Me and my precious family this last spring after recovering from heart surgery - I really wanted this photo taken as a tribute of what we came thru together!
Update posted on...
January 19, 2019
One year ago on Wednesday , i beat all odds! I woke up after I endured a long, complicated heart valve replacement (mitral and aortic) surgery in Houston on the snow/ice day during the worst flu season! Miracles happen! To God be the glory! Everyone (surgeons, nurses etc) showed up and did an awesome job at that great hospital, and I trusted God and survived to live another day! My family took awesome care of my kids- who waited the long 10 days for me to come home. My husband and dad waited for news and endured the crazy icu visiting hours to see me those 10 days. Thankfully, I don’t recall too much about the ordeal. From what I was told, I was a bit of a hot mess with a few complications along the way. (I think I would have been dead if I waited much longer. I felt horrible before and willed myself thru the holidays.). I led (and still lead) a healthy lifestyle- I eat healthy, have great cholesterol numbers, low blood pressure, exercise, don’t drink, etc. i don’t have diabetes. I have a pretty healthy family history. I say all this because heart disease is the #1 killer of women... don’t ignore a symptom... know your numbers and family history... keep your doctors appointments... do everything you can to stay healthy... Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular diseases continue to be a woman’s greatest health threat. Share this with those you love!
One year ago today I met with my cardiologist at Houston methodist who introduced me to my surgeon and we had a plan and date set for a life changing surgery... wouldn’t trade it for anything! I was ready to be well and move forward with my life!
Anyone have a recommendation for a scar concealer recommendation? I’ve got a dressy function coming up and I’d like to cover up the top half inch of my scar that shows in the dress I’d like to wear... thanks in advance! ( I don’t want the attention taken from the guest of honor because of it.)
The fuzzy sheep skin seatbelt cover I bought on amazon is divine! And my scar is now very faint - don’t know if I just heal that way (my other surgical scars are somewhat faint too) or it’s because I used religiously the mederma pm intensive overnight scar cream...
So I wanted to share something that gave me peace of mind in my 2 year wait for surgery and my after surgery... I wear an id made by roadid.com that has all the pertinent emergency contact and medical info in it. They make lots of styles at an affordable price. I have one now for my shoe, a silicone for for the water, and my Fitbit charge 2. My special needs son wears it too. I want my medical team to have the info they need should I not be able to speak for myself and family is not around. They have a sale going now too. I do not work for them nor have any financial or other interest with this conpany. Just wanted to put that out there for my fellow heart valve warriors.
So, I’m 43, married, 2 kids, now 14 weeks s/p mitral and aortic valve replacement. I’m feeling better than ever. I’m having a hard time finding supplemental life insurance because of the heart valve replacements. I couldn’t get it before because of my diagnosis of aortic stenosis... any advice? I’m considering just investing $ instead...
14 weeks s/p mitral and aortic valve replacement and am doing pretty good. I’m enrolled in a 36 session cardiac rehab program to help keep me going in the right direction. It’s fun and I’ve met a lot of great people! I’d recommend it- it’s time well spent!
Anyone deal with hair loss (like on your head) after surgery? Mine seems to be getting thinner and thinner... I’ve been blaming it on my drugs (which the only thing added was Coumadin) and healing. I’ve added a B complex vitamin. What’s going on and what do I do? Gonna bring this up to he Dr at the next visit.
5 weeks post op today! And doing pretty well! My stamina, soreness, etc is slowly improving! My scar doesn’t look bad at all, considering what I’ve been thru. I will wear it proudly as a badge of honor to my awesome medical team, family & friends. I’m anxious to start cardiac rehab but am awaiting a green light from my cardiologist. For now, I walk and bike daily at home. I’m still not driving, am careful as I move and lift anything. My hubby is ready for me to be completely recovered. He’s come to appreciate all the things I do each day as he’s had to pick up the slack in that area. My Coumadin regimen is finally worked out better and I’m scheduled to get a home inr monitor soon so I don’t have to go to the lab. I’m excited about that! I’ve got a bit of cabin fever, but still stay home most of the time as I’m trying to limit my exposure to this awful flu season and just focus on my heart surgery recovery. I’m very thankful for awesome health insurance! Yowzers! Well over $300,000 in claims have been made!
Today’s the day! Wear red for national heart day! Did you know heart disease in women kills more than ALL cancers combined?! Know the symptoms (& don’t ignore them), learn prevention and treatment options, and see your doctor.
I was doing everything right- ate healthy, exercise, nonsmoker/drinker... but I still needed to listen to my symptoms and seek help- so glad i did too!
2 weeks post surgery update- I’m amazed at the total reversal of symptoms I have now after replacing 2 valves! It’s amazing! PTL! I feel like I’m slowly turning the corner in terms of stamina/endurance but I’ve got a ways to go. I’m moving around better and am not in as much pain. I’m still very careful and am following all the restrictions and protocols. (Sneezing hurts- just saying! No driving- airbag! No lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk. No falling or crazy moves- broken sternum is healing!) I shed about 16 pounds of water weight and feel so much better (thank you drugs)! I think that has helped a lot too! Also my heart literally “ticks” like a clock, which is kind of soothing to hear in the quiet of the night. I follow up next week with the cardiologist and surgeon so stay tuned!
Need to figure out how to permanently put a 2 hr nap and live in the softest pjs into my schedule everyday... I’m finding it helpful for recovery! And it’s great to have helping hands of family/friends nearby...
2 days ago this was my FB Post-
Hospital jailbreak! Leaving for Home tomorrow! I still can’t believe I did this, willingly...but I couldn’t go on anymore. It was a no choice situation. And it’s suppose to be a one and done! PTL!
So if you have to spend 9+ days in a hospital, Houston Methodist is not a bad one! Just saying! (It’s not a resort though. You don’t rest here. You recover. You pray, you encourage, and may even cry. Emotionally and physically you may come out sore and spent but also better for it.) Blessed even!
People that work here are happy, polite (think Chickfila training), and smart & industrious...and are human too. I’ve met people from many places around the globe here and all walks/ages of life. I’ve been exposed to the talents of many (not just their job titles) and some of their life stories while allowing them to contribute to my own. Young, old, sick, worried family, volunteers spreading hope, and even the talents of just musicians in the lobby. They’ve have poured themselves into my care, and are honored by signing my heart pillow, which is my sort of souvineer of this crazy adventure.
Update post surgery for today- more walking and rehab stuff, more medication management changes to go home (not a human pin cushion anymore), ate some meals, took a shower, hung out with jeff (so thankful he’s willing to help me in the forever and always things of life- we are all just hanging in there), and I’m so thankful for family and friends helping at home with my boys! Miss them so! Ready to go home by the end of the week! I’ve been a bit emotional, exhausted and sore. I’ve been told there are good days and harder days but have been reassured of superhero status!
So heart surgery is no joke, but not the worst thing ever! I can honestly say my faith has been strengthened in God, and loads caring people! I’ve got a ways to go but am looking forward to the journey God’s places me on...
Update post surgery #3- getting a little better everyday! Ate real food, went on a few strolls thru the halls, did my protocols on the inspiraometer etc, discontinued the o2, took a shower (I feel more human again). Still working on medications and other issues. Hopeful for a discharge early next week sometime.
Post Surgery update- assessed by cardiac rehab, got the pacing wires removed, central lines removed, arterial lines removed, still on o2, educated on Coumadin even though I’m on a heparin drip,took a stroll down the hall, ate a few meals. No rest for the weary in the hospital.
Cath on Monday went well- no issues. My 6 hr mitral and aortic valve replacement went well on 1/16 despite the ice/snow in texas. I really recall very little getting preped. I don’t recall being anxious. I was not happy with the breathing tube when I woke and asked for a communication board. It was eventually removed. Day 1 post op was met with lots of nausea, soreness and some rest. I had issues with low bp, heart rate, and 1 liter of fluid on my lung that was removed. Day 2 was getting up to a chair, moving, coughing and using the inspiraomter more. Day 3 I walked 200 feet (felt like a marathon) and had my drain removed, ate solid food. I was moved day to a step down cardiac room where I slept well and await today’s events
Today is Cardiac cath day and tomorrow is surgery day!
My friend, a cardiac icu nurse, brought me a basket of what she called necessary creature comforts- a heart shaped pillow (easy to find on tHe valentine isle now), a water bottle (drink and move so you don’t get constipated), cough drops and lip balm (for when they take the tube out), wet ones, deodorant, dry shampoo, hair tie, and some fuzzy socks to make life feel more comfortable. She also advised to not let anyone touch me without hand washing and/or hand sanitizing first- the flu is awful now and it the last thing I need! Thought I’d share this list so you might be prepared too!
So tell me about cardiac rehab... all I’ve heard is a lot of walking is ahead after surgery. My surgeon also warned me I’d feel like a truck hit me and that initially it will take all my energy just to shower. Right now my energy level is super low, and I get short of breath pretty easily. So ready to feel good again as I’ve got lots of living to do.
Surgery date is set for 1/16, with a cath on the 15th. I’ve been busy getting ready for this- making arrangements for my 2 kids, hotel reservations for my hubby, buying comfy clothes for after surgery, got my hair cut, making lists of books and tv shows/movies to pass time as I recover. I’m stocking the freezer with meals as my hubby is not really a cook but is great at kitchen cleanup. What am I missing that I can do before surgery? What things helped you at home as you recovered? Also, I’m not really into narcotic drugs for pain (I hate the loopy drugged feeling) what alternatives worked for you? Did you feel you needed to use a grocery delivery service (like shipt or Instacart)? Did you feel you needed a housekeeping service? My husband has a demanding work schedule and I have family around for help, but don’t want to take advantage of the situation... any tips would be great! Never had something this big done before...
A little about me- I’m 43, married with 2 young kids. I work in healthcare and lead a healthy lifestyle but have a complicated medical history as I have RA.
Over 2 years ago I was diagnosised with moderate to severe AVS. I followed my cardiologist recommendations to go to Houston for intervention. I’ve been followed by numerous cardiologists in Houston since. Around that time is when I read Adam’s book and did some research. I’ve been in the “just wait and not worry” mode since according to my dr advice. I’ve been to every follow up and things are slowly getting worse. Given my age, the advice was to wait as long as possible. On Monday, I had a TEE to check on my valves, and it was not good news. Now I have a torn mitral valve that will need intervention too. I have an appointment with a doctor in Houston Tuesday to come up with a plan. Would appreciate your prayers. Hate this finally becoming an issue to deal with at this time of year... but I don’t think there’s ever a good time. I’m not really fearful about surgery but hate the idea of a lengthy recovery as I’m the big caregiver for my kids- my hubby is gonna need a lot of help!