10.5 weeks post surgery. I'm back to work on a full-time basis and recovery slowly continues. I'm writing this weekend because my work schedule is starting to seriously interfere with the time I've been enjoying on this website. The stories here have been educational and inspiring, and I'm so glad I found a site like this to keep me from being tormented prior to my surgery. I am thankful to everyone for having shared their information, and at times their humor, on this site.
My recovery continues to slowly progress. Several days after my last journal post (at 3.5 weeks), I caught a flu that stuck around for nearly 4 weeks. Sneezing and coughing were quite a painful experience. Today life is clearly not back to the way it was prior to surgery, but thankfully recovery has gone well overall. Range of motion with my arms continues to be limited - particularly on the left side. I hear an occasional pop in my sternum when I try to reach too far. I am still unable to jog due to some lingering internal pressures. I do look forward to getting back to the physical activities I miss.
I wish the very best for those of you who are about to undergo OHS. All of us who are on the post-op side of this can fully understand the anxieties involved prior to surgery, and I believe we also understand how fortunate we are to live in a time when something can be done to fix our conditions. Best wishes to all on this site.
Surgery was longer than anticipated, but ultimately went well. My mitral valve was successfully repaired. They attempted to repair my aortic valve, but eventually had to do a replacement with a bovine valve. Single bypass went well.
Recovery has gone better than anticipated. Initially there were many issues, but now they are either much more tolerable, or no longer exist. The pain is long gone. Still a lot of tightness and some itching, but that gets slightly better every day. Leaving the hospital, I had anemia and still tire easily, however I've forced myself to eat well and do some simple exercises. That seems to really help. I rented a reclining hospital bed for a month. I can get along without it now, but doubt if I could have done without one for the first couple of weeks after my release.
I was happy with my surgeon, Dr. Ofenboch. He seemed knowledgeable, sharp, took the time necessary to listen to my concerns, answer all of my questions, and explain the potential scenarios of the surgery. My follow up with him will be today. Although I had a couple of negative experiences at the Morton Plant hospital facility, it was a good experience overall. Staff was generally very helpful, kind and friendly. Some were absolutely excellent.
I received news of the need for surgery in November of 2014. Never having any prior surgeries or significant health issues, i was pretty distraught and went through some very difficult times for a short period. I credit Adam Pick's website for having so much to do with preparing me for this surgery. With the support of my wife, family and friends, by the morning of surgery, I was ready and hardly nervous.
For those future patients who have found this site, the only things I would add or emphasize would be to let your spouse, friend, or whomever will be assisting you after your release from the hospital, plan ahead. Among other things, cooking, bathing, laundry, medicine distribution, juggling medical appointments, dressing and playing nurse will be a full time job for your caretaker. You may want to consider having a second person available for the first couple of weeks if possible. Also, for whatever reason(s), i experienced a great deal of intense itching for the first couple of weeks after surgery. Hot and cold flashes were very common at night, so you may feel quite uncomfortable trying to sleep. But be patient and know that things slowly improve. These surgeries are quite common today. Chances are that without surgery, your lifespan will be very limited - whether or not you have symptoms. There is really little reason not to strive for a positive attitude before surgery and during your recovery. Thank you again Adam Pick.