Blessed to be where I am today. Celebrating my three month anniversary by running 10km at the same time I was being operated on just a few months ago. I'm still reminded every day with aches and pains but for those going through this surgery the recovery is fast and the benefits are worth it. I've been given a new start to my life due to the skills of the medical community and I'm thankful for that. I went from having a critically narrow aortic valve to a normal functioning valve for the first time in my life. While it never restricted me to now know that I have a valve that will keep up with me is amazing. This community has been very supportive and I hope I can keep updating as my training progresses.
I took the valve out yesterday on it's first test run at 7 weeks post AVR. I kept my heart rate below 130 and did 6 km in about an hour running and walking. It went well and feel good today. I've been walking in the forest near the house for the past couple of weeks with some good hills so I knew I could cope with a return to running. I'll try and ease back in slowly as my sternum is still a little sore.
Happy to be back moving again! This journey is life changing!
Just over two weeks out of AVR and going well.....except.....choked on water at dinner and coughing was soooo painful! Thought the coughing would be better but it's gotten progressively worse since leaving hospital. Normal? Am I doing too much. Not lifting anything heavy but doing regular things with my arms. That choking was harsh tonight but I guess I should be thankful I haven't sneezed in 17 days!
Getting out today! This fragile bird moves out into the scary world! Recovery going well considering I'm day 4 post surgery. I'll just be on regular Tylenol and/or Advil so that's good. Did not like the narcotics and the robots that kept coming into my dreams last night as a result weren't much fun either!
Well on the board now. Keeping busy this week getting the house ready and our busy kids' schedule written down for those who will be looking after them. We leave tomorrow and I'll stay in Vancouver for a couple of weeks. The surgeon wants to see me 7-10 days after discharge so we'll just stay close to the hospital. I feel mentally ready and want to get on with the next phase and back to being active. I'm going to have to be careful to not push myself.
I'm headed in for AVR on Friday. Mildly freaked out especially after talking to a nurse saying I'd walk into the OR. Was everyone wheeled in? Were you medicated by then? Seems a bit awkward.."I'll sit right here, go about your business!" LOL. I was hoping I wouldn't see the OR.
Counted 28 days on the calendar to my surgery date. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse! Glad to have the valve choice behind me but but definitely getting more anxious about the "countdown"....
After MUCH deliberation and going back and forth I think I am going with a tissue valve. I realize that at 44 it feels like a "crazy" decision but I've gone back and forth SO much I feel that I'm just not ready to commit to a mechanical valve. The surgeon agrees with my decision and the hospital I will be getting my surgery in is a pioneer in TAVR so everyone seems confident that this should be feasible upon replacement. The stats and studies don't support that thought right now but it's hard to get and accurate picture of the patient population when they are exclusively high risk. If my valve fails before the technology is practical then I will go mechanical. My gut says do "one and done" but my head says go tissue, live your life and see how the technology plays out.
Hopefully the surgery and recovery are easier than coming to a decision.
Phase 1 Complete! CT scan done. Like many on here other than this heart valve thing, hospitals are foreign to me. Had my first IV today...well had two because the first one didn't seem to be working. The dye they use felt really weird. The general reaction today was "wow, you're really young." I think that being a heart patient well below the "average" age this will probably be the norm.
Meeting with the surgeon tomorrow and have lots of questions. I'm still leaning towards the Ross Procedure, with mechanical if anything doesn't lone up for the Ross.
I think I will be very used to hospitals at the end of all of this.
Well, the journey is beginning. Just found out that the cardiologist and surgeon met and there was consensus that my Bicuspid Aortic Valve will need to be replaced. After 44 years, three half marathons, one full marathons and two triathlons it's time to start thinking about the next race. I've been reading all the stories and just got through Adam's book and I feel like while ready, I'm also not ready at all for what's coming up over the next six months. My flight or fight is kicking into full gear and telling me to run to the hills.
I'm leaning towards the Ross Procedure and if that can't happen hoping for the On-X mechanical valve. I would like to return to triathlons and I feel that the Ross with the native valve will allow me to still compete at a high level. Barring that the On-X valve seems to have great hemodynamic flow.
Any other athletes out there? Curious about your valve choice.