It's hard to believe a year has passed since my surgery. I am doing well and continue to feel such immense gratitude.
Thank you, Adam, for using your experience to help so many others facing heart valve surgery. God bless you and your family for what must be countless hours spent on such a wonderful mission. Your book and this website were truly blessings for me.
Thank you to this amazing community. Not only being able to find such valuable firsthand information here, but there's just something about knowing you're not the only one going through this that makes it a little easier.
Thank you, Dr. Kevin Accola, your super team, and Florida Hospital Orlando for the very best care I could have asked for. You all hold a very special place in my heart.
Thank you to my precious family and friends for being there for me in ways I never imagined I would need for you to be. I have truly been blessed to have each of you in my life.
Most of all, Thank You to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It is by Your grace that I not only have this life on earth, but also an eternal life in heaven to look forward to. You answered my prayer for peace and courage as I faced this surgery. You guided my surgeon's hands to fix my heart and provided all I needed to recover. Psalm 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.".
I pray for all those still waiting for their surgeries and for those in recovery to experience the same great healing I've experienced. If I can help anyone by answering any questions or sharing anything I've learned along this path, I will be happy to do so. God bless you all.
Today marks 9 months post-op for me and I am so very grateful for my new tissue ( bovine) aortic valve! We just got back last night from a mountain hiking trip in Tennessee with some friends. It's difficult to put into words how happy I am to know I can still participate in our favorite vacation activity! The day hikes we did were short with not much elevation gain (5 miles round-trip each day with around 600 feet elevation gain) compared to pre-op hikes of 13+ mile round-trip hikes with 3000+ feet elevation gains. But I'm so encouraged that I'll be able to get back to my pre-op ability soon. I think I could have done a longer one this time, but my protective husband and friends were apprehensive about it this soon. Hopefully next year, God willing. Prayers and best wishes for those waiting for surgeries and those recovering. There is a great life waiting for you post-op! God bless you all! Psalms 28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.".
I was looking through some pre-op papers and ran across a card my dear sister gave me shortly after I found out I would have to have OHS. I posted about it at that time, but wanted to share it again.
Originally posted: October 15, 2014
My sweet sister gave me a card that has on the front:
"Good morning, this is God..."
and on the inside it says:
"...I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day.".
There is so much truth in that cute card. We are so blessed to be able to give it all to our Lord. Encouragement such as "Put your trust in the Lord" or other similar things we say as Christians are in no way cliche. I believe in those words with all my heart. I know what God can do. I've seen it not only in my life, but in the lives of many. There is no better place to put our trust than in the hands of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God bless us all.
Question about periodontal work before heart surgery
Journal posted on July 17, 2015
A fellow heart valve patient asked me to ask the community if anyone has any experiences with having periodontal work prior to their heart surgery. He asked me to ask because he doesn't have his own journal. He is expecting to have his surgery around the end of August, but just found out he has some bone loss under one tooth and needs laser surgery to correct it in order to prevent further bone loss as well as bacteria build up. He said his cardiologist is on the fence about him having this done now. He said he would appreciate anyone sharing their experiences with this either prior to or after their heart surgery. Thanks!
I want thank all of you for your prayers for my friend who received his second liver transplant on May 13th. Tomorrow will be two months since his surgery and I'm thrilled to report he is doing great! He was back to church today and though still weak, is showing continued progress. We are so very thankful to our awesome God for his healing! He and I both, as well as so many of you, have tremendous testimonies to share of what it means to place your trust in the Lord. There is no greater peace than the peace of knowing that when facing a life threatening situation that you will be okay no matter the outcome. Only God can give us this gift of assurance. So don't ever be afraid to share this truth with others facing fears. It is the greatest gift we can give as Christians. God bless y'all!
Question for post-op members: What were your numbers after aortic valve replacement (valve area and mean gradient)? My cardiologist said everything looks good and I don't have to come back until December. My report says my valve area is 1.62cm2 and mean gradient is 16 mmHg. My pre-op numbers were valve area 0.39cm2 and mean gradient 82mmHg. I'm just wondering if these post-op numbers sound typical for 6 months out. I'm feeling good still and so thankful this problem was found in time to be fixed. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone having their surgeries soon and all those still recovering. This site has been a prayer answered for me! Thank you Adam!! Thank you all for being so supportive and kind also! God bless y'all!
I'm asking for prayers for a friend of mine. I've known him all my life, we went to school together, and our families have been members of the same church for the past 25 years. I even taught his two youngest daughters in Sunday School when they were in elementary school. They're in high school now. A little over six months ago, he and his family were reassuring my family and me that I was going to be okay regarding my heart surgery. Little did we know that he was about to face a major health problem too. He is a physical therapist and years ago during his medical training was exposed to Hepatitis B. He has been monitored for years for it and has always been the picture of health. But a little over a month ago, his health started failing. His liver was being attacked by the virus and for the past month he has been hospitalized while waiting for a donor match for a transplant. He received a donor liver this past Saturday, but by Monday it was clear his body was rejecting it and he would need another asap. We saw him Tuesday and even though he's so very ill, he had a huge smile on his face when we told him about so many people praying for him. When we left the hospital Tuesday afternoon, his family was waiting on news of another possible donor liver that was being considered by his medical team. Well, the liver was a match and he had his second transplant surgery yesterday morning! So far, his doctors are very pleased with the results! We are so thankful to Father God and want to ask for prayers not only for our friend, but also for the donor families who made a lifesaving gift while grieving the loss of their loved ones. God bless these families!
Okay, it's been 3 months today since my surgery and I'm still doing really good. I had my bicuspid aortic valve replaced with a bovine tissue valve. I also had an aortic root enlargement with a Dacron patch. I found my wonderful surgeon, Dr. Kevin Accola, thanks to Adam's book and this site.
I'm feeling almost back to normal with just a little soreness in my chest and a little tiredness after a busy day. But, the great thing is not having the pre-op symptoms (severe shortness of breath, heaviness in my chest, etc.)! For those still waiting for surgery, it is so worth it!
Thank you all for being here! It means so much to be able to communicate with people going on this journey!
Well it's been seven weeks now since my life was changed forever. I don't believe anyone goes through open heart surgery and isn't changed in some way. My love for family, friends, and life in general has been magnified!
I'm feeling really good. I haven't had any pain in a long time, only a little soreness in my chest at times. It's hard to believe it's only been 7 weeks since my heart was operated on and I'm able to do so much. Not everything, but a lot.
I have so much to be thankful for and will try to remember this feeling as time passes on. I don't want to forget to be appreciative for every day I'm given. I want to remember to have more patience and understanding. I want to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. These things I ask my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to help me to remember.
I'm so thankful to all of you in this community for your kindness. I hope you all continue to progress in your recoveries and for those still waiting for surgeries I pray for much success!
I wish you all a very Merry CHRISTmas!!!
I just got back from my first visit with my cardiologist since surgery three weeks ago. He said everything looks and sounds great! He was impressed with my very small incision ( 3 inches ). He said my surgeon did very nice work and that was one advantage to going with someone who does a lot of these types of surgeries. He said once I finish the meds. I came home with I won't have to be on anything except for a baby aspirin for 6 months and then I can stop that too. I don't have to see him again until May. I'll have an echo done at that time and then just once a year after that. I am so thankful for all of my many blessings and this community of heart valve patients is included in those blessings! Happy Early Thanksgiving!!
I thought I would finally write about my actual surgery experience. Maybe it will help someone who's still waiting like others helped me.
Okay, on Oct. 30th I had to be at the hospital for pre-op tests. In all it took about 4 hours. I had blood tests, vitals, x-rays, nostril swab(ouch), pre-op education. We finished around 6:00 pm and met the rest of our family at the hotel. After a short rest, we all went to dinner together. I had to take a shower with special soap that night and the next morning. I didn't get much sleep, but I didn't worry about it because I knew I was about to get plenty of rest. I was suppose to be at the hospital at 5:30 am for my surgery at 7:15am. The hospital sent a shuttle to our hotel at 5:15am to take our entire family(8) to the hospital. I was in a strange way happy and excited. I had prayed for peace and courage and Father God gave it to me. I had been writing favorite scriptures in a journal to take to Orlando. On the eve of surgery I read the entire journal and selected one scripture to write on a piece of paper to take to the hospital. This is the one I chose: "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee." Isaiah 41:13
We got to the hospital and went to the pre-op check-in. I was the first one scheduled, so it was only a minute and they called me back. I changed into my gown and socks. I gave all my clothes and my glasses to my husband and after reading my scripture one more time, I gave that to him too. Now it was time to go to another room, but this time without my family. They said once they got me ready they would let my family come and see me once more. The second room was where they would prep me. All of my doctors came in one by one to see me as well as some nurses. One nurse put the IV in my wrist and the anesthesiologist came in and said he was going to give me something to help me relax and that my family could come in once more. I don't remember anything after this point. My family said they came in and I was in and out. They said I even answered them, but would fall right back to sleep. The next thing I remember is vaguely waking and feeling the vent and hearing a man say "Let's get that out.". He told me to cough and he took it out and I fell right back to sleep. It wasn't as bad as I had imagined because I was so out of it. Although, my doctor said I woke up very alert and fast. He said I got off the vent faster than anyone he had seen before, only 45 mins. after surgery. For me, I don't remember a lot of this time. My next real memory was my family coming in and things started making more sense. The rest of that day and night went really well. The next morning however, wasn't as good. I had retained 10lbs in fluid and was having breathing issues. This caused me to have to stay in ICU an extra day. They gave me Lasix and the fluid came right out and I lost the entire 10lbs overnight. Now it was Sunday and I was feeling much better. I got up and walked down the hall and back and for the first time could tell a difference in my heart. I didn't have the shortness of breath I had for so long. This was great! By lunch, I was moved to my new room and stayed there for 2 nights. I was released on Tuesday after having surgery on Friday. It really was not as bad as I had thought it would be. My procedure was an aortic valve replacement and an aortic root enlargement with a Dacron patch. I chose a hemisternotomy and a bovine tissue valve. My problem was a bicuspid aortic valve with critical aortic stenosis. My surgeon was Dr. Kevin Accola and my hospital was Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute in Orlando. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND both!!! I hope this will help someone because I was helped too.
Good morning everyone! We are finally back to our house and able to get online. I was released from the hospital Tuesday, but went to my mother's to stay the past four nights. I've had an amazing support team! My wonderful husband has not left my side. We've been married over 28 years and thought it wasn't possible to love each other more than we already did, but to our surprise it was. My sister is an angel. She used 5 days of her vacation time from work to go to Orlando with us and stay the whole time. My two dear mothers, one of my own and the other my husbands, came back early from Orlando to get everything ready here for us. Our 2 beautiful sons have loved me and brightened my days. Extended family and friends have also been amazing. As I've said before, this community has been a life saver for me. I would not have even found my amazing doctor, Dr. Kevin Accola, and hospital, Florida Hospital Orlando, had it not been for this website and Adam's book. But, above all of this, I want to praise my Father God and Lord Jesus Christ. "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him." Psalms 28:7
My prayers are with everyone facing surgery next week and those of us recovering. I'll write more details of my surgery experience later. Love to all, Tammy
Just a quick note to say I,m doing great! Yesterday was rough, I had retained 10lbs in fluid and as a result had some breathing issues. They gave me something to get rid of the fluid, so now I feel great. Thank ya'll so much for all of your prayers and sweet posts! Thanks to my sweet sister for keeping ya'll posted. I will try to post more later. Love, Tammy
We got to see her,we couldn't believe the vent tube was already out and she was propped up in bed trying to get a deep breath, which her nurse said was normal. She is doing so unbelievable we'll see her again in a little while. God is good, there was only one set of foot prints seen today, for He carried her through.
Doctor came out at 11:00, said everything went well. He said the valve was severely calcified, but he got it all cleaned out and the new one put in. We can see her in a couple of hours. I will post again later. Thanks again for all of your prayers. Tina
Finished pre-op and have to be at hospital at 5:30 tomorrow. My sister, Tina, will post for me until I'm able. Prayers for everyone else facing surgery and recovering. I know Father God is with me every step of the way.
Met Dr. Accola today and really like him! We have a date for surgery on Friday, Oct. 31. So glad to have this done. My prayers for everyone going through all of this. Adam, I said hello for you. He had praises for all the work you do and have done! Melinda, I also told him you've helped me so much with information. I'll try to keep posting as much as I'm able.
I picked up my reports today to take to appt. with Dr. Accola, surgeon, next Monday. It is the first time I have seen my numbers. My AVA is 0.39cm2, mean gradient is 80mmHg. The chart in the book says this is critical. Has anyone had numbers like these? My cardiologist said I was severe, but he didn't tell me the numbers. Now I'm concerned if I'm going to make it until my appt.
I had my heart cath yesterday and got good news. No blockages and even though the aorta is a little enlarged my cardiologist doesn't think it is a problem. So it looks like I will only need the aortic valve replaced. I have an appointment with Dr. Kevin Accola in Orlando on Oct. 27 and will hopefully get a date for surgery set soon. The good Lord has answered my prayers again. We have an awesome God!
My sweet sister gave me a card that has on the front: "Good morning, this is God...". and on the inside it says: "...I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day.". I just wanted to share this with everyone going through this journey.