It seems so long ago and far away that we both found all of the kind souls here on Adam's Heart Valve Journal. Frank is fully recovered and 100% plus. We both do check in from time to time and read and pray for those who are about to begin their valve replacement surgery. As promised I am sending along our daughters wedding photo's. Frank was a proud father on July 31st as he walked his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. As his surgery was totally unexpected we hung onto the thoughts of our daughters wedding day to push through and press on during his recovery. Our hearts go out to you all who are just beginning this process. here is the link to our joyous day. http://www.thebrandstudio.com/slideshows/colosimoalbum/
turn up your volume there is music too!!!
It's been a couple weeks since I posted. Surgery was 5 weeks ago yesterday already. Seems so long ago.
Things are going well. The incision is still uncomfortable. A burning, itching, stinging feeling. The seatbelt in the car is uncomfortable. I have to hold it away from my chest. Other than that I have been feeling well. Walking daily, up to 1.25 mile. There are a couple slight grades along the way that are breathtaking (lol) but other than that I make it relatively easily.
Kim and I spent most of Thursday in Pittsburgh. I had an echocardiogram, chest x-ray, EKG, and then a consultation with the surgeon. All results were good and Dr. Wei was pleased. He removed my 5 lb. lifting restriction, gave me the go ahead to drive (made Kim happy, I had to drive home) and to start cardiac rehab. I have my orientation for that on Tuesday afternoon. I'll update the journal again once I see what all that will entail. I'm looking forward to it.
Well, 3 weeks ago this time I was in surgery. Seems like it was a lot longer ago than that. Feeling good with the exception of the chest healing. I can't say it's painful, but certainly uncormfortable. I have limited my pain medication to extra strength tylenol. Walking everyday, getting close to a mile each time would be my guess. It's difficult getting up the slight grade in front of the house to the flat part of the street, but once on the flat my stamina seems pretty good.
I had my first doctor's appt on Wednesday, with my primary care physician. She was very pleased with my progress. She said I looked good being less than 3 weeks out at that time, "wound" is healing well, heart and lungs sounded good. Next stop will be to the surgeon in 2 weeks.
One thing that is a little unsettling to me, I can "feel" my heart beating pretty stongly now, especially when all is quiet. Not sure if this is usual, pcp didn't seem concerned. I did get a mechanical valve. Has anyone that has a mechanical valve experienced the same thing? I can hear it clicking sometimes too. I do know that is common. It's really kinda cool to hear it.
Thanks to all for your support over the last few weeks. It helped more than you could ever imagine.
While entering my last journal entry I saw the mailman pass by the front window. In the mail was a get well note from GEORGE BUSH, the 41st President !!! How cool is that !!! My brother George has gotten to be friends with forty-one and Barbara in the last few years.
Not really much new here. Had a good weekend, a lot of visitors. The weather hasn't been great, so I pretty much am wearing out the carpeting at home doing my laps around the first floor. Breathing much better, deep breaths don't hurt anymore. I did unexpectingly sneeze yesterday tho. Kim, Adam, and his girlfriend Courtney were all holding there breath until I quit clutching my chest and said, "Damn !!!" Keep that huggy pillow close by !!!
I got home yesterday, around 3pm, as Kim told you. I did shower (first one) yesterday before leaving the hospital. Man, did that take a lot out of me. Much more difficult than I thought it would be. But I felt much better for the ride home.
We had been planning on me sleeping on the recliner on the first floor, a hint we had received here. It was very comfortable, in fact, highly recommended. Kim was going to sleep on the couch in case I needed something, but I didn't want to bother her if I couldn't sleep, turn on the tv, etc. Solved that problem by using a baby monitor. It hadn't been used in over 20 years, but all it needed was a new battery.
Today I was a little stronger. A lovely day here, sunny in the mid 60s, and I was able to get outside and walk the driveway, about 10 laps. That wore me out.
Shower today was a lot easier, but still a chore, and taking a lot of pills !!!
Thank you all for your kind and encouraging words of support on the guestbook. It's much appreciated.
Frank is home and resting and already watching baskeball.. it's a great time for him to be stretched out on his recliner.. GO PITT!!!! he is a bit tired... but really not feeling much pain.. he will say hello to you all after resting...
I didn't realize that I was feeling that much of the a-fib, didn't seem fast or erratic, but at times it felt my heart was beating out of my chest. When they woke me from the cardioversion, I couldn't feel that at all, knew it was fixed. They said they put 50 joules through me.I got to rest a bit then, had to lay flat for 2 hours, had a turkey sandwich, and back to the races. A long walk which included up and down 4 steps. It's pretty neat, nurses and aids cheer you on when you pass. They keep a record of how many walks you take in a day with magnets next to your name on a white board. There were a few doctors standing there last night, they got a real kick out of that. I told them, "I need credit for doing this". The staff here has been great !!!
Frank had his cardioversion this morning and his heart rate is back to sinus rhythm.. his walks are getting longer.. he is climbing a few stairs.. and really isn't in much pain.. if his heart stays in rhythm he will most likely head home tomorrow.. I'll update again tomorrow.. thanks again for all of your kind words
Frank is still doing very well.. although last night he had some atrial fibrillations.. they are controling it with meds.. but it is still a bit high.. (I don't like it much, but they tell me it happens very often) if it does't improve they will do the cardioversion.. and hopefully get him back in rhythm.. he is walking every hour or so.. and is feeling good.. very little pain.. ect..
Hello, and thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. Sitting in a chair at the moment, just got back from my 3rd walk of the day !!! Nurse Amber says I have 2 more to go yet. So much for the day 3 issues, at least so far. I have little pain, had 2 drain tubes removed this morning (still have 1 in), and all but 1 of the IVs. Slept very well last night, even tho someone was poking me every hour. Fell right back to sleep, from 8 pm to 6 am this morning. Have been eating solid food since yesterday at lunch.
Frank continues to improve...he went for two walks..he had a few a-fibs.. but recovered on his own..but he had no events of A-Fib so that was great..he doesn't seem to be in too much pain.. actually he is comfortable.. tomorrow is the dreaded day 3 everyone talks about.. we are hoping it just passes us by..
All is well.. Frank is now in a room... a nice private quiet room.. he is sitting in a chair.. got all washed up.. and playing with his cell phone and checking the sports page so that he can watch his favorite team the Pitt Panthers b-ball this afternoon.. I am just in awe of the miracles in medicine.. so far so good.. and right on track.. Frank says Hi.. and thanks for all your prayers..
LETS GO PITT!!!!!
They removed the breathing tube about 4 pm.. he is in a little pain..but they took care of that quickly.. he seems to be very alert.. and can easily speak with details.. so its full steam ahead..so lets just keep praying that he will continue to improve with very few incidents..if there is a bed available tomorrow he will most likely move to his own room.
we had a brief visit to ICU and Frank is resting comfortably...he is still sedated but can hear us.. we got a thumbs up.. he says he isn't in pain.. the nurse says she is hoping to have the breathing tube out this evening.. the nurse gave him an A+.. we'll go back in for a visit in about an hour... however we do have to keep our visits short..
We meet with the surgeon and he did well....they ended up doing one bypass.. arotic root di-section (repaired).. and the mechanical valve replacement... I haven't seen Frank yet.. but go back in about an hour... he has a few tough days ahead.. but so far the surgery went as expected..
Frank is now in the OR(8:36).. and surgery should start soon..it was am emotional morning but we was settled and ready when they wheeled him away...My children and I are doing well.. keeping busy..staying positive.. I'll post more later in the day.. Keep the prayers coming!!!
I am home safe and sound after a long day. Frank had his catherization today and it all went well. He does has some very minimal blockages that they are not worried about and will not do a bypass. Everything went well and without incident. It was a long long day. Tomorrow will be even longer, his surgery is scheduled for approx 7-8 am. So its to bed early for me. Keep us in your prayers, so far they are working.
Thanks to all of you for your kind words and heartfelt wishes. For our family and friends who Frank emailed to access this blog and journal, you can also view who and what has been written in our guestbook but clicking on MY Guestbook.. in the yellow bar above.
Strange as it may be, the closer it gets to surgery day the more in control of my emotions I seem to be... Well for now anyway... We are trying to stay positive and chase away the negative thoughts ... I don't know if I mentioned this in previous post but our daughter is getting married July 31st so this has added a bit more worry...so keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we more toward a full recovery and some serious dancing at our daughters wedding... This journal has been a blessing in many many ways... when I am feeling the worries creep into my thoughts I just click the heart in the top of my favorites list.. and know that its going to all be just fine...
Yesterday we did meet with the surgeon, Dr Wei, UPMC. He was everything we hoped he would be and took his time in explaining the surgery. Frank is now leaning toward the mechanical valve mostly because he doesn't want to go through this again in 10-15 yrs. Dr Wei's very close friend was faced with the valve dilemma and also chose the mechanical. Ultimately the decision is Franks and he can let Dr. Wei know after the caterization. So its caterization on Thursday and surgery first patient on Friday. We went out for a nice late lunch and to see Franks favorite musical artist Eric Clapton and it was a fantastic show. All is good and we are doing our best to put all our energy into positive thoughts.
Hello all, this is Frank this time and not Kim. I just wanted to thank Kim publicly for the call she made to the cardiologist. The "hot headed Italian", as she referred to herself, did the trick. She got numerous phone calls of apology from the various members of his staff and they all seem to now be responding to our requests and inquiries. Let's hope it continues !!! The bottom line is, if you aren't happy with or confused by what they are telling you, be sure to ask (demand !!!) what you know you should be getting from them.
Consultation with surgeon coming up on Thursday, Feb 25. Have to make a list of all we want to ask. I feel pretty strongly about a tissue valve. Don't really want to do the Coumidin thing. We'll see what he has to say.
Thanks to all that have signed our guestbook. Getting a lot of good advice and encouragement.
Well I made the call to the cardiologist and voice my concerns about my husbands missed managed care. I even got a call from the cardiologist himself with sincere apologies and the missed communications along the way. He took his time and reviewed all that was to happen and the choices that have to be made and agreed to make sure the surgeon has all of the information he needs when we meet with him on Thursday. After Thursdays appointment I am hoping my husband and I are much more at ease with his pending surgery. whew that was a long weekend and morning..
ok,.. so I knew there would be a breakdown of communication with physicians offices but the events of last week were a bit much. The story is much to long.. but a string of no phone calls from the Dr's office to get the surgery all scheduled has brought mine and my husbands blood pressure to dangerous levels. In a nut shell after waiting for two days my husband speaks with the nurse in the cardiologists office at 4PM on Friday and she informs us that my husband is scheduled for a catherization (sp) on March 4th and he is to stay in the hospital and have his surgery on March 5.
which we both found a little odd, but he went with it. Frank then asks the nurse when we meet with the surgeon(who we haven't met as of yet) and she says ohhh you will talk with him after the heart catherazation.. and my husband then ask when do we discuss the valve replacement options.. she says ohh that will be determined by the surgeon once he gets in there.. and needless to say he was NONE too happy nor was I when he told me of this.. now to back up a bit the cardiologist.. who I will steal a lines from Adam's book and call Mr. bad bedside manners told us that due to my husbands age that he should only get the mechanical valve. After doing all of our research we really don't want the mechanical valve and might go with the tissue valve and not have to deal with blood thinners and as most of you on this blog know what that entails. SOOOOO me the hot headed Italian that I am was furious that the cardiologist office felt we didn't need to meet with the surgeon that I called his office myself (cardiologist office was to have done all the scheduling) and Frank is going to see the surgeon on Thursday.. and I am going to call the cardiologist office as soon as they open and have a few very FIRM words with them.... and perhaps just find us a new cardiologist. some of the information they gave my husband on Friday was so out of line and so wrong on ohhhh sooooo many different levels that we are perplexed. I'll update this after the pow wow.