DONT WORRY.
Do you think its normal to sleep 10 -14 hours per day?
I dont take pain pills anymore...what little pain I have is from coughing or a sneeze and is tolerable.
My surgeon said I was progressing normally, as of last week.
I just feel slow and certainly a shadow of my former self, although I do feel better every week.
I also just feel very emotional and depressed at times......probably because I lead a mundane existence right now.
I DO my walking, a minute longer everyday, and my exercises as prescribed by the physical therapist.
ANY FEEDBACK WOULD REALLY BE APPRECIATED..JOHN
That is really my only discomfort is the coughing it produces a pain in the chest.....
Also as my surgeon explained during the surgery a nerve can be pinched causing my right hip to be numb along with my right hand to have a little numb but CONSTANTLY COLD!
But overall I believe I am making progress!
And college football is back!!!!!!
It was a particularly emotional day, my 47 th birthday, which I would not have achieved if it was for the skills of Dr. James Daugharthy and his team.
He said my recovery is going as well as expected ...need to get out and walk a little more and more everyday.
Long term need to lose weight, I am 318 pounds......and I can assure you that I will lose weight.
I have been given a second chance at life, I want to make the best of it except I dont know which path to take for the rest of my journey. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Overall I feel much better than I did three weeka ago, but I know have limitations which will clear up in time.
My surgery was 16 days ago I have been home 8 days....never a smoker...But during te day I ihave a persistent cough, not painful, but this morning worke up with aa 30 second cough, a little painful Also I just started sleeping in my bed, the greatest part of my recovery so far. Quite honestly for a week I was fearful of lying in bed, now I get 7 hours stright sleep...A real difference in my life.
Hope everyone is progressing.
The orning of the surgery I weighed in at 315 pounds....48 hours The ICU nurse weighs the bed and determines I am now 330 lbs.......8 days after being home I am down to 325.........Is this the only operation the puts weight on a person????
great achievement today was able to shower and wash my hair by myself.. It wasnt an invigorating thorough shower like I used to enjoy but I certainly felt clean.
My appetite is coming back.......certainly different than a week ago where I had only jello and sherbert for 4 days.
I do feel stronger each day.
Still can only sleep about three hours at a time.
Strange thing in the ICU, I would sleep sometimes for 20 minutes and it would feel like 9 hours waking up with an amazing feeling of peace.
Looking foward to today, Sunday, although I dont have the energy to attend church.
Sorry I have not updated my journal....but here it goes.....My original diagnosis was a mechanical aorta valve replacement..... after they look inside me it is discovered that I need the aorta root replaced as well....as hey try to bring me back to life MY HEART DOES NOT RESPOND...they get it going though and add a balloon catherer along with a temporary pacemaker......BUT I MADE IT.
Woke up from anesthesia in ICU stayed there 8 days recieved some of the finest care from the most amazing and dedicated people .
ICU was not pleasant, my first night was WATER WATER WATER...Day 2 my water was to be curtailed and walking was to be done. About 6 PM I am helped to my feet to try to walk and my heart wont stop beating fast. The nurses and doctors work nearly 6 hours to get my heart rate down.IT IS FEARED I HAVE HAD A HEART ATTACK....Turns out I DID NOT.
I C U is a long time of laying down getting x rays EKGs Echos and blood draws at least every three hours. The beautiful people that work there make it as comfortable as possible.
Got home on TUESDAY NIGHT August 16........I will update on my home recovery later today.
I AM FEELING BETTER EVERY DAY
I am remaining surprisingly calm. I have faith in God, confidence in my surgeon, a friend who had more work done than I will and he is back to gambling in casinos les than two weeks afer bypass.....too much stress for me....
Padre Pio said PRAY HOPE AND DONT WORRY so I look foward to Tuesday 730 am..the beginning of the rest of my life. I have been given the keys to he kingdom again...now what will I do with this next opportunity.
August 9 th at 730 am..
I will have the surgery at Valley Hospital in Las Vegas NV, supposed to be the best for heart surgery in town.
I get a little nervous but I think about two weeks from tonight I could be home on the road to recovery.
My last day at work is this Friday.
I have paid my co-pay, completed all my tests and paperwork..so now just show up on Tuesday the 9th with good thoughts in my head!!!
I was diagnosed needing an aorta valve replacement. My lady and I met with the surgeon, Dr. James Daugharthy in Las Vegas. We were both impressed with his knowledge, caring and concern. I believe he will do a great job, also being done at VALLEY HOSPITAL supposed to be the best place for surgery in Las Vegas.
This is basically my first surgery EVER. My mind races now but I feel pretty confident about everything.
I have a friend who had a 5x bypass and an aneurysm done on Monday. I am encouraged by his progress, I will visit him tomorrow.
I will get a surgery date probably this coming week.
I appreciate everything I have read on this website. GOD BLESS.