So after one year I had my appointment with my cardiologist. BP was 119/83, with a pulse of 60 per minute. The staff at UW is incredible and first rate. ...Read more
So after one year I had my appointment with my cardiologist. BP was 119/83, with a pulse of 60 per minute. The staff at UW is incredible and first rate. No sign of murmur. I had mitral valve repair. Chordae replaced, posterior leaflet sectioned, and Edwards Ring. I swim one mile per day, I asked my cardiologist if I need to be concerned as to how hard I worked out. He indicated no restrictions.
To all of you who are faced with repair, replacement, and have doubts, I know where you are coming from. I had no symptoms other than a murmur and moderate to severe regurge. It's well worth the peace of mind to have this done and in the rear view mirror. It will take much hard work and trust on your part but it's a miracle. I would not be here today, or if I would be my quality of life would not be what it is.
May you have an event free surgery, and quick recovery. Blessings to all, Terry
Tomorrow will be my one year anniversary of my mitral valve repair surgery. May 14th 2015. All went well in the operating room. My leaflet was sectioned, ...Read more
Tomorrow will be my one year anniversary of my mitral valve repair surgery. May 14th 2015. All went well in the operating room. My leaflet was sectioned, chordae repaired, and an ring placed around the opening to give stability and strength. My recovery was successful but not uneventful. I pushed myself, by walking, doing yoga, biking and swimming. All within three months of my procedure. Perhaps too much. I developed anxiety issues after three months, perhaps related to the procedure, acid reflux perhaps related to BP meds and anxiety, who knows. I'm glad this is in the rear view mirror. My surgeon was incredible and presently am symptom free. I swim a mile five to six times a week, still do yoga, buy my knee interferes with my biking and walking routine due to an old injury related to cross country ski racing. At some point I may need surgery to fix the knee.
As I read all the concerns and responses since my procedure, I have such appreciation and empathy for those who are in the process of preparing for this surgery, or are in the early stages of recovery. This is no walk in the park. But it is a necessary procedure to go through. I may not be alive today if I did not have this done. I had zero symptoms, as a matter of fact I went for a 15 mile bike ride the day before the surgery, and swam each and every day leading up to the surgery. This site has answered my questions, provided a support group and gave me strength as I found out about my condition and prepared for the surgery, and went through the recovery process.
There will be things that arise after the surgery. Some of that I outlined above, others related to your specific condition. I still refer to this site, read from Adam's book, look at related videos, and learn from those who are part of this site. This surgery has changed me, given me an appreciation for others, and made me realize what a wonderful gift life is!
Thanks for all associated with this site. Have trust in yourself, learn and advocate for you and your family. Thank those in your support network, and if you feel afraid trust in your higher power, and know that the road ahead will make you stronger, allow you to be a better parent, partner and friend, and know that the change will be for the better.
For those who helped me through my fears, thank you from my healthy heart. For those who will be facing this challenge, prayers for strength and healing. Well, it's nearly time for my swim. God Bless you all.
It seems like yesterday that I woke at 4 AM on May 14th and headed out to UW Hospitals and Clinics to have my mitral valve repaired. The fear, uncertainty ...Read more
It seems like yesterday that I woke at 4 AM on May 14th and headed out to UW Hospitals and Clinics to have my mitral valve repaired. The fear, uncertainty and worry about what was ahead of me. I remember coming out of surgery, staying for 4 days in the hospital, my first days at home, dealing with meds, issues, visits to my surgeon and cardiologist, as well as my PCP. Struggles to be positive, dealing with pain, sleepless nights, blood testing, pushing myself physically and emotionally. I remember going for a walk one week after coming home and not being able to finish a block. Going to my favorite coffee shop and having to leave because of anxiety and noise.
Gradually I began to develop a sense of strength through God, my friends and family. Overcoming self doubt and demonstrating to myself the importance of consistently working to become healthy again. Relying on my wonderful son to help me through this even though he was unaware of the incredible job that he was doing and providing my with the help that I needed. I have always been very active. I started walks, then going to the YMCA on the stationary bike, lifting weights, swimming, attending cardiac rehab through my hospital. Taking my BP, worry, changing my eating habits, trying to be positive during times of doubt, beginning again to connect with friends who I didn't see for a long time.
Yesterday, October 1st, about three months after my surgery I attended my last session of cardiac rehab. My therapist thinks I'm doing very well. I walk for an hour three times a week, I swim 3/4 mile five times a week, lift weights twice a week, do yoga five days in the morning first thing, bike 10--15 miles three days a week, yet still I worry, still have doubts. This tells my that I need my faith, so I've began to attend church more regularly and again teach Sunday school. I've decided that soon I will do substitute teaching at my high school, as I retired a little more than one year ago.
There are times where I feel pains, where I worry where I become negative and wonder why have I had to endure this because I love life. I love my son and my friends. I see others who are older and not in as good of shape as I am, yet they go on without a hitch. Guess what!! It's time to stop the worry, to stop caring about things that I cannot control. It's time to begin to start living my life, enjoying all of it, put trust in God, and take it one day at a time, one moment at a time! I am grateful for this opportunity to become a better person, grateful for my son, my family, my faith, and for this community where I can express my feelings and be understood, be supported, and give support. Thank you all!!!!
Well it took me until yesterday at the pool to accept my scar as being a part of who I am. Whenever I went swimming, I always wrapped a towel conveniently ...Read more
Well it took me until yesterday at the pool to accept my scar as being a part of who I am. Whenever I went swimming, I always wrapped a towel conveniently around my neck so to cover the scar from my surgery. Yesterday I forgot to do it and the life guard said, "hey Terry, I see that you had open heart surgery, we missed you around here. You can barely see it. My dad had the same thing". Well, that made me feel better and now I've just accepted it.
When I initially joined our community here, I saw a group of runners, or tri-athletes who called themselves "Scar-Trek", I just loved that so I now tell my friends about being scar trek, as I loved watching that show, and I'm a huge fan. Anyway, it's a part of my identity now and I'm proud of the scar and it's who I am.
You all of you: Live long and prosper!!! (In memory of Spock),
I went to cardiac rehab this morning all was well. I had a new rehab nurse and she gave me some new exercises. I rode the stationary bike for about 35 minutes ...Read more
I went to cardiac rehab this morning all was well. I had a new rehab nurse and she gave me some new exercises. I rode the stationary bike for about 35 minutes and was monitored by the wires and stuff that are connected. After five minutes of resting from my session my BP was 112/82, pulse 90. Her response was "that's a great heart response." I wrote letters if thanks to my surgeon, cardiologist, and all the support staff at UW Hospitals and Clinics that have helped me through this time, spanning February--Present. I've told all of this community and it's supportive helpful ways. I cannot be more blessed and humbled by this process.
While I was swimming, completing a mile, I thought to myself how I felt doing this before my Mitral Valve Repair on May 14th. I was unsure of myself to say ...Read more
While I was swimming, completing a mile, I thought to myself how I felt doing this before my Mitral Valve Repair on May 14th. I was unsure of myself to say the least. Would there be an "event", would I die in the pool, was I doing the right thing. All those thoughts came into my mind. Now, there is no pain from my incision, and my open heart surgery 99% of the pain is gone. I am back to my previous activity level. Biking, swimming, yoga, doing weights to strengthen my chest muscles.
My surgeon and my cardiologist say no restrictions. Best of all I get to enjoy my wonderful son with no restrictions. I feel blessed. This site provides education and support. Most important is to trust your feelings, and advocate for yourself and not be afraid to ask "tough" questions.
I didn't mean that I was graduating from HVS.com. Rather just a difference of the involvement due to the change of my status from the emotions of leading toward ...Read more
I didn't mean that I was graduating from HVS.com. Rather just a difference of the involvement due to the change of my status from the emotions of leading toward surgery, the testing and then the surgery and recovery process. So many new member become involved and it can be such an emotional and intense time. The HVS.com serves such a positive and valuable support process that I actually feel a little left out, but in a healthy way. I am forever indebted and grateful for this community, and will always be part. I'm still learning from those who are part of this community. I read the posts and feedback and will continue to do so. I will provide information as to my recovery as I move forward to provide whatever I can to help those who may be going through all that lies before them, and to learn from those same members and those who I've learned from as I went through this process before me.
Thanks for so much knowledge and support. Terry
So all is well at 12 weeks post op. I've been gradually working to strengthen my chest by lifting dumbbells and doing pushups. I do 200 pushups during the ...Read more
So all is well at 12 weeks post op. I've been gradually working to strengthen my chest by lifting dumbbells and doing pushups. I do 200 pushups during the course of the day, 4 sets of 50. I've been using light weight dumbbells, doing a routine starting at 5 lbs. and gradually working up to 20 pound weights. Been walking approx. three to five miles on alternating days. I've been doing yoga and belly crunches five days per week.
My Rehab nurse said I should wait until the 12 week mark before I start biking and swimming so this past week I biked 8 miles and then 10 miles. I could feel it in my chest, kind of like a stretching sensation when I hit various bumps in the road. I was tired after going this small distance due to not riding since the day before my surgery when I biked 20 miles on May 13th. Today I swam one mile, doing the crawl. The last time I swam was may 12th. I did get more tired, out of breath, and my arms felt tired. My chest felt as if I stretched some muscles out and after completing this distance I did feel good.
I'm very happy as this was my son's 19th birthday. I am going to write a nice note to my surgeon thanking him and telling him my progress. As one progresses through this process I feel a little detached from this community as I've really felt connected throughout, but especially leading up to my surgery to have my Mitral Valve repaired. Hopefully this post may let others know what lies ahead, and help them prepare for the surgery and recovery.
So the biggest news is that at 11 weeks 90% of my chest pain has subsided. By that I mean the incision pain on the surface of my chest is nearly all gone. ...Read more
So the biggest news is that at 11 weeks 90% of my chest pain has subsided. By that I mean the incision pain on the surface of my chest is nearly all gone. I've had sensations when walking when my T-Shirt rubbed against the wounds and this is nearly totally gone. I occasionally have a little tingling but mostly not so much. Also, my sternum pain is gone to that same level. I get a bit when turning in bed but I find that I'm forgetting about that most of the time. I'm guessing that my level of activity might have helped. I do 4 sets of 40 wall pushups during the course of the day. Also 8 pound dumbbell sets to strengthen my arms and chest. Getting in and out of the bathtub is easier and less painful. One thing I do notice is slight swelling of my ankle by my sock line. This quickly subsides when I take the sock off. Just got back from a five mile walk. Will now head out to the gym for stationary bike work, and strength work.
Great healing to all of my heart sisters and brothers.
I am so thankful for all of those who have commented on my progress thus far, and thank you very much. I feel very blessed. Yesterday was my 10 week anniversary ...Read more
I am so thankful for all of those who have commented on my progress thus far, and thank you very much. I feel very blessed. Yesterday was my 10 week anniversary for my surgery. I feel very lucky to be where I am today. My surgeon was incredible. He repaired my valve leaflet (posterior), replaced ruptured and diseased chords, and also sewed a ring to stabilize the opening of the Mitral Valve. I still have soreness around my incisions and sternal sensations but the healing continues.
My Docs said that I was a good candidate due to my level of fitness going into the surgery. I also have a tendency to push myself. I've tried to be aware of not doing this to the point of hurting my recovery. Saying that, this was how I celebrated my 10 week post-surgical point: First thing in the morning, 30 minutes of yoga and stretches, coffee at my coffee shop listening to 50's and 60's classics, a three mile walk through the botanical gardens near my home, lunch with my wonderful son, 25 minutes in the gym riding a stationary bike and a ten minute dumbbell routine to strengthen my chest. (My rehab nurse suggested the dumbbells). I also do 120 wall pushups throughout the day. My goal is to bike and swim in two weeks.
As some of you know I'm a retired high school teacher who taught students with emotional disabilities. I had not been back to school since I retired in June of 2014. I was about to take a long term subbing job at the school when I was diagnosed by severe mitral valve regurgitation and surgery was imminent. Well, I went back to school today and they are in summer session and it was wonderful seeing those who are close to me and have given support during this process.
Tonight I'm visiting my best friend and we will share good talk, good food and good times. I cannot believe my good fortune, and how blessed by God that I am. Though not recovered fully and still suffer doubt and questions, just looking back to that day in February after my TEE which indicated that surgery was in my future. Those who face this in your futures have faith in your Doctors and the process. Though truly a challenging and trying time, as Adam states in his book: The odds for recovery are greatly in you favor.
It is truly a life changing experience. You are in Gods hands. One cannot ask for more!
So I'm feeling much better and doing more things that I had before the surgery. It's funny as one progresses along the road to recovery that I look back, see ...Read more
So I'm feeling much better and doing more things that I had before the surgery. It's funny as one progresses along the road to recovery that I look back, see others who are joining this community, and remembering when I was in the same spot. Shock, fear, uncertainty, acceptance, second thoughts, all the tests pre-op., tick toc, getting closer to surgery, surgery date, post-op., worry, feeling better, strength returning, seeing the big picture, and of course thanking my support group, this community, and prayers and God.
My chest still has some soreness but it's getting stronger. I'm now walking five miles per day, doing my yoga, 120 wall pushups and 30 min. on the stationary bike. Two more weeks and I'll be doing my regular swimming of one mile per day, and 15-20 miles biking. I remember the day before surgery I went for a 15 mile bike ride and I wondered if it was my last! I thank God that my surgery, recovery, has gone well. Prayers and healing to those who have yet to under go your operation, and my you be as blessed as all of us who have been where you are.
Hi everyone and sorry for not writing sooner. I've been busy. I'm grateful that my surgeon performed a Mitral Valve Repair. As I'm moving forward I've found ...Read more
Hi everyone and sorry for not writing sooner. I've been busy. I'm grateful that my surgeon performed a Mitral Valve Repair. As I'm moving forward I've found out that my surgery was a complex operation: Chordae Repair, Posterior Leaflet section, and a Carpentier (sp) replaced. All the nurses and support staff said that I was lucky that my surgeon was Dr. D'Oliverio, as they hold him in high regard as I do as well. All the research that I've done on this site, and in others states how important it is to have a skilled surgical team and surgeon. It is absolutely correct. I am glad I devoted time and effort education myself in this procedure and learning about what to expect, what to do, and what to expect during the recovery process. It helps!! I am taking it easy, and over doing things and progressing well. I will be biking and swimming in 4 more weeks. I'm waiting to make sure that my healing is complete both physically and emotionally.
Monday I meet with a dietician as part of my cardiac rehab. I am riding a stationary bike not stressing the chest. I've doing 100 pushups a day against a wall. My major glitch was walking too far and climbing steps at the two week mark. I wound up hurting my left foot and was out of actions for two and one half weeks. I'm doing stretches gradually using yoga and common sense. I'm using dumb bells to increase lateral strength in my chest area. Deep yoga breathing helps stretch out my chest muscles as lungs. I feel very fortunate to be where I am, to have connections with this site, and to have learned from all of you. Thanks so much Terry.
Well, I went to Cardiac Rehab on Monday and it was great. Though I'm not used to going 20 min. on the stationary bike and thinking that's a big deal, it really ...Read more
Well, I went to Cardiac Rehab on Monday and it was great. Though I'm not used to going 20 min. on the stationary bike and thinking that's a big deal, it really did feel good. All my vitals are good during exercise, and the nurse there gave me the option of doing much of it on my own. I decided to go at least once or twice per week there, and them the rest of the days go to the YMCA and use their equipment. I like the idea of being around staff that is able to know what heart surgery patients need to go through and give direct feedback.
I'm still tired and my sleep patterns are off but that's to be expected. My incision scars are still tender when my t-shirt rubs against them. My buddies at the Y are glad to see me back even though swimming is roughly two months away.
Hi everyone, so here's my latest up date. I had a visit scheduled at my cardiologists office. I was having high pulse rates, as high as 95 per minute and ...Read more
Hi everyone, so here's my latest up date. I had a visit scheduled at my cardiologists office. I was having high pulse rates, as high as 95 per minute and was sweating and feeling anxious. So I went in to my primary doc in the morning. I explained to him my concerns he gave me an EKG to bring to my cardiologist later that day. He also, brought up the idea of talking to one of the mental health pros at the clinic to address my anxiety relating to my operation. He indicated that he though I was doing fine, that I was still early in recovery and that I should find ways to relax.
I went to the cardiologist's appointment and they gave me an all clear. My EKG was normal other than the sporadic high pulse rates. I had just started sleeping in my own bed, gotten off the pain medications and I was early in the recovery process and my body needs time to heal. Both my primary and the cardiologists could find no trace of my heart murmur. They said that the surgeon gave them a power point of my surgery to detail all that was done, and that he was highly skilled and ultra competent. I am lucky to have him. My summary of the cardio appt. was that I was doing well, very well in fact. I slept great last night in my own bed. I met my cardio rehab nurses at my appointment, and other than the fact that I have a sore left foot, I ready for that phase of my recovery.
So after three weeks I look back at the first day when I was in my hospital room and to say it's night and day is an understatement. I feel great. I walked ...Read more
So after three weeks I look back at the first day when I was in my hospital room and to say it's night and day is an understatement. I feel great. I walked to the store and picked up a newspaper early this morning and my heart is feeling great. My only pain is from the soreness of my incisions on my chest. That pain diminishes almost daily. I am careful to follow my chest restrictions as far as lifting goes, not reaching across my body, using my butt to walk through doors, etc.,
Again I just think my surgeon is fabulous!! My nurses excellent, friends and my son invaluable. I do still use my electric recliner for sleep and sitting to relieve any pushing from my arms. It was difficult "not" to push with my arms as we are used to doing that, but not too much of an adjustment. I'm using stairs as well as part of my rehab., as I am used to biking, swimming and yoga daily. It's my plan to wait 12 weeks to let my chest heal before I begin to do that type of exercise.
I will start to drive after 4 weeks, and that will be this coming Thursday. I will first take inventory as to my chest tenderness and use common sense. I feel very fortunate not to have had any set backs. In two weeks I visit my cardiologist and he'll orchestrate the next level of care, and my cardiac rehab starts three days later.
After visiting with my surgeon, and finding the level of degeneration of my mitral valve, it's a blessing that we are born in a time when things like that can be repaired and to have a new lease and outlook on life. For those of you who are having your surgeries in the near future let me say this: We/you are fortunate! It is a gift from our higher power that we live in a time where we can rely on the skill and knowledge to help make our quality and length of our lives better. Bless you all.
Yesterday I met with my primary care doc and my surgeon. Both report that my murmur was no longer there. Dr. D., my surgeon was pleased with my progress. ...Read more
Yesterday I met with my primary care doc and my surgeon. Both report that my murmur was no longer there. Dr. D., my surgeon was pleased with my progress. He reports that I will no longer have to see him and that my cardiologist will take care of anything from this point on. I was sad due to the fact that I truly like and respect him. He did an incredible job as did all the members of the team. He outlined in detail what procedures he performed, my outcome is very good due to the fact that I had the surgery at a time when there was no other issues with my heart.
He repaired the leaflets, chordae that was ruptured, and inserted a ring for support of the repaired mitral valve. I'm following the "home" portion of the cardiac rehab and will start the out patient phase on 6/22. I'm walking 30 minutes daily. My cardiologist will now be in charge my cardiac care. I can begin driving again in one week. My BP is 116/78 with my heart rate at 60. My incision is healing nicely.
On Tuesday night my son and I went to the John Mellencamp concert it was incredible, he's truly a great performer and singer. It was a challenge though. I pushed it and if I had to do over again, I would have let my son take a friend. It was tiring. I'm feeling great, progressing wonderfully. Thanks so much for all the support of my heart brothers and sisters.
Well I'm feeling great. I walked for 30 minutes yesterday, climbed steps, visited with friends, and my energy is returning. I got up at 2 am this morning ...Read more
Well I'm feeling great. I walked for 30 minutes yesterday, climbed steps, visited with friends, and my energy is returning. I got up at 2 am this morning and couldn't believe that I felt as well as I did. Yes, some minor discomfort from the stitches in my chest, occasional tired spells, but other than that it's good. I hope I'm not getting too optimistic, I'm not over doing it, and I know that I need to pull back the reins some and take it easy. Wednesday I visit my primary doc at 10:30, then my surgeon at 12:30.
Well yesterday I thought the pain was more than the day before and today most of the incision pain was gone w/o any medication. It felt good to wake up this ...Read more
Well yesterday I thought the pain was more than the day before and today most of the incision pain was gone w/o any medication. It felt good to wake up this morning after sleeping better than I had in years. No idea why that was. I'm loving the peaceful evenings, allowing me to sleep and think about the people in my life who mean so much to me. I get up at about 2 am and go for a little walk, look at the stars and pray for all of you, my son, myself, and the world situation. Today I began climbing stairs, just a little at a time, gaining confidence. I concocted a way that I can keep the doors open without getting myself locked in the stairwell. Due to the chest incision, I'm really aware not to push or pull. Thanks Nurse Jacquie for impressing upon me the importance of not using my arms so to protect my chest. Still getting tired but I knew that was part of the process.
One week ago today I arrive home from the and the surgery (May 14). I feel exceptionally more strong, positive, and more independent. Last night I slept great, ...Read more
One week ago today I arrive home from the and the surgery (May 14). I feel exceptionally more strong, positive, and more independent. Last night I slept great, even though it was in the electric recliner. Today, I'm starting to reduce some meds, and I walked three times at 10 minutes each. I'm doing just what the cardiac rehabber said I should do. My incision feels a tad more tender, but I attribute that to my reduction in pain meds. I spent the day alone, which I enjoyed. This past week many friends made dinner, got coffee, an spent time with me just talking. I needed to cancel some visits because I needed the rest. My son has been there for me on many levels. Yes, and my faith has grown as well as my outlook in a positive way.
Surgery was Thursday at 7 AM. I came around about 4 hours later. My friends were there, my son, et. all. I met my support staff the next day and was told ...Read more
Surgery was Thursday at 7 AM. I came around about 4 hours later. My friends were there, my son, et. all. I met my support staff the next day and was told that I'm off the charts doing well. Ok, whatever you say. They asked if I thought I could walk a little. Walk I did, for about ten minutes around the cardiac ward. Had only 8 lines in me. My original nurse who was incredible, verbal, active, was then removed as all my blood work and bench marks were being met, was transferred to a more significant patient (higher risk). I was then assigned to what I'd call a "tough cookie". I liked her as well, but less available.
I always liked the door open so I had a base of what's going on around me, but the door was closed and I was watching some type of news cast. The next thing I knew was I was in a psychotic state, due to the anesthesia, post-op drugs, pain meds. I lost track of time. Nurse returned with a popsicle, and I told her that "I'd lost it". We then had a talk saying the amount of stuff that I went through in 24 hrs was a lot. Very supportive. Just at that time, my friend who lives in my condo stopped by, and she was one of the Administrators of the Hospital that I was in also talked about going through this and realizing that it was a very big thing to put my body and mind through such an ordeal. This really helped and from that point on things started to turn for the better.