May 19, 2015 my aortic valve was replaced with a tissue valve by dr Starnes at USC keck. My recovery the first two months was slowed by it taking longer for the incision to heal up fully. At about 120 days I started light Pilates and continued cardio with walks and hikes. Working my way up now to pretty vigorous exercise the past 3 months or so. Frankly, I feel really good and my echo shows better pump action so it kind of makes sense. i am so thankful for the support of friends and this community, it was invaluable to me
The recovery has been about as expected. The biggest surprise was the challenge regulating INR level with warfarin and vitamin k levels to the 2.0 to 2.5 range. My INR has yo yo'd from 1.7 to 3.7 but I think we have it in control now. I have a small salad every other day on the days of my large warfarin dosage.
Also, I should have taken it easier the first 10 days at home- I did some laundry and bending to get clothes from dryer caused incision near abdomen to open slightly and it started oozing. Dr put me on antibiotics and it seems to be almost healed by now. I think this set my recovery back a week or so. The good news is I am walking over a mile a day and have been totally off prescription pain killers for several days now.
Got out of ICU yesterday and they pulled 2 of the 4 drainage tubes this morning. Pretty good so far, I have some pain but it is being managed well. Dr. Starnes came by last night and said it went well. I think I'll get out of the hospital sometime this weekend. Thanks to all for thoughts and prayers.
Can't wait to get back on the local trails after I recover from Surgery
All pre-op complete today ready to go on the 19th
Journal posted on May 14, 2015
Spent the better part of the day going through pre-op testing procedures. It rained in LA today, who would have thought. I found the USC keck hospital staff to be friendly and very efficient with a minimal amount of waiting around.