Appreciation for The People Who Make this Site So Helpful
Journal posted on February 28, 2020
Heartvalvesurgery.com helped me to get interested in Dr. Lewis and Princeton Baptist (He is now at UAB). It also had a wealth of patient information that helped me in deciding to go ahead with surgery and what kind of surgeon/hospital I wanted to find. The community blog was very helpful for me before and especially after surgery. There is an instant and supportive bond between the participants. We can share our experiences and encourage each other in ways that only other patients can do. I commend it to future patients. Perhaps even caretakers could just observe the discussions and learn more about the common questions, concerns, fears, and joys of patients who are having heart valve surgery.
Me and "girlfriends" at Huntsville Hospital Cardiac Rehab. I am one year out from surgery, and played saxophone at the rehab Christmas party.
I have voluntarily continued working out with my rehab family. They provide positive encouragement and sk
Monday will be 7 weeks after surgery. I am planning to return to work and be in the office half day and work half day at home. Start cardiac rehab on Monday. My works is a psychological treadmill more than a physical one.
Right now I have my work divided among 5 people. I do administration of a research alb (about 100 people), teach college course (2 per semester), supervise graduate students (10), and oversee the operation of a research laboratory.
Going back with some new eyes and much more willing to distribute some of these responsibilities permanently.
Afraid that it might all get dumped back in my lap and I will get swamped. Any advise?
I was just reflecting about how privileged we all are to have access to the skill and knowledge of the medical community to repair our hearts. With their help our prospects for the future are so much brighter.
I just finished a 7-page letter of to my doctor that describes my appreciation for each person I can remember who helped me through my surgery and recovery. I guess since I am a professor, I had to turn it into a dissertation.
I went back for my one month checkup with Dr. Lewis at Princeton Baptist Medical Center. This is me with Dr. Lewis.
He is a great surgeon and his calmness , skill, and attentiveness puts me and my wife at ease.
I also learned today that team p
Update posted on...
January 17, 2016
I talked to my surgeon's office manager and asked her for recommendations on how to express appreciation to the team. She said that she thought a letter to the doctor mentioning how the various people helped would be wonderful. They usually only get letters when people are upset. So a letter of appreciation would be a wonderful thing.
So I am writing up a letter of appreciation to my surgeon, Dr. Clifton Lewis, and including all of the people who touched my life during my surgery. I think if I could do it all over again, I would have my wife keep a little notebook of everyone's name who helped from the doctor's, nurses, people who brought in the food, techs that showed up in the night to take blood, receptionist at the desk, x-ray techs, the lady who came in and cleaned my room, just everyone.
I have a few good notes and remember many names so I will do what I can on the letter. Because of all of the emotions and stuff going on at the time it is hard to remember the names all of the people who helped me.
If anyone has other ideas about expressing appreciation to the people who assisted, please give me your comments.
I am also very grateful for the encouragement and support of the heartvalvesurgery.com community.
I appreciate all of Adam's hard work, care, encouragement, and love to the people who come here.
Three days after mitral valve repair at Princeton Baptism in Birmingham, Alabama.
My favorite heart surgeon joke is below. As I said before, I was prepared to tell it to the team as I entered the operating room, but my lights went out before I got the
This is me on December 14, 2015 in the prep-room before surgery with my wife. I was at peace and ready to go.
I had a heart surgeon joke all prepared for my doctor the surgical team for the operating room.
However, I must have been a little too t
Journal posted on January 11, 2016
I had a mitral valve repair 4 weeks ago today. I am feeling fairly good. I am walking 2 to 3 miles per day. I see my cardiologist tomorrow and need to make a decision abut participating in 6 weeks of cardiac rehabilitation.
I wondered if anyone could tell me about their experiences with cardiac rehabilitation and the benefits that they felt like they received from participating in it?
When you consider someone working on your heart, serious thoughts start going through your mind. There is something much more personal about someone working on your heart than your gal balder, or other parts.
Even if you can be “strong” for others, the thought may come to you mind, “Hey, I might not make it!” There are a lot of moving parts with this surgery. Even if they did not touch my heart, the rest of the aspects of this surgery are a big deal. Even though the odds of dying appear quite small, we are talking about me this time and not statistics.
You and those around you are processing these thoughts and how things might play out. It is good to process your thoughts with yourself and others so you don’t get stuck in your own negative emotions.
About 3 weeks before surgery I had not felt fear, or dread, or sadness, or anger, or hopeless despair. I have been able to keep my emotions on an even keel. But as things got closed, I had to have a conversation with Jesus.
Notes from my journal:
“Lord, who would you like me to consult with to get your perspective on this situation? Not only the timing of the situation, but the preparations for my family.” Four names came to my mind: Richard, Mark, Chris, and Bill. All mature Christian men who knew me and my family well. I consulted with them and they were a great help.
Thinking about going to surgery in less than a month and not really feeling any symptoms was difficult.
“Lord, what do you want me to know about my heart?”
I felt like this is what the Lord wanted me to know:
“Your life is always in my hands. Number your days before me so that you can apply your heart toward wisdom. Three weeks to a December surgery. Twenty-six weeks to a May surgery.”
“Are you ready to come and be with me today if I require it? This is a question I would like you to ask yourself each day.”
So that day and every day afterwards I put myself in the Lord’s hands. Not just for the surgery, but every day. This was my initial step toward having peace about the whole situation.
The second thing I realized was that this situation was bigger than my family could handle on its own. The Lord prompted me to have some others help us think it through and prepare. With each member of my family having different emotional responses, we could not always have the capacity to help each other. So the people the Lord directed me to helped our family a great deal. This website too has been a great encouragement.
The key insight for me was realizing that every day, not just on surgery day, my life is in the Lord's hands. He will keep me and my departure will be in his time.
I leave home in one week for robotic mitral valve repair on Dec. 14th. What advise could you give me about items to prepare for during this coming week that you learned from your experience?
We have a close knit family and the hospital is about 90 minutes from our home. On the other side of surgery I am an engineering professor (a rocket scientist, so you don't need me for most things) and research center director.
Thanks in advance for your thoughts. And if you need any rocket science advice, please ask.