I haven't been here for awhile. 5 months post-surgery now and I am finally finding my way back. It has been quite an eventful time for me. I have been riding a rollercoaster up and down and all around and getting off that ride has been not so easy. I'm not sure what has been the hardest for me, dealing with the physical or with the mental. It's really been a trip but here I am and I just want to remind all of you just how special you all are and tell you that "Life can be good" We just have to keep the faith, and the strength, and the courage to make it that way. The Best to all of you and a special hello to Kellie.
hOPE EVERYONE IS DOING WELL. i'M GOOD, jUST TRYING TO DEAL WITH THIS FLUID RETENTION. Dr Rodgers increased the lasix to 80 mg daily and if I don't have it under control by Monday Dr Dewan will drain it. That doesn't sound like much fun. Also this blood/sugar thing, Has anyone ever become diabetic after this surgery? While in the hospital they had to give me insulin shots, then it got okay and now I am having to stick my finger every day to moniter it. I know absolutely nothing about being diabetic so guess I need to do a little reading or researching. I am hoping this is just a temperory thing as my sugar addiction is probably worse than my cigarette addiction was. Oh Well "a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do" so instead of complaining I am just so thankful that I can be here writing in my journal and saying HI TO EVERYONE.
and again thank you for going thru all this with me. i think I am coming along fairly well, except for the fluid. They increased the lasix to 80mcg per day and say if Friday's not better I'll have to have a tube. I am a little spacey right now due to my pain pills I guess so gonna write later.
have a good weekend? Yes we all did didn't we? We are still here and life is good. Tod went to a furniture rental and found an electric recliner yesterday afternoon, a tremendous help in the How do I sit/lay department. Home health came by and said they would be over 3 times a week for 2 weeks.(unless Blue Cross Blue Shield will agree to more and that is doubtful) They taught me how to use the pain medication to my advantage and make it work for me. It's been all good however a few hours ago I noticed my skin feeling "tight" looked down and noticed my feet and legs to be about 3 times their normal size. This is a new one for me. I went to the hospital weighing 133lbs, came home weighing 139lbs I just stepped on the scale and 157.9lb I am not doing anything or eating and drinking anything than I have been. I take 40mg lasix daily. I am wondering what I need to do
home.. I am here, I am so very glad to be here and I am also so very uncomfortable.. ouch..I think I am finding out why not to use arms/hands/pull/push/etc/etc.Such trivial little things..wow..muscles and stuff ya never knew ya had. You that have had your chest cracked know this don't you?I'm home with oxygen 24/7 but as time passes I will be striving for oxygen therpy and nights only. Home Health is coming by this afternoon for assessment, Are there questions I need to ask or things I need to know or find out about them? Help Pleasa?
and hope everyone is doing really well and planning a really fun weekend. I am still hangin here at The Heart Hospital, day#9 now and fellin like I really should go home. My pups miss me and my sweet Aunt Rene needs to come cook me something good to eat and surely that is reason enough to go home!! I was able to pass on the pacemaker so far, finally got that bp on track and steady,heart rate still jumpin round little to high but new valve is working beautiful they say. My surgery took 6 1/2 hrs, one of the leaflets on the tricuspid valve was completely calcified, other took 45%(pressure)& 15% on the other(I think 5% is normal) They said they really don't know how I'd been living these past few years. They replaced the ole thing with another porcine, put a patch on a hole they found in the heart and "Story of Success" Isn't it just amazing, how far we have come, the knowledge in the medical field!
and Bless you all. I am sitting in my chair beside the bed this morning, I took my first shower yesterday, and today I will try to walk. All is fairly well,only a few obstacles to jump, a bit of trouble with my oxygen (it's bouncin between 65 thru 85)and my blood pressure (it's wanting to hang low 61/50, 60/51,etc.)They have me on meds to correct the problem but Doc told me this morning that we may have to start thinking about a pacemaker today Gotta go now. They need me!!!
Good Morning, I am about to start my hospital adventure. I changed my picture so that I could introduce you to my husband, Tod. He will be posting for me when I can't He's been trying his best to keep me together and I 'v been probably giving him fits. It's a good thing he loves me and "Yes Dear" I love you too.... Again, I just can't thank you all enough for being so kind and caring. I must go now so I won't be late. Everyone Have a good day
My days are getting shorter.I don't know how I'v been doing or what I'v been doing but I do know that you all are the greatest. I am okay and reading my guestbook really does help keep me that way. Thank You All...
Sitting here this morning, it is so good to know that I have all of you in my corner. I keep thinking and telling everyone that I have so much to do this week before I go into the hospital but then I sit here and try to remember what all it was that I needed to do and I can't think of and haven't done a darn thing. I know I need to pack a bag, make sure my legalities are in order(will,POA,DNR,etc). Okay here I sit. I can't think of anything else, make a list you say? Well it's pen in hand, thought forgotten. Arrange for someone to care for my pups(that's one I hadn't thought of. I want to prepare my house for my homecoming. I want to go to the ocean,(it's only a couple of hundred miles away) walk on the beach at daybreak, listen to the waves.I need to see to it that mother's needs will be met at the nursing facility while I am gone and that her finances are in order.Maybe I should get a short simple haircut. Okay now I am about to try to get on track here. Anyone with reminders or sugestions? I will certainly welcome them.
Next week at this time I will be at The Heart Hospital of Austin so guess I am on my countdown. I spent yesterday with Pulmonary and Critical Care Consultants and my upcoming event was all laid out. I asked them to spare me no feelings as I wanted to know what I was truely up against and today I am still processing everything that I was told.They anticipate major problems getting me back off of the respirator. I will have it for a longer length of time and may likely have to be weaned from it. I was prepared and coached for this happening and I'll hang tough. Suddenly don't feel like writing but a minute from now I might. I know that what I am experiancing here is nothing new. I'm not even making any sense right now and it just may be a long week so I hope you all will bear with me.
I have been feeling a bit sad within the past few days but I'm okay. I couldn't say how many times I have reached for that cigarette but thanks to Fran, I haven't picked it up.(Fran, you have somehow given me a guilt complex about those smokes and that is a good thing) Diana, with your encouragement, Joy, your kindness and the offering of your phone# etc. and Kellie, I am spoiled to knowing I'll always get a note from you, Letty and your faith, and Susan, all you girls are just so awsome. You are all going through various stages of you own heart valve journey and you still make the time for others and you take the time to help me along my path. Aunt Rene, Thank You for accepting my invitation, I have found some truely great friends here. I am truely blessed.
Okay, I do lung function, she goes to talk to doctor, I wait. She comes back, doc walks in, asks whens surgery? says if it were this week there would probably be about 95% chance you would NOT make it thru, says I have a top surgeon but not even he could perform mircles. I try to ask if there is anything I can do, exercise, walk, etc. He says that's not going to help now, and their job is to make my lungs the best that they can be for what they are before surgery so I am to take Spriva x1, Symbicort x2, and 40 mgs Prednisone daily and come back in a week to see if fuctions are better.
Appointment with critical care pulmonary doc yesterday at 10:00am. I answer the questions on the forms and then the PA asks me the same questions on the forms that were already answered in my file of medical records Then she asks why I am there. I tell her I was sent to get clearance for heart surgery so she shuffles through the papers in my file and finds my ct-scan, lung functions, etc. She says let's measure your lung functions to see if they are the same as last week, and when is my surgery sceduled?...cont'd next post
I had a not so good weekend, started feeling bad Saturday, spent Saturday night with chest pains, dizzy, and stomach hurting and Sunday in bed all day with a low grade fever. Thought about going to the hospital but decided to wait it out to see if it got better. I never know what to do in those situations. I think that if I don't go something really bad could happen (we live 23 miles away from a hospital) but if I do go and it is nothing serious, then I'v wasted everyones time etc. Anyway I am calling the Doctors office this morning.
Sorry about the negativity last time I posted.I am not one to whine, complain or feel sorry for myself. Instead, my thoughts have always been that what happens, happens for a reason, and bad things happen so that we can appreciate the good things. a heavy load will only make us stronger, we are just human, and there is someone much greater than us that calls the shots. He has a plan for us all. We just have to trust and believe, keep our faith and He'll take care of the rest. I guess I just had a "moment" and I'll probably have more of those "moments" I just have to keep reminding myself of my faith and my beliefs and the rest will work out however it is supposed to work out. I got a call today. My test results were not very good. I am still sceduled to go into the hospital Sept 29th but I am being sent to a critical care pulmonalgist and he will have to give them clearance before they do my surgery because they say there are to many high risks involved. I'm not stressin though. Thanks again to all of you in my guestbook.Bless you all
Spent most of last week doing pre-op stuff ct-scan, labs, lung functions,etc and that made the thought of what I am about to do more realistic and of course with that came the dread, fear, etc.I think that I can't wait to get it done and behind me and then I think I want to just not do it. I wonder how much time if any will this add to my life and will all the time just be spent trying to recover and I wonder how much time do I have if I just ignore the problem and go omn the way I am. I am driving myself crazy.
When I went to my guestbook and saw and started reading all the response I got to my last post, I got all teary eyed.I am so blessed to have found this web site and all of you.I seriously don't know that I could or would go through this surgery had I not found this journal and all of you who give hope and help so freely. I am very scared. Tommorow I will be going to do my cath-scan and then to a lung doctor and respiratory therapist(I have COPD and sleep apnea) Dr Rodgers and Dr Dewan want to measure my lung functions, etc. I am really glad they are doing this because being on that heart-lung machine has me feeling pretty uneasy. Thank you for beeing here, and God Bless
Hello to all you wonderful people. I saw all my doctors, voiced my concerns, and here I am, sceduled to go into the Austin Heart Hospital on Sept29th(catherazation) and traditional open heart, crack my chest open surgery on Sept30th.My old valve will be replaced with another porcine.If anyone could give me some ideas on how to prepare for this, I would be ever so grateful. I am a bundle of nerves right now. My last surgery was 20 years ago and about all I can remember of it is that it was painful for quite a while and I held a pillow to my chest a lot and hated to cough.I would like to know how to prepare for the "homecoming" also. Any and all advice will be welcomed.
All my medical records were faxed to the surgeon and I saw him yesterday.He said a valvo would be a waste of time because the valve was to damaged. He said we should just go back in through my old incision, put me on the heart and lung machine and replace the old valve with a new porcine.I asked if he thought I was physically healthy enough to do this and he said sure.He sounded so confidant and made it sound so easy.He said to go back to my cardio#1 discuss it with him and let him know when I am ready. I have COPD, I still smoke about 1/3 a pack a day(been trying to quit) and I just read about Lori B(I am heartbroken for she and her family) I go back to see Cardio#1 tommorow and I am so scared and don,t know what to do.
Tnanks to all who signed my guestbook.It is so good to feel I have people I can relate to. I'd like to tell you how things have gone for me so far.Cardio#1 sent me to Cardio#2 and #2 said my problem was complicated and rather unique.My case was brought up at a meeting of cardios to decide what was best to do.Then I was sent back to #1 for a follow-up and a few days after that #2 called me.His words were that I could buy myself some time if they did a valvoplasty or I could try to have the valve replaced and he asked which I wanted to do. I was to decide and let #1 know at my next appointment.I asked both of them what they thought would be best and neither of them gave me a direct answer so I called my PCP back and asked him to send me to someone else to talk to and he sent me to a surgeon. I am feeling very insecure with this.
A little over 20 yrs ago my tricuspid was replaced with a porcine valve and it has done me well. A couple of months ago I wasn't sick but it was time for a routine check with my PPO and I got quite a surprise
and it wasn't a good one. My heart rate was 165. Doc did an ECG and sent me on my way to a cardio. I must have went thru every test and procedure there is and then time to be diagnosed: Atrial flutter left Atria enlarged twice its normal size
severe tricuspid stenosis and regurtation
For a couple of months now, I have been an emotional wreck. I had been spending every spare moment online searching for info about my problem, trying to ease my mind. Then one day I stumbled across this website
I signed up and tried to write my story several times but I must have been doing something wrong because it didn't work. Today I am giving this another try and if it does work I want and NEED to start writing. Bless you all. This is a wonderful means of help and support.