Well, my recovery has been essentially over for over 6 months now. The heart seems to be strong as a horse, but now I am having issues with my lower back. I don't think this has anything to do with the surgery or new valve but just another nagging problem to deal with. Has anyone else had back issues after surgery? Maybe the new meds or something is contributing to this pain. I had an X-ray (MRI's are frowned upon for Mech Valves as you all know.....) and it shows some stenosis and degenerative disk desease, just like everyone else my age apperently? Anyway, I will update when things change. Keep the faith everyone!
Sorry, it's been a while since I have updated my journal. Since my last writing I have just gone for another Echo and it appears that the Pericardial Window is keeping my heart "fluid free". Yay! I am trying to get back into a more normal routine, back into my Volleyball and golf season just started, but now my back is acting up and I am having a lot of Lower back pain, I think from walking on uneven roads and possibly sitting too much? Doing PT now and they think they can resolve and I can get back to fun stuff. The heart and valve are great! The cumadin does not seem to be an issue. I haven't noticed any excessive bleeding, and I have cut myself a few times. All in all, I think I am pretty lucky and I plan on ticking away for a long long time. Keep on ticking everyone.
Well all was going very well right up to about 4 weeks ago, when I was doing a work out. I had worked up to alternating walking and jogging so that I could jog for about 2 min. up to 6 times during a work out and it felt great. Well then about 4 weeks ago I noticed that I was not able to do the Jogging. I got very winded and pulse raced. I started getting winded just going up a flight of stairs. I knew something was wrong. Went to the Dr's and they did an Echo. I had a very large Effussion (fluid in the pericardium) I had a Pericardialsentissis done but they wrere not able to remove all the fluid and I had to go back to surgery for a Pericardial Window Procedure. I was in the Hospital for 7 days (4 days longer than the actual OHS for valve replacement!) I had a drain tube in for the entire 7 days and it just kept draining until the last day when it finally stopped. My INR was in range so I was discharged and came back home. That was 2 weeks ago. I just had another Echo and it showed no fluid accumulating so that was good news. This should take care of the problem, but it was scary for while. Good luck to you all out there.
It's hard to believe 7 days ago I was being wheeled out of surgery and had a brand spanky new valve in my chest. I am now full steam ahead trying to get stronger. I have been doing my walking and eating what I should. my INR has dropped right into a good range, knock on wood, I hope this keeps going as good as it is now. I took a 5min. walk outside today and hope to get 2 10min walks in later today as well. I have not really been tired or in terrible pain (as long as I keep up with the pain regimiegn) I just want to tell any of you waiting for this surgery the waiting really is the worst part. You will be in pain afterwards but at least you feel more in control and your progress will depend on how much you want to put into it. Keep the Faith and best wishes to everyone going through OHS.
Ok 5 days post op and they sent me home yesterday. Sorry I have not updated in a while, my wife didn't want to do it while i was in surgery/hopital. Since my last post I have actually had the surgery and been released from the hospital in only 4 days. It's been a whirlwind. The suregery went just as expected but was released sooner than I though I would.Adam's book was instrumental in my wonderful outcome to this point. Everyone was shocked by me not freaking out about the breathing tube, evne when they had to leave it in longer than expected as I kept falling asleep. All the nurses and doctors commented on what a good patient I was and how easy it was taking care of me. I only say this, not to brag, but to emphasize how much Adam's book prepares you for this surgery and it really does make it go much smoother. The only think I would add to the book is that the only problem that I really had was with the Chest tubes. Where they went in at the abdomine it must have been rubbing on a nerve or something because anytime I moved or if I was startles by a noise I would get a cramp and my abdomine would tense up for a few seconds. This was very painful until the tubes were remove, second day. But otherwise everything went exaclty as expected, Thank you Adam for your book it was more help than you could imagine. Everyone waiting f or your operation please know that everything will be ok and that it will go exactly as the book suggests and you are going to be great.
Oct 18th for the valve replacement, just about 3 weeks from yesterday. Now the real anxiety will start.... I am starting to feel more effects of the bad valve so it is helping my mind confirm that, yes, I do really need this surgery. Up to now I've felt pretty good so why have surgery. Can't wait to see this all in the rear veiw mirror.
I just had my first Cardiac Cath yesterday. It was not nearly as bad an experience as I was imagining it to be. The Cath lab was run by my Wife so I may have gotten some special attention but the entire experience was relatively pain free. Now a day after I do have some discomfort at the insersion site (mine was in the right groin) but it is very mild. If you do what they tell you to do and relax for a day or 2 after the procedure you will fair just fine. My Cath showed no blockages in the arteries so no bypass needed. That was very good news. Now all I have to do is have this gimpy aortic valve replaced and I should be good as new, or probably better!
Ok, had a meeting with my surgen yesterday. He wants me to have this valve replaced ASAP. I have to have the Cath first so that is scheduled for next Friday and then I guess the replacement will come shortly after that. Much sooner than I anticipated but it will be nice to get this behind me, at least that what I keep telling myself.;-) Later when more definate schedule is set. Oh boy here we go........
I just had another Echo done today. It has been about 3 months since my last echo and I've gone from 1.0 - .97cm valve opening, but the worst part was that my pressures have gone up significantly. I have to see my Cardiologist on Wen. I suspect he is going to tell me the surgery is going to have to be sooner rather than later. I'm about ready to get this process started anyway. I want to put it all behind me as soon as I can now. I'll keep you posted.