Well I'm feeling great! Still moving around all over the place and enjoying life. I have finally got my color back - before surgery I had gotten so darn pale!
I hope everyone that has had surgery since mine is doing as well as myself. I've had really no complications thus far from my surgery and I have to thank my surgeon, Dr. Doolabh in Tyler and the Mother Frances Hospital staff for that. They took such great care of me!!
Well here I am literally today is my 3rd week since surgery. I am feeling so much better! I have not had a pain med in almost 48 hours, I am getting out and about and walking. I actually got in 3000 steps on my pedometer yesterday!!! yeah! Almost all of my steri-strips from surgery have come off (mini-sternotomy); and the scar is not going to be all that bad I don't think!
I have come such a long way and am so thankful for all the wonderful doctors at Mother Francis in Tyler Tx..especially Dr. Neelan Doolabh!!!
Now just getting over the boredom and waiting to go back to work.
I hope all are doing well from their recent surgeries!!
Okay so i will begin with the day of surgery. All was great, BP great, test great, good mood from all involved. Bad thing is that I had gotten an aweful chest cough from sinus infection the month before. Almost cancelled surgery because of it, but since I was doing it out of town, we decided to go ahead.
They wheel me back to begin giving the happy drugs, and that's about I remember until after I awaken from surgery. Apparently surgery was not as event-free as my pre-surgery testing. I was very tiny inside so they could not get between my ribs to do the normal minimally invasive surgery. So I ended up with a 3" mini-sternotomy and they took me back to my ICU room. Then apparently while I was still out from the original surgery, the nurse came in to room and noticed I was bleeding internally and they had to go back in for second surgery.
The second surgery was from me being so tiny and compact on the inside that one of the extra stitches the doctor put in to help keep me stable (due to my cough), ended up rubbing an artery that is normally further to the right on most people and caused it to bleed. They got that fixed up a 2-3 units of blood later got me back into my ICU room for recovery.
The doctor also said that due to me being so tiny had I been a half a millimeter smaller that he would have had to gone with a mechanical valve instead of the bovine. Thank goodness he was able to put in the mechancical one for me because I sure did not want to be on lifetime meds!
Once in my room it was just the normal pain control, meds control, and getting me up and walking the day after surgery. The most difficult part of that for me again was the diminished lung capacity keeping me from being able to walk too far. But I've been faithful about using my spirometer and I really think that has been a saver!
I could have been released from the hospital on Monday after surgery on Friday but I felt for my own peace of mind that one more day would be best (and I'm glad I did that!). I am now 9 days post surgery, I'm getting in my regular clothes, taking walks outside doing laps in my in-laws huge circle driveway.
I have already been taken off 1 of my high blood pressure meds, and another one (my big one) has been dropped in half. So this new heart valve is already been such a great benefit for me!!
My family has been awesome during this part of the recovery, especially my hubby! Family and friends are so important to help us through this I believe. Luckily I also have a lot of faith in God will do as he wills and so far he's good with me being around a while longer.
Well it is finally here. Tomorrow is the big day. The process for me has been streamlined a bit since I live 2 hours away from where I'm actually having the surgery. But it has been a very organized and easy process for sure.
I am soooo very pleased with the hospital staff and doctor so far and what a weight that takes off my shoulders.
I had my Catheter procedure done on Tuesday, no blockages found so they sent me home for the night. The next day was the PASS class where they have a class to go over all that has happened to me thus far and explained in detail what the heart does, works, and how it is broken. Then they went over what to expect from here on out, the good the bad and the ugly of it. During this phase they also did all my hosptal pre-op procedures so that when I come in on Friday all I have to do is show them a piece of paper with my name on it and they will take me back.
The pre-op procedures include getting height, weight, blood pressure, urine sample, blood sample, x-ray of chest, echocardiogram of carotid arteri.es on both sides of the neck.
Then they took me on a tour of the hospital, showed me the wing I will be in and where the family will gather to wait for the doctor to come out and give them updates. They also were so kind as to buy our lunch in the cafeteria so that we can see how the food tastes..which by the way was awesome!
I then met the doctor that will be what they call "hospitalist" for my stay. This just means he works with my surgeon and comes to see me during the weekend when my surgeon may not be able to come see me. But it will only be him, not just a random doctor that is on-call for the weekend. Love that!
Everyone has assured me I've chosen one of the top doctors to do my procedure, and that he is 1 of about 10 in the state of Texas that performs the procedure and that he is a "Master" of minimally invasive valve replacement surgery - which it appears I should be a perfect candidate for!!!
Well I'm about done for now but will update as soon as I can to let you know about my after surgery care and progress!
It's so nice getting all the updates from others and the support. I re-read my book that Adam wrote that I purchased way back about 6 years ago. Now that I've had to delve even further into surgery I find that I know understand the book even more and it's a great tool for us. This includes the actual diagnosis, as well as the pre-surgery and post-surgery info available.
Down to 13 days to surgery and I am working for another 8 days. I have the catheter set up for 3 days before surgery then the next day I have path class and last minute surgery testing. Get 1 day break then have the surgery. As my cardiothoracic surgeon said we are doing a "wam bam" since I'm going to have surgery out of town..lol
I will keep you updated as the much as I can as we go!
Well only 20 more days until surgery. I find myself getting more nervous the closer it gets. I actually think it's better not to have this much time to think about surgery..lol. However it is giving me the opportunity to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before leaving work, etc.
I've had Aortic Stenosis for a while but it was changed to severe during my June 2012 routine echocardiogram. This is when my doctor said we are now more symptom driven as opposed to echo driven. I began to worry and decided it was time to speak with a surgeon just to have a 2nd opinion saying the same thing.
Upon going to that meeting I was told that I am symptomatic and need to have surgery fairly quickly. Someone giving you a time-frame of how long your life can possibly last if you don't have the surgery is pretty eye-opening, especially at my age!
I have had Adam's book for many years and had all my family read it to so we all had an idea of what to expect. But I love the direction the website has gone over the years to help inform and keep the patients and caregivers up on all the new things and basic information we need for our situations.
I have surgery on August 30th and will not know of course until a few days before whether I'll be a candidate for minimally invasive surgery or not.
I think my biggest decision right now is to decide on whether I want a mechanical valve or pig valve. I've heard good and bad about both.
Well I think that is about it for now, just gonna keep doing my thing until surgery and try to keep as positive as I can for myself as well as my family. I have every confidence in my doctor. He is Dr. Neelan Doolabh, in Tyler, TX.