I played tennis again exact 2 months after my mitral valve repair surgery. It felt soooo good! I have been back to work full time 4 weeks after surgery and now being able to play tennis again made me feel that my life is finally back to normal. Just like most of us, I went through some tough times from pre-op preparation, stress, anxiety to the rough initial recovery after the surgery. But overall the process was a huge success and I would do it again if I have to. I feel very lucky and I am very thankful to everyone who is related to this event...that include all of you - my support group. I have learned a lot from your experiences and suggestions and I really appreciate it. I will keep up my posting and will try to support all my friends through this wonderful site. Thanks to all of you and good luck everyone!
Thanks for everyone's responses and concerns! I feel better now that many patients experiences similar changes in heart rate and blood pressure post op. I guess our hearts have gone through a tough time and they need a long time to get back to normal. I am doing all the things I suppose to after the surgery and just trusting my body will eventually take control. Let's keep comparing notes and hope for the best my friends!
I had my mitral valve repaired 6 weeks ago. Everything is going well and I am going back to work full time now. The only thing that bothers me is that my heart rate has increased from 56-63/min before the surgery to 83-89/min post op. My blood pressure has also dropped from 125/82 to 110/72 consistently. I just had a check-up with my cardiologist last week and the echo-cardio showed that my mitral valve is perfect! I don't know if this change in my heart rate and blood pressure is normal or temporary. My doctor didn't seem too worried about it. Any suggestions?
Today is 21 days post op. I went back to my office for some light work. Everybody was happy to see me and I was more than happy to see them! I am trying to go slow (that's not my nature). I have heard other patients got bad again by doing too much and too soon. That's why I like this site where you can learn a lot from other patients to avoid making the same mistakes. Now I am walking 1-2 times a day for 35-45 min each time. I will be doing some upper body exercise soon (I lost all my arm muscles) and maybe some light push ups and weights. Just try to go day by day and gradually get back to the routines. The important thing is not how fast you are going but is the fact that you are going. Keep it up all my friends!
Today is the 16th day post op. We drove 4 hrs to Duke Heart Clinic to see my surgeon, Dr. Glover. They run me through some EKG and chest X-rays and next thing I knew a nurse was using a little tool to take all my staples out. I was then all cleared to go home and get back to my life slowly. I thanked my life saver, Dr. Glower over and over again and he just smiled and said "go, don't come back!" I will be driving again tomorrow morning after 2 weeks of break (I hope I still remember how.) Will keep you guys updated. Thanks for sharing and good luck to everyone.
I wasn't feeling too good yesterday due to the A-fib; light headed, weak, restless. My usual morning vital check was; BP 70/40 (very low), PR 89/min, heart beat very irregular. So, I just took it easy; rest a little, nap a little.
I also did some acupuncture to myself to calm down the heart. Slowly, my irregular heart beat got better. I even took the regular 45 min after dinner walk with my wife.
I got up this morning feeling much better after 8 hours sleep. My vital was all good, no A-fib. I am a happy man again! We are going to go out to do something (anything!) since neither of us are staying home type person (she is worse). I joked with her yesterday saying this felt like we were in our 2nd honeymoon but just a week too long. LOL
OK, got to go, talk to you guys later.
Today is the 13th day after my mitral repair surgery. I think I am doing very well; eating more and sleeping better. My energy is gradually coming back. But this morning when I checked my vital I discovered my A-fib is back. I have been taking the A-fib med (Amiodarone) since the surgery and my heart rhythm has been great after the surgery. But the A-fib is back now. I hope it won't last. Any suggestions?
Today is a much better day! I slept about 8 hrs last night and had my first BM in 8 day! I feel so much lighter!! I am continue to try to eat more and walk more. I will do my best not to waste the 2nd chance that Dr. Glower giving me.
First, I want to tell you my little story. I am 59, male, 6'1"
157lb, non smoker, light social drinker. I eat mostly vegetarian diet. I have always been physically active. Before my surgery I was playing tennis 2-3x/wk and walking 45 min 3x/wk. I din't have anything wrong with me except a leaky heart valve which I felt it even when I was a teenager. There are few symptoms I have all my life; I can not run or ride bike hard non-stop for more than 30 min. I feel some irregular heart beats occasionally. I was diagnose with mitral valve regurgitation about 30 yrs ago and the cardiologist checks on me every few yrs. In the last 5 years I started to notice that my symptoms were slowly getting worse; like easier to get winded playing competitive tennis and irregular heart beats were more often (few times/day). I could no longer sleep comfortably on my left side. During my last check-up few months ago my cardiologist told me that I needed an open heart surgery within a year! It's still a shocker even though I had the disease for a long time. So, I started my research online. Quickly I learned that Duke Heart Clinic is excellent in this region (rank 6 in US). Little more research I found Dr. Donald Glower (a top dog in this field)
Dr. Donald Glower graduated from Johns Hopkins medical school (top med school +), He is in his 60' (prime age for a surgeon ++), He has been in Duke for 30 years and specializes in minimal invasive procedure (very experience +++). So my wife and I drove 5 hrs on 03/27/14 to Duke to see Dr. Glower. He was very professional and sincere. He told us that after reviewing all my files he was 95% sure he would repair it. Wonderful news since our local surgeon only gave me 50%. Naturally we set my surgery date right there...04/15/14. Long story short I woke up in ICU 3pm that afternoon and I was more than happy!! He saved my life!!! He told us later that my mitral valve is the worse one he had seen for a long time and 40% blood in my heart flows right back with each contraction. That's why it took him so long (7.5 hrs) to repair it. My heart has slowly enlarged to twice the normal size and began to get weaker. He told us he probably would not be able to help me if I waited more than 6 months.
During the 5 difficult days in the hospital I have seen and heard many wonderful things about Dr. Glower as a doctor and a person. First, he is a very hard working man; he comes to see his patients 7 days a week! He came to see me around 9:30pm before the surgery. Second, he is the best at this type surgery and this I heard from everyone in the hospital (nurses know everything :) 3rd, he is Mr. Perfectionist; he always does his surgery from the beginning to the end and often comes to your recovery room for minor procedures (like he pulled my little heart wire out one day). 4th and maybe the most important; He is a very nice person and very humble. You can just tell that he loves his patients and his work. We definitely need more doctors like him.
Well, enough about Dr. Glower I need to take a nap. See you later.
04/22/14 Waking up at 4am and could not go back to sleep again. I know I am still on the adrenalin rush after the surgery and sleep will come. I think the anesthesia not only interrupted my sleeping pattern it also cause slight short memory loss; I often forget things like what I was going to do just few minutes ago or what I was going to say during a sentence. Hopefully, it will be temporary. Vickie drove me to my office at noon. Everyone was so happy and surprised to see me. Lunch at our favorite restaurant and got home at 2pm. I was tired and in pain and had to take pain meds and take a nap. Tomorrow will be a better day!
Today is the 6th day after surgery and it's so nice waking up at your own home. Had a lot pain last night due to 5 hour trip from Duke and I did too much trying to unload the car. I learned my lesson. Sleep still poor for the last 8 days (2 hr/night at hospital and 4 hr last night). The good thing is I can eat now!...still small portion. The pain, weakness, insomnia, or any other reaction that I am having now due to surgery is all OK since I am just so HAPPY that it's over now. Actually I think this event is on top of all the events I have experienced in life. walking 2-3 times a day and 10-15 min each time is nice, I am only taking 2 Tylenol every 6 hrs and the pain is about 4/10 level. My wife is trying to cook everything she can think of to get my weight and strength back. I am so happy and excited with my renewed heart and life that I have to keep it down a little so Vickie won't get mad. Can't wait for tomorrow. :)