Hi everyone, I have a question. It has been a little over five months since my heart valve surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. I was so fortunate to have such a positive experience. Especially since I had my aortic root, my aortic valve, the ascending aorta and the arch replaced. I had very manageable pain and no complication whatsoever except some pain with my teeth afterwards. The problem is over the past few weeks I have started to be very anxious. I don't know where it's coming from. I was in the best of spirits before this and now every day it seems to be a little worse. Can anyone else relate to this. I had expected that maybe I might get depressed right after surgery because that's not uncommon but I don't understand after all this time why I'm beginning to feel so bad. Anyone with a similar issue?
Anyone interested in a free incision shield shown on Adams web site. I bought one, didn't use it much. It cost $50. So I hate to see it go to waste. I'll mail it free to the first person to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well somehow I figured how to reset my password so I'm back online. I HATE passwords!
Anyway it's been a little over 8 weeks since surgery. On Monday I go back to Cleveland for a checkup. Feeling pretty good although my right breast area getsI a little numb and sore at times, especially when I get tired at the end of the day. Trying Ambien for sleep. It did work last night but I don't want to get where I depend on it. Had an irregular heartbeat during cardio rehab on Wed. So my NJ cardiologist wants me to wear a monitor next week at my next rehab session and for 24h hours.
Hope nothing is going on. Recovery has been been going amazingly well so far! Want to keep it that way!
Hope everyone enjoyed their 4th of July!
Yesterday was three weeks post op. Feeling good. Visual problems pretty much gone. Walking more steady as a result. Today is my last visit by the visiting nurse and the physical therapist. I'm going to miss their visits. I was reading journals about runners/ walkers and am reminded to keep moving. One thing I can't seem to do is get a good nights sleep. I keep waking at 3 am and coming downstairs to watch tv. Which in turn makes me tired and lazy during the day. Want to be sure to develop healthy habits and going forward be the best I can be.
Things regarding the surgery are going well. Vitals are great and I'm increasing the distance I walk each day. One thing that isn't so good is my vision and my equilibrium. I need a walking stick to balance myself. This morning my right and left eye were focusing separately or at least that's how it seemed. Happened again a second time today. I continue to get visual auras every day that lasts about 15 minutes. Anyone have similar things going on? I am 17 days post surgery. I was told in the hospital that they saw a small brain aneurism that will need to be dealt with after I recover. May be nothing to worry about. Be nice to hear others have had visual problems that subsided on their own.
Just got to use my new toy for the first time this morning! The therapist left this gadget that at a specific time each day it tells me to get on this scale, put on a blood pressure monitor and takes my pressure, my pulse rate and oxygen level then transmits the data all electronically to the visiting nurses. How cool is that! My mother would be amazed if she were alive today. She died unexpectedly from a heart attack 36years ago at the age of 58 ( who knows maybe from a aortic rupture ) science is amazing!
Two weeks today. Physical therapist came for the first time today and she feels I am coming along so well I probably will not need many sessions. Now to get myself to do those daily exercises! Today will be my first visit to my NJ cardiologist to check how things are going - blood, EKG, chest ex-ray. I've been very fortunate so far in that my oxygen rate, my blood pressure, water loss are perfect! No a fib or fast heart rate. My daughter is down from Vermont for a few days so my husband can have some time off. Her husband and his family run a 6 generation dairy farm in Richmond so now I feel I " am one with the cows!" (I got a cow valve). Oh, and yes I have been cleared for solo stair climbing.
Felling really rested this morning. Finally got some decent sleep with my CPAP machine. My tooth calmed down with the help of a numbing agent. I was able to get pretty close to sleeping on my stomach. There's hope fellow stomach sleepers! The thing is I am not sure that's ok. You leave the hospital with information on what you should avoid doing like lifting more than 10 lbs. but I am not sure when I can resume some activities. Am I supposed to use my walker all the time so I don't fall? Can I go up and down the stairs more than once a day now? I feel I can do the stairs alone. My husband feels he should help me so I don't fall.
The physical therapist comes today for the first time, I guess I should direct my questions to her.
Have a good day fellow healers and information seekers!
Well the doctor on call at the Cleveland clinic said I have to have the tooth problem addressed if it is preventing me from using my CPAP even if that requires dental work or tooth extraction and all the risks associated with it. Never get ill on a holiday. It can be life threatening to stop using the machine with the current status of my heart. I guess things were going too well for in terms of the surgery!
Well actually they all have been good days except for the little things. Still having lots of pain in my tooth when ever food goes near it. And now even cool air and CPAP air sends me into about 20 seconds of shooting pain. So no more CPAP till I figure this out, sure that's not good for my heart right now ( my latest test shows I wake at at rate of 70 times an hour) went to the dentist and he says there is nothing wrong with the tooth. Could it be referred pain? Going to call the Cleveland clinic today and see of hey can offer an advice. Got to get back on that CPAP. Otherwise had a great day yesterday. Walked my 700' driveway up an down several times yesterday. The weather was perfect. The flowers are in bloom. Have to get some hummingbired food so I can watch them eat. Slept pretty good last night. Although i woke two hours after I went to sleep I managed to get back to sleep a few hours later. Home health care worker stopped by and she can't believe I had heart surgery 10 days ago. Don't you just love when someone says that? PT person is coming tomorrow to presents some new challenges I suppose. Have a good day everyone!!
Hi everyone, can't seem to sleep past 3 am then I sit up reading everyone's journal. Tried to cut out the extended naps I was taking but that does not seem to have made a difference. Today is day 4 home from the hospital. The hospital arranged for a visiting nurse to come to the house, maybe she can suggest how to handle that. Melatonin never worked in the past, maybe it will now if I get the ok to try it. Actually Unisom, over the counter always worked in the past. I started using it so I could fall asleep with my CPAP mask. I never took any heart meds before but I came home with 12. My husband the drill sergeant, had to make a spread sheet for me. I am told they are all temporary. I don't want to mix rx meds with OTC just yet.
Didn't sleep well had a knot in my back and could not get comfortable. Had my first home shower this morning, that was work! Washing my hair was an event in itself . Off on my first excursion to the GP to have the drain stitches taken out.
Can't believe this but I get an excruciating pain in a tooth whenever anything touches it. I see stars.i think it may be the nerve on that side. It really hurts for about 5 seconds called my dentist but he said he never heard of such a thing. Anyone else experience this? It's worse than any pain I have had so far
Anne you asked about my valve, I got a median sternotomy, aoretic valve replacement with a 25- mm Carpentier-Edwards bioprosthesis ascending and total arch repair with a 26 mm Dacron graft with seperate rein plantation of
bilateral carotid arteries with a12mm graft, hypothermic circulatory arrest with selective ante grade brain perfusion, ligation of the left atrial appendage, resection of some valvular membrane.
Try to say that fast 3xs
I ordered the chest shield to protect my wound but I am rather surprised that it connects with this scratchy velcro that rests right at the sIte where the IV was placed in the neck. A gentle snap would have worked better for me. Almost time for the respiratory (?) therapist to get me working this morning!
Slept in my own bed last night. Occytodone makes a big difference. But low and behold it's 5 am and it's just me and my cat. Joe is exhausted about all that worrying and driving. We did stop every 1 1/2 hours. Now to figure out how to farm out all those meds you have to take for a while.
Can't wait for joe to wake up so I can have a cup of coffee and we can get me downstairs!
It's 5 AM and we'll be headed home today. Hope it's in the morning. My husband is a nervous wreck about the drive home. He wants to go right thru ( 8 hours) because he's worried about dirty hotels. Of course we'll stop every hour along the way, we'll see I am doing very good pain wise an I don 't want to upset that balance. we rented a luxury car, a Cadillac. I have been sleeping very well at the hospital except when they wake me, but then I fall right back to sleep.hopefully I will be able to sleep in the car. Things are getting stiffer in my chess though.
I am a little disappointed with the step down unit here at the Cleveland Clinic not with the nurses but with the PCT's (?) the hospital is so impressive but these folks that help you to the bathroom are slow . I rang the bell 20 minutes ago and no one came so I just got out of bed and went myself. When they give you lasics, makes you have to go in a hurry. At some point someone just turned my call bell off. I know hospitals are very concerned with falls.
Got a little behind on the pain meds won't do that again!
Still having migraine auras quite a bit. Things just keep hoping around in my visual field. But all in all this is not nearly as bad as I expected it to be.
Well not running, but trying to walk. I stated hallucinating from the pain pump so they took me off. It helped a lot. Looking for something else that's not narcotic, so I am uncomfortable right now but I'm ok if I stay still. Surgery went well but they had to replace the aortic valve, nothing to the mitral valve and up to the arch of the ascending aorta. But I'm doing and well. Dr Roselli said I was very strong, very healthy and had strong blood whatever that means. Woke up and the tube was out was out, but my throat is sore. Chlorastic for that problem. Waited along time for surgery. Supposed to go at 10 but got up to pre-surgery at 1:00
This is Suzanne's daughter, Alison. She asked me to post to let you know she is in the OR. We are grateful to the Cleveland Clinic for the outstanding care so far and are looking forward to her coming through the surgery stronger and healthier. Looking forward to posting good news here in a few hours after the surgery is complete. Thanks to all those who have supported her on this forum. I know it has meant a lot to her. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Well the day has arrived. I am scheduled for 10 am this morning. At first I was disappointed not being first but it sure is nice to take my time this morning to get ready. I even slept for 7hours I was so exhausted from all I had to take in yesterday. I'll be so hungry when I finally wake up that anything will be welcomed. Glad to hear that Dr Roselli is going to try to save my aoretic valve. Have to have the ascendiing aorta and root replaced too.
ADAM I was so touched and surprised when Dr. Roselli showed me the text you sent him on my behalf. You'll never know how much I appreciate that. A big THANKS for that, he told us the story about you two going to school together and meeting up later. Talk to you later everyone. Thanks so much for all the prayers and well wishes and helpful information. Wouldn't be feeling so good without all of you!
Sitting in the rooftop lounge at the Cleveland Clinic waiting on a 12:30 app't to meet with my surgeon. Dr. Roselli for the first time. All the pre-ops are done- no blockages. So that's a relief. Haven't started to panic yet but when they start explaining everything to me this afternoon I hope I don't have a meltdown. I've done all I can. This is an amazing hospital and I have complete faith in my cardiologist and surgeon. I've done all I can, the rest is up to God. So many people praying for me that if I don't make it thru I'm sure to have an express pass to heaven!!! Thanks everyone!
Well reality is setting in now! I'm getting anxious about what's ahead. I think I'm most afraid about being put back together with wire after surgery. I imagine myself feeling and seeing the wires on my chest wall forever! Everything else is passing, the pain, the fatigue, the intubation, the recovery in general. Time passes quickly especially, it seems, as you get older. Waited too long to make hotel reservations in Cleveland. There are conventions going on, so the clinic rates and the rooms as well are not available. How to rent a comfortable car for the 8 hour drive home, when you're in another state, weighs on my mind. I guess it all these things fall into
place if you just put one foot in front of the other and move forward. Have to work on my advanced directives today - just love the question "do you want to be embalmed (if you die). You can tell I'm feeling down today but friends are taking me to lunch today, so that will cheer me up. By the way, Does it bother anyone else when people say "Oh you'll be just fine, don't worry"?
How can anyone know that? All that really does is end the conversation!
Just about 20 days till my surgery on May 15th. I was just sitting here feeling so thankful for so many things despite my upcoming surgery. First of all I am so appreciative to Adam for this web site. What a gift to all of us! Thank you Adam! I feel so uplifted by all the prayers and well wishes I receive on this site and in my person encounters with friends, family members as well as strangers. I am so fortunate to be able to go to the Cleveland Clinic for heart repair surgery. And to find such a wonderful cardiologist, Dr. William Stewart, who spent so much time with my husband and I explaining what is wrong and why I should get this done. The days are getting nicer and yes I am grateful to be having this surgery in the Spring because I'll have beautiful weather while recovering and taking my walks watching as everything comes into bloom. I'm a cancer survivor and I hope soon to be a heart surgery survivor and I'm grateful for every day that is given to me in this life!
I thought I saw somewhere that a visiting nurse comes to the home when you return home from surgery. Is that true? I am wondering about wound care at home. My family members are pretty squeamish and I'm not sure I'll be able to do it myself. Is this up to the patient or a requirement? How is it arranged?
Got some really good information from some kind folks. Going out to investigate cars and recliners and pillows today. Have to keep busy so I don't have too much time
To think about the possibilities. Had a great Easter with family yesterday and the sun is shinning brightly today! I am so grateful to be having this done in the spring!
Trying to think of everything to do before surgery. Will I be able to go up stairs, or should I plan to stay on the main floor for sleeping. I have never been able to sleep in a recliner, has anyone rented a hospital bed?
The idea of having my broken ribs wired together and then having staples to close the wound terrifies me. Is it as bad as it sounds?
Decided to get a second opinion on my aortic and mitral valve regurgitation issues and I chose to go to the Cleveland Clinic in early April. Turns out I also have a dilated ascending aorta that needs attention and the cardiologist recommends I do it soon. Really liked Dr. William Stewart and the Clinic facilities. Dr. Eric Roselli will be my surgeon on May15th. So many people on this site say they interview several surgeons before they pick one. I won't be doing that. A friend's brother had Dr. Roselli as his surgeon and can only say wonderful things about him so I believe I will be in good hands. I haven't met him yet but I did view his video on the Cleveland Clinic website.
Oddly enough I am not that nervous, at least not yet. Seems like there is so much to do. I would love to hear from patients who drove home from their hospital stay. I refuse to fly after surgery so we have an eight hour drive home which we plan to do in two days. I hear about so many folks who have had issues and had to return to the hospital and I am not going to have that option once I get home. Any thoughts? We are going to rent a luxury car with excellent suspension for the ride home. I don't want to feel any bumps!
I saw a list of 25 things to do/bring to the hospital on Adam's site (I forget the woman's name who posted it recently) and that was very helpful. Any other good tips out there?
Any good hotel recommendations. We stayed in the International connected to the Clinic and it was wonderful, but it cost almost $600. for two nights. I was told I would have to stay in Cleveland a day or two after discharge. Wondering how difficult it will be to sleep in a hotel bed.
Once Easter is over ( having 20 for dinner tomorrow) and I take care of some other appointments, I guess reality will set in and then who knows how I'll feel. Panic maybe!