my hub is in hospital. 2 nights ago had a stroke. I'm managing, talking to hospital people, and getting some rest after the emotional roller coaster ride. praying that he will be alright. no paralysis,good. confusion, well......he has other things going on but getting tested top to bottom.very competent,expert people caring for him. I admit to being stressed out so am resting, regrouping, praying. ironic that when I went down 3 1/2 months ago, he was holding me and calling 911. after he passed out in a soaking cold sweat, I called 911.
there's a message in this adventure story.he he went down because of total doctor avoidance, ignoring some symptoms that should have been addressed months ago. result...emergency ride in an ambulance. similar to what I, myself, did. ignored aortic stenosis, suddenly collapsing, he's holding me and calling 911. ironic.
ok, I go this coming Thursday the 13th for echo. I feel really well,my energy is up, my resting hr is down,O2 level consistently in 90s....but....i have this dread, this anxiety of " what if they find SOMETHING WRONG"? maybe I do TOO much research. echocardio abstracts, ejection fraction values, etc.... wtmi, I think. I already am ready to go to the clinic with complete biosafety in hand so should be relatively covid safe. I'll be glad that test is done. blood draw that morning should coincide with that echo so doc will have reading material.
virtual visit with my cardiologist. this man talks so fast I have to concentrate to keep up, and look for a pause to ask a question.we only did it on the phone. I visualized him using his 3g flip phone as I'd seen him on before. I had gotten messed up because the clinic had been trying to reach me on my husband's phone, while I had been trying to reach then on mine, which has the zoom app. finally, when my hub said, hey steph, the doctor people are wondering where you are. you better get a hold of them. oh boy...so, I called them on the other phone, got straightened, put that phone down, grabbed mine and waited for the Dr. to call. the meeting was ok.i let him know I would go for echo as scheduled next week, but the ultrasound will have to wait. I am still profoundly scared of the covid cootie and the less doctory places I go to the better for now. he wanted to see how my aortic aneurysm looked. I told him that I have absolute faith in my surgeon, Dr Chapman. all the repairs on my heart seem to be doing just fine. I feel stronger, better, and more encouraged about my progress. the highlight of the session was when I asked about riding my bike, and he said," yes, by all means"...yayyyy!another Tele meeting next month where I can hopefully get off the scary amiodarone, and he'll have the results of the echo, and labs. one last neat thing to report...i was able to get on my bike like a normal person, you know, left foot on pedal, coast a sec, swing right leg over, butt on saddle, start pedaling. oh yehhh. better... and another one and1/2 mile jaunt to get my cardio on. oh God that felt good...just keeping in the easy gears, one little 4/10 mi grade. so, old woman feelin better. you all be safe and well.
I just signed up to a really good bike forum that covers all aspects of bicycle stuff, the part I glommed onto is the 50+
forum, with sub forums for 65 to 85, and one dealing with health issues and riding. even some folks post ohs, describing their progress in building back strength, and knowing their limitations. this is a good adjunct to this site, giving me just that little extra to stoke my enthusiasm for regaining my health in a reasonable timeline, and the definite cardio vascular low impact exercise that is my favorite. jogging hurts my knees. I don't have a horse anymore. I need to get outdoors doing something fun. as I feel better, stronger, it will progress. I'll let y'all know what my cardio says this week during Tele visit. anyway, I just feel encouraged...by this forum, and my new bicycle forum. 😁
I rode my bike again, this morning. early and cool out. ahhh it felt so good. just a mile and a third, but it's a part of my new routine. this is about the 4th time on the bike, each ride a little easier.( except that one what made me feel weird. so forget any inclines for a while, level only) I'd love a fit bit but will settle for my spare finger thingy, and mindful breathing. this idea helps me redirect from home chores and projects, while loosening up my whole body. I see what they mean, though, about six months. I just know I'm lasting longer everyday. I feel well. that's encouraging, but I won't let that con me into "overdoing". so, all of you, get well, be safe.
six of one, half a dozen of the other....either way, I am still wondering if I will ever feel " normal". the tooth thing set me back. glad the antibiotic healed the infection, but it upsets my stomach. thank God for CHOBANI Greek yogurt and lemon ginger tea with probiotics. I am still questioning the amiodarone 200mg I. have to take every day. sure, it prevents rhythms, it also gives me anxiety about...if I go off it will I have afib or something equally spooky? I rode my bike around the block yesterday, did one and a half miles( rural community,long block) and felt weird after the slight uphill grade. maybe I'm still a little off because of the amoxy, and the tooth thing, or, I just don't have my mojo on yet. my pulse rate is going down more, 80s instead of 90s. my heart feels fine, I'm sleeping well, eating well. my tele visit with cardiologist is on the 4th August, soon. I am still freaked out about going into a clinic setting for an echo, tho I agree that it's a necessary follow up kinda test. meanwhile, I am trying to be patient. positive, relaxed, in tune with my body, accepting the fact that I am old(er) so even though I have been athletic, I have had a chunk taken out of my energy and my ego. the sayimg that everyone's recovery time is unique is true. so many variables. ...age,fitness level, extent of surgery, morale, the whole psychological factor.....well, you get what I mean. again, writing these thoughts in this journal helps. comparing notes on all this. I won't forget to count my Blessings
I just reread my journal from the start to the latest, all your comments . this really reinforced my confidence, allayed much of my anxiety. gaining perspective and vindication has helped. I can also see the progress I've made in the last 2 + months.
I still have bouts of anxiety and emotional upheavals but am learning gradually to navigate these issues. I think on July 28 I will hit the 3 month mark. I guess there's more to go, but there is progress. the tooth thing set me back some, taking all my energy to deal with it. and it WAS infected. scary concept, so I am joyfully taking 3 amoxicillin a day for this week( 7 days) and seeing the swelling and soreness recede....thank God. so, I shall throw in thoughts and observations about my particular recovery. I love bouncing stuff off y'all and getting such awesome feedback. so.....moving right along...life is good.( I see that saying every time I open my LG android phone and just now realized it works for me..)😎
I DID IT! yesterday I made it to my appointment at this really wonderful dentist clinic a good friend of mine turned me on to. it was amazing. the dentist is the daughter in law of the main dentist who owns the practice. she not only did a great job, pulling 3 front teeth that were getting infected ( I hated having to wait so long to get it done ) she prescribed a week of amoxicillin to clear the rest of the infection, besides that prophylactic 2000 mg yesterday. so, I am officially cured of my dentist extreme fear factor, and now I can continue healing my rebuilt heart. God what a difference in how I feel. so that's my big update. continuing to count my blessings and pray it forward to any of y'all that can use some extra Light and Love.......
my inquiring mind led me to look up the info on the card they gave me about my prosthetic aortic valve. wow! so it's a cow valve...moooo....from Edwards LLC. I saw their website. lots and lots of medical tech. of course that was easier to look up than the You Tube video showing an open heart surgery ...right down to the miniature ' sawzall'. eeeeg. and the wires.
oh my.... and reading about the heart bypass machine. it's a wonder people actually survive this operation. I about gave myself a case of WTMI.( way too much information.)
good. I have an appointment for this weds to. a really nice dental clinic recommended to me by my good friend. I think I can hang on til then, with my salt water, Listerine, clove oil , and judicious use of Tylenol.🙌
well, I need to find a dentist. the covid thing is here in nv. governor has shut down lots of businesses. I guess I better contact my cardiologist about invasive dental work before this gets critical. it's a broken front tooth on lower jaw. the problem is that I haven't gone to a dentist in ages. my top teeth are gone. some pulled, by dentist and some that were loose and fell out. my bottom teeth are bad. I have taken care of my teeth, brush, floss , healthy eating. much of the issue is a combination of phobia, limitations of medi medi, and just putting it off. now that I'm getting over emergency heart valve surgery( because I blew off an aortic stenosis/ aneurysm diagnosis,you'd think I would learn) I am worried about getting my teeth taken care of. I don't need any complications. prophylactic antibiotics are ok with me. I never take antibiotics, as a rule, so no bacterial resistance should happen. well, Monday I will call cardiologist for advice, and recommendation as to a dentist that will know what to do and can do it on my sleazy insurance.i should have the rest of the bottom teeth taken out. dentures? no clue. I hope I haven't grossed anybody out. thanks for being there for me to talk to.
I just spent a couple hours reading some of y'alls journals. my oh my, did it give me more insight. the common denominator is VALIDATION. so many things we have in common, regardless of the different procedures. recovery times, health anxiety, aches and pains, fatigue. well, I am really encouraged by these stories and insights. so, if I find myself wondering if it's the creeping olds or just a slow stage in my recovery, I can reflect on what you guys have shared.
does anybody here just ' lose it'? I have always been over sensitive, with hair trigger emotions. yesterday the cap came off a 1/2 gallon milk jug as I unloaded groceries and the whole thing dumped out. already tired, upset, and frustrated, I totally blew it when my hub mentioned my klutz factor. next thing I know, I was screaming at him. I don't know if I am worse since the OHS, or what. they say how emotions can go all over the place. well, I do cool out after a freak out, but it's just really hard to ' control my emotions' if he innocently kids around and hurts my feelings. I truly don't want to stress out, but it seems like anything sets me off. is it my imagination or will I eventually stop with the heightened sensitivity? other than that, I seem to be doing alright at 2 1/2 months out. walking my dog, got in a mile on the bike( in the cool morning, around the block) I am partly answering my own question. I used to deal with upsets and frustration by taking bike rides, and before he passed, riding my horse. the restricted activity now leaves me without an outlet. the dog, the bike still take more energy than I have right now. well, again, running this past y'all in this journal helps a lot.
one perk to being something of a shy introvert. I don't have a problem staying home and avoiding crowds. the masks are weird, but...oh.well. I can live with that. no need to take chances after having already nearly lost my life.
well, I have to remind myself that I am only 2 and a half months out. so, considering what I went through, I am feeling pretty well. run out of steam in the afternoon, enjoy a nap around noon.
what gets me is the HEAT. I never did heat that well, but now, it flattens me. get the do- ums done by 9 at the latest, than flop around , read umpteen books,wet shirt and a fan. ( walking swamp cooler) the heat in nv is dry and windy. no humidity.in the 90s and I just feel like I'm in a blow dryer. so, between laying low during the hot days, I am staying home, except to go to my neighborhood store, where I do all the "cootie" precautions. those trips into town for doctor visits were wearing me out, so I will be looking forward to Tele visits for a while. I have a really neat nurse who comes and checks me, draws blood as needed, listens to my anxieties. I know I am still relatively early in recovery and glad I have gotten this far. it's a very individual process, making it a psych out to compare other's recovery rates with mine. it's hard not to obsess on every little thing. health anxiety is exactly that..anxiety. also a normal process in the whole OHS community. so, I accept that the hot weather saps my energy, I do less, relax more, and feel blessed that I am healing. thanks, guys, for listening.
I just spent time reading Adam's free download about recovery, and the link about recovery stories. I read so much, I know more than I knew then. I'm glad I've worked through my dislocated time sense, my what happened and how did I get here. having just done 8 weeks, I am starting to see the light. I rode my bike yesterday to the mailbox(3 tenths mile with a slight grade the last tenth) I got to breathe heavy, and felt my legs, lowest gear. coming back was down hill coasting. wheee! this morning I got up, not even sore, so I said yesterday I did a bunch besides the bike experiment . today I rest, even if I'm not tired. just the minimal household do ums. I like the advice I've read about taking my time. handling expectations, and knowing that I am healing, little by little.
I just registered for virtual doctor visits, so I don't have to risk catching the plague by exposing myself unnecessarily to unseen germs. with all the resurgence of covid i am getting pretty paranoid about it. this allows me more control of my situation.
I'm so thankful for recovering well. again, it was a blessing to be in good condition, fit and feeling fine. fighting off the creeping olds with bike riding and heavy yard work. no wonder it was such a shock to wake up from extensive emergency open heart surgery just as they were pulling out the horrible endo trachael tube. I have no memory of the week in hospital before my surgery. that's how out of it I was. I mean starting my day riding 6 miles on bike and falling apart suddenly that afternoon. I am still in a state of suspended disbelief. but, having at least come to terms with my new reality , I AM healing, resting, gaining more energy. only problem is doctors. that fact keeps reminding me that I'm not whole, yet. and now, with an upsurge of covid( the COOTIE) I'm worried about too many clinic visits. my primary will do a video visit, but my cardio has me set up for an echocardiogram at the urgent care facility. can't do THAT on a video. so...i feel like staying home, not venturing out unless armed with cootie spray, mask, and vigilance. my cardio doc wants me to keep on amiodarone one more month. says the bad side effects are after 6 months and counting.oooo- kayy...since it's the only pill I take, I better shut up. he even approved of my co q 10, vit c and fish oil. well that's good. but this doctor is full of personality, but totally no nonsense. he does not bs me. reminding me that I am not young anymore. well, duh. I don't want to be psyched into feeling like I'm over the hill, but, good grief, I know I have lost much of my strength and condition, and it WILL take longer to get fit, than if I were, say, 40. I can accept that. but I need positive input to help my confidence.
thank y'all for all your good feedback, and putting up with my long handled journaling.
i plan to talk to doctors about getting off amarodione. it's too spooky to have something that stays in my system 2 months after stopping. my rhythm is fine, my heart feels fine, so, i will be looking into getting off this drug.
i think i am finding my balancing point between self discipline and self torture....instead of going at it until i drop, i am learning how to do stuff, rest, do stuff, rest. that and getting 8 to 10 hours sleep every night seems to be helping. I'm even calmer. not worn out or over did. there is hope for steph after all. i feel better, less frustrated.....call it a form of acceptance. accepting the reality of recovery from my kind of operation is a little more complex than getting over the flu. even the bruised ribs from that body plant i did last year...no comparison. soo....7 weeks coming up...not bad, considering. no pain, no funky swelling, do my stretches and breathing, limbering up good. vitals good. sternum seems knit. scar fading. i feel Blessed.
on this sunday, as i get ready for my virtual church service, i am grateful to all the prayers sent my way. now i want to pray it forward, to all of you in recovery, and in preparation for OHS. God bless.
I've neen thinking, after reading journals, and comments from y'all, that i am only working with half a guidebook. before i fell apart, mearly dying, going into emergency surgery, some 9 or 11 hours(?) i was going about my day, no cares, no worries. then, waking up from OHS. 6 days later. the first 5 dayys, i was so out of it i had no clue what was going on.( i slept through a colostomy,for God's sake )
most of you have had the joy of anticipation,apprehension,preparation. waking up knowing what was done to you, with a clear cut recovery plan.
i was 5 days in hodpital,had a cardioversion for afib, shuffled up and down the halls, let them take cate of me, graduated to wiping my own butt. i went home with the after care info, a recovery schedule, and floundered thru the first 2 weeks not knowing when to quit. exhausting myself , having setbacks. all just learning how to be a post OHS patient, not the wild ,horse lovin, bicycle ridin old ( young)woman i used to be. big comedown. feeling like crap one day, then feeling better the next, wondering when I'll be me. upside, scar going away, color good, vitals good. visiting rn a sweetheart. so...that's about it for now. thanks,again for listening.
this time i had an episode of double vision and vertigo. scared me. i had to close one eye to get to the couch, i was staggering all over. it came out of nowhere. not a stroke of any kind. no one sided paralysis, drooping, confusion. i could talk and think straight. just couldn't see straight. it went away in around 15 minutes. so, if this is another sign that i am overdoing, then I'll rest more and discuss it with my cardio peeps. it happened once before, my 2nd week home. again, i had a high enthusiasm low energy level. gee, i hope I'm not biring y'all with my whining. at this writing i feel fine. vitals all normal, then and now...so , um, i did read some commentary from archives on THIS forum that tells me this is NOT uncommon....hmmmm...
i told you i am not a professional patient. now i am struggling with nightime oxygen use. the huffing bumping machine and the long hose. ok, granted...night time as we sleep our o2 levels go down and create a need for supplemtation. good for healing the injured heart tissue and traumatised body. during the day, my readings are consistently in the 90s. when I'm asleep..well..I'm sleeping, not monitoring. so, they set me up with a sleep monitor oximeter device and downloaded some crazy readings to my cardio people. thought i was supposed to do the test on room air. the respiratory guy said i was supposed to do it on 2 litres. duh. so, the whacky readings caused them to want to up my input to 5L. i also tried to explain that during the night, the device kept turning off. wouldn't that cause some low readings?(75%???) go figure. so...my nurse prac set me up for another test on room air, hopefully with a properly functioning device. if my readings are low, i will be ok with night time O2. being a patient is being in an alternative universe.
so i got thru my setback the awful beta blocker and the intense action packed week full of people and clinic visits, i got so worn out and stressed i was useless until today( tues.) and that week which seemed so long was only 8 days ago.
today, i felt up enough to go to my family dollar where i was greeted like a long lost friend. i made my small purchases, shared my story, had fun,came home. my girlfriend drove me. then, i opened my mail. bad. 2 bills, ambulance and the admitting doctor in er.i covered most of my bills because my legal name change confused medicare, and they didn't accept the billing.( all because i got 'real i.d.' which put my legal court appointed name on my driver license. the ambulance used that when i went in, so i was admitted under that name, not my regular name I've used forever, which is on my medicare card.)
hence, the reason for my stress. after i finished talking to these people, i felt weird and light headed( spacey) i know stress is counter to healing and recovery from the massive heart surgery i experienced..one way i am coping with this stress/ anxiety attacks is journaling on this site. a kind of after the fact cope. I've calmed down. took my oximeter reading...normal..and the rest of today off. too much excitement. oh lordy, how to keep a stressful person like me calm. that is my challenge.
besides feeling cruddy, i have diahrrea. i squirted the bed, my jammies, and had to do an emergency laundry. grossed out and embarrassed. my hub saw it. ( cringe) i only have tsken 3 doses and won't take another unless the cardio people can come up with a solution. i am on amioderol200 which seems to be ok. i can get about an anti aryhthmatic,as i did have a cardio version in the hospital. my rythm was ok, just elevated. my blood pressure is normal. no pain, no swelling, just sore achy back, weak and tired. pulse rate was in upper 90s. now it's up to 120. i will bug the cardio people, if they ever return my call. i get the fact of good days and bad days. this is the worst. after i was doing so well, too.
thank you for putting up with my whining.
i was just presribed carvedilol 3.125mg. I'm taking amarodione 200mg. i started the carvedilol last night, took 2nd dose this morning, just now did 3rd. the amarodione is in the morning.
well, this last week was non stop people.plus 2 trips to cardio, one to my pa, and the one the next day for the followup to my surgeon.that is all the way in carson city, over an hour drive. ( i take the medical transport,which is neat.they contract with minden taxi)
so, at cardiology clinic, i got the scrip for the carvedilol. my heart rate has been high since the surgery. i argued about taking a beta blocker, as I'd had a bad experience once before, with metropolol. it gave me palpitations and general weirdness. the doctor who prescribed it nearly overdosed me, being caught by the pharmacist that was the total wrong dose and time release.i weaned myself off this over a month, no more palpitations.
so, i am struggling now with a pulse rate 120,erratic.and i am totally exhausted, sore and achy. no temp.
i called cardio people ,and they told me it takes a couple days for the body to adjust. ok,fine. i will be bugging them everytime i feel weird. although i think i overdid this last week.mental on top of physical. on the phone straightening a discrepancy about my name. step daughter and her hub cleaning out their storage in the garage. non stop action,started sunday. they are gone now. i am resting. no demands. took 5 naps, tylenol, and ate a bunch of greek yogurt, okra, chamomile tea. kinda lost my appetite.
this is such a major set back in my recovery. hope to feel better tomorrow.
i seem to have a tough time keeping myself from overdoing. the good part is i. am better. people say how i heal quickly...but it is hard to see things that need doing( laundry, cooking, watering my green house garden) and still take rest breaks. today i am tired, so will rest. i feel ok, though. that is my miracle.
well, I'm 76 yrs old going on 40. fighting the creeping olds, which are creeping faster since this scary near death cardiac event. having to budget my energy to maintain a modicum of household normalcy and hoping i can get back to where i can ride my bike, run a weed whacker, a shovel in my garden. at this point, i feel like I'm just kidding myself. hopefully i can write again regularly, chronicling my recovery, and the inspirations that have. helped.
i guess i wonder if and when I'll ever see normal, and what kind of normal to even expect. am i actually officially "OLD"? my body has been traumatized to such an extent that i truly wonder what to expect.
how long til i feel non tired..non wore out.i know, patience. i have a delightful home health rn. she's really knowledgeable, having worked cardiac previously. and what's neat is we have a lot in common , friends and horses. so she boosts my morale every visit.
nope. not my old 6.9 idi ford f250. my whole heart, suddenly broke down and off i went to carson tahoe for emergency surgery. everyone was so good to me. the surgeon is a master in his field. i am so blessed, i did not drop dead.
but, oh boy, i spent 9 hours, on bypass, heart totally repaired. aortic valve replaced, mitral valve repaired, aortic aneurysm patched.
it has been 3 weeks post op. i am an impatient patient. so of course i sored myself up by overdoing. now, i have a routine, tylenol at night, protein powder and good food. fruits, vegees, lots of chicken. my crock pot is a Godsend.
that's about all for now. i am 76, a bicycle rider,( until i collapsed) and a horsewoman.
i can use feedback from y'all, get my nose out of Google. i promise to take care, now, walk, breathe, stop the anxiety. and exercise my brain cells everyday. i think i have pump head syndrome. i totally messed up an online pickup grocery order because i forgot how to nav the site.
thank you for bearing with me.