I have been so busy, I have not shared much lately. My aortic valve replacement and surprise triple bypass surgery was on June 25th, so Christmas Day will be six months. I returned to the fast paced industry of healthcare advertising in NYC in early September...I thought it was going to kill me. Yet all of my coworkers were amazing and understanding when I needed to take breaks. They were like my mother, but 100 times worse. Over time, I have been getting stronger and healthier. Near vegan eating...low to no fats, cholesterol, sodium and more is my norm. Diet sodas...gone. Walking up and down stairs, hitting the Y at home on weekends and down here in NYC during the week. With the diabetes now in check as well, I am feeling better and better. My chest still hurts in the bone, muscle and skin, but less and less. I am encouraged enough between the heart surgery and the diabetes management to start advocating...we will see how that goes. Well, point is...you can do it, and so can your medical team. Best two tips for recovery...buy or rent a recliner and get Google Chrome for your TV...that helped me a lot! :-) MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hi All...I have not posted since surgery and today is the four week mark. A lot has happened, but overall I am doing great.
In short, I was scheduled to receive an Onyx valve to replace my bicuspid aortic valve and possibly an artery replacement. Once said and done, it was a triple bypass and I have coronary artery disease at the age of 47! This was a surprise when I awoke in ICU with many tubes, including the breathing tube still down my throat...that was my worst moment believe it or not, but that is me.
Four days in cardiac care unit of and then home on Monday, to my pre brought air conditioner, recliner, and big screen TV with Chromecast (I planned).
Recovery has been slow, but steady. Even though I conserved pain meds, I ran short quicker then I liked and I had to move to Tylenol (was not happy). I have survived. Getting out to walk was tough, but there were days that I crossed the three mile mark without trying. The digestive system getting in order while taking iron pills was tough, but I made it.
Now that my meds have reduced, still trying to the blood thinners in order and getting to a normal routine (with naps), a lot of good things are happening.
I had my post surgical appointment with the doctor yesterday (3 weeks, 6 days after surgery) and I was given the go ahead to drive again. This was a total shock as I started cardiac rehab today, and I could drive to the hospital...yay.
As some of you know, I have been a producer in a healthcare/pharma agency in NYC over the last number of years. I am starting to feel called to patient advocacy and education as there is so much to know.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. If anyone has any questions just hit me with a note.
I am one week out from surgery and I have noticed that over the past week, I am feeling worse. I am taking my meds, taking it a bit slower and getting ready for my pre-op on Friday. I am not sure if this is more physical or emotional. With all of this, continuing to prepare at home (new recliner, additional TV, list of things to do if I ever get bored). Just trudging along, but looking forward to eventually feeling good.
Okay...only 15 days till surgery (6/25) and strangely, I am at the point of "let's get this done!" I am a bit surprised.
With work, I shared with my account leads and tech leads here at the agency (NYC advertising can be nasty), so if I was "flaky" to give me a little slack I think the wind down to 6/23 will be okay, I am still awaiting the disability documentation, but it it looks like I will have at least 6 weeks of full pay which is a miracle. Hopefully, the supplementary and the FMLA will come through so I can guarantee a job being around when I am feeling better.
In prep, we are going through getting as much paperwork in order (financials - banking and investments, insurance policies, old rollover 401 (k), power of attorney and a living will)...so fun. At least I bought a new recliner yesterday which I will receive a week from tomorrow. That will be in the bedroom, so I can be with my wife at night, and in the only room with AC if needed (added that two weeks ago).
I am trying to focus on things that will make life easier for my caretakers as I know I will be a complete pain in the butt.
Ok, well surrendering everything else to the Lord!
I let my HR team know about my surgery yesterday (followed up with a note today to cover my butt) and finally found my manager for two minutes. Shocked? She was.
I am in pharmaceutical advertising so none of this is surprising, but this does not happen to one of their own. And with her being pregnant (as well as my two account leads), I am trying to not get anyone concerned. Advertising is a young persons industry, so real life situations happen to their older relatives (I am only 47).
Praying that all the paper work for my disability works outs...that will be the project for the next few weeks.
This is my first post...a date has been set for pre-op on 6/19 and surgery on 6/25 to replace my aortic heart valve and likely a double bypass (the surgeon figures he is there, so why not). I am ready, yet anxious just to get it done.