Wow times flies. It’s two years ago today that I had my aortic valve replaced with a new mechanical valve. Some days when I see my scar I have to remind my self that it really happened. It was not an easy journey and like so many others here can testify to the waiting was by far the most difficult part of the journey. Since my surgery my focus has been to be healthier than ever. I am doing extreme fitness 3 times a week and what once was a struggle has become part of my regular routine. I have established a mainly clean diet and can say without a doubt that I feel better than I ever have in my life. This group is amazing and the support and understanding of everyone in it is what got me through the tough days. To those waiting for surgery it is so hard but you’ll get through it and will be on the recovery side before you know it. To those just starting the recovery side be gentle with yourself. There are tough days but it gets better. Remember your body has been through a major trauma and it needs time. As hard as it is try not to compare your recovery with others we are all individuals and each recovery is unique.
One year ago I was being prepped for surgery and after all the stress the 6 weeks before I felt an odd sense of calm. Hours later I remember waking up and my Dr was telling everything went great! I made it to the recovery side. Recovery wasn’t easy but it was manageable. Pain was never a problem for me. It was the fatigue and depression after that surprised me the most. Now one year later I feel great. Have started a new fitness regime and am stronger than I ever was before. Saw my cardiologist yesterday and am off all meds except Warfarin which will be a life long thing and no big deal to me. Looking back I can honestly say the worst part of this whole thing was the waiting and the fear of the unknown. Today I am grateful.
I have found out that it's a rare condition but sometimes after being in the bypass machine there is blood loss to other areas one of them being the ears and that it can cause nerve damage to the ears. It sometimes happens right away after surgery and sometimes shows up months later as mine has. I still am having more testing but it is pretty reasonable to conclude this is what has happened. My ENT put me on heavy doses of antibiotics and prednisone and it has gotten minimally better in my right ear. At least there is a little more movement and I think the inflammation has gone down. At this point I believe I could at least use a hearing aid which I couldn't of a week ago. It is a bit disheartening but I'm choosing to be so grateful for my healthy heart instead. I am on Coumadin and the prednisone has skyrocketed my inr and was told to increase my vitamin k. So I'm going to enjoy my favourite spinach pizza and a few other things I've missed eating!!!! Always a silver lining!!
Anybody know anything about hearing loss after valve replacement surgery? I had mine done almost 4 months ago and last week I have lost most of the hearing in my right ear. I woke up with just a high pitched humming in my right ear. I saw a ENT specialist today and he is questioning if it's a side effect of the surgery. He is trying me on some heavy duty antibiotics and prednisone hoping that it will help. There's no visible sign of infection. He has also ordered another hearing test as well a MRI and blood work. I've been feeling so amazing and really enjoying my cardiac rehab program. Anybody else heard of this?
Saw my cardiologist this week and said everything sounds great with my heart. She is thinking that my sternum probably isn't fusing yet because of all the coughing I did the first four weeks after surgery. The cough has gone and she is hoping now it will have a chance to heal which means I still need to take it easy lifting and reaching for things. I'm really hoping it works. I'm able to drive again and that has been great to get a bit of independence again. Blood thinners level has stabilized and one more good one and only once a month for blood work. Things get better it just takes time.
It's amazing someone here told me that once I got to week 4 I was going to feel so much better. A week ago I would of laughed because I wasn't feeling like I was making any progress and a few days later it was like someone flipped a switch. Other than the cough I am still having I feel so much better.
I was hoping to get going with cardiac rehab but it is so expensive here and none of it is covered by any plans I have. It's also 40 minutes away and because I'm not able to drive yet it's just not a possibility for now. I have come up with my own program with walking everyday a little further every time. A distance could couldn't do 2 weeks ago I've now tripled. I'm also using my recumbent bike and am up to 30 mins and 4 kms. The best part is I'm not out of breath it's such a strange feeling to be able to breath the whole time. I never realized how bad it was until now.
Those of you in the first part of your recovery it really does get better and once it does there will be no stopping you.
So glad to have this place to come and get so much support. Grateful!
I had my aortic valve replaced on March 23 and things have been going pretty well. I'm surprised at how tired I get but just listening to my body and resting when I need to. I have overcome the not sleeping that I struggled with in the beginning which feels great. I'm getting about 7 hours of sleep so I'll take that. I have developed a dry almost choking cough. It's like there is something caught in my throat. It gets worse in the evenings. It has made my incision which wasn't a bother sore and even my shoulders. I have been worried that it was fluid in my lungs but I saw my hematologist today and he thought my lungs sound great. I had a similar cough when I was on Rapamil and was switched to another medication that should not be causing a cough. I am to stop that now too in hopes it will help. Anybody else experience this ? If so what helped?
I'm curious how others have struggled after surgery with insomnia. Yesterday was my worst day so far. I only got 3 hours of sleep and my incision has started to really hurt. I have been fortunate not to of had much pain so I was kind of surprised that I'm having it now. My dad figures maybe I'm pushing my self to hard but I don't feel like I am. My heart rate is still higher which I know to expect but it seems to make my mind races too and I'm not able to shut it down and relax. I'm curious how others have coped.
I was discharged late Monday and my wonderful parents packed me up and brought me home. My husband was not able to take time off work so luckily I am at my parents for awhile. I feel great although I let myself get overtired the last day. I am up late writing this as I can't sleep. The new noise of my valve is going to take some getting used to as well as the faster heart rate. My surgeon is very happy with how things have gone as am I. I will take a few days to really rest then get on with the recovery.
Thinking of all those having surgery this week and that they may have speedy recoveries.
Made it through. Doing pretty well pain isn't so bad. I'm awfully tired and have been resting lots. I was moved to the step down unity at 9 am yesterday. I am able to get myself in and out of bed on my own and have done a number of laps around the unit.
Journal posted on March 21, 2017
I'm struggling today. The fear is setting in. I had a great talk with my brother that helped and then I came here and read some stories that make me feel better. I'm going to try to get excited about feeling better and getting back to my life. It feels like it's been a hold a bit. Heading out for a walk with my fur babies on our beautiful acreage and enjoy the sunshine. So grateful for this safe place to come and talk with others who know what it feels like.
Had my plasma infusion Friday to get my platelets up and healthy. Felt like I had the flu yesterday but feeling good today. Have a few things I need to get done at home before I go in Wednesday. I am to get blood work tomorrow to see if I need another infusion fingers crossed I don't. I am feeling anxious of course but ready to get this over with and start my road to recovery.