Hello again everyone! I am now 9+ weeks out from my surgery. I’ve seen both my cardiologist and cardiac surgeon over the past few weeks. A new baseline echocardiogram was performed and the new valves are functioning well. I’m told that my heart now sounds like a “normal heart” – first time in my life.
The Echo did find some fluid buildup around my right lung. It was confirmed on X-ray. That explains my continued difficulty breathing on mild exertion. This condition is thought to be an autoimmune reaction that occurs about 5% of the time. My options were to let the fluid reabsorb over time; maybe 2 months. Or I could have a catheter inserted between 2 ribs and drain it. The recommendation I chose was to drain it.
I had that procedure performed this morning and “donated” 1.2 liters of fluid. Now that’s a quick way to lose a few pounds! I’m breathing better already and expect to continue improving.
This will likely be my last posting, as I hope to have nothing new to report from here forward. If there is something significant, I will be sure to let you know. My deep thanks to you for your continued interest and all of your kind words and deeds.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers. I have been remiss in updating you – didn’t want to bug you over the Holidays.
I am 6 weeks post surgery today! In the 2 weeks since my last posting:
- I traveled to my home town of Merrillville on the 23rd for the annual family reunion. Naps while travelling both ways. Great to see family. Had my first (and only) cocktail at the party!
- Am now off of most medications and their unwanted side effects.
- Was cleared to drive last week and have done so almost daily. Freedom!
- Was cleared TODAY to begin cardiac rehab. Will start that tomorrow. I’m sure the exercise will help my stamina and mood. It will also be nice to learn what I can and cannot do at this point, while connected to the monitors. That will help guide my self-directed exercise in the near future.
Coming up soon:
- I have a new baseline echocardiogram on Monday to peek inside and see how the new plumbing is looking and functioning.
- Will see my cardiologist the following week and cardiac surgeon at the end of the month (Those darn doctors- they’re hard to schedule sometimes!).
- Am traveling to Chicago for a business meeting next Wednesday; the first true “work day”.
I was warned by many of you to not expect too much too quickly. How true! It’s the toughest part. Thanks to those of you who have been through something similar for the advice. It has helped tremendously.
Hope to see you in person soon. Will know more once I see my doctors. Will keep you posted.
Hard to believe that I’m approaching 4 weeks since my surgery! After a week of alternating a good day followed by a bad day, I’m happy to report that I have had 3 good days in a row. Still a little weak and slow. Still taking some extra naps. But all-in-all, definitely heading in a positive direction.
Still taking BP meds to get my numbers in an artificially low range (around 105/70 or lower). This is a temporary measure to get my moved-over pulmonary valve weaned into a higher pressure environment. It will get stronger over time.
My best to you and your family in the coming week!
Sorry for the delay in updating you. This past week had a fair amount of ups and downs.
UPS: Had a cardiologist visit last Wednesday; things are all looking good. My chest is healing well and it looks like I will have minimal scarring. My kind friends and relatives delivered 2 ricks of wood and we’ve been able to have fires in our wood stove- a winter tradition for us. I start Cardiac Rehab this coming week-- will be able to get out of the house and get moving.
DOWNS: Each time I stepped down my narcotics dosage, I went through a few days of withdrawal symptoms- nausea, hot/cold chills & body aches. I’m now off of those entirely and those nasty symptoms are gone! Feeling that way gave me little energy to do much, including writing to you here.
I’m a little slow right now, but am feeling more normal. It seems like the worst is behind me and the fruits of the surgery are about to begin.
Thank you all for your continued interest in me and for your prayers, cards, postings, and wishes.
My best to you,
My Dear Friends and Relatives,
I just finished an emotional hour reading all of Kate’s Journal entries, your kind and loving Guestbook postings, and then piecing the timeline all together. Now that I’m on minimal narcotics, I have my wits about me enough to figure out what happened.
Yes, I know, I had major heart surgery. But what really happened to me is that I was the blessed recipient of your outpouring of love. I can truly feel the connectedness of us all; and only hope and pray that I will continue to feel that connectedness after my body heals and life goes back to normal. I will do my part to reach out and have more “face time” with you all.
On a Medical Progress Note:
My incision and chest tube wounds are healing nicely. I’ve had a few ups-and-downs with energy levels, nausea, etc. . . but no biggies. Just learning to take it as it comes, adjust, and enjoy. Maybe that’s what I’m really supposed to get out of all of this.
Arrived at home around 1 PM today. FANTASTIC to be here and so glad to be writing myself. Look at today's photo to see how I spent some of my time this afternoon -- tracking my meds!
Kate's here today and my parents the rest of the week. That ought to get me off to a good start. I apologize that I have not yet read any of your posts since having my surgery; but I look forward to starting that very soon.
My Ross is going as well as hoped and prayed for. I will do everything I have been told to(picture again), and do my part to keep this moving along. I will update again later this week.
Perry says he feels like he's turned a corner. Hallelujah! He has had alot of the tubes removed and pain meds seem to be regulated better to control his pain. Today we were told he should go home tomorrow baring any last minute surprises. Today is time to move around more so he'll be walking more this afternoon and continue to rest. Thank you all for your prayers and support!
Perry has now been moved out of ICU to a regular room. It is nice and sunny in here. He is progressing well and getting stronger. He hardly has any tubes attached! Not sure when he will be discharged. Likely Monday. All is well here! Thanks for checking!
Sorry about the delay in the update--had some technical difficulties with this site all day. Perry is still doing well. Had an "event" last night when his bp dropped so he is staying in ICU until tomorrow. Doctors seem to think it was med-related and are not terribly concerned. Perry continues to get stronger. Walked 400 feet today with the physical therapist! Hopefully he will be transferred to a "step down" room tomorrow where he will have a little more freedom. Thanks for all your encouraging and loving messages! Please continue to pray!
Happy Thanksgiving! - 12:28 PM :: Day After Surgery
Journal posted on November 25, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving, we are thankful for all of your prayers and good thoughts! Perry is doing well. They removed his oxygen and catheter. He ate breakfast, sat up for two hours, and is currently resting. We are so thankful he had this surgery to repair his heart. Overall he is doing GREAT!
Check "My Photos" for a picture taken just a few hours ago!
After an over 7 hour surgery, Perry is now in ICU. Still has ventilator tube in--is making faces that he wants it OUT! Hopefully they will remove it later this evening and he'll be able to talk. He looks fantastic and is responsive--smiled as well as he can with the tube in.
Perry is almost out of surgery. Just saw Dr brown. Per is doing fine. Surgery was a lot longer than expected as the aneurysm was much larger than they thought and more of the aorta needed to be replaced. Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts! We figured there were probably about 1000 people praying for him! Please continue to pray for his recovery. Thank you all! Bless all of you and your families this thanksgiving!
THANK YOU to all who have made contact, left Guestbook messages, offered meals, transportation, and support. Your generosity and PRAYERS have been overwhelming.
Finished work this past week. Taking care of some personal things this weekend. Mental Health day on Monday. Pre-op testing on Tuesday. The Big Day on Wednesday - show up at 6 AM and the show begins at 8:30.
Kate will take over from here with early postings. I will take back over as soon as able. Feel free to pass on this link if you think appropriate.
After consultations with two recommended surgeons, I have chosen a surgeon, a procedure, and a surgery date.
I will be having a Ross Procedure performed by surgeon Dr. John Brown at Methodist Hospital, in Indianapolis, on Wednesday, November 24th; the day before Thanksgiving. Expected hospital stay is 4-5 days.
Kate and I hope to use this website as an efficient way to keep you updated. If you are inclined, you may opt to recieve email notification each time we have made an update to My Journal. Or you can just check in periodically on your own. You may also leave some comments in My Guestbook. I'd love to hear from you!
If youd like to know more about the Ross Procedure, follow this link for a video explanation: www.therosscommunity.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=7&Itemid=54