I pray all are well pre/post surgery.
It’s been 6.5 months since my surgery and I am happy to report that I am doing well. I’ve completed cardio-rehab and have continued with my heart healthy routine at my local gym. I’m moderately jogging 9 miles per week and walking as much as possible in between. I’m planning to run a Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago in April (5 miles) as proof that I’m coming back! In the meantime, I praying for all of us.
Greetings, fellow travelers.
It's been 102 days since my surgery and I've just completed my 20th session out of 36 of cardio-rehab. I saw my cardiologist on 10 July for a follow-up and a assessment of my latest echo. Good news is that my mitral valve repair is holding with no discernable murmur. Yaah! Bad news is that my aortic valve has been slowly dilating since 2014.
My question to anyone who cares to respond is: Does either mitral valve repair and/or increase stress on the heart due to exercise accelerate the dilating of other heart valves? I'm going to pose this question to my doctor, but would also value other heart patient's actual experience.
Thanks in advance, and may the good Lord continue to bless us all.
Wow,it's been a while since my last posting. Since, May 31st, I've been participating in cardio-rehab 3x per week,1 hour per session. I recommend trying the program, because it's definitely both a confidence builder, an an excellent source of information. I'm coming to accept that I will be a heart patient the rest of my life, but that doesn't mean life isn't worth living. Yo me, life has become more interesting. Challenging, yes. But now a greater incentive to take even better care of myself, and then to pass forward my experiences
to family and friends. The Lord, is so merciful and wise. I will always be amazed at His blessings.
I had my first follow-up visit with my original cardiologist on May 3rd. Out of 11 meds, I'm down to 1 major and two minor ones now. I have to be on Coumadin for at least another 2 months, and 81 mg aspirin and multi-vitamin. I had some concerns about the blood pressure medicine and the Lipitor that I was taking 30 days post surgery. Because my BP runs on the low side, and I had some concerns about frequent urination being caused by the Lipitor, my cardiologist agreed to discontinue both the Metoprolol,the Lisinopril, and the Lipitor.(Note: I had no BP issues and 195 total cholesterol prior to surgery). I'm still trying to stabilize my coumadin INR levels but hope to accomplish this soon. After a stress test on May 19th, I hope to be cleared for cardio-rehab.
Despite a concern about a UTI, which proved to be negative, I'm progressing OK. Taking walks up to an hour now both outside and on the treadmill. Still dealing with the sleepless nights, but I'm prayerful that this will eventually work itself out.
Stay Blessed my fellow travelers. The Lord is our passenger riding "shotgun" on this journey! He is with us always!
I'm 25 days post surgery, and I've had the usual concerns of recovering heart patients. Warafin levels, exercise concerns, follow-up appointments, pain management, and is my devoted wife finally going to leave me, because I'm acting like an ass sometimes.
But on sleepless nights like this one, I try to pass on some semblance of encouragement and inspiration to others on this wonderful forum, and I wind up feeling both inspired and a little ashamed because of my "petty" complaints.
My fellow travelers, you are my Blessings. I admire your courage, your Spirit-inspired attitudes and faith, and I log off feeling inspired and humbled. Compared to some of you my brothers and sisters I have no real issues. My self-absorption although understandable pales in comparison to some of my fellow heart patients. I want to just go on record to let you all know how much I love you all and admire you. Perception without perspective is a fool's folly. Thank you so much for sharing and helping me deepen my Faith!!
Today I turn 61 years. Don't feel the "age" portion physically, despite some minor setbacks during recovery. I feel spiritually reborn on a certain level, because let's face it, the outcome could've been different. I am so grateful to my Lord for His many blessings in my life. I thought I was doing a decent job in keeping His will before mine. But post surgery, I realized that there was much room for improvement.There is nothing like OHS to force some much needed self-reflection and subsequent evaluation and then action.
Strengthening my faith now more by deeds rather than lofty platitudes. I looking so forward to passing it forward. God Bless you all my fellow travelers and remember that we are not alone. I know the Lord loves us all and wants us to succeed beyond our wildest expectations. Trust in the Lord! He's got our backs!
17 days post surgery and I had kind of rough 72 hours. I'm suppose to terminate usage of Norco10 mg-acetaminophen 325 mg tomorrow, 22 April. Ok, I thought no problem. I wasn't on any mandated prescriptions at age 61, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. An original script of 50 tabs was filled on 08 April, and being medicine naive and somewhat cockey, I thought no way am I going need all 50 pills. No one is going to make an addict out of me! "One tab by mouth every four hours as needed for Pain-Moderate(pain score 4-6)" were the usage directions. As of 21 April, I have 16 remaining pills. Doing the math, I took 34 pills over 14 days. A little under 2.5 pills per day. Not too bad, right? I supplemented Extra Strength Tylenol (500mg tabs) when needed but for me only dulled the pain, never ended it.
I slowly weaned myself off of the Norco for the last 4 days with the Tylenol, which at the maximum dose of 3000 mg every 24 hours only dulled my pain. Like I said, it has been a rough 72 hours! Walking around the house in the wee hours of the night/morning only helped.
Take the medicine, as directed, but keep in mind the body apparently loves the Hydrocodone. For me, even a little was a lot. Compared to the alternative, I believe I really have nothing to complain about. After all, isn't all of life about trade-offs?
I'm doing well praise Jesus. Minor inconvenience surface from time to time while trying to moderate the pain medication without taking too much, too little, and the regulation of BM's. But I'm up for the challenge along with other obstacles. I'm up to about an 1 hour walk every other day with my wife around the residence. Just getting some sun on your face and some fresh air is a blessing. I'm looking forward to my first follow-up with all my Docs on 26 April.
On 14 April, my beautiful granddaughter,(1st "grand-girl"). 7 lbs, 11ozs is the mirror image of her 8 yr. old brother when he was born. Let the spoiling resume and increase!
Fellow travelers, I'm celebrating the Risen Lord today, and I would like to extend a HAPPY EASTER greeting to all of my OHS sisters and brothers. I love you all and you will continue to be in my prayers.
Peace unto you!
My regiment of 11 prescriptions are slowly getting in sync. Several calls between my home care RN and Nortwestern Hospital caused some modification in the taking of blood pressure meds. Besides my blood pressure running on the low side post surgery, it appears I have genetic sensitivity toward Warafin. Most of the meds will only be several weeks in duration. But I'm up for the challenge compared to the alternative!
Does anyone know of a simple way to remove the tape strips that run along the incision? I shower daily, and gently clean the area. The RN related the strips would slowly curl up and I could then dislodge them. Is there a special soap that might gently hasten the process?
I know this is not a topic for polite conversation, but I believe needs to be addressed.(Stop here, if you're not interested-I understand completely).
As most in-house, invasive surgery patients knows, you have to have a BM Before you're discharged. My surgery was April 4th, my first post-surgery BM was April 6th. I was discharged April 8th. No big deal. On April 10th, I receive my first in-home visit from an RN. Again, no big deal. My dear wife,( whom I love dearly and is with me step of the way on my/our journey), happens to mention to the RN and that I haven't had a BM in two days. I swear I heard sirens go off in the background. The RN immediately jumped into action and immediately recommended Magnesium Citrate. I had never heard of it before, but the importance that I use it immediately was fostered by the RN. My son purchased two bottles, and I dutifully drank one, after reading the label that had the words "relieves occasional constipation". Sounded pretty benign to me.
For the next 14 hours-my goodness! BM problem solved but the severe evacuation continued. Continued to the point where I was worried about dehydration and unbalanced electrolytes. Pedialyte and a lot of water, got me through the worst of it.
Moral of the story:SPEAK UP!! In the spirit of gratefulness and cooperation, I let my guard down. If you believe something is unnecessary or excessive- hold your ground and prepare to defend your position. We're heart patients with extensive rehab ahead, but fight to keep your voice as we proceed on this journey.
Thank you Jesus, you are so merciful! Despite the rehab, and minor bouts of incision pain,the anticipation had to be the worst ever. America, if you had a choice between a short or long date. PICK THE SHORT DATE! The waiting was slow torture! But now you know the rest of the story!
Just called about my reporting time in the morning at Northwestern. At 7AM I will be admitted. Surgery is scheduled to start at 8:30AM.
Any suggestions on what to do on the night before would be appreciated.
My plan is to stay up all night, so that I would be glad to lay down somewhere.
It's funny, but I don't feel as anxious as I thought I would be. Maybe because I'm exhausted mentally because I've been struggling with this surgery since January 18th.
Jesus be praised this will be soon be over.
Thanks for your suggestions and positive thoughts!
I'm now waiting for my reporting time for Tuesday. I should be receiving a phone call sometime after 2PM CST. I'm praying for the earliest time possible for both emotional and logistical purposes. But suffice it say, the day will be finally here.
I'm so blessed to have such a great wife,(40 years married), who has definitely stepped her game-if that was even possible. My "Big Sis" has been amazing in all of her efforts. This event has brought my two sons and my entire extended family closer together. So I guess the theme here is-I am so blessed and highly favored by the Lord. He is working his Blessings and infinite wisdom and grace through me, so I trust in the Lord.
Fellow travelers, hang in there with me. All of us are in the palm of the hand of the Almighty!
I wii post again when I have my reporting time.
Trying to stay busy. Church today, long walk Sunday morning and then dinner Sunday night. Monday will be l last minute details until I get the call for my reporting time for Tuesday.
Glad when this is done. Whewww.
Starting nasal antibiotics today twice a day for 5 days. Surgery on April 4th. The wife wants to take me out to dinner on Sunday prior to the operation on Tuesday. I'm contemplating have a glass of wine with the meal but I've been having some issues with minor heartburn which I think are nerves. Anybody else? I don't think a small glass would hurt. I haven't read to date anyone having issues with very moderate use of alcohol prior to surgery. Already anticipating some sleepless nights. Lord I'll be glad when this over. It's like slow torture. A lesson learned here in hindsight is to geta surgical date sooner whether than later.
Anyway, thanks to everyone in advance for your support.
Sleepless night tonight. I woke up at 2:00AM, and have been reading all of the encouraging messages on the website for the past two hours.
I completed a 5 mile walk yesterday while listening to BABBS Striesand and it did help a little. All the pretesting is done and it's a go. I had a second opinion with Dr. Brian Foy , heart surgeon at Edward Hospital, Naperville, IL. A great guy. This was strictly done to reinforce what I had already decided. He knew my surgeon , Dr. Pat McCarthy, and said he was a rock star at a top notch hospital, Northwestern. Dr. Foy related that he would personally go to Pat McCarthy himself and send family members to him. I had a bunch of questions for him, and he very patiently answered all of them.
All of the herbal remedies I was thinking about taking-
(I.e. st. John's Wort, cava, cava, sleeping pills, vitamin supplements), he said leave them all alone. He said, 'Joe, I reviewed your test results and you are basically a healthy guy. Don't waste your money. Surgery will go well for you and just focus on the outcome.' He said sleep as best as you can and if 4 hours is all you get then it's enough for now. Don't force the issue. Your body will adjust eventually pre-surgery, then again after. The anxiety will eventually subside.
Many blessings to my fellow heart patients. We will get through this!
One week since my angiogram and the results were favorable with no arterial blockages,(some placque), but not enough to be concerned. No pain just bruising, which is normal. Note: Men-be prepared to be "manscaped" if you are having a groin entry.
My surgery is less than 4 weeks away, April 4th, and I am experiencing waves of emotion that vacillate between worry and let's get this over. I have a tendency to over think situations which I attribute to 30 years in law enforcement with 20 years as a field supervisor. I'm use to being in control and formulating a favorable outcome. My leaking mitral valve is my first major
surgery, so I have to evoke the serenity prayer and trust
my faith in the Almighty.
I am currently scheduled for surgery at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago on April 4th. I've already had my initial consult with Dr. McCarthy who will be performing the surgery and has stated that he can perform a repair to my mitral valve as opposed to replacing it. My MVR has been diagnosed as "moderate to severe". I've had consults with three cardiologists,( including my brother-in-law). Two of the cardiologists related that I'm in the gray area. My brother-in-law has related that I should get the problem taken care of since the rest of my heart appears to be basically healthy. I'm scheduled for an angiogram next Monday, February 27th. The outcome from this procedure will probably give me the definitive "go or no go" answers I'm looking for. I'm in the process of scheduling a second opinion with another heart surgeon. I knew this day was coming for the last two years, but I am asymptomatic and believed I would have more time to decide.