i thought i had you guys caught up...well. not..the tamarack blew up ,and i wound up evacking. my rebuilt heart has withstood the nerves, but even though my community was not really going to burn( hopefully) thurs,7/22, i was outta here. i had packed my bug out kit monday,truck was fueled and ready. reverse 911 at 10:30pm,tues. if that didn't give me a heart attack, the, i reckon the valve job is holding.😱😵😬😇
no evac center for me. i secured my house, loaded my dog and went to the magic campsite where my hub and i spent meaningful times. so my confidence is better,going camping alone, while wildfire raging close to my home. vzw worked on the mountain, where it previously had not...good! so i was in communication. kept everybody in my fb community group updated, my daughter. left thur pm, returned sat. so 2 nights in the beautiful mountain,by a creek. no people. healing more,from all my trauma from this last year.praise be to Jesus. so, i guess i am getting better. today, i cut down( felled,actually) the 30ft dead pine tree by my driveway. yup, another chainsaw session for this old,beat up broad. resting now, catching my heart gang up on my adventures. love and healing to you all. prayers to those so sadly affected by the horrible wildfires.....
til next time....i love you all❤🦄🐕🐈🐈steph
its july19,and i just want to check in with you all. my regulars who have followed my story from the git go. my blessings to any of you who haven't followed my story.
riight now,i am holed up,indoors,with my humidifier and swamp cooler, because of the totally smoky air.air quality index at 230 ppm. very unhealthy. i'm about 15 miles as the crow flies from the tamarack fire that is humongous. i pray for all involved in these terrible fires. i am safe,so i won't bitch about the yukky smoke.
now,here is a question.....they determine the air quality index by the numbers,degrees of health impact for normal individuals and those with heart or lung disease. ie sensitive groups...
as i am 15 months post AVR, does that mean i am sensitive, normal, or considered in the heart disease category? well, also, "elderly"? 77 yo?
my own self prefers to avoid the bad air, because it does make me feel yukky.
even though i feel strong and able, i still need rest,and only good for a couple hours of more strenuos work( not in this smoke,nope. talkin regular nice weather,below 90°)then i need to chill for a couple days.my pc doc says i am fine,but i still have health anxiety. even with low dose sertraline. i do my exercises every morning,sorta yoga,stretches, even plank and hand weights. vitals good, breathing good. prayer life good. this is "a journal" right? so i am talking to you, my heart friends who have been thru similar stuff. thank you all, God bless you, stay well.i love you all.❤🦄
hi all. it's 13 months. I'm healing. 75% back to old self. last year's heart disaster and AVR (open) aged me,took a powerful chunk out. tomorrow I'm going to m my primary for annual WELLNESS visit. ok,that's good. I love this doctor. he believes in wellness. osteopathic,and he hugs. I even got a hug the last time,in January...covid not withstanding. the one thing that's dismaying is that the recovery time for this is so LONG! they said around a year. I thought,no WAY. you're kidding. not. maybe being 77 not 40 ma ked it harder. I'm getting my strength back, getting my muscles back. I can do physical stuff like yard work, wood cutting, gardening,weed whacking, general house work. pulled wall paper and painted 4 rooms. I last 2 hours and I'm done. well sometimes 3 hours now. energy is good,endurance and stamina, not the way it was before I had my asymptomatic until the I fell out with blown aortic valve=emergency trip to hospital and this very scary surgery. I almost died. I thank God,Jesus and the Holy spirit for saving my life. my miracle.to my regulars here, I think of y'all a lot,and newbies, hang in there. it's amazing that our broken hearts can be mended. thank you,too,Adam Pick ,for this awesome site.
today,April 28th is a YEAR since I had my surgery..I wish I could say that I feel completely well, but I can tell there's still more healing to do. oh,I'm good. I've painted and pulled wall paper, cut wood, started my greenhouse garden, walk my dog regularly. can do 5 miles on my bike,and 10 second planks. but will I ever totally be 100%? at 77 I'm blessed to be able to do and feel what I can. considering how I started on this trip, it's darn good. first month post op, I fought the frailty, the notion that it would take so long. pushed myself and felt weird after. I know I overdid my chest bone. I can feel knobby spots under the skin..but, it healed despite my inattention to protocols. I was barely 4 months out and lost my soulmate of 35years to a stroke and undiagnosed pancreatic cancer. 10 days from 911 to final phone call from nurse. being on this site,talking to you all, sometimers and regulars, has been a blessing. thank you for your love and beautiful feedback. stay well, heal, be safe, be loved.❤🦄
today,Easter Sunday,is a fitting time to reflect with y'all about our life changing events that led us to this site. as we think about Jesus dying on that cross and coming back to life in a new form,as are we,resurrected from potential death with failing hearts,to newer,stronger versions,a form of rebirth.
I,for one,wish to use my new lease on life,wisely and well. on April 22,it will be a year since I faced near death,the 28th when they rebuilt my heart.instead of griping about the length of time it takes to recover,I want,instead,to wish all you heart survivors well. we are experiencing a true miracle that we are alive now. go in Light and Love, and God bless you.❤🙏🦄
I had my 3 week appt yesterday with my totally neat primary. we talked about the sertraline(zoloft) and generalvstuff. I asked questions of written down that concern me the most....like...if I was diagnosed with ccongestive heart failure,wasn't that because of the whole valve crisis.? I have had NO edema,swelling,breathing issues...nothing. he did admit that I seem fine,my labs are good, my blood pressure is fine now,with 10mg lisinopril. I have had definite side effects from the zoloft25mg. transient...they come and go,but I understand that's typical in the first 2 or so weeks on this.something to do with the body adjusting to the change in serotonin levels,including in the guts....ugh. that aggravated my tendency toIBS.but,I guess the anxiety factor is being helped,because I'm just plodding through,resting if I'm tired, not looking at the clock when I wake up at night. it's been 3 weeks,and I have less episodes of gut reactions,heartburn, insomnia . and it's weird. I didn't realize what a stress cadet I have been. the health anxiety isn't as bad or anything. I still would like to see the day when I can roll without constantly needing my couch. but it's better.a little over 9 months. I'm blessed to have what I have...and thanks to you guys,my regulars,and the ones chipping in, it's not as lonely.❤🦄
chillin with the 500 pound cat....you know how they make heavy so you won't move...
Update posted on...
February 9, 2021
so,I went to my primary doc. it turned into a mental health visit. he said i'm doing just fine physically. healing the way I should,considering how rough it was. the health anxiety is an offshoot of... you guessed it...ptsd and icu syndrome,and residuals from the anesthesia,and that week in hospital before the surgery where I was out of it ,but apparently am working thru a lot of the subconscious processing. all those tests,invasive and otherwise,I probably DID process,as in HORRIBLE!waking up with them pulling tubes.. WHERE AM I? so, that the by pass unit,the length time under anesthesia, the total body trauma, and also the cardioversion. no wonder I've shorted...on top of losing my MAN. ok,glad it's not my imagination. as much as I'm leery, doc reassured me a small dose of Zoloft will do wonders. I go back in around 3 weeks,see how things are going. I just have to say how good it felt to TALK to him, and get VALIDATED,and to find out that the weird physical stuff is all "normal". that I'm still healing. jeeezloueeze. 9 months and counting. but I've been cleared to ride horses. a new friend has 2,and there's only one of her.also,she lost HER man in August,as did I.so I can follow the circle and shine my light on others as has been shone on me.amen? oh gosh...it feels so good to tell you guys all this. as I say,I'm pretty much a doctor phobe,STILL, but this kind man reminds me of my horse vet,whom I always wished he could be my people doctor...I'd go any time. so, movin right along. talk to y'all later. God bless❤🦄
I don't know. I feel alright, but ever since I had that bout of high blood pressure,started 20mg lisinipril, felt a bit light headed,occasional dizziness. I told my pc and he said to cut back to 10mg. today is day one on 10 mg. seems that when I do physical stuff that makes my heart rate go up, the next day I feel ...off.... vitals read well,no temp. I'm drinking 3 large bottles of water a day. I wake up at night with anxiety. yet,my strength is fine. I'm probably realizing that I need to rest more. after chilling,I do feel better. so,yesterday I whacked an axe with a sledge,splitting some wood. drug wood from wood pile on a sled. I really want to be alright and not worry all the time about my rebuilt heart. when I think about making a doctor appointment, I get scared. I worry that I won't come back and who wilk take care of my fur kids...I hope this is only an anxiety attack that I can work through. PTSD belated stress from the surgery,the loss of my man....I've been doing really well. just seems I can't go all out yet with physical exercise.other than that...I'm good.
it snowed here in my part of NV.14 inches,and more to come. we're in a little rural community about 20 miles south of gardnerville. I live snow...it brings out my inner kid. my outer adult stays inside with the wood stove going.
well. I still am finding my limits...been doing lots of "normal"stuff, but I think shoveling a trail thru 14 inches of not powder got me a little. so...it's done, I have my trail to the wood pile,the truck is unburied, but, I'm tired... not horribly, just that feeling of better take a day or 2 off and don't worry about projects and stuff. it's frustrating to admit my limits. between this long recovery,and what could be the creeping olds. other than that, I'm good. love you guys and God bless you all.❤🦄
tying in with my bunch of hearty souls....also,to celebrate tomorrow. my birthday. so...it's almost 9 months post op,and I think I'm
starting to find more energy. and..I will be 77 years old. that just sounds OLD,but I don't FEEL OLD. my exercise/ stretching / projects help. I actually rode my bike this morning to the community clinic,froze my butt off. ( only a mile and a half) for a blood draw. but it got my mind off my coffeeless morning.NPO is the pits. ( here's a trick that does work if you get stuck with a NPO...drink a couple cups of boiled,filtered water. it fools your mind into accepting that you're not getting your morning coffee...or tea.... ) so, the rife felt good. I threw more firewood in my truck and brought to my wood pile for stacking another day. yesterday, I ran one tank on chainsaw,bucking the dead trees I'd cut down a couple months ago...more firewood. so,today,I'm tired, but not wrecked. took a nap on the couch,reading a book. tomorrow,nuthin planned.
my visit with my primary doc was fine. he pronounced me to be well, and looking fine. he's fun. we talk about books and sci-fi. I'm still on the 20mg lisinipril. it's not bothering me,and my BP is where it should be...less anxiety there..
facetiming kid nearly every day. it was sad. to see her leave but what a terrific time we had.
grief wise...I'm doin ok... I have support,and I have God.
I truly live this site, feeling connected with some of you regulars. such good virtual visits do my heart and soul wonders of good. and I hope my input helps some of you all.so...I think we're caught up fer now.....stay safe stay well.... oh..yeh.! burning question...who wants the covid vax? between that and the political situation...I'm glad I'm still holing up....lol. ❤🙏🦄
I just want to add my latest. I have been experiencing stress,probably as someone mentioned,post grief reaction,too. well, I've been monitoring my vitals like a good girl. my blood decided to be 160/100. I prayed on deciding to go to my favorite urgent care. thought it would maybe help with the blood pressure and the health anxiety. being all alone I'm scared to go in.who will watch my fur kids. so I keep a big pit of water, a big pit of kibbles, a big bowl of cat kibbles up on their counter.( just. in. case...) I was so worried I called my daughter in New Orleans.
anyway I did go to urgent care. nice doc prescribed 20mg lisinipril. I'm not really afraid of that med. had it before..a few years ago. no sides except when the one fool put me on 40mg and I felt like fainting. but I am confident this will help.I do have an appt w my primary doc on Jan 7th.he'll check the dosage and all that. my EKG was just fine. no temp.hr upper 80s
. I thought I may have been giving MYSELF a version of white coat syndrome,by getting scared to even check the readings . I eat right, do all the things one should do to help bp but it's prob one of those things. I'll be glad to talk to primary . he's a do,and reminds me of my favorite vet I had for my horse. I always said if a people doctor could be like him I wouldn't be afraid of doctors. it was like at first sight when I first visited him.sooo. other than that,I'm doing as well as I guess I should.8 months along on the 28th Dec. my daughter is coming here from new orleans.we need each other. she's fresh from divorce and needs mommy. I'm upside down and need my baby(50 yrs old.still my kid) so,have a blessed and of 2020,may 21 be better.❤🦄
I just reread my last journal posting, and all your encouraging feedback. I still feel this underlying nervous tension. checked vitals...ok. no pain, no sob, good energy for wall paper peeling, brush burning, painting projects. still need rest in between times...work a day( like 4 hours, then chill) take a day off. I'm resigning myself to taking time to complete healing... a year? egads. oh. well. y'all ARE right. I overestimate my ability to pop back after such trauma. underestimate my anxiety level in the subconscious realm. PTSD comes back and bites one in the butt out of NOWHERE. and that can be self perpetuating... anxiety exacerbated by anxiety...ugh. I'll reread this last batch of encouragement AGAIN, until it sinks in. and....give it to God...that helps. thanks, y'all , we ARE an interesting bunch with so many shared feelings and experiences.💝🦄
I guess I'm having a generalized anxiety attack. it's probably catching up with me from the last few months. ptsd makes sense when you think about the TRAUMA of what I experienced. pump head? I am still getting stupid attacks. getting sidetracked and burning dinner, forgetting where I put things, being generally absent minded and ditsy. (and I'm a brunette) health anxiety.. I'm obsessing on my heart. I constantly stick my finger in the oxifinger thing, feel my carotid, peer at my brachial artery. measure my respiration when walking or taking a quick bike ride. all fine, easy, not at all winded. I do my stretches, a fee light reps with an 8lb hand weight. I can actually hold a plank for a count of 10, but, I still keep having the creeps...the what it's.. being alone, who will care for my dog who doesn't like strangers? I've been off Ami,now, for 2 months. I THINK it's wearing off. my hair seems to be growing back, my balance is much better, only a rare ocular migraine, or a dark field passing in my vision,I'm accepting my limitations, resting more, budgeting energy re harder tasks,accepting the fact that I'm only halfway in my recovery. I've read that people who were active and fit are way more impatient with the long recovery from such serious surgery. ok, I've got it... but I just get worried. am I alright? breathing..fine. pain..nope. faint, dizzyness ...nope. appetite...good. sleep cycle.... better, now. 2 months ago, cardiologist said echo showed everything working fine. ok.... I just had to voice those thoughts and anxieties to you guys. I basically feel pretty good. just still can't wrap my brain around what's happened in my life since April 2020. I'll continue in my prayer life. God always works.thanks, guys, for listening to my rant🦄
I don't have a big problem with various state mandates limiting private,in home gatherings. at least personally. I'm basically isolated,family all so. Cali. we'll prob duo or FaceTime. that's ok. I am not REAL happy with the mandate itself. too much gov interference"for our own good". who will actually rat out their neighbors about the amount of people gathering in a traditional setting? well, aside from THAT, I am THANKFUL for my continued health and healing. for the strength given me by God to cope with the total traumatic journey of this last 7 months . I pray that all of you are going into this season with healing, blessings, love and light. ❤🦄
just a quick progress report to my heart friends.... the 28th Oct was 6 months post op. I think I'm pretty much on track in recovery from the gnarliest. surgery I ever had in my entire life. even though I've always been a fit and athletic type, I do face the reality that at 76, I need to ease up on the ego and not get freaked out by the creeping olds. this heart disaster definitely took a chunk out of me physically. I can't compete with a 40 year old guy who's had the same surg as I. suffice it to say, I am grateful and blessed that I have my life,my health that is coming back,my strength, and one day in the near future, my stamina. God has blessed me with a chance to continue my life in His Light, with wonderful memories of the best man I ever knew, and my friends, family and dispersed support through this very interesting and challenging 6 months. as Adam says, ima keep on tickin.
who has had doctor discontinue their amiodarone and wondered how long uncomfortable side effects would last? for me, I was on 200mg x one daily. on this for 5 months. doc took me off it 2 weeks ago. I'm not on any other meds, but I had been feeling off balance with an occasional slight vertigo. very disquieting that these episodes are still randomly occurring. I understand about the lengthy half life of this toxic drug and am so happy to be done with it. they told me around 30 days. ok.... I wonder if this gradually leaves, and still causes withdrawal issues until at last it's GONE. just wondering about any of you all having any issues with Ami withdrawal.
so, how long IS the average time for a body to heal completely after this very brutal and serious heart surgery? ( ohs,avr,)I'm 5 months out, now and really doing very well. waiting for the dc'd amiodarone to wear off. no other meds, just my vitamins. BUT..... I still tire easily. and the latest is insomnia.( the ami?)not real bad if I don't let myself look at the clock when I wake up in the middle of the night. but still, broken sleep. my vitals seem fine, no pain anywhere, I'm good for about 3 hours of do ums... peeling wallpaper, painting a room. yard work only an hour. my question to you guys is, how long before you really felt like your old self? or did you need to rethink that concept as did patricia,according to her message in my guest book in July. I never thought about my age being much of a factor, before. but this bit aged me. I can tell that is part of my struggle. post trauma stress, bereavement, rethinking my whole existence. when will i stop thinking about omg I had this terrible surgery and ooh, did I just feel weird a minute ago? I've read that it can take a year! man. Adam is the resident official pro. how long did it take you? and pat,after TWO surgeries! maybe this head trip is just another stage in my recovery? the mental as well as the physical. Ana, I do say that the spiritual part is doing well. so that probably negates this whole thought process. I'll get there when I get there, because God has me covered. and all of y'all are just amazing. no one has fallen apart after such physical trauma. having new heart parts is actually pretty cool. if only the recovery were a bit quicker. thanks for reading my ramble🦄
i had EKG yesterday. they called me today and said I was 100%good sinus rythym. I can STOP AMIODARONE! they reassured me that even though it has that 30 to 60 day half life, the gradual diminishing of it in my body will be the same as weaning. I asked if I need blood tests. apparently not. well I am relieved ,because I hated that scary drug, and that this means I AM progressing well in my recovery. AMEN!
ok,I have 5 months recovery,feel really well, morale is up, getting used to the new routine since there's only one of me. I'm getting projects started,some finished. BUT....i still find that I need to take breaks. my energy still has limits,so I measure what I'm planning on doing against can it wait til tomorrow, or can part of it get done today,then more tomorrow ( or so) like today. beautiful morning. I decided to spend an hour with my weed whacked. foiled by flooding. it sat while I replaced the line and WOULD NOT START. after messing with it, and almost started and ran( still a little flooded) I bagged it and took a nice shower and a Tylenol. yanking a pull rope on a recalcitrant machine is more work than the job it was to be used on. that comprised this day's energy budget. last year, I would let a machine rest,go do something else,finish another hour or two and be content. now, my arm is tired from yanking that pull rope. I'm taking time off to rest. yep, even after 5 months, I still need that all important REST. well, that part feels good.
I had my appointment with the cardiologist. only thing was, I couldn't figure out ZOOM. I have DUO on my android, but even tho I have the app all set up, I had a stupid attack. no sweat.. we talked on our phones. ( I don't have a computer or anything smarter than my android,which does everything,anyway.)
the good news: yes I passed my echo. doc said my heart is fine,my valves are all working right. oh good. I can't help comparing this to an automotive repair. valve job on vehicle is important. they burn out, get sprung, get carboned out. so you drive the newly repaired car for specified number of miles then take it to the mechanic( or technician,depending on its vintage) and get diagnostics run,to make sure the new valves are functioning right. anyway,, so I passed the echo. he wants me back next week for an EKG so he can dc the amiodarone. I'm not sure if he's gonna stick a holter on me or not. it's just that he seems extra vigilant about afib. even tho what I had was a typical post up occurrence. I had the cardioversion. but I'm tired of amiodarone. it makes me afraid that something horrible will happen when I go off it,even with the 2 month hanging on effect. was I in that bad shape when I got admitted to the ER and stayed a week before surgery?( none of that time is even in my memory .) I asked him about that week. he did look up the record and explained a lot of it. I think I almost died. apparently I was" on a machine" for a couple days? ventilator? was I comatose or just plain out of it? well, this does help explain why this doctor is being careful. it also explains why I'm still freaked out about the entire experience. I just finished 5 months. went thru traumatic stress, did a lot of heavy lifting,getting the house ready for what was supposed to John's homecoming. no pain,no swelling, no palpitations. New repair job worked like a champ. that's gotta be a good sign. I'll allow myself to get tired and take a good couch break. read a book. tomorrow's another day. actually,I'm sorta enjoying the lack of structure. as for worrying about having a holter. he said they're small and compact. last time I saw one it was big and bulky like a motorola handy talky. we'll see.
today is my man's birthday. he would have been 74. it's been a month since I lost him.almost 5 months post op for me. the last 2 months have been very weird for someone trying to heal up after major scary heart surgery, but so far so good. today was a beautiful day, no wildfire drift smoke clogging up the air. I decided to celebrate his birthday by picking up my chainsaw and cutting the dead apricot tree in the yard, and running the weed whacked in front, finally working on all the dead grass that I never could do before, while stove up from surgery. a combo of occupational therapy,DIY cardio rehab, and morale building. doing something he and I did together for so many years. chain saw music. I only worked an hour before my back was a little tired, but I feel so much better, and stronger. I could hear him in my mind telling me not to overdo. I'm marking the next 4 days until my Tele visit with my cardiologist. hope he thinks I'm well enough to get OFF the amiodarone. that will be my 5th month recovery. 🙏
just wondering how the smoke from the wildfires in California,Oregon and Washington are affecting those of you who live nearby. does recovery from heart valve surgery make us more vulnerable? I'm basically staying indoors, keeping tabs on the AQI readings. at the worst, it's aggravating my seasonal hayfever. the amount of crud in the air is more than any of us need to breathe. I'm even letting my dog and 2 cats stay in if they want. AC on recirculate/ fan mode helps a bunch. stay well y'all