I can’t fully explain my feelings at this time. There are a lot. I’m full of gratitude that I have my Mitral Valve Repair and ASD repair surgery behind me, amazement at myself when I think of what each day held post surgery, and now, how I can see ahead to continued recovery.
I was in ICU a day and 1/2, then moved to a cardiac patient floor for 3 1/2 days. I got to go home after 5 days. It was so great to get home, take a shower every morning and settle in to my lazy boy chair to rest or nap during the day. It was my bed at night for a couple of weeks. My biggest pain besides the incision and chest muscles, was my neck and back. That’s still a challenge but pain level is much less now that I am moving around so much more, that helps.
I have now completed my 3rd week of cardiac rehab. This is a good thing, they monitor my activity and give me parameters of where my heart rate and effort should be. Although I was physically fit before surgery, I did not have the confidence or understanding of how much I should exert myself after my OHS. I was afraid-I did not want to mess up my heart after all that effort! Pre-surgery, I would push to the max in physical activities. Now 30 minutes of walking twice a day is big, but is helping. Patience is required, even though I would like to be running or biking, or taking longer walks, I’m reminded that for now, it’s all good. Greater Strength and endurance will come. I feel good enough to do light laundry, and cook a meal. I’m getting closer to feeling normal, short of needing more rest each day. I see my surgeon next week. I look forward to hearing his input as to how I’m doing.
My gratitude comes from the skills of my surgeon who performed my valve repair, the nurses and assistants who all helped me in the hospital and prior for testing, my cardiologist who treated me and watched me carefully the last 10 years, and now to all the people who supported me, prayed for me, and gave encouraging words, many of you here on Heart Valve Surgery, Thanks Adam Pick for this meeting place to gather our thoughts. It’s so gratifying to find out that people reach out when you go through something like this. My husband has been great, along with friends and family too, (bringing food, short visits, walks with me, many kind gestures). I continue to heal, and at times, I look back and think about how worried I was to do this surgery. Now, I can see it is worth it, that with God's grace, I’ll get better, and can go forward, hopefully with a strong heart for many years. I see my Surgeon tomorrow. I await hearing his thoughts about my progress!
For those of you with upcoming surgeries, you can do this. Yes the unknown is frightening, but information is empowering. Schedule things you enjoy up to your surgery date if you can, be good to yourself to prepare. Realize how experienced and skilled the doctors are, and the medical advances that make heart valve surgery a successful procedure today. We have a chance at better health and a longer life.
I wish you all well, and will check in to learn about your progress. God Bless, and thank you all for encouraging me. I hope I can do the same.
I am busy making lists, getting some food ready to freeze. I have not slowed down much since about Feb 6th, when my family called me, to return to his nursing home, my (mentally sharp) 94 1/2 year old Dad was declining. We were in Florida for a 2 month stay, intending to return Feb 20th to prepare for my surgery March 3rd, but this changed my planning and focus. I was praying I could get back in time to see my Dad. We made it, as a family we had many special moments before he passed on Feb. 10th. Since then, the business and focus on family and friends surrounding us on Dad’s behalf has made the wait for surgery seem unimportant. Now, I am trying to regroup to get through the surgery and recover to the best of my ability. I meet with the cardiology team tomorrow, and have my angiogram on Friday, and go from there, anticipating surgery March 3rd if all goes as planned. Thankfully, I have my husband by my side, and lots of good support from family and friends. I’m working out a little each day, meditating, trying to get some rest, and of course, praying. My Dad was a great role model on how to live your life with love and courage, I want to make him proud, and be healthy for my family and grandkids. I'm so thankful for all of your stories you have shared about heart surgery. Helps so much!
I think it is really hard to understand the implications of our heart disease/problems because they come upon us slowly at first, (at least for me). Then, when our cardiologists point out the problems, it is easier to understand that well, maybe we don't feel as good as we thought. The biggest obstacle, (still a little hard to fathom) is the need for heart surgery, when I'm walking, biking. plodding/running, doing normal things, and thinking that my fatigue and breathing is just, well, the way it is. We must trust and listen to our doctors, and today they can help us in even better techniques. That's encouraging! That's what I will focus on, how fortunate I am to have a chance to improve my health.
Well, I am now 30 days out from having mitral valve surgery, hopefully repair, and repair of an ASD. I have known since October this was needed, so I better get it done. Thank you all for keeping us strong by sharing your stories. So many great people! and of course thanks Adam. I read your book awhile ago, now will go back and reread. So many have said, knowledge is power.
Kelly, Anita, Natalie, Roberta,
We are thinking of you guys, and praying for successful surgeries, and strong recoveries. Hope to hear how you are doing post surgery, and be your cheering section as you go forward.
It is a comfort to see the many voices of heart valve surgery veterans remind us that the surgery, recovery, and reflections of going through such a major life happening make us better people too. I check the news feed often, and share from time to time. (I am a fairly private person, so this is a leap for me to open up. I'm hoping to learn and visit with others about having mitral valve surgery repair and an ASD repair March 3rd) thanks to all who are open and candid about their experiences. It is amazing, that often I see my own thoughts and concerns expressed by others here too. I'm sending support to those having surgery soon!
I joined this community to network with others regarding my upcoming heart surgery. I have a mitral valve repair scheduled for March 3rd, 2016. Any suggestions to stay focused, positive and avoid great worries is appreciated!