Yesterday I went to the cardiologist to reprogram my pacemaker. Things can change with your heart at anytime. I received a pacemaker after my second surgery because my lower right chamber wasn't communicating with my upper right chamber along with a low heart rate. Once again I have a normal heart beat and a normal heart rhythm. What a relief. The Doctor informed me whatever a-fib I had for the last couple of years is now gone. He said, that's so rare for that to happen after all I've been through. Finally something that's rare turns out to be good. Its SOOOO AMAZING what they can do with the heart. Thank you all again and have a great day!!!
It's been two years to the day since I had my 2nd heart surgery. If you recall, I had my 1st surgery in August 2010 to replace my bicuspid aortic valve with a cow tissue valve that started to fail in only two years. Why I went with a tissue valve at my age and size I will never know. I had to go back to the Cleveland Clinic for round two on December 12, 2013 to replace that valve with a mechanical valve along with a pacemaker. Since I have some Italian blood and this valve was made in Italy my surgeon said that this one should work. LOL.
On Thursday, I saw my cardiologist and all tests came back normal. What a relief. The only thing he needs to do is fine tune my pacemaker because it is a little out of whack. Doc said no big thing.
I would like to thank you all for the love and support through the last five years. It always meant the world to me, thank you. To my surgeon Dr. Gillinov and all the staff at the Cleveland Clinic who saved my life, not once but twice, you are the best. To my cardiologist Dr. Mirza, Dawn, and their staff you are also the best. Teresa and the boys are doing great. I would like to thank my wife, who deserves a medal, as my Uncle Stu would say. Last but not least, Adam Pick for this wonderful website.
Just another life reminder on how fast life goes by. I can't believe it's been a year but it has. I'm feeling good and all is well so far. I would like to thank all of you for being there for me through this journey. You made it so much easier for me to get through it and I will never ever forget you. I would like to thank my wife Teresa, our boys Philip and Jason love ya. To my surgeon Dr. Gillinov for saving my life not once but twice, you are the man. My cardiologist Dr. Mirza and last but not least Adam Pick for this wonderful website.
I went to the cardiologist today so he can check on the rhythm of my heart. my upper chamber Beats faster than my lower chamber, plus there's a complete electrical block between the two chambers, they just don't communicate with each other. When you have a second heart surgery they say there's a higher risk for a pacemaker, only 3% I happened to be part of that group. The good news is with medication my upper and lower chambers are now in sync, the rhythm of my heart is perfect. Don't need any other procedures to get those chambers In sync. My cardiologist was very happy with everything, the valve is working fine and my heart muscle is very strong so today is a great day. I'll be back in six months for my next check up. thank you all and have a wonderful day.
Today I turn 52 Years old, Mama Mia . 52 years old and never been kissed. Its a very very special birthday today. happy to be here With my family and I'm happy to be alive. Now bring on the presents, I'm just kidding. I received a great present back on December 12 in Cleveland. Have a great day everybody.
Hello family and friends, I just received my blood test results today from my cardiologist and everything looks great. Of course I had to ask is there anything I need to be worried about and she said no. My sleeping pills are really helping, Feels great to get a good nights sleep. Since my pacemaker was adjusted from 48 heart beats a minute to 60 beats a minute I feel like a new man. Its Just amazing what they can do today. I'm ready to run a marathon, well almost. Today's a good day. I'm going to check out a new Italian food store today and I'm very excited. I like to thank everybody for their kind thoughts and prayers, you guys & girls are the best.
First gentleman I saw was the Pacemaker guy. He jumped by heart rate up from 48 to 60. Then came the cardiologist. I Had an EKG and it shows There's no electrical connection between my upper chamber to my Lower. Upper beats a little faster then the lower as it did back in Cleveland. It will be fix in about a month. Then They took some blood . Then came the echocardiogram, I got see my valve, that was Weird, he said everything looks good. Had a massive cold for the last two weeks thanks to the Chicago's weather. Can't sleep or breath at night. I might get three hours of sleep or less a a time in the last six weeks and then I'm up for an hour or two then I go back to sleep for one more hour if I'm lucky. all in the Meantime I'm coughing my head off. So the doctor gave me 101 different prescriptions so I can start feeling better. Thats my update my friends. Seems like a little bit of hell that I'm going through yes, and round two is definitely tougher than round one . I'll take this anytime over the alternative . Other than that my spirits are up I'm alive and I look forward to the future. Talk to you soon.
Good morning folks, I've been home for 11 days and things are only getting better. The first four days at home were tough but I Definitely have turn the corner. yesterday my Coumadin levels are almost where they there want them to be there at at 3.6 they want them between 2.5 and 3.5 for the rest my life, going back Friday to check the levels out.. I got a chance to go see my son Jason play hockey on Saturday they tied 1-1. It was also great to get a chance to see those wonderful hockey parents that have been so supportive of me , love you guys and girls Go Ice Dogs, it was a special day. My
Wonderful wife Teresa is ready to kill me but that's nothing new. Things are going in the right direction so far I hope they Continue. Thank you all!
To all my dear friends who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas! I hope Santa's good to you. Hopefully I'm out of here by friday. they want to fine tune me like a Ferrari before They release me. I'm okay with that.
They started around noon and I got back My room by three . so far so good. But like a knucklehead out of instinct I reached up and started scratching my head but the pacemaker is still working. they don't wont you reaching above your head or reaching up high like for something on a shelf. I'm feeling pretty good having the feeling of breathing and the blood flowing through my body the right way, it's a different feeling from 10 days ago that's for sure. talk to you soon.
My numbers were a little low so no pacemaker this morning. They just drew more blood to check my levels hopefully they're at the level where they can put a pacemaker in this afternoon that's the plan. Looking forward to some real good food when I get home. This is how they cook at the Cleveland clinic. First, they cook the food and then they suck the life out of it and then they serve it to you. Not the greatest tasting food. Going a little crazy in here. It is what it is. It's been 10 days since my surgery and I'm happy to be alive thank you Dr. Gillinov. My surgeon has a local TV show here called (Something like) good health Dr. Marc . You can probably check it out on YouTube Unless you live in the great city of Cleveland . The next Dr. Oz???
Good afternoon everyone, thank you again for all your Kind words it's like medicine. Yesterday my Coumadin level was at 1.4 and they will not implant a pacemaker until the levels got to at least 1.7 . I received the good news today that my levels of Coumadin are at 2.0 so where On for Monday .
My Coumadin levels are a little low so they're going to wait until Monday. That's what we've been waiting on or I would've been home yesterday. When you have a mechanical valve your Coumadin level has to be at a certain level or there could be excessive bleeding. Teresa is feeling better so she's headed home for the next few days. Here's a shot out to our son Philip, You've been so wonderful Through these eight days Taking care of the homefront and Jason, your Heaven sent and I love ya. Jason turns 13 on Saturday I hope he scores a goal for me that would be so cool. Go ice dogs this weekend
That's right, unfortunately my Rock my Teresa is laid up in the hotel room with the stomach flu. Unbelievable! I Hope you feel better soon honey. I might end up in Chicago before you, imagine that. Now what?
The surgeon has me on heparin (blood thinner) and they started me on Coumadin a few days ago. The goal is to get my Coumadin level between 2 and 3, it is now at 1. Then they will wean me off of heparin and the plan is to implant the pacemaker on Friday. They can't implant a pacemaker when somebody is on heparin because there will be too much bleeding. If all goes well we can leave on Saturday. If it wasn't for the pacemaker we would be leaving tomorrow, that's what the doctor said.
Today was a great day in my heart valve life. I had my first bowel movement since surgery. The bowel movement wasn't the problem, the problem was urine. It was everywhere, the floor, the gown, the slippers. It was a mess. I felt like a 90 year old with no control. I can go on and on but I won't.
Teresa had a great day, she tore up the Cleveland suburbs shopping.
I might need a pacemaker, will know in 2 days. Another surgery but this one is a little less than an hour. I will do whatever it takes. When you have a second heart surgery the risk for a pacemaker increases.
The pain came back today, it was a rough day for my back and shoulders. They did remove the last draining chest tube and I am starting to feel better. I am doing a lot more walking to open up my lungs, they are not completely open.
Phil and Jason went to the Bears game today and had a great time and the Bears won. God bless Teresa she had a long, long day.
I would like to take a moment out to thank my family and friends, my heart valve friends and my friends from the hockey world for posting such wonderful, inspiring, comforting and loving words and most of all your prayers that were answered.
I would like to tell you a little bit about my day today, the nurses got me up and got me walking for the first time, in fact three times today. I am doing breathing exercises to help get the fluid out of my lungs. The pain has subsided about 80%.
It is great to see the boys again. I brought a bag of chocolate kisses and I told everybody who helped me throughout the day that they couldn't leave the room without a kiss (Haha). That is line a nurse came up with and everybody has been using it since.
Hi it's Richard. Surgery was long, took 9 1/2 hours. I just left ICU and moved to private room, they put your body through hell. I am as sore as can be. They are monitoring me for the next few days and if things don't look good enough they will put a pacemaker in.
Thank you all for your love and support.
The drugs feel good but I am in so much pain. It is good to be alive.
I finally got to see Richard at 5:15. He is doing well. Breathing tube is out, he is alert and talking. Nurse says all blood work looks good and EKG was good. They are taking him for chest X-ray sometime during the night. He is in a lot more pain than the last time, incision is about 8-9 inches. Hopefully tomorrow they will move him to a private room.
I just spoke to Dr. Gillinov, he said everything is fine. All went well. There was a tear in the cow valve which caused it to leak. Now has mechanical valve which Dr. G said should last the rest of his life.
His heart is pumping strong, was a little irregular at first so they put temporary pacemaker in and once heart regulates that can come out. Also said he is breathing really well so breathing tube will come out shortly. I still have to wait awhile before they will let me in to see him.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, we appreciate it.
Tomorrow is surgery. No minimally invasive incision this time around 6 to 8 inch incision , omg. I have to report in at 515 in the morning. I saw the surgeon today and everything looks great, my numbers are good no red flags thank god. Teresa and I just got back from dinner (the Melt) nice time. Thanks again for your love and support. Teresa will keep u posted. Tomorrow will be a great day.
I had my cardiac catheterization today and all went well. I can't believe that my arteries are clean. I eat like an animal, pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, hot dogs Chicago style of couse no relish, corn beef, Cake, I could go on and on. It must be my DNA. I will be eating more like Joe cheeks for now on. Tomorrow @ 12:30 I meet with my surgeon Dr. Gillinov. Thank you all for your love and support it really means a lot .
Hello family and friends, I made it to Cleveland through a snowstorm last night and boy are my arms tired. Today was a fun day, chest x-ray, EKG, CT scan, echo cardiogram, blood. Tomorrow catheterization. Wednesday Teresa comes to town, have a little chitchat with the surgeon. Thursday surgery. Saturday fly the boys down. Sunday our Chicago Bears are in town playing the Cleveland Browns. Bought two tickets for the boys they're excited. More fun tomorrow, talk to u soon.
On December 12th I will be back at the Cleveland Clinic for a redo on my cow tissue valve and replacing it with a mechanical valve. You can't imagine how angry I am. I was suppoosed to go through this in my 60s not 3 yrs later @ 51. Looking back, I wish I went with a mechanical valve there designed for life. I know I will be in the best of hands with Dr. Gillinov. Teresa and I will keep you posted. Talk to you soon.
It is like someone kicked me in the gut. I am sending my TEE test to Dr. Gillinov at the Cleveland Clinic. It is just a matter of time before he tells me I need to come back and get it replaced. The nightmare continues.
Does anybody out there have experience or knowledge about a replacement tissue valve that is leaking and has been replaced? I can't find anything on the internet.
I would like to thank all the wonderful people who made this anniversary very special. My wife-Teresa, my surgeon- Dr. Gillinov, Dr. Mirza, Adam Pick (heart valve journal), Uncle Stu & Aunt Cori for being there in Cleveland, my boys-Phil & Jason, my brothers, my family & friends, my customers and last but not least my heart valve community. Thank you all for making this journey so positive.
But this time for Chicago White Sox baseball thank God. I went to my cardiologist today, it's been almost one year since my surgery and he said everything looks good, echocardiogram, ekg, and my heart valve. That's music to my ears. I will see him in Dec. Have a great summer everyone, life is great today.
Hello everyone, I just completed Cardio Rehab and I wish it would have lasted longer, I miss those guys & girls. Yesterday I went to see my Cardiologist for a check up and he said all is well and I will see you again in June. So I'm feeling great and I hope you are too. I'm saying goodby for now and I wish you all a Happy Holiday season. Thank you for being there I needed it.
It's been 5 weeks since I had my surgery. I saw my cardiologist today for a check up. All went well. He said I can start my cardiac rehab three times a week. I have been driving for the last week and a half. I have been showing up every morning on the jobsites, it feels great. So far, so good, I feel very fortunate. Thank you all for being there. Talk to ya soon.
I cooked my first dinner for my family since surgery and it felt great, did it taste great? Well that's another story,(turkey burgers)you can't screw that one up too much. Tomorrow will be three weeks since my surgery. It feels like three months, everything is moving so slow. Earlier in the week, I wasn't feeling so strong, I slowed everything down, turned off my phones & computer, now the last few days I am feeling stronger & better. Things are looking up and I am driving my wife a little crazy. Well have a great weekend and talk to ya soon.
Hi it's Teresa, Richard saw his cardiologist yesterday and everything is ok. His lungs are better but heart rate is still a little fast. They increased his medication for it. The last couple of days Richard has been really tired and has been resting, resting, resting. Thank you, talk to you soon.
I had my follow up appointment yesterday and I still have some fluid in my lower right lung and my heart beat is a little too fast. They increased my medications for those two things. My next doctor's appointment is Wednesday and we will see where I am at. Other than that everything is looking a-ok. It was a long ride home, I had to stop every hour and walk for 10 minutes. I am not complaining it's just a great feeling to be alive and home.
I have a follow up appointment tomorrow, will take a few tests and then I should be going home. Headed back to sweet home Chicago. I visited my pal Paul from St. Louis this morning. He is out of ICU and in a private room and doing well. I added 2 more pictures. Believe it or not last night we got in a Cleveland Indians baseball game. It was great to get out. One of the photos is how I sleep in the chair in the hotel room every night. It is a heck of alot more comfortable. Thank you all from all parts of my heart.
I had a very nice surprise today at the hospital, Paul from St. Louis, who is also a member on this journal website, came to visit me today. He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. He has the same surgeon, Dr. Gillinov, he is in good hands. Let's wish him all the best. I told him a couple of days ago to come up and visit me. It was a wonderful time. There is a nice picture of the two of us together. Go Cardinals! Hey Paul, I hope you look forward to 10 extra pounds of fluid that you will probably gain after surgery. Just take a good look at my belly and you'll know what I mean.
What a day, but the night was unbelievable. I am back at the hotel, feeling good and we decided to fly the kids out to Cleveland. We picked them up from the airport. There were alot of hugs and alot of crying. I think we flooded the airport. Thank you all for all your wonderful journal entries.
Hello family, friends & my wonderful heart valve community. They informed me today that I can leave. I didn't feel scared at all, I was just happy that I was getting great news from some great people. What a place! It is a wonderful day. Thank you all, I couldn't of done it without you. To my wife, Teresa, you're the best! I am going to stay in town for a couple of days and have a follow up on Friday.I will post a couple of new pictures later. Who would ever think that one would have 2 birthdays, Feb 4th & Aug 6th? Thank you all, Richard
I just want to give a BIG THANK YOU to my aunt & uncle for coming out to Cleveland to be with me and Teresa. It felt like I never left home. I received love & abuse all at the same time (those of you who know my Uncle Stu know what I mean). Thank you for making Teresa's weekend a lot easier.
Love, Mr. & Mrs. Volpe
Hello everybody, it's Richard. I just want to thank you all for your love and support, it means the world to me. I am out of ICU, was there less than 24 hours. I am in a private room. The recovery is going remarkably well, thank god. They are going to get me walking sometime today. My surgeon told Teresa that if my heart could talk it would say "Boy, do I feel better."
Richard is doing great. I was able to see him a couple of times today. His color looks good and they took the tube out of his throat and he is able to talk. He is in some pain but the medication is helping and he is able to rest comfortably. The ICU nurse said he is doing excellent. Thank you for all your love and support.
Surgery was a success! Everything went as planned and when I talked to the surgeon he said that Richard was doing great. I am still waiting to see him in ICU, he is not ready for visitors yet. He will be in ICU until tomorrow afternoon and then he will be moved to a private room. That's all for now, I'll be in touch.
Hello everybody, Teresa here, just wanted to let you know that Richard has been in OR for about 3 hours now getting prepped for surgery. The actual procedure should be starting momentarily and from what I understand will be another 3 hours or so. I will keep you updated.