After a wonderful spring weekend with my kids, we are now ready for surgery this morning! It’s 5:00 am and we are getting ready to leave for the hospital. Kate will be updating you from now on, and I hope she’ll send some photos too!
Thanks so much to all you wonderful friends for your loving messages of support. They mean the world to me! See you on the other side of this great adventure!
Finally I know what’s happening today! I am doing errands with my kids. At about 8:00 this morning my doctor called to say that the heart was a good match for his other patient and they were going ahead with the transplant! So today someone gets a new heart! Hooray!❤️
About an an hour later they called to say I have been rescheduled for Monday. This means I get to spend unexpected free time with both my kids—a real present for me! So despite a night’s lost sleep, I am glad this short delay has happened. Besides, maybe I’ll have time to locate the sweatpants for my recovery that I bought and promptly lost in my closet.
Thank you you all for the prayers and good wishes. Please keep them coming through Monday! And say a few for that heart recipient who is in the OR right now!
Well, yesterday everything looked good to go for my surgery today. I had my pre-op workup, got my hospital wristband and went home to pack. Both Ned and Kate had arrived and we were set for a lovely dinner at our favorite restaurant.
Then came the call: it was possible that I would get bumped for a heart transplant! It was exciting to think that someone else might be getting a new heart today, but at the same time, I was nervous about postponing the surgery for days or perhaps weeks due to scheduling backups. They told me that I should get a call by 9:00 or 9:30 telling me whether to come in at 5:45 am.
So, we went ahead with our dinner plans, had a great meal, while we anxiously awaited any news. By 10:30 I called the hospital and talked to several people before being told that they didn’t yet know whether they were doing the transplant, and to just plan on coming in at 5:45, but that they would call me. Up at 4:15 to shower with antibacterial scrub and take meds. No call from the hospital! At 5:29 I again called the hospital and the OR nurse said they still didn’t know if they were doing the transplant and they would know at 7:30–the original planned time for my surgery. She called back ten minutes later to say that my surgeon, Dr. McKellar, would call me around 8:00 to tell me what was going to happen. So, dear friends, I am going to try to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. I’ll keep you posted on the ongoing saga!
It seems unbelievable that by this time Friday I should be out of surgery and headed to the ICU! I tell myself that I am amazingly calm; however, I must admit that I haven’t been sleeping very well for the last week. I guess all the anxiety is lurking just behind my waking moments.
My kids arrive Thursday, just after my pre-op hospital visit. Until then I’m making a few last minute trips to the store, getting the car washed, and writing a few thank-you notes. Keeping busy is my way of not worrying, I guess!
Any more last minute advice?
The surgery to replace my bicuspid aortic valve, repair an aneurysm and the aortic root and perhaps do a bypass in one artery is now scheduled for April 20th! I’ve had a number of tests in the last few weeks: a CT scan, stress echo, angiogram, etc. They discovered when doing the pre-angiogram blood tests that I had both pernicious anemia and iron-deficiency anemia, so I had to have a major infusion of iron and am giving myself weekly B-12 shots leading up to y surgery.
After all these months of waiting it is hard to believe that in just two weeks the big surgery will behind me! Both my kids are coming back home for the operation, and that makes me really happy. My birthday is the day after surgery, so I’ll be “celebrating “ in the ICU! I hope to be cheering my new life with my newly implanted bovine pericardial valve!
In thanksgiving to the animal who provided the valve material I am having a cow theme for this event. Friends and relatives who need access to my hoe during my hospital stay and when I am in rehab will be receiving cow keyrings that moo! This silliness helps me to relax about this whole event and takes my mind off the more serious aspects of it all. I’ve left some household tasks for these last two weeks to do the same thing.
I so appreciate all the advice I’ve gotten from reading the entries here. I feel so much better prepared, so thank you all from the bottom of my soon-to-be-mended heart. ❤️
After almost three years of waiting and watching it looks like I am going to be having an aortic valve replacement soon (latest echo shows the valve area at only .75 cm2). My cardiologist is having another expert radiologist look at the scans and then either I’ll head straight to the surgeon’s office or for a TEE first. I am glad to have the waiting coming to an end but pretty nervous about both the surgery and recuperation. I live alone but may be able to have either my son or daughter here for a couple of weeks post surgery. I’d love to hear others’ experiences about what was most helpful during that recovery period. And any advice you can give me about the surgery itself. Also, I already have a pacemaker for bradycardia. Have any of you gone in for valve replacement already having a pacemaker? Many thanks for your support. It’s a kinda scary time.
Question for all you BAV replacement folks out there: Have any of you had symptoms while your aortic stenosis was still classified as moderate? My valve is ar 1.07 in area now, but I've been having lightheadedness and passed out once already. Any one else have a similar experience?