I quit taking the amiodarone @ 4 weeks post-op and the nausea is better, but my appetite is still wierd. I am at 5 weeks and still get nauseated when seeing certain foods....very much like pregnancy.
So I looked up the half-life of this drug [time it takes for half of it to be excreted out of your system] and it is very very long....4 months in extreme cases.
Is anyone else having long term issues with this drug or is it just me???
On a brighter note, I felt much stronger yesterday and drove for the first time....not too far...about 5 miles to my office....reflexes are still slow and found the mental act of driving was exhausting, but my husband was in the car. Will do a little more each day and build up my stamina.
4 weeks post-op AVR and ascending aortic aneurysm fix
Journal posted on February 6, 2012
Hello everyone. I haven't been very communicative lately. I apologize. The amiodarone they are giving me post-op to prevent recurrent a-fib is still curbing my appetitie and making me nauseated.
Gettting in and out of bed is a breeze now and has been for at least a week. Left Thorax pain is improving. Incisional pain was never really a big issue and the incision is very tiny anyway. Fatigue is still a big problem and doing any kind of mental arithmetic is exhausting. At 63 I guess I am doing about average maybe a little above. Really no post-op complications so far....ran a little lo grade fever for a while. ...had a short run of a little irregular pulse last night for the first time and still have heart pounding especially in the late afternoon. I take a beta blocker twice a day and that helps.
Thanks to everyone for all your kind supportive comments
and to those still awaiting the big day, I wish you all the best. Take Care!
I had flu-like symptoms yesterday with low-grade fever and nausea to the point my morning coffee doesn't even taste good. I went to the ER on my Visiting Nurse's insistance and all was well except for a substantial pleural effusion
[like pneumonia and common after open heart].
My fever is gone today and don't feel so sick, but the nausea remains. I had a great appetite in the Hospital, so am mystified about this new symptom. I am taking zofran which helps a little. Anyone have any input on this???
My Husband brought me home yesterday. Six nights in the hospital plus the first out-patient cath day make 7 days in the hosipital. I Made It!
I will be bringing you details as I can and as I get stronger, so be patient with me. I came home a little anemic...Hemoglobin @ 8.1 so that is slowing me down a bit. I also ran about 6 hours of atrial fib. and then converted [common post-op] so am on amiodarone at home.
I do not have the full skinny from the surgeon.....[I will see him again next week] but understand my sternum wasn't very big/long and my heart wasn't exactly where it was supposed to be.....so a longer incision was necessary... Plus my aorta was shorter than normal and "aneurysmal"
so had to be repaired/replaced????
My husband will get the tape measure out today and measure my incision. One thing good about my incision is that it seems to start lower on my chest than expected so I should be able to wear a few things without it even showing.
Love and hugs to you all and thank you so much for your surpport. It appears our daughter Elizabeth did a great job of posting so I am very appreciative of that.
Sorry for the delay in the updates. Pat is doing well and is out of ICU.
Her breathing tube was removed about 2 hours after the surgery, but they kept her sedated while it was still in. Her three chest tubes were removed in ICU on Wednesday, post op day one. She stayed in the ICU for two nights and was transferred to cardiac step down on Thursday. Before she moved to the floor almost all of her lines were removed, including the foley cath, the central line and the A line.
She isn't ready to run any marathons, but she is doing very well and I anticipate she will be writing her own journal updates within a couple of days.
No, Pat is not blogging from the operating room . . . This is her daughter Elizabeth. Pat is currently in surgery, has been for about an hour and a half. They say the surgery will last about 5 hours. She has been very impressed with everyone she has met and dealt with here at UCLA and is feeling very confident.
She had a heart cath yesterday which went well, except for the subsequent arthritic pain she felt from laying flat for so long. But it was all worth it because the cath showed that she did not need to have bypass surgery as well as the valve replacement! This should mean that she will only need the 4" incision rather than an 8".
We are all very confident and happy that this will be over soon. We wish her the best of luck in the OR and ICU.
Good luck to everyone else having surgery today as well.
First of all, thank you all for your encouraging postings for my Tuesday Surgery. It really helps! Night time is the worst when I am tired and irritable and realize this IS REALLY HAPPENING in a couple of days.
I have made a list for the surgeon and one question I had, since I am female, is if the closure of the sternotomy can be done more skillfully by a plastic surgeon? Do any of you gals have experience with this? What is the best surgical technique to minimize that scar?
Thanks in advance for your help
Well, I have been diligently reading all the journals of the most recent surgeries of all these wonderful people who are kind enough to share with those of us who are still on the other side. Thank you to all of you!!
Today is Friday and the last day in the office, but I will be busy with last minute details [of owning a small business] through Saturday. Sunday we head to Sunny Los Angeles[we are 3 hours north]where I have booked a hotel in Beverly Hills with a free shuttle to UCLA where my husband will stay during my hospitalization. I check in for the out-patient heart cath @ 0700 Monday morning and the cath is at 0900. I do the rest of the pre-op testing that same day and hopefully have surgery first thing on Tuesday morning. Wish me Luck!
Well, I am struggling a bit trying to get all my affairs in order with the business etc. The surgery doesn't seem real, but I guess it is. I keep reminding myself that so many have gone before me and have done just fine. Only 6 more work days to get everything done and get my head wrapped around this procedure....To think these surgeons do this stuff every day...so routine for them, but so frightening for me.
We met with Dr.Shemin @ UCLA and my surgery is now scheduled for January 10, 2012. The heart cath will be done first to determine if the coronary vessels are clear, and to determine if I am truly eligible for the mini sternotomy [just replacing the aortic valve]
Dr. Shemin was great. Such an honor to meet this world renowned cardiac surgeon. and yet he is so generous, patient and kind. I hadn't been to UCLA in a while. The remodel of the Hospital is very impressive. Dr. Shemin is definitely a huge boon for UCLA. UCLA was very smart to have recruited him.
Must admit, as this is drawing so close am a bit apprehensive....especially lying on that hard OR table
for so long [arthritis and all]and wondering what I will feel like when I wake up. Wish there was another option, but as my symptoms are increasing.......the symptoms are giving me pause.
Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for all the continued support!
So I went to Adam's Cardiac Surgeon site and found Dr. Richard Shemin's biography, patient comments and short video clip with Adam. I then clicked the "contact the Dr." and entered my info. I must say the whole process was wonderful. Dr. Shemin emailed me that night and called me the next day. He put me in touch with his office and they are working on getting all my medical records.
Adam's surgeon site is wonderful, because the UCLA cardiothoracic surgery site didn't really give me the info I needed to make a decision about contacting a surgeon.
Dr. Shemin was terrific to talk to and very nice. I believe he is head of the Cardiothoracic surgery Dept. @ UCLA.
I will continue to keep you all posted.
Well, I was all set to go to Cleveland, but as I was getting ready to buy my plane tickets and confirm my Cleveland hospitalization was still going to be classified as a "preferred provider" as opposed to "out of network" coverage[which is prohibitively expensive], I am now told Cleveland Clinic is NOT a preferred provider.
So don't know if this is political or what with my big insurer,
but do not need the added stress of worrying about what kind of coverage I have. I figure the best currently on the West Coast is UCLA [based on specific numerical data on the US News Hospital ranking ]....so will now start the process all over again. Will keep you all posted
I think I have discovered the source of my pre-op heart pounding. I am taking amlodipine and recently the dose was increased to 10 mg. due to high blood pressure. It appears 10mg is too much for me along with my other Blood pressure medicines. My blood pressure has dropped considerably. I have gone back to 5 mg and the "pounding" seems to be better.
I have developed a new pre-op symptom which is driving me crazy and wanted to get feedback from you all.
I have heart pounding, not particularly fast, slow, or irregular, just very heavy pounding in my chest when I sit, or lay down at night. Sometimes it wakes me up at night and gives me anxiety. Sometimes it is accompanied by slight shortness of breath. It is very annoying and disconcerting. Anyone else have this problem and is there any remedy??
Well I will be leaving for Cleveland Clinic in 2 months. It is hard to believe it is coming up that soon.
Cleveland cardio surgery department is having a web chat on Wed. Nov. 23 @ 12 Noon EST.with one of their top cardiac surgeons Anyone who is interested can register to ask questions. I think one can even post a question 24 hours in advance. Just go to their website. It is amazing!
Am busy trying to get organized especially leaving our business for 2 weeks. It takes a lot of planning. Thank
goodness for computers.
Wishing the best to all of you and a very happy Thankgsgiving
What a gift for all of us. Thank you Adam for doing this. The sharing and support from around the world is unbelievable and such a positive adjunct for anyone who is going through this difficult, stressful time. The wealth of information is wonderful. Patient to patient feedback is the best, not to mention the help it is for the family caregivers.
I appreciate it so much. Thank you Adam and everyone!
Planning for upcoming aortic valve replacement in January
Journal posted on November 9, 2011
Just read Adam's book and had a slight panic attack last night when I went to bed about waking up in ICU with the ET tube in my throat.
It is one thing being a nurse, but quite different being on the other side, especially having a surgery with your chest cracked open. Got the book also to try and prepare my Husband and Daughter for what to expect. I don't think they have a clue.