I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, add your holiday greeting if you don't celebrate Christmas. And, a healthy, Happy New Year! Prayers and positive thoughts to all waiting for surgery, just through and those with some recovery under their wings. I'm 5 months PO and other than minor aches, still trying to comprehend what a gift I got in July - to be alive and getting stronger everyday!
Thank you to Adam for creating this site and thank you to all the hearties who share.
Today was my 4th month check up. Last night I didn't sleep much at all - just fretting that something will be wrong. Drove down to the hospital and immediately felt that I didn't want to be there. Went into the Cardiologist's office and anxiety tripled. First, weight taken and I had gained 20 pounds since surgery, knew I had gained, but not that much. They took my BP and it was high, more anxiety. Talked for awhile with the Cardiologist and he even realized how tightly wound I was. Talked some more, but could not relax. I had a doppler scheduled for an hour after my appointment and had more anxiety when they started scanning my right artery - immediately asked why and if there was something wrong. No - standard procedure. They scanned the left and I was done. While walking toward the exit, the cardiologist saw me and asked if I wanted him to read me the results of the doppler. Sure. It is so maddening when Drs hmmmm, stare, nod and hmmm some more. Anyhow, the Card says my blood is flowing too fast - just about flipped me out. My brain could not absorb the clogged condition moving to flowing too fast. Of course he did explain the dynamics of fluid physics, which made more sense, but didn't help the anxiety. Anyhow, after more talking things out, I did feel a little better with the knowledge that it could take a year from surgery for my body to become more stable - not sure that's the right word. The cardiologist DID say I looked good for only 4 months out and that he didn't want to see me for 6 months. He also told me to stop eating sodium, put my feet up more and if I had any pain call. I used to smoke 2 packs a day and stopped, suddenly when I ended up in the ER - another thing the body has to adjust. So he could understand the eating everything in sight part - so walk instead of eat. I walk 2 miles everyday now, guess it will be 5 soon. All in all, it has not been a good day and I'm ready to go to bed, put the pillow over my head and pray tomorrow is better.
Spent all day yesterday at our state fair in Raleigh, NC. It was crowded. The day was gorgeous! High 60s, sunny, little bit of a breeze. The smells of all the fair cooking was wonderful. I had a Philly Cheese Steak, Funnel Cake and white chocolate baguette. Just delicious. Yes, I know, not really healthy, but once a year won't hurt. According to my pedometer, I walked 4+ miles - something I could not even imagine doing before surgery. I am 14 weeks post-op and things are getting better every day. Have twinges across my chest when I reach a certain way - that's the signal to stop, change approach or not do at all. It was great to get out. After loosing half the summer due to hospitalization, I'm not ready for fall and winter.
Just got back from a couple of days at the ocean at Emerald Isle in NC. My husband, and biggest supporter, needed this small trip. To swim in the ocean first and then walk a couple of miles on the beach. He would not let me go into the water for two reasons; one, haven't gotten clearance from the cardiologist and two, he was afraid I'd get knocked over with the waves. It was ok, I was content to watch the ocean, birds and people enjoying themselves. Perhaps this spring I'll jump in.
He had been through this journey with me and needed time to recover, too. I'm glad it worked for him. So, now the plan is to move on with projects that were put on hold since July. Best to all the hearties, good luck and positive thoughts.
First grand daughter, 10 months old on 9/25. Good reason to get healthy
Journal posted on September 21, 2014
If you haven't gotten to read Adam's book - don't wait, GET IT! I got a copy which arrived yesterday and read 3/4 of it. I finished it this morning. My surgery was an emergency and did not have time to research, interview etc. I wish I did, more for the mental and emotional preparation. My surgery went well and I'm 9.5 weeks post op. A few down days - but got immediate pick-ups after posting to this site. All the hearties here are saints - thank you.
I used my recliner during the day the first 2 weeks I was home. Just wanted to get some decent sleep - I would do anything. Pain meds were getting me nutty because of the extremely bizarre dreams, so only if the pain was unbearable I would take only one, gradually moving over to extra strength Tylenol. Presently, I'm pain free - with a reminder twinge when I do too much. Walking 2 to 3 miles everyday - with some nasty hills, too. My 3 month check-up is in November and I'll be curious to see what goes on. Best wishes to all those who are getting ready - my thoughts and prayers are with you. And, after my experience I do, now, really believe that prayers work.
Thank you all - this has helped me to motivate me somewhat. My biggest question to myself is "what do I want?" It's like a fog right now. I still walk 2 to 3 miles every day and watch what I eat. Skipped taking naps, which might not be good. Because of my history, 2 trips to the ER a week apart, both occurred while reading my favorite mystery writer before sleeping - I am terrified to pick up a book at night. Talking about it helps - guess I need more time. Thanks again to all my heart buddies on this site.
Today was a bad day as far as my mental and emotional state. I know, from reading that this can happen, but it is an awful space to be in. Part of me knows it is part of this journey, the other part of me is beating myself up because of my behavior. Being 61 and old school- you know suck it up and deal with it. Has anyone out there experienced something similar? Any thoughts to ease this would be appreciated!
I had a new aortic valve placed on 7/16/14, as well as, cleaning out my left cartoid artery. So far so good - walking 2 to 3 miles daily. I have mostly good days and was happy to find this blog. My husband is so supportive, but somehow talking to others who have been through this is what I think I need. Learned alot already, especially about the sleeping part. Never was a back sleeper, but have managed when tired enough.
My valve was actually a genetic defect that I was born with and NEVER knew I had - mostly asymptomatic. Being 61, I just thought I was slowing down. The whole episode came on suddenly and quite scary, but thanks to WakeMed Heart Trauma Center - I'm mending.