Well, here I am one year later. Bovine valve ticking along. I'm happy to answer any questions for those of you with surgery in the future.
One year ago I did it! I got my new valve ❤️
Journal posted on October 21, 2015
Woo hoo!!!! One year ago today, I got my new bovine valve. I will say that this has been a great year! I feel great and don't even feel like there was ever anything wrong with me. I feel as normal as normal can be. I'm married, work full time and have a 5-year old son that keeps me busy. I'm so thankful for having this surgery behind me. I know one day I'll face another surgery but for now, I'm living in the moment and thank God for Dr. Accola and his team! For those of you who face surgery, be strong and know that you can do this. Have faith in God that He will take of you.
I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. I'll see about a Smiling Selfie❤️.
I just completed my first session of cardiac rehab and it was great! It's like having a personal trainer. Today, I worked out on a treadmill, elliptical machine, recumbent bike and an arm machine. I will start weight training after Tuesday, when I am 8 weeks post op. I'll get better at each session. My RN (ie personal trainer) says she'll have me jogging again and will have me ready for a spin class. It feels so good to feel normal again with a new lease on life.
Hello my heart friends! Me and my cow valve just went for a long walk. I'm 6 weeks and 2 days post op today. You can see here, I'm wearing a big heart shirt. I found this while out Christmas shopping so I bought myself a present😍
Update posted on...
November 24, 2014
I have a questions for those whom have already had surgery. How long did it take for the lump above the incision to go away?
After hearing from some of you wanting to see how my incision looks, here it is. This is 12 days post op. I think it's healing nicely😊
11 days post op and 1 week back at home
Journal posted on November 1, 2014
My recovery is coming along good. I'm able to finally wash and blow dry my own hair! What a treat. I'm able to go on short walks in the neighborhood, so that feels great in the fall weather. If it weren't for my surgery, I'd probably be in Jacksonville today at the University of GA vs. University of Florida football game. The gators will get trampled by the bulldogs today so I might as well be at home anyway. I'm not on any medication except for an occasional Tylenol. My incision is healing nicely. I'd post a picture of it but apparently some people find incision pictures offensive. If you are interested in seeing mine at 11 days, let me know.
I'm already having thoughts about how great this Spring will be for me and my family! My son will be turning 5 in March and we are taking a Disney Cruise in May. Yeah for mom! Prior to having my son, my cardiologist was okay with me running with my bicuspid aortic valve. Once prego, doc said no more running. I went to see him this past week and he says once I'm all healed, I can get back to running! I has been SO long, I'll start with walking and build up my endurance. I'm just SO glad I've got so much good stuff in store😊
I'm sure my posts will not be as frequent since I'm healing well and all is on course to live a normal life now. I want to thank you to Adam for this site. This site has so much helpful information and a terrific community. Most importantly for me, this site helped me find my surgeon, Dr. Accola, in Orlando.
Today has been my hardest day yet. My sister went back home, my husband is back to work, home health delivered my shower chair and an incompetent physical therapist came to my house for an initial session. I hired a cleaning lady to keep up my cleaning and she was here today too, with running vacuum and all. A close neighbor came over to offer her support too. There has been WAY too much going on here and I had to have a break. Oh, and all the medicine last week has me so constipated, I keep getting the sweats.
Finally, it's peaceful at home. My husband brought some stuff home to work on so he's quietly working upstairs and is here if I need anything. A friend is picking up my son from school so I have time to rest. AND I finally had a BM. Yeah me!!
My physical therapist experience was a joke. He evaluated me, gave me a few exercises to do and said I didn't need PT. I'm not sad that he won't be back. The man has probably already retired once or twice. I got the impression he mostly works with home bound seniors. When he got here he didn't even know anything about my case or that I had open heart surgery a week ago. One of the test he wanted to do was to test my arm strength. He actually held up his arm (like arm wrestling) and ask me to pull it down as he resisted. Can you believe this??? So, I'm not supposed to push, pull or lift anything 5 lbs or more and he wants to test my arm strength? I told him no way, that I would NOT do that and risk hurting my incision. He's nuts. There were a few other things he said that made me very skeptical of him and his knowledge, plus I think he was kind of rude. Anyway, he left and will not return.
I'm posting this so you get the reality of my day. I don't want all my posts to appear to be sanitized of anything negative. This journey has mostly been positive. I think it's awesome that just one week ago, I got my new valve.
As someone else posted on this site "Onward and upward"
This morning was a success. My husband got off to work and my son got off to PreK. I was a bit exhausted when they walked out the door, but all is good.
For those of you making plans for post- op, be prepared with button up shirts. I haven't even attempted putting on a pullover shirt. At this point, pullovers are out of the question. Other items that I find necessary are a hand held shower head, extra bath mats (to avoid any slipping), recliner and lots of pillows. Stretch pants are good too. Just the simple buttoning of pants puts a slight strain on the chest area, so elastic waistbands are good.
That's all for now. Let the healing continue!
What a wonderful day it is! I was released from the hospital today and made the two hour trip home. We took a lunch break half way home to let me walk around a bit.
I am so amazed that just 4 days ago I had open heart surgery. Now, I definitely have a long road ahead of me to recover. I have to take things easy and not over do it. Not using my arms much will be a challenge. No driving for 4 weeks minimum. No lifting, pushing or pulling anything 5 lbs or more for 2 weeks. I go for a two-week follow up with surgeon to get further instructions. Until then, I also have to weigh myself daily, check temp. daily, use spirometer and walk.
I think my power recliner will be my new best friend for the next 8 weeks. That's okay. I thank the good Lord above for a successful surgery. I can't say enough good things about Dr. Accola and the team at Florida Hospital.
Today started out a bit rough. My blood count was down from some bleeding right after surgery. My body wasn't rebuilding blood fast enough so I had to have a pint of blood this morning. After that, I began to feel a lot better and was moved from ICU to a step down room. I got the port removed from my neck. (Forgive me for not knowing the proper medical terminology). They also removed my A-line. I'm still hooked up to a portable EKG that is continually monitored while I'm here at the hospital. So all these things are coming off of me! What a relief it is! Tomorrow will be a new day. I will get another chest X-ray early in the morning to see if my lungs are all clear. Today's X-ray showed a bit a fluid remaining in my left lung. I have to keep using the spirometer to clear my lungs. It's a chore but I have to do it! My incision is only about 4 inches. I thought it would much larger. I'm definitely pleased with that❤️. i hope this post will be helpful to those of you about to have surgery. You all can do this! I'm just thrilled that we live in a time and a place with so much advanced medical care. It's truly amazing to see things happening at Florida Hospital.