Completed my pre-op tests: physical, nose swab, consultation with the nurse, chest x-ray, blood work, urine test, and CT scan. Long day, including a 4-hour roundtrip from Portland, ME. So happy my wife joined me, providing emotional support and taking notes. Glad it's over. Now for the final countdown, last minute home prep, and antibacterial showers.
If all goes as scheduled, I'll be in the midst of OHS in two weeks to fix my bicuspid aortic valve, aortic root aneurysm, and ascending aortic aneurysm. Pre-op and a high-resolution CT scan are this Friday. Recently completed testing to confirm that I am no longer allergic to penicillin, opening that class of antibiotics for my surgery and recovery. Dental exam on Wednesday to certify I have no oral health issues.
I am so grateful for the support of family and friends -- and former heart patients -- thus far. Between this, the years I have been anticipating eventual surgery, and perhaps my daily meditation practice, I am feeling relatively calm and not losing any sleep. That said, I'm bound to feel a little anxious at pre-op and the days leading to the surgery itself. Thanks to all on this website for sharing your stories and insights. It really helps.
I'm headed for surgery to fix my bicuspid aortic valve and aortic aneurysm on April 29. A few former patients have told me that the first few days to a week after the surgery are quite painful. Does anyone have tips for getting through this period? Thanks so much.
I'm scheduled for surgery (BAV and aortic aneurysm) on April 29. My wife and I are hoping to travel to Europe at the end of July. Are we being overly optimistic, or is 3 months a good length of time for recovery - especially if I avoid picking up heavy bags on the trip? Thanks for your thoughts.
In addition to coming to terms with the concept of open heart surgery and the recovery, I also find myself trying to figure out how I will navigate the procedures right up to the surgery itself. I know it sounds trivial in comparison, but I am a lifelong needle phobe -- to the point that I used to avoid medical procedures and even went without novocain for multiple (painful) dental fillings as a child. Over the past 10+ years I've made a lot of progress, including not only accepting dental anesthesia, but also annual blood work, annual flu shots and periodic vaccinations, and a handful of IVs for MRIs and CT scans and a colonoscopy. This exposure therapy has helped, but it still isn't easy. I sometimes ask for lorazepam (which I can't tell if it makes a difference); music helped one time. The key is to avoid a vasovagal response, when my BP plummets and I get chills, etc. Does anyone have any tips or reassuring comments that might help me prepare? Thanks!
I'm just over 4 weeks out from my open heart surgery, where they will fix my bicuspid valve and aortic aneurysm. I find myself going through cycles of confidence and fear (or, perhaps, concern or sadness). There are things to get in order, and tests to complete -- not only pre-op on April 19, but penicillin allergy testing to see if the reaction I had at 2 years old still occurs. I have also scheduled a massage to loosen my body before the procedure, nicely complementing my daily meditation practice. My other main focus has been to connect with friends and family as well as folks who have gone through similar procedures. I posted a brief announcement on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the love and support. My wife and family have been great, offering an emotional rock to steady myself. The stories of former patients have been particularly reassuring, even though some have acknowledged the pain of the first few days post-surgery and the slower-than-expected recovery to pre-surgery stamina. All in all, I am grateful. Nervous, too. Sometimes weepy. But always grateful.