I was moved to step down unit last night. I've been diagnosed with pericardial tamponade. Great news...my surgeon just removed my chest tube ten minutes ago. I'm no longer attached to anything. Even better news...the surgeon thinks it happened as part of an autoimmune response. I have rheumatoid arthritis and the doctors took me off of all of my meds prior to surgery. This, plus the trauma of the OHS, triggered a huge flare up of the rheumatoid arthritis. The surgeon's putting me back on my meds effective immediately. Yea!!! Hopefully, this will clear up everything.
Well we all have some ups and downs. I hit the down part of recovery on Wednesday the 27th. The day started with a lower than normal blood pressure. I went for my morning walk and the cold air started to cause pain in my right lung. It was about 32 degrees f outside. My lungs are always fine at that temp. So, that was strange. About 6p.m. my vision went blurry for about ten seconds and then corrected itself. No big deal, right?? Well,about 10 pm I was hit with what I thought was the sudden onset of the flu. Strong nausea, very dizzy, followed by weakness and blurry vision. The worst thing? I suddenly couldn't hear my mechanical valve. Th ticking had stopped!!! My wife called the ambulance and off we went to the ER. We spent the night going through multiple blood tests, two CT scans, 1 xray, and last but not least 3 new IVs. They found a large amount of fluid around my heart (effusion) and a little around my lungs. Yesterday, the 29th was my two week anniversary for my BAV replacement and aneurysm graft. I spent the day by going back to the OR being put under and having the fluid drained. I was given the arterial line and and chest tube (drain). The only good news is that they didn't put in a central line in my neck nor did I get the dreaded catheter. They removed just under a liter of fluid from around my heart and will use lasix to take care of the lungs. So, here I sit back in ICU with all of my friends (staff). It'll be another 2 to 3 days before I can go home. I want to encourage all of you...if you suddenly aren't feeling well GET IT CHECKED OUT FAST. I ended up struggling to breath about 1 hour before they drained the fluid. It could've been fatal. So, PLEASE do not blow off any symptoms. Don't downplay anything. Get everything checked out. Things can go downhill fast. I'm doing well now and even walked a little bit. Talk to all of you later!
I was so intimidated by this surgery. I don't even have any pain in my chest. Turns out the worst part was shaving off my beard. The only thing is the inconvience of the hospital stay. For all of my heart brothers and sisters who are preparing for surgery...have no fear of surgery. God bless all of you and thank you for helping me face this situation!
John had his surgery on 1/14/15. They were able to use the mechanical valve. He is on day two in the ICU but is progressing really well. He was off the vent yesterday morning and was sitting in a chair most of the day yesterday. He is really hoping the chest tubes come out soon. I will try to upload a picture later in the day
Hello everyone! This is my first posting on this site. I am having BAVR and my aneurysm replaced on the 14th of January. I was wondering if anyone here has gone through this with RA and also been on methotrexate. My surgeon already has me off of the methotrexate, but says that it still may cause problems with the healing of the sternum. He was talking about putting in pressure plates to force the sternum together to help it heal better.
Has anyone been through this same experience and if so, how did you fare?
Best wishes, John