Monday marked 2 months since surgery. I did the most stuff in a day in a long while. I even went grocery shopping which pre surgery would finish me off for the day as I would be wiped out mentally for the day. However despite going shopping I was up until midnight and was able to enjoy an irish brew. It felt so good and it was my best day since my stroke and I can only hope it is a preview of things to come!!
Today I saw my regular cardiologist to follow up on surgery. Overall got a great report from him, along with some of his usual political banter about the healthcare system. He said ,]my lungs are totally clear and sound fine, also my heart sounds perfect. Also said my new valve is a big f*****. I love my doc. It appears I am out of the danger zone although my blood pressure was a little low but nothing to be concerned about. I see my surgeon tomorrow for my one month follow up.
Now i just have to get an echo done every five years to monitor things. All in all I have a normal/healthy heart. I am working on getting going with cardiac rehab.
I am doing more this week and it gets to be a struggle as I tire easily. My spirometer breathing is up to 3000 and the goal is 2500 one month out.
I look forward to getting back to my regular routine/life.
Thanks to everyone for all the support and wisdom as I have needed all of it this last month.
Another day in recovery. Sore chest, low energy and first day back to normal responsibilities. Would love feedback from fellow hvj family. Not sure how long sternum soreness will last. Stlii have not much apetite or cravings for regular foods, bowel movements not normal yet. Not sure if I am being to impatient with recovery or if I am just where I should be at this phase.
Enough of my problems. Had a nice Birthday yesterday. Looking forward to retuning to a normal lifestyle as had prior to surgery.
Also a big Thank You to my wife Taire, daughters Kaitlyn Raechel and Sarah. They have been awesome taking care of me the last couple weeks. No way I could ever thank them. Also, my fellow patients here on the website Thank you for your support and prayers the information has been priceless.
Today marks one week since I was discharged from the hospital. I met with the nurse in the office. Took vitals and went through a bunch of questions. Come to find out I am right where I should be. After being discharged from the hospital so quick I think I was thinking all of recovery would be just as fast.
Reality check today. Looking at a 2-3 month process to fully recover. I am going to need some patience to get through this, it is a marathon rather than a sprint. I do have some sterna; pain and sleeping in bed is going much better than I would have guessed. Taire is doing a great job as my at home nurse. The girls are also being great helpers. Thank you to all who are bringing meals it has been a great luxury for us.
After being told at 9am I was being discharged we pulled out at 2pm. Talk about fast discharge. It is very nice to be home and the recovery work begins. The first night was pretty comfortable, I actually slept in my bed as we managed to get me propped up that was comfortable, only got 5 hours sleep but at this point 5 hours is great. Woke up sore and stiff and today my back was sore. On my chest it is sore but not really painfull.
I am very humbled by all the support I have received and god certainly answered a lot of prayers. God is so good, and if you don't have a personal relationship with him you need to start one.
I will post soon my account of surgery in the coming days.
This morning Steve was a little out of sorts. He was worried nervous and just confused. We have seen an increase of his previous stroke symptoms as we were told we might, but I guess it just never really hit me that it would be like it is.
Steve still is struggling to breath some, but they have dropped his oxygen down to 1.5 liters and his levels stayed up into the high 90's.
Today there were two P.A's from the surgeons office that came and took out the external pacemaker. He is now free from all tubes and wires except for his oxygen and his heart monitor. They were optimistic about him heading home in the next couple of days.
He just finished with a shower. He's exhausted from that and ready for a nap, but he feels clean at least. He says that he feels good being clean, in a clean bed, the pillows are perfect and he's ready for a nap.
Steve has had a hard time getting sleep. He is super tired, but can't seem to get to sleep for any long period of time.
He continues to do well per the doctors. They told us this morning that he is doing so well so fast due to his young age. There aren't many 45 year olds having this surgery.
Steve had his second chest tube removed an hour ago. He did amazing. He said it didn't even hurt. He is now left with one IV for his insulin drip, a pace maker that is outside the body and a pain pump that helps with the area around the ribs.
They are going to get him up and moving today. He is a little worried about this as he has such a hard time breathing. He is a trooper and continues to do so well.
This morning I was woken up by a phone call from the hospital. The person on the other end just said, "Hi,". I didn't recognize the voice at first, but then it dawned on me that it was my husband! He was off the vent and sitting up in a chair. At 3:00, less than 24 hours after his surgery he was moved out of icu and into a regular room. He has all but one chest tube out and only one IV line. He is an amazingly sting person! He is in a lot of pain and has some more of his left side weakness showing, but overall he is doing super.
I give God all the praise and glory for such a smooth surgery and his quicker than normal move up to the regular room. Thank you for all of the prayers. Please continue to pray for a continued speedy recovery.
As Steve noted we spent the afternoon doing a lot of the pre-op things. It was very strange knowing that tomorrow is the day. While I have found peace it does not come without struggle. I find myself having similar feelings as I did when Steve had his first stroke. A sense of loss of everything I knew as well as a loss of the control I thought I had. Through Christ I find peace much easier this time.
For those of you who are caregivers know, the work is about to get much more intense from here on out. I have to say that the amount of wonderful amazing and loving people that have signed up to help with food, children transportation and just being with me when I need someone, has simply blown my mind. I feel like a community of many have come towards me with arms open wide and love in their eyes
I don't know what tomorrow brings for my family, but I do know that we are surrounded by people that love us and will help us as we travel this journey.
Surgery is set for sometime around 11ish tomorrow. We are meeting for a time of prayer at 9:30 on the second floor of St. V's I the cardiac waiting room if you are available to join us. If not then I would ask that you pray with us at that time. Steve and I will be heading back at 10 to get home settled and ready to fight the fight.
Love to you all and thank you just does t seem enough.
Made it through all my pre-op tests today and its seems to be a go! Beingin the hospital going through test made everything a lot more real. The day of surgery is finally here. Get a good nights sleep and be at the hospital by 9:30am.
I feel good about and I am ready to start recovery so I can get on with my life.
Thanks to everyone for the guestbook posts today they are nice to read.
Had a very good day yesterday! My wife pampered me with a haircut, pedicure and lunch. Plus the whole family went out for a great dinner. Capped the night off with some great prayer time with our Life Group. To cap iy all off finished the day watching Duck Dynasty and had ythe jpy of placing a sepository which has done nothing other than cause some nice burning at the back door but no poo.
Getting ready to head out for a doctor appointment with the diabetes doc and then over to the hospital for a bunch of pre-op tests.
Finally want to give a shout out to all the others here on the journal, you have made the waiting and prep much easier and for that I am grateful. Prayers and thoughts are going out to all my fellow heart valve surgery brothers and sisters.
One last shout out to Jesus as he has seen me through so much in my life and I trust him to bring me through this.
I can't believe the week of surgery is here. Tonight I am getting bored and I am ready to get this going already. Members of our prayer team prayed for me today which was comforting as I truly believe in the power of prayer. I am confident all will go good.
I would ask for prayers for my wife Taire. She is getting nervous about things and stressing over small details that are in place for the girls for the coming weekend. I know she will get more anxious as Friday gets closer.
A week of preparation lies ahead and I am ready to knock it out and let Dr. Swanson work his magic.
My best goes out to all my fellow HVJ friends and Rachel my prayers are coming your way.
Just got home from the appointment with the Neurologist. Got a good report as he says my risk of stroke is no different than it is for someone who has never had a stroke. He thought I could see some left side weakness which should be short term. So we are all set for surgery and Taire (my wife) is much relieved now and ready to get this behind us.
Surgery is fast approaching and while I don't feel anxious my body is telling me otherwise. I find that I have become less patient and irritated by silly little things. The left side of my body still affected from my stroke seems to be getting worse as I am dragging my left foot more and find my left in a fist and curled up often.
At church we are doing our annual 21 day fast to kick off the new year and in church on Sunday I realized something great about fasting. Fasting causes us to deny self and rely upon God more. It is great timing as this whole surgery is out of my hands. I trust God to bring me through this no matter what happens as I know he will take care of me.
I have an appointment with my Neurologist today to discuss wether I have any increased risk of stroke during surgery as I have had a stroke before.
Thanks to all who write on my guestbook as it nice to hear the encouraging words. I am so thankful for this website as it has been a great source of learning, support and friendship.
I got two calls from my surgeons office about medication instructions preceding my surgery. It makes surgery much more real as it is only 2 weeks away. It amps up the anticipation a lot. However things are out of my hanfs from here on out. One of my goals this year is to free my mind of worries as most of them never happen. I am sure the next couple weeks will go by fast and I will be in recovery before I know it.
Thank You to everyone for the positive words and prayers. It means a lot to me.
Well the waiting game continues. Yesterday was three weeks until surgery day. I am feeling calm and confident at this point but I have been fighting a cold that started Christmas Day. It is definitely better today. I want to stay healthy from here on out.
I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and have a safe New Year. This coming year looks to be interesting with the surgery and all. Many thanks to all who have signed my guestbook, it is nice to get messages on there. It was great to get one from my Raechel who is such a sweet young lady! Thanks for taking the time to read.
As of today it is only 30 days until Surgery. As I fill my pill case with my new pre-surgery meds it starts to seem more real to me. I have been feeling confident for my surgery but today I am feeling a little nervous. I know the next 30 days will go by fast. I just hope and pray that I come out of surgery better than I am going in. For now I just have to keep pushing on.
I am really looking forward to spending the coming holiday with family and friends
My prayers and thoughts go out to Rachel and my fellow brothers and sisters facing surgery.
Well after a great Thanksgiving I feeling thankful for my surgery. Thanks to others on the Heart Valve Journals I follow I am focusing more on the Healthier me. I know recovery will be challenging but lately I havre been focusing on how I will feel once recovered next summer and fall! The surgery is just a step to go through to get there. I have been going to pt for my plantar fasciitis. it is feeling much better which is good as I am supposed to be walking which my foor was preventing me from doing.
Thanks to all and I wish you all a very merry Christmas. Remember the reason for the season.
I had lunch with a buddy of mine I have known for about 20 years, and his family is one of the greatest, kindest family I know. After lunch we returned to the shop and his dad was there. Chuck had bypass surgery fifteen with the doctor who is doing my surgery. He told the heart pillow they give you is a life saver however corny it may seem. He then gave me this great advice for after surgery. Just don't sneeze, laugh, burp, or far because it hurts like hell. I will make sure to remember this great advice. I am worried it might be hard to follow as I fart a lot. no beans to eat for the first 4 weeks.
For those keeping track The day is 62 days, 20hours, 14minutes away. Thank you for all your support and prayers, I NEED them all.
I have my surgery date, January 17, 2014 in the morning so it is really happening now. I have found that looking on the Internet for information is not the best thing to do as it gives you things to worry about.
However I kust have to remember that God has brought me through so much that this is just another event to get through. I believ I am still on earth for a reason as not everyone survives a major stroke like i had. I just know there is something God has for me to do still and I look foward to seeing what it is.
Well this week I got my recliner/power lift chair to help with getting up. It will be my chair/bed for the first days at home. We found it at a resale store so we saved a lot of money. The days are ticking by and I really don't think about the surgery too much. Although when I get tired during the day I look forward to being recovered from the surgery and feeling better.
I hope better is really much better than I feel day to day now.