Today marks 9 weeks and I feel fantastic. Been in cardiac rehab for the past month & it's made a huge difference. I hiked 4 miles on Sunday with no issues, I really have NO issues. Even my fingernails are clear for the first time in a decade, they were always blue/purple. I'm only taking one baby Aspirin & Metoprolol daily. Life is Grand, Open heart surgery is mind blown-amazing, I can't believe I feel this good. I wish this feeling for everyone xoxo.
Today is had my first Echo since surgery 7 weeks ago, my first cardiology follow up and a pacemaker follow up, phew!
My echo looks "prefect!", my cardiologist is happy with everything and everyway that I look.
And as for the pacemaker nurse, well as she placed that doo-dad in the picture over the site and brought up my heart rhythm, she yelled, because.. drum roll.....
I NO LONGER HAVE 3RD DEGREE HEART BLOCK (Complete Heart Block). This is a RARE occurrence.
They had me in the hospital post surgery for 7 days hoping my natural heart rhythm would return, when it didn't they surgically implanted the pace maker and I was discharged. now almost 2 months post op, my heart (last Saturday) decided to flip the switch back on and now my pacemaker will be dusting in the left side of my chest.
I couldn't be happier, i'm still in an excited shock at today's results. Tomorrow is the end of my 3rd week of cardiac rehab & I plan on going at it strong.
Saw my surgeon for my first follow up yesterday. He's very happy with how the incision looks & gave me a tough love speech to start doing everything I normally would on my own. He also wants me to ignore the discharge instructions about sternal precautions - 6 weeks was the normal decades ago but not now. So Today, I showered on my own for once (on my shower chair) and I- wait for it.... Shaved my legs & underarms. WOW. it's only been 3 weeks.
Thank you everyone! I couldn't get access to this site correctly on my cell phone the entire time I was in the hospital. The pig ears are for my...New 23MM Pig Valve! the other scar is my new pace maker, I'm now truly bionic. I'm 5 days home now, it's VERY ROUGH GOING. I'm not going to lie, i'm miserable.
First of all, UW discharged me after 9 days in the hospital before I had a bowel movement so on day 10 when I woke up at home I had a severe fecal impaction. My husband had to call 911 because I was on the floor of the bathroom screaming in pain, the ER didn't give me any meds to numb that area down there, the doc just dove in & I just SCREAMED. Still 4 days later & I cry when I have a bowel movement, it hurts so so bad - its either scratched or enflamed still- I've been back to an urgent care for more help but they gave me the same cream and I still have the same issue, just pain and tears. I think i'd be doing a lot better with everything else if I didn't have this pain down there.
I'm doing my daily arm exercises, walking around inside my house (Seattle weather doesn't allow any time outside, it just loves to rain lol).
In Any Case, here's my story:
I had a bioprosthetic valve mismatch from my first minimally invasive surgery 10 years ago-19mm cow aortic valve which was way too small. My surgeon enlarged my aortic root and aortic valve to fit a 23mm pig valve. After surgery my heart was not communicating with itself from the top chambers to the bottom, my heart rate never rose above 50, they would try to walk me but i'd collapse. So they waited a week to see if my heart would regain communication & then I had pace maker placement surgery. Two days after that, I went home. Tomorrow is my first follow up with my surgeon and the pace maker team.
This is not easy. This sucks. But I know I will get through it. We all get through this. I'm grateful for you all and all your comments xoxoxo
Pig ears for my new pig valve. Photo taken while still in the hospital.
AVR tomorrow morning
Journal posted on April 10, 2017
Tomorrow morning is the big day! Spent the evening walking around the U district of Seattle, eating candy in our hotel room & playing a mean game of ping pong. I feel like it's just a other day, and I hope this laid back attitude continues tomorrow when I go in. Thank you to everyone & all your stories and support. I can't wait to update you all of my progress xoxo
April 11, 2017 is my surgery date 💔 this will be my second aortic valve replacement but first sternotomy. My AVR 10 years ago (this coming June 15th) was via mini thoracotomy above my right boob. I received a tissue bovine valve then 🐮 & I'll be receiving another tissue valve this time.
I get winded walking up the steps in my house to our bedroom now, but I used to run 5ks, do back to back spin classes, crazy workouts 7 days a week, dancing everyday to my own tune, because prior to my last surgery I never really did! I've lived life to the fullest the past 10 years & I am excited to start over again in a few weeks! Xo
Hello heart warriors! Has anyone had TAVR? I just received the call I've been waiting for from a second opinion & after they reviewed my records they say I am a candidate for this procedure. I know what the google searches say, I'm more interested in hearing from someone who's had this procedure, How long did post op take and what's the time frame of the TAVR valve?
I had a 6 month follow up of my severe AS this past Monday with an Stress Echo. I nailed the treadmill test because i'm asymptomatic but this time my cardiologist said my heart is not contracting normally & she believes I have coronary valve disease which puts me at a risk of a heart attack. Are you (sorry not sorry) fucking kidding me?
I have so many emotions going on right now.
1. Depression. the day before my husband & I started our drive from NY to WA to move, I was pregnant but found on my 2.5 month sono that the baby had died. Drove cross country like this to have a miscarriage on Christmas Day last year in our new house. yay. then palpitations began last February when I found Swedish heart & vascular here in Seattle, they did some tests & found my valve to be severely calcified and the AS severe. What? I had a follow up with my cardiologist in NY the month before I drove here so how is this possible in 4 months to decline like this. The cardiologist at Swedish instructed me that I cannot get pregnant with my valve like this until I have surgery however i'm asymptomatic so it would be elective. OK thanks.
So now I turn 37 and time is ticking and i'm just getting more depressed and of course my face book is full of pregnant posts and babies popping the fuck out. Its all so wonderful and happy.
2. Anger. I had found acupuncture to relieve my PTSD I suffered from the surgery years ago. At the last sono in NY when I found out the baby was dead I was told to "try again in 6 weeks" Had I not gotten palpitations and started seeing doctors or if I had just gone for acupuncture to relieve them would I be complete with a baby right now? the palpitations went away completely within my first 2 acupuncture visits by the way, but I didn't start doing that until just 3 months ago. All these doctors are keeping me from fulfilling my life's purpose on this earth and i'm pissed off.
3. Fear. someone recently told me, "just go get your chest cracked open and get it the fuck done with already so you can pop a kid out." no comment.
4. Frustration. the surgeon i consulted with at Swedish refuses anything but a mechanical valve which is not what I want & I have strong reasons why this is not the valve for me. so i'm in the process of seeking 2nd or even 3rd opinions on this. And then, I have to make a decision and soon if I want to be a mom.
ahh night time venting. if you're still reading this, i'm impressed.