Thanks, Fran, for your message. My weight is STILL down. I think I'm eating up a storm, but I'm still about 3-4 lbs. down, and for me, that's a lot! But I figure it will go up when the weather starts getting colder here in the Midwest.
To the other person who asked about Loyola, if you'd like to talk more about your experience and know more about mine, my email address is
The time has flown since my last entry 3 weeks ago. Am getting very fond of going to my cardiac rehab...hope to extend my time 6 more weeks so I can keep it up. The exercise has really restored my confidence level as well as made me feel a whole lot better.
To the person who had surgery at Loyola, my doctor was Mamdouh Backos. Who was yours?
Everyone have a great week! SHANNON
Just returned from my 3rd week of Cardiac Rehab. They are still keeping me at 30 minutes, no longer. My natural personality is to push it, but I am following the nurses' directions and NOT letting myself overdo it. My BIG milestone is coming Wednesday...8 weeks!! My sternum is considered completely healed at that point, so I will be celebrating on Wednesday! Everyone have a wonderful week!!
Well, it's 6 1/2 weeks post op for me, and I'm doing great! Am involved in cardiac rehab, and it is a great experience for me because I was a BIGTIME exerciser before this all happened. So it's GOOD to be back on a treadmill again! Hopefully soon, it will be my bike!! :)
Someone asked me about my sense of smell becoming razor sharp again...YES, that has happened. I noticed it at the hospital..I could smell the perfume or soap of every single nurse who worked on me!! That caught me by surprise. The heat in my body has toned down. (I was very 'hot' after surgery).
But the other strange side effect is that I lost a little weight and can't put it back on, even though I am eating like 'a pig' (ha ha!!).
I spoke with a physician friend who had the exact same surgery 1 month previous to mine, and he said he lost 10 lbs., and he was NOT a big man. I have lost about 4 lbs., which I could not afford to lose! I'm tiny to begin with.
Has any other patient out there had weight loss after surgery that persisted?
Thanks, Fran, for your post. Yes, I am still using this machine. I don't like it, I must admit! But I force myself to use it. I also do the technique Adam spoke of in the book...10 deep breaths per hour held for 5 minutes..that was a GREAT tip!
I've missed a week of posting..had a few doctor appts. that made for a busy week.
I'm FINALLY starting to feel better..am off ALL medication except aspirin!! Do my walks RELIGIOUSLY, and the recent wonderful Chicago weather has made the walks much easier. Still have some restricted breathing, but I'm working on it!
Getting a little better with each passing day. The power food diet has been helping. Many wonderful friends, family and clients have brought over healthy food, for which I am so grateful!! Gee, it's so dark here in Chicago this morning. When I woke up, I thought it was 4 a.m. again, but it was 6:15!! Looks like a good day for renting movies and reading!! :)
I am finally starting to feel a bit stronger on a consistent basis..which is to say more hours in each day. Still get my weak episodes, but I discipline myself to get up and walk 4 x per day no matter what! This morning I woke up at 4 a.m...not in pain, for once, but just because I was rested. The bird chorus was SO loud...so I thought, "should I or shouldn't I?"
I finally decided to go for a walk at 4:15 a.m. through my neighborhood!! It was SO NICE. Weather was cool, birds were singing up a storm. I had a nice walk in the dark and quiet and hope to do it again tomorrow morning!!
To answer some of your questions, yes, a huge storm is what knocked out the electrical power for 50 hours. I WAS able to read during the day, but after sitting reading for hours and hours, that got a little tiring, too. I can't imagine the person who wrote from California who said they never have any outages...happens on my block all the time! But this one was the longest.
Electric power, that is! I just finished a FIFTY HOUR STINT without electric! Drove me a little crazy after about 36 hours...no phone, no internet, radio, tv, no lights, etc. What timing, eh? It's bad enough when you aren't laid up to have no power, but when you are trapped at home, it's a real bummer! Glad it's back up now.
Still in my pattern of having a strong day, then 1 or 2 weak days follow, which has been a little discouraging. But I am following everything to a 'T' as far as what I'm supposed to be doing, so I trust it will get better in time.
Again, thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouraging words. I didn't realize how much I would need those for the AFTER part of this ordeal! Your support helps keep my spirits from dropping. :)
Just finished my 2nd full day home...I am seeing a pattern to my recovery...1 great day, 1 weak day. Guess I overdo things when I wake up feeling strong; then the next day, I'm fatigued. Have to even this trend out a bit.
I have been concentrating on a 'power foods' diet that has really been producing impressive results! Some of the foods are: smoked salmon, sushi, (for Omega-3's), green tea, white tea, pomegranate and cranberry juices, whole grain bread, lots of ginger (aids in de-inflaming the heart), lots of veggies, and lots of water & skim milk. I felt the energy difference immediately after my first meal at home!
My sister in law, Janice, has been keeping me in line as far as taking meds, walking, and using the spirometer. It's a tough job keeping me down and resting, but she has been successful so far!!
Hello to everyone...Shannon here...just popping in to say that with the help of my wonderful sister in law, Janice, my family and friends, and all of your encouragement, I am rapidly regaining my strength, both mentally and physically. Every day is going to be a better day!
Good morning, everyone, and thank you all for your well wishes. This is my first full day home, and it's a gorgeous one. Was overcome with happiness & emotion when pulling up to my house yesterday...tears of joy! Happy to still be here through this miracle operation. More tomorrow.
This is Janice, Shannon's sis-in-law and I wanted you all to know that her surgery went excellent. She is resting and I will update you later with more details. From Shannon and her entire family, we want to thank you for your support and prayers.
Well, here I go. Trying to stay calm this morning as well as grateful for this miracle operation. The birds are all singing to me wishing me luck! Thanks, again, to all of you, for your love and support. Shannon signing off for now.
I want to THANK ALL who have written to me. You have truly held me up through this trying time. This blog is absolutely wonderful, and I don't know what I would have done without this to turn to.
THANKS TO ALL for your prayers and well wishes. This will probably be my last posting B4 surgery, unless, of course, I can't sleep! :) My sister in law, Janice, will be taking it from here until I'm better.
It's coming fast. Taking care of last minute details.
I saw a posting about calcium supplements or rolaids not being good for the aortic valve...does anyone know more about this? I need to take calcium, but now I am confused as to if taking calcium will damage the new valve??
The answer to your question is yes, I finally did make my decision on the valve, and it will be the 3rd generation pig valve. My doctor discussed it with me saying this generation has a longer life (15-20 yrs) than the older version (10 yrs). So after exhausting, painstaking & often stressful research, it's decided..now onward to Wednesday! Thanks for writing, Fran.
Need advice about type of valve!! TWELVE days out.....
Journal posted on May 28, 2010
Does anyone out there know if a person can have tissue valves replaced again and again? My doctor has not been clear on that and am meeting next week.
HOWEVER, can I hear from anyone out there who knows the answer? I have been given a CHOICE of mechanical or tissue valve....don't want to do the Coumadin thing (on mechanical valve), but don't want to look forward to only 10-15 more years...I'm 58 and would like to last a lot longer than that!:) Can a tissue valve be replaced multiple times?? PLEASE ADVISE if you know about this....and many thanks!!
for the people who have already responded. I appreciate your support, as I am getting very anxiety ridden. This morning I thought maybe I could call Loyola up TODAY to see if they have any 'openings' for valve surgery and just get it over with! Hah hah!
Just trying to keep a sense of humor:)
And I'm pretty scared and anxious. Just found this site tonight, and I am thrilled! My bad valve was found by ACCIDENT during a pre-surgical physical by a doc right out of med school. She saved my life, because I was totally unaware of the valve's problem. Plus, like Adam, I have absolutely NO SYMPTOMS. Now I have developed an aneurysm in the aortic vessel, to boot! So if that doctor hadn't found my condition, I would have dropped dead in the near future.
My thanks to all of you who put up your posts...I have read many, and most are very comforting!