One year ago on Septmeber 24 I had my aeortic valve replaced, my aorta repaired, had a bipass and got a pacemaker. I have the say that the first few months were pretty awful and emotional. I now feel FABULOUS! My husband and I just returned from a beach vacation to celebrate the anniversary of my new life. I am thankful every day. Every time I take a breath, every time I hear my mechanical valve ticking away. It is overwhelming to me that one year ago I wasn't sure if I would survive the surgery. Luckily, I had a wonderful surgeon and God had a bigger plan for me. Happy birthday to my rebuilt self :)
The human body is such an interesting vessel! This is week 12. the numbness in the area of my chest to the left and right of my scar has dissapeared. I thought I would be happy when that happened. Little did I know that I would be experiencing pain and an occaisional "electric shock" which can be quite alarming during a conversation when I jump and wince. According to the surgeon's office, this is very common. It is the nerves regenerating. Tylenol or other pain killers won't do any good and that in a month or so, it should go away. One thing I can say for sure is that I am learning a lot of interesting facts about the human body during this time of healing.
At first, my scar appeared to be healing nicely. Almost overnight it started to become raised, bumpy and red. I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon. He described the scar as being thickened, hypertrophic and suggested steroid injections. I agreed and endured the proceedure. It was quite painful, but already a week later, I am seeing results. He also suggested using silicone bandages which are worn for 24 hours at a time. They are very successful in burn patients and scar therapy. I am so happy that I went to see him. It's not that I mind the scar, I just don't want to be a big bumpy mass on my chest.
Week 8. FINALLY starting to feel like a human being. Cariac rehab has been an absolute life saver. Being at home and healing after the surgery was hell. I was bored out of my mind and so restless. Daytime TV is the absolute worse thing ever! I am so thankful that my family and friends were (and are) so supportive of me and are my biggest cheerleaders. I ended up needing a bi-pass as well as a pacemaker, in addition to the aeortic valve replacement and section of the aeorta to repair the aneurysm. I am still very sore in the sternum and chest area. Again, rehab is helping loosen up the muscles and has really been a blessing. I am looking forward to continuing my work to feeling even better.