It's been too long since I posted anything....but still I am so grateful for this means of communication that has been here for us....
I just had my one year ...Read more
It's been too long since I posted anything....but still I am so grateful for this means of communication that has been here for us....
I just had my one year post-op visit on Monday, October 22. Unfortunately, my surgeon could not be there at the last minute and I was so disappointed that I couldn't see him to let him know how much I appreciate what he did for me. The PA was very thorough and we had a chance to talk about all the issues that I had dealt with over the last few months. The pain in my left side has pretty much gone away - sometimes stress will set it off - and I feel it for a day or two - so I told my husband no more stress. It's hard because of all the leftover bills from what the insurance didn't pay and the hospital left overs from my husband's hospitalization and near death in April from a burst appendix we have had to put our house up for sale. We have had no bites and we live in a very desirable neighborhood in a beautiful home. Our fleece we sent to God was if it was His will that we move that it goes quickly but now that the house has been up for sale for two months with no real interest we wonder if God will work out all the details of our financial situation and maybe we could stay....it's not likely going to be the best thing - my husband thinks that I wouldn't be able to afford the house expenses if he dies first - it would be hard so I have had to go along with his decision for the best future for us. How can your life have no stress? Impossible!!!! But in HIS strength we find our strength....I just want to let people know that sometimes we have to do things that hurt but we have to work it out ourselves. Sometimes a doctor can fix us and sometimes God has to do it for us. I just want to encourage others to hang in there - life goes on, problems go on, but we have a chance to live a full and wonderful life because our hearts are working again the way they need to.
The good news is that Dr. Kern doesn't need to see me for 2 years!!!! That's how well I'm doing. I recently lost 30 pounds and feel great other than a torn meniscus in my left knee - it hurts so bad - but I'm getting along with it until our financial situation works out better. Thanks to all who have encouraged me throughout this last year. I hope that I can be an encouragement to others as you have been to me.
I finished with my cardiac rehab last week. I had 36 visits and I want to encourage anyone who has heart surgery to make sure you do the whole amount of visits ...Read more
I finished with my cardiac rehab last week. I had 36 visits and I want to encourage anyone who has heart surgery to make sure you do the whole amount of visits for rehab. The nurses were wonderful where I went - Stroobants in Lynchburg, VA and I actually started looking forward to going 3 times a week - at first it was hard and then I started feeling better - I am now going to a local gym and working out - doing pretty much the same routine I was doing at the rehab center. The personal trainer that I talked to told me to do what was working and that after I felt even stronger and wanted different results he would help to adjust my routine. Don't not take advantage of the rehab - it is in your best interest and health. I'm also adding some stretch classes that are provided for seniors at the fitness center that I'm going to - YEAH for Humana and their Silver Sneakers program - my fitness center (Lifetime Fitness) is FREE! What a blessing!! Thanks Humana!! And I really want to express my appreciation for the rehab center I went to for their care, and their compassion to me and to the other patients who I worked out with for several months.
At 6 weeks I still had pain issues, but people here and on the Cardio Files were so helpful with advice and caring that I got over the hump - probably one of ...Read more
At 6 weeks I still had pain issues, but people here and on the Cardio Files were so helpful with advice and caring that I got over the hump - probably one of the biggest in my life - and I got through it emotionally and physically...the last week and a half have been so much better. I have had more stamina and energy - and when I feel I need it I just have learned to sit or sleep and then I'm fine again. So thankful for my surgeon, Dr. John Kern, UVA hospital, my family most of all for their support and love, my daughter Chris for spending 3 solid weeks with me in the hospital one week and two weeks afterward - making my meals, cleaning my house, making sure I took my meds, keeping track of every thing I ate and all my medications - making phone calls - and grocery shopping and everything else that she could do to make me comfortable.
We never expect to have to go through heart surgery - it was a complete shock - once I had the surgery I thought - what have I done - and now I know why I did it....my prayer is that I will have many more years with my family and recently we found out that our second great grandchild (a little girl) will be born in February - I could not be more thankful than I am right now.
Also thank you Adam for your book and this website - for the friends I have made and for the support that other members have given to me. Thanks all! God bless.
Thanks to all of you who posted some advice about my pain problem. Today has been so bad. I left a message for a nurse to call me - no call. It's so discouraging ...Read more
Thanks to all of you who posted some advice about my pain problem. Today has been so bad. I left a message for a nurse to call me - no call. It's so discouraging when you need to ask them something, but they don't take the time to call you back. This is not like having a cold or the flu. I am so uncomfortable all the time - it's constant anymore. Tonight I had to plug in a lamp and picked the cord off the floor and that was painful, but when I inserted the plug into the wall plug I nearly screamed it was so painful. This does not seem normal to me. I am having pain through the chest but what is really worse is the pain and burning sensation from my shoulders all the way to my elbow joint. Driving is difficult - if I have to turn the wheel sharply I'm in agony...I haven't hardly gone anywhere because of that - just to a local store I'm scared if I get into a close situation with another car. My judgment is actually off even pulling into my garage.
At this point since I have already talked to my surgeon and my cardiologist about the pain I don't know where to turn. The ER was no help either....the thought of this taking another few months to heal without any medication is getting me very depressed. I don't know who or where to turn. Can anyone give me any advice other than it will get better, please??
I had my surgery on Sept 26 so I am at 6 weeks this week. Everything is doing great except I still have a great deal of discomfort and sometimes it's downright ...Read more
I had my surgery on Sept 26 so I am at 6 weeks this week. Everything is doing great except I still have a great deal of discomfort and sometimes it's downright pain across my upper chest shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes when reaching for something even a little a sharp pain goes under my armpit area and all across my chest. Sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose is painful. I wondered if using the breathing machine if maybe I didn't do it long enough. But the home nurse said as long as I was walking around and being active I didn't have to worry about doing it. I'm done with Hydromorphone so I don't have any pain medication to take. The doctor said to take Advil or Aleve - Aleve doesn't work for me I have tried it and it does nothing. Tylenol doesn't take away the pain. Taking 2 Advil isn't doing much either and I wondered if anyone else on the site has had the same problem and what they do. So I'm searching for some way of relieving the pain across my upper chest (arm to arm) . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I was supposed to have my teeth cleaned today - something I schedule every 6 months - and while I was at the cardiologist he said if you go to the dentist for ...Read more
I was supposed to have my teeth cleaned today - something I schedule every 6 months - and while I was at the cardiologist he said if you go to the dentist for anything - cleaning, fillings, crowns, etc. I have to get a prescription for an antibiotic - so I told him that I needed some since my appointment was Nov 2nd. He said he wouldn't give me a prescription that I had to get it from my surgeon and yet my surgeon he would see me in a year. I don't know whether to call up to his office and ask them about it - I did cancel my appointment with the dentist until January but I don't know if I will be able to get the antibiotics from the surgeon, or my family physician....I asked the dentist office if they could get them for me and the girl said well if the surgeon or PCP doesn't give them to you we will see what we can do. Evidently when you have a pig valve of any artificial valve the germs and bacteria from the mouth will go right to the new valve and it will be a problem - no one said anything about that previous to my surgery.
Since my surgeon is over 2 hours away I decided to see a cardiologist in my town of Lynchburg, VA. That happened last week. I kind of thought it would be a ...Read more
Since my surgeon is over 2 hours away I decided to see a cardiologist in my town of Lynchburg, VA. That happened last week. I kind of thought it would be a little different so wanted to compare my experience with some of yours. They took an EKG, listened to my heart and lungs, and went over all my medications. I'm just at 5 week post-op and still have quite a bit of discomfort - especially when having a tough time having a bowel movement, the pain is on both sides of my upper chest. I wondered if that was normal. I was having a lot of pain from just under both arms and all the way across my upper chest for several days and it really hurt. At the point of my appointment with this cardiologist he said he wanted me to go off the pain killers. I have been on hydromorphone and Metroprolol and I was also on Tramadol (that was originally because of a torn meniscus in my right knee) The doctor would not prescribe any thing for the chest pain that I was having and just said it would get better in time and especially after I'm in cardiac rehab. Right now I'm only taking Advil when I need it - 2 tablets a couple of times a day and at night I've been taking 1/2 of hydromophone so I don't wake up in pain. I have also been on Flexeril (muscle relaxer) .
I just wondered how everyone is doing at the 5 week mark and if it normal to take a patient off all medications by the sixth week. He wanted me to take 1/2 of a metrprolol just once a day this week and then 1/2 every other day next week and then stop.
I'm still taking regular aspirin (325 mg) each day and my Vitamin D3 and Time Release Iron - since I was always anemic and also because I thought it would give me a little boost of energy.
I'd just like to know if this all seems normal for a heart patient. It still feels painful when I take deep breaths or if I sneeze or blow my nose - you never think you are using chest muscles when you blow your nose but you do!!!
I'm also scheduled for another echocardiogram on November 13th....I am finished with all my home care - the nurse, the physical therapist and the occupational therapist all signed me off since I'm getting around so well. I did start to drive short distances last week - but today when I picked up my grand daughter from school I could really feel the muscles in my chest hurting - especially when backing up and turning the wheel hard which was unavoidable getting out of a parking spot.
Any advice or comments would be appreciated!!!
I had my appointment with my surgeon on Monday, the 16th. This is the first chance I've had to get back on my computer. Everything went really well and they ...Read more
I had my appointment with my surgeon on Monday, the 16th. This is the first chance I've had to get back on my computer. Everything went really well and they were extremely pleased with my progress- even to the point that the PA and surgeon said that I could start driving short distances next week. That was great to hear. I thought it would be 6-8 weeks and I'm allowed after 4 weeks.
My physical therapist was just here and she has been working on my leg strength and today I was able to go up the stairs - we have 18 steps to our second floor - and I didn't have to stop to catch my breath and my blood pressure only elevated a couple of points and then after resting for a few minutes it was back to 110/77. I'm feeling pretty good overall - My home health will end soon and then I'll go to one of the cardiac centers to get back into better shape and get stronger. I've always been a go-getter so trying to stay on top so I don't fall into depression. When I start to feel a little down I find something to do that's positive or call someone and take my mind off of myself and I find that it does the trick. Since the surgeon didn't replace the aorta I will have to go back once a year to have a CT Chest Scan to make sure that the aorta doesn't enlarge more than it already had.
I'm praying that it will be okay - thinking about going through surgery again is a little hard to deal with but I'm going to put it out of my mind and hope that the decision he made to just replace the aortic valve was all that ever had to be done. He felt that with the new valve that the aorta wouldn't be working so hard and wouldn't enlarge any more than it already had. So I'm praying he is right. Regardless, my surgeon Dr. John Kern was so good and he came to see me every day that I was in the hospital. I read where some people never see their surgeon after their surgery so I am happy that I had a surgeon who really felt like a friend and a person who truly cared about me. For anyone who is close to the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, VA - make sure you ask to see Dr. Kern - you will love him. The care from the nurses, staff people and the doctor were excellent. I feel like they were constantly in my corner and were helpful and friendly.
My surgery was successful so much so that what was expected to be a 5 hour surgery was actually on 2 and1/2 hours. Dr. John Kern (best doctor in the world) ...Read more
My surgery was successful so much so that what was expected to be a 5 hour surgery was actually on 2 and1/2 hours. Dr. John Kern (best doctor in the world) was my surgeon at UVA in Charlottesville, VA. I was no prepared for the amount of pain - from reading all the posts on this site no one really talked about that which made me think it was going to be easier - but it was not. Honestly, my first words were I feel like I got hit by a Mack Truck. I could not have picked a better hospital, doctor or staff. They were wonderful. Every need was met to make me the most comfortable that I could be. As you all know, you finally fall into a deep sleep and it's time to get up for a heparin shot or get vitals. It's hard to get comfortable after surgery, but you manage the best that you can.
I was released from the hospital last Sunday - which meant my hospital stay was 6 days. Since I lived an hour and a half from the hospital they decided to keep me an extra day. My home never looked so good when I came through the door.
This week was going great eating wise, walking, going to the bathroom and managing all by myself, but on Thursday I started getting a severe back spasm on my right side. Everything tightened up all over my entire back. Then by Saturday the same thing happened on the left side - spasming and deep pain. My wonderful husband massaged my back but it hurt so bad. But I couldn't even sleep the pain was so bad. I do have a Home Health nurse and we talked to her a couple of times over the weekend. The suggestions were drink more water, cold packs and hot packs. Those things didn't seem to make a change. Even this morning when I yawn, deep breathe, or sneeze I can feel that deep pain stabbing me. So I wondered if anyone else had this experience and what was done to make you more comfortable.
I am already taking a muscle relaxer and hydromorphine tablets....I hate feeling sleepy and then can't fall asleep. I know rest and sleep is important but when you are in pain it's not good. Surprisingly, the chest pain from the surgery is not bad at all....it has improved greatly since last week.
If anyone can share any information that might be helpful I'd appreciate it so much. I need relief so bad right now. Your suggestions would mean everything right now.
I live about 2 hours from the hospital so we are leaving early this afternoon so that we will be in place for tomorrow. They don't give you a time till the ...Read more
I live about 2 hours from the hospital so we are leaving early this afternoon so that we will be in place for tomorrow. They don't give you a time till the day before so I won't hear the time of my surgery until after 2 pm this afternoon. I wish I knew now. I guess there is a reason for that, but it's kinda frustrating to not know.
My whole family came over to my house last night to have a get together and spend time with 7 of my 12 grand children. It was so sweet of them to do that...the family makes it all worthwhile. I'll be able to give a report once I get back on my computer - I wasn't planning on taking it to the hospital - but if I can get on my iphone and post something I will. I'm not sure I want to have pictures of me looking bad - guys have the advantage of showing their scar after surgery - us girls - not so much. LOL God bless to everyone - to those who like me are having surgery this week especially. The nerves have actually calmed down - but I'm sure tonight will not be getting much sleep.
I went to Abington High School in Abington, Pennsylvania (outside Philadelphia) and this weekend is my 50th class reunion. It has been a great distraction ...Read more
I went to Abington High School in Abington, Pennsylvania (outside Philadelphia) and this weekend is my 50th class reunion. It has been a great distraction enjoying buying some new clothes and things for our trip. Once I get back on Sunday night I will be able to relax the whole week and be ready for my surgery on Tuesday, the 26th. Staying calm and not getting stressed has been the hardest thing to do since I found out on June 27th that I needed heart surgery. I feel like my life has taken a crazy turn - and I will be happy when it is all behind me so that I can move on and do the things that make me happiest - spending time with my family.
I had my pre-op appointment at UVA (University of Virginia) on Monday and I'm ready now. When I originally came to this site I was with a different doctor ...Read more
I had my pre-op appointment at UVA (University of Virginia) on Monday and I'm ready now. When I originally came to this site I was with a different doctor and didn't realize that I hadn't changed it - I had my second opinion and loved the doctor at UVA and I felt that was where I would be comfortable for my care and my surgery. Everything is on schedule and although I get scared reading through the material at times, I'm ready to get this done with and get on with my life.!!
I'm kinda wondering why my name isn't listing on the upcoming surgeries - is there something special you need to do to get there? Could someone let me know. ...Read more
I'm kinda wondering why my name isn't listing on the upcoming surgeries - is there something special you need to do to get there? Could someone let me know. Thanks. (My surgery is going to be on September 26th.
I have a question and wanted to see if anyone else experienced anything like this. I have to have an aortic valve and my aorta replaced and will be doing ...Read more
I have a question and wanted to see if anyone else experienced anything like this. I have to have an aortic valve and my aorta replaced and will be doing so in late September or sometime in October once I see another doctor for a second opinion. Last night I got so tired of sleeping in a sitting up position that I turned to my right side to get comfortable I immediately started having quite a bit of pain on around my heart - I tried this 3 different times and the same thing happened which left me scared and unable to fall back asleep. Is this a normal thing that happens when the aortic valve isn't working properly - I'm wondering if I will last long enough to wait to have the second opinion and surgery in 7-8 weeks. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
I am seeing my surgeon for the first time since I was diagnosed with Aortic regurgitation. I had all the tests and he will be going over them with me tomorrow. ...Read more
I am seeing my surgeon for the first time since I was diagnosed with Aortic regurgitation. I had all the tests and he will be going over them with me tomorrow. I don't know this doctor from Adam, but his reviews are good. I have been told I should get another opinion and have checked with my insurance and I could go to UVA which is about 90 minutes from home. I am not really sure what the process is to get a second opinion and have stressed about it....any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!