Hard to believe that this time last year I was getting ready for surgery. I had my wipes and clean clothes laid out, nerves on high, mind racing. It will be one year tomorrow. That's 365 days since this heart took a brief pause from ticking, but came right back stronger than ever. Not sure what I would have done without this website and yours stories. The love, tidbits and encouragement meant so much to me,. You quelled my fears and told me what to expect, you brought me up when I was down and for that I am incredibly grateful. For those of you on the journey have faith in your surgeon and your plan. Trust in God that you will come out better and healthier than ever. My doctor, Dr. Yun at Kaiser Sunset was amazing as was the care from the nurses. So I leave you tonight with a thank you and a keep on TICKING!!!!!!!!
6 months and still going strong. Hit a huge milestone today. Couldn't have been happier with Dr. Yun and Kaiser Sunset in LA. Top notch care from start to finish. Feel great and although at the begging it was a bit rough, it does get better my friends. Keep beating on and happy heart day.
3 Weeks post and so far so good. I have been off of pain pills since after week 1 as I couldn't stand they way they made feel along with them getting in the way of sleep. I am up and walking 2 times a day about 2.5 miles each walk. I could probably go longer but don't want to push it. Still taking some meds, but hope to be off the coumadin at the 90 mark. I go in to see my cardiologist on 10/3 and hope to get the thumbs up on driving, which will also let me go back to work. With my job I can work from home, which is nice, but still get bored with being at home.
I had amazing care at Kaiser Sunset here in Los Angeles. Dr. Yun was amazing and I can't say enough about the nursing staff. The encouraged, helped, nurtured, talked and loved. I was fortunate to be close to the nurses station and a few of the same nurses for multiple days.
For those heading into surgery I promise you it gets better on the other side. I know its hard to believe but it does. All the worrying that occupied my life for months went out the window. Trust your team and if you don't find someone you do.
Has anyone experienced neck and shoulder pain post surgery? That is about the only problem I have had. Any tips?
Mike asked me to post an update post op. He did great. The surgeon was able to repair his valve. The surgery from the time they wheeled him to operating room to the time the surgeon came to give us an update was about 3 hours. He is now resting in the cardiac intensive care unit and we are still waiting to see him.
So here we are, down to the wire. Have to be at the hospital at 830am to hopefully be in surgery around 1130 or 12. I was the first one up, but got bumped do to an emergency. No complaints, fully understand that emergencies come first.
Shower taken, clean clothes used and sheets changed all per my paperwork from the doctor. Very surreal, but it's here. My hope is to get a decent sleep tonight and wake up refreshed and ready to face the day. All prayers and good thoughts accepted, I realize however that surgery is just the first step of many. The days will be long, the road difficult, but waking up will feel so good. Thank you all for your support, advice and good thoughts. Anyone else who is up tomorrow or in the next few days, you will be in my thoughts.
I to have my wife posting as info as it becomes available, good night all and keep on ticking.
We'll, we are at that point, 3 days until surgery. Went for some pre-op testing on Thursday and all went well. A lot of vials of blood and a few chest x-rays, all seemed to be pretty standard. I go in tomorrow morning for the pre-op with the doctors office so I hope all goes well there as well.
I got the electric recliner rented today so they are set to deliver a day or two before I would hope to come home. Found a really great place around the corner from our place so it was nice to stay local.
Still feeling a bit unbelievable at this point next week my hope is to be felling great 4 days post surgery. I am now to the point of thinking that just about everything I do will be the last time I do it for a while.
As most of you wisely point out, waiting is the hardest part. Starting to now finally have some of the signs of my condition. Times of eagerness and times of wishing it wouldn't have to happen, but at the end of the day, I need it.
I hope you all follow along as I have you and hope to have my wife posting while I am down and then give you my take on things once life gets a little back to normal.
Wednesday it is, this is all very real. Keep beating strong my friends.
Wow, hard to believe that I am just over 2 weeks away from my surgery date on 8/13. I have been trying to live life to the fullest and enjoying every moment. I have recently been looking at smaller things and appreciating them a little bit more. Whether it's the sun in morning while I shower or the taste of a certain food, or just small moments spent at home, I have just been thinking more about the importance of those moments.
Not sure nerves have kicked in a lot lately, been focusing on work and family, trying to keep myself occupied as much as possible. I have stopped to think about how great my life has been to this point and where I am at this exact moment in my life. I have an amazing family and wife, who I know never imagined this when talking taking the vows "in sickness and in health", but she has been a real trooper through this all so far, I just hope she can manage while I am down. I have a great job with a boss I like and respect, working in an industry that I never thought I could get this far in. Lastly I have great friends, some near and far, but always pick up the phone for just a small chat. I have to remind myself sometimes that this is coming up because I get lost sometimes in the greatness of everything else that is going on.
I have said this before and I will again, I am glad it's me on this journey and not my wife or daughter. I know they will be on this journey with me, but I am not sure I could take seeing them in so much pain.
So as I come down the home stretch, what other tips do you have that can help? I worry about the breathing tubes, the drainage tubes and the catheter, my ability to bounce back and my mental state as they wheel me into the very cold, bright, sterile room.
Couldn't imagine being this close to my date when I first got the news. Everything I do now and every decision I make is now centered this surgery. I wish. Felt more calm and points I do, but then the doubts creep in to my mind. I feel as at peace as I can, but know that there will never be 100% peace. I am a worrier always have been always will be, it's in my nature. Part f me wishes it was tomorrow, as you guys have all said that waiting is the hardest part. Been watching some NyMed to see if any e on thee is having the same surgery, not yet, but for some reason the show brings me peace. Anyone else new having surgery at Kaiser in Los Angeles?
Starting to get all of the finances in order and making sure my wife is on everything just in case she needs to access, somewhat morbid I know, but at the same time I need to be prepared. We went to church on Saturday and that always brings some peace. We'll alright we are under a month, game on.
As the month turns a new, I am one step closer to my surgery date. It's kind of scary given that the next month that turns leaves me very little time. Will start to put together a must do list pre-surgery and start to get everything in order. This morning I even thought about making sure all the maintenance on both cars gets done pre-surgery so my wife doesn't have to worry about anything while I am down. There are so many small things that you don't even think about. I have two questions I want to get some crowd sourcing on that I hope you guys can help.
1. Is getting the incision protector worth it? Has anyone tried it?
2. Is it worth renting the electric reclining chair? If so is there anyone in SoCal that knows where the best place is and is there a specific model that works better than others? Also about what did you pay to rent and for how long?
Thanks guys I appreciate the help and support, not sure what I would do without the website and prayers for those whose journey to surgery is soon.
Well, it's finally here. My surgery date has arrived and now my life will consist of backing everything into that date. It's hard to believe that something so small as a date on the calendar can bring up so many emotions. The list of things that need to get before hand are long and that doesn't include all the pre-op stuff. I am lucky that my mom will be coming out for the long haul to help assist during the day as my wife is at work. I think I would go nuts if I had to be home by myself for all that time. I am lucky that I work at a job that allows me to do some things from home, so I will have something to help fill my day. Dr. Yun at Kaiser Sunset will be doing surgery. From those I have talked to, they all refer to him as the "rock star", which is comforting. He's been doing these for a while and does a fair number each year and feels confident that he can make a repair.
Well, I hope this kicks off a series of more frequent posts on my end. I would love to chronicle my journey to help those that will come after me. If there are any tips that you would love to share, please share. This website has become a lifeline of sorts for me and I love seeing the successes of those who have already been through it.
I came to the realization tonight that it's time to have surgery. Not sure what exactly got me to this point, but some how I just came to peace with the decision. The longer I wait the more the odds go down for my repair and I want to live a life medicine free if possible.
I know road ahead won't be easy. You all here have taught me that, both good and bad. I have faith in my surgeon and at one point in our conversation, he was even a bit cocky, which I responded to.
How have you out there gotten to your decision? I am sure at points I will question myself, but life needs to move on and surgery is part of that. Thanks for weighing in.
Well, this is my first post so here goes. I had my first appointment with the surgeon today, Dr. Kwok Yun at Kaiser on Sunset in Los Angeles. The appointment lasted about 30 minutes and he walked me through why he thinks I should have surgery. I walked into the situation with a good base of knowledge after reading Adam's book and looking through some of the journals here on the site. Part of me thought his opinion would be different than the cardiologist, but I was wrong and he said no doubt I will need surgery, it's just a matter of when. Part of me wanted this meeting to get a final answer, but the other half thought maybe just maybe it could go away given that I don't really have any symptoms. I am 35 and healthy, work out a few times a week, play softball and generally stay active. I guess what one learns is that no matter what, father time comes a calling and you have to be ready to answer the phone, like it or not.
So here I am at a cross roads of whether to schedule the surgery in the coming months and get this behind me or to sit back and think a bit and wrestle with the possibility of changing insurances and getting out of the Kaiser system. I love the Kaiser system and the way you pay for things, but I also wonder if I would be better served going to a place with some more prestige attached to it. I guess at the end of the day, when your time is up, it's up no matter who is working on you that day.
A lot to think about in the coming days, as I have to evaluate what's right for me and my family. I am past the why me part, because as long as it isn't my wife or child, then I think God picked the right person to go through with the surgery.
Thanks for reading my first post, I hope to stay active on the site as I have found it very comforting to read others stories and even found myself checking my email as some of you have gone into surgery to make sure your ok.