I had my 3-week follow-up appointment at the surgeon's office yesterday, where I saw his nurse practitioner. I was so glad to hear I can now raise my arms overhead, can lift 3 additional pounds (8 now!), can stop wearing the elastic support hose, stop wearing the stupid sports bra to sleep, can sleep on my side again.... Little things that amount to a big step forward!
Speaking of steps, being an elevator-phobe, I was thrilled that I could walk up the one flight of stairs to the surgeon's office with ease!
My incision is healing great & there has been relatively little pain so I was able to stop the pain meds pretty soon after coming home. I am so thankful recovery is going so well. (I did experience some trouble with sleeplessness, especially the first week at home.) I thank God my sister was able to travel to be with me for the surgery and my first few weeks at home. My heartfelt prayers are with those who have no one.
I'm disappointed to have developed A-fib, but I know it's very common and am trusting it will go away within a few weeks, as is usually the case. It's no surprise when a heart has been manhandled & gone through so much, it has some kind of reaction & can need time to recover from it all.
My prayers continue for everyone here awaiting & recovering from surgery. I'm so deeply grateful for the prayers & support of the good people on this site.
Home from the hospital on Monday 4/29! Surgery on 4/23 went well, thank God. The mitral valve had to be replaced, tricuspid repaired. Some relatively minor issues: three days postop, I required two units of blood, and for a time it was thought I may need a pacemaker ("cardiac block," which resolved. ) Still some asymptomatic "half block" which should also resolve as the heart recovers from the ordeal & I expect it will, God willing. Soon out of surgery, I also had the relatively rare experience of a dreadful "anesthesia nightmare" ("nightmare is too mild a word) which left me screaming and thrashing --- 6 people had to restrain me & I'm little more than 100 pounds. My poor sister and niece were horrified... I can remember hearing them speak to me, but was unfortunately too imprisoned by the terrifying nightmare (a memory I also unfortunately kept) to find it of comfort. Aside from that, the whole experience in hospital was relatively comfortable, the nurses were all wonderful, truly angels.
First night at home, I had some trouble sleeping, though i slept quite well in the hospital. No doubt I was just wired from a very eventful day. Home health nurse will come today to remove the last of the bandage coverings (Prevena) and my incision will be exposed for the first time. One step & one day at a time, full recovery is on the way. I am so thankful to have the surgery & hospitalization behind me. Many thanks for your prayers and encouragement along the way. You all remain in my prayers & I'll continue to report my progress. God bless!
A week from right now, my open heart surgery will be in progress to fix two valves (mitral and tricuspid), and "Leaky and Squeaky" will become "Snappy and Flappy." (Humor helps to offset the anxiety.) As I've noted has been the case for others, my eagerness to get it over with now exceeds the dread! I'm not much for social media, but will definitely post updates on my road to recovery.
God has been making a way where there seemed to be no way in several situations leading up to my surgery. I know how powerful prayer is, so would be very grateful for your prayers on my behalf. Please know, you are all in mine.
I've just scheduled my consultation appointment with the surgeon (for mitral valve surgery... repair or replace unknown, but probably replace, I'm told), for 3/11/2019. I would really appreciate suggestions for the best questions to ask him... I want to go as prepared as possible! Thanks so much.