I did not go into 2015 knowing what it would hold for me and open heart surgery was not on the list of things I thought I would do. Today over 6 months after surgery I am feeling good! Finally, feeling like the pericarditis is getting better. Starting to slowly build an exercise program that includes power walking and horseback riding again. I am excited and I can tell my heart is strong! Wishing all my heart bothers and sisters a Happy New Year! Blessing upon all of you!
I was feeling so great - walking and riding and now walking up my stairs causes extreme pain because I have to breathe deeply. I would just say to anyone having surgery - really start out slow - "Normal" may be different...I think because I was feeling so great I started back exercising too much too fast and now I have to work through this set back.
I ended up going into the ER on Sunday with chest pains, I have pericarditis and they sent me home with medicines...however, it was not getting better - the other night I had server pain, hot/cold flashes, fever and more uncomfortableness. I had an appointment with my cardiologist on Wednesday and this is what I have found out - we need to make sure there is only inflammation and not fluid (because if there is fluid, it will need to be removed via needle) So I have an Echo today to check that...need to redo blood on Monday to make sure meds are working (ER did not give me the right dose) and reconnect with the cardiologist on Wednesday to go over it all...Please keep my in your thoughts and prayers as I figure this out.
It's hard to believe that just under 3 months ago I had Open Heart Surgery! Rehab is complete and felt so good, I would recommend it for anyone after surgery. I have a mechanical valve now, but I am back to work and back to riding horses...back to normal! Back to watching my sons football games and my daughters volleyball games. I feel good and I am grateful that the process was uneventful! I wouldn't have made it through without the many stories on this site, so Thank YOU!!
I saw Dr. Campbell today, I just love him! He takes the time to explain everything and has patients for all my questions. And, again they have bumped up my work at Cardio Rehab...love this program!! I am feeling good and have energy. My INR is still stable, the scar is healing nicely and the only have soreness I have is in my muscles and chest from time to time. All good, also going back to work Tuesdays and Thursdays next week and full time on 9/14 (with the exception of some vacation that was planned even before the surgery). I got great news about riding too...I can get back in the saddle in two weeks....YAY!! :) Just have to be careful!!
Blood draw to check my INR - this is stable at 2.2 and I am able to go 2 more weeks - Yay!
Education class - Great information on diet and reading labels, need to keep working on this!!
Rehab - Got bumped up today, working harder on the treadmill, bike and now 8 inch step instead of 4 inch.
Echo cardiogram - was told I have a beautiful heart...made me smile :) but most of all it really resonated that I needed this surgery my valve was narrowing and to the point of "sudden death" - those words really hit me. I was also told that the St. Jude valve I received is one of the best and the tech has been seeing valves for 25 years...All in all feeling very good!!
It's almost been a month...I am meeting with the cardiologist today....so many questions to get answered - can I drive? How much pain is too much? Where should pain normally be....here? Can I use my arms more, how careful do I need to be? And so many more. I hope he will have some answers.
Feeling good, made my goal of being at the horse show as a spectator...I was able to watch my daughter compete in all of her events. Very happy about that.
I see the doctor today, and hope my INR is still stable and find out what restrictions I will still have. Pain has been manageable with Tylenol for the last two days. Just sneezed though and that sent me through the roof....OWWWW!
Wow! I do have to admit the rest and recovery is much better than the anxiety of waiting before surgery. I also would say that the day of surgery and the day after were the hardest, but at least they went by fast.
Feeling better and better everyday! I have my fit-bit on and am walking 3-5 times a day. So blessed to have so much support - friends and family!
I have never felt pain like that before...all in all a good day and recovering nicely, however; Yawning, coughing, sneezing.....really hurt! Had my blood test and my INR is staying stable so no blood draw until Monday ...so happy to not have to be poked for an entire week...Yay! I can handle this with the help of God. He is good!
Finally settled on the couch at about 9 and slept until 440..yay! Got up had meds then back to sleep until 7...sitting in the medical lift chair now. Good breakfast and getting things (meds, wounds and rests) organized and cleaned. Feels good to be home. Still trying to get used to the new noise my ticker makes!
I made it home. Wow, I was expecting this to be easier... clothes-what a pain, the hospital gown was way more comfortable, seatbelts hurt, should have used my pillow and no more nurses to call whenever I need something.... and my medical chair is not as comfortable as I thought it would be.... hope to pillow it up tomorrow. It will be a better day tomorrow.
Hope I don't gross anyone out, but pretty amazing to me how this small incision could give me a new chance at life. Especially when I heard how bad my valve really was....look out when I'm fully recovered!
Day 4 post-op...
Journal posted on June 25, 2015
Good morning. Slept from 9 to 6...up at midnight and 6 for blood draws...up at 4 because I was sweating a lot...hot flashes or something, holy moly! Otherwise good deep sleep, finally. I was told have plate too, I get an xray today and hope too see it. Feeling pretty good this morning
Day 3 post-op...a bit rough but already feeling better
Journal posted on June 24, 2015
Cheast tube out today, made a big difference! However; still trying to get pain meds right - too much and I'm sick not enough and extreme pain! Working on finding a happy medium. People here at Abbott-Northwestern heart hospital have been great! Thanks too all my family and friends for all the support on line and in person!
I've made it to the other side! Took a walk today...down the hall, got some oatmeal...food to stay down and sat in the chair. All big accomplishments! At times I still fee like I've been hit by a bus, and can only look at a screen for about 5 minutes. Enjoying the visitors and all the posts. Thanks for the kind words and support. God is good!
Hi - ths is Mary, Julie's mom, surgery went great, mostly she has been sleeping but had some nausea and wretching, not good by meds have made it better. She will spend the night in ICU. Thanks for your prayers and concern.
We are up and on our way to Abbott Northwestern for my surgery this morning. Thankful for surgeons that can do this procedure, thankful for all the hospital staff that will be helping me through and thankful for all of my family and friends who are lifting my up today and through this! Blessings ♡
Well, there it is...my name on the board of upcoming surgeri
Journal posted on June 19, 2015
Well, there it is...my name on the board of upcoming surgeries. I have been through a roller coast of emotions the last couple of weeks. I am finally in the place of - "let's getter done". I think I have everything ready, and I know that if I did forget something my family will take care of it. This site and people I have met on this site have really helped me...the stories, the word of encouragement and just knowing I'm not the only one going through this have been extremely helpful! My mom will post for me the first days of surgery to let everyone know how I am doing.
"Heavenly Father, Lately I've been so worried about things that are out of my control. Help me to trust that you are working every little detail of my life out and that I have nothing to fear or worry about. In Jesus name, Amen."
Well the pre-op is complete and though I didn't learn anything new...I feel better! I was told it will go well because I am very healthy. May even get out of the hospital early...all along, I have heard was 5-7 day hospital stay and today I was told it could be 3-4 because I'm so young and healthy. Yay!
In a way I think this week will go by so fast and slow at the same time. I am really trying to slow down and stay positive. I am ready…got through the presentation at work (had me stressed) and have my back-ups all lined up. I have my pre-op and class tomorrow (mom is coming with me), have the lift chair for when I come home and list of items to pack. The stress of it all keep sneaking into my brain, though….I think I hyperventilated twice, cried – I don’t know how many times, bit off my family member’s heads at least three times…and now my brain is mush!
Another horse show! Helping my mind stay busy until the surgery.
Two Weeks to go...
Journal posted on June 8, 2015
In two weeks, Monday, I will be heading to Abbott Northwestern for open heart surgery. Tossed and turned all night, I'm scared to death! Please don't comment - "I'm in good hands" or "They do it all the time, it will be ok". Instead please keep praying for me, my doctors and my support team.
Keeping my mind off the upcoming surgery with a new friend.
Journal posted on June 1, 2015
Wow! It's June 1st. This is the month I have my surgery - in 22 days. I have been planning and s have help lined up...and I'm not afraid to ask. I am getting my head wrapped around what will happen and thanks to a long talk with a new friend I am a bit more at peace with everything...Thanks Tammi Gunwall!
I am really trying to stay busy to keep my mind off this and thanks to another friend - Nona McLaughlin and her horse Sunny - it is working and helping! I was able to ride and show her this weekend and it was so fun!
This waiting is really getting the best of me...I know I'm am prepared and have my support team ready, but I still feel like I need to do more. Reading about everyone's story helps. Not sure I would know what to do without this site, it is very helpful.
God is good! I know this is his plan, so I give my worry to Him and find peace.
This weekend I was able to take my mind off things for a whi
Journal posted on May 25, 2015
This weekend I was able to take my mind off things for a while. The kids started the horse show season with great success! Amanda and Rodney had a great two days placing in almost every event. Nick and Holly were amazing and did well too! I really did notice how quickly I got tired though...I usually do 10,000 steps a day but by 6,000 I was really feeling worn out.
And then here I sit...thinking and stewing - why? - it's going to ruin the whole summer. Such an emotional roller coaster! I know it will be ok...
In less than one month I will be having open heart surgery to replace my defective, leaky aortic valve. After having yet another dizzy spell this morning I'm relieved that the surgery is happening.
I am also feeling very blessed to have such great support family and friends! Thank you to all of you have told me you will pray for me or help me, it means a lot.
Well, that is what it has come to...days. I have 39 days until my surgery. I have started praying more and have has a couple visits with my pastor to ease my anxious mind. Reading the story of those that have gone through the procedure is also helping. SO THANK YOU for sharing!
My Mom & Dad are coming to stay with me after the surgery and a friend is loaning me a medical lift chair, so things are coming together...
I have a date - 6/22 is my minimally invasive aortic valve replacement. I have a pre-op education class 6/16, dentist appointment and a friend has a medical lift chair I can use. It's really starting to set in that this is happening. Need to call my work and get the paper work started.
I think about it everyday, just when I think I'm comfortable with the idea I start to over think everything again.
Met my surgeon, Dr. Farivar, he was great, also had my CT angiogram and my arteries are healthy, I have much love and support! I will be having heart vavle replacement in the next 3-6 months...I cannot believe it....but it's happening! Thanks to my Mom, for coming with me yesterday! Now to figure out when I should do this.