The 12 Month Marker
When I began the "post op" part of this journey I, like many others, measured the timeline progress in days, weeks and then months. Today marks a year since the mitral valve repair and bi-atrial maze procedure and I believe the last of the perceived "milestones". I am so fortunate to have had the love of family, the concern from friends, the care of excellent medical professionals and most certainly the mercy of God. There are certainly regular occurrences that remind me of what transpired, but those are just reminders of how lucky I truly am. For those who are just beginning, keep the faith, do your research, and stay positive that there can and will be better days. The heart brothers and sisters here are praying for you and will be there when you need for advice or just a friendly "hang in there". It can be a tough journey mentally and physically at times, but you can do it and if you need a little support don't hesitate to ask. My best wishes for more good days than bad to all that are pre-op and post op as we share something special in life and I won't soon forget how you all helped me through it.
My Father and I this summer in AK, searching for salmon and bears!
Six Months Out
Journal posted on September 20, 2015
I surpassed the six month milestone this week and am feeling great. Funny how we measure days, weeks, then months post op to update our progress. I am so very thankful for the support of those in this community as they were instrumental in so many ways. The medical team at Mass General Hospital were nothing short of excellent, Dr Serguei Malnitchouk, Dr Timothy Guiney and all of the fantastic nurses and medical techs. My family was so very supportive and helpful that with all that and God's mercy I am so very thankful for this second chance. For all those that follow please reach out to others with similar experiences here as they journey can be easier with the guidance of those whom have already made it. Wishing all of my heart brothers and sisters steady progress and enriching lives on the other side of surgery.
I'm now 16 weeks out from my Mitral valve repair and MAZE procedure. The recovery was a challenge at times, but now I am able to exercise at almost normal levels and feel pretty damn good. I am so very lucky to have had exceptional medical care, support from friends and family and of course from God.
I had an appointment with the cardiologist yesterday and he gave me clearance to get back in the pool and start swimming laps again! It felt great even though I only went about 1000 yards.
I can also dump the medications once back from a fishing trip to Alaska later this month. He would have let me off the meds this week but said " I don't want to get a call from Anchorage that you are having issues".
I will continue to pray for those entering this journey and those who are still battling to get their recovery underway. We are all so fortunate to have been granted this second chance and I hope that you all can relish that opportunity. This journey would have been far tougher were it not for my heart brothers and sisters whom I will always be grateful for.
Looking to hear from anyone with a similar experience. Since my surgery 13 weeks ago I have had a few occurrences where a burning pain begins in my right shoulder and spreads across my upper chest on the right side. It always occurs while awake, usually sitting or walking and was more frequent closer to my surgery date and less so the further away I get. Last night I awoke with the pain in the right side and it spread across my chest and lasted for several minutes. In each case it does fade and I never experience any numbness, slurred speech, nor any other danger signs. Last nights episode did rattle me a bit and I used my HR monitor to check rate etc and after calming down a bit all numbers were normal. Anyone else go through this post mitral valve repair? Thanks
Today marks 12 weeks out for me and I feel so very lucky each and every day for my current health status. I'm still on more meds than I care for, but fewer than 2 weeks ago so that is progress. Exercising each day on the bike, walking and eliptical though the surgeon has banned me from my swimming exploits until the 6 month marker. I'm not at all happy with that call , but he's the boss. Stairs and hills still bother me a bit and hopefully when I am off all the meds we will get a better picture of how things will be. For those entering this journey I wish you all the best and well wishes go out to all my heart brothers and sisters who helped me through it.
Anyone receive one of these cards from Edwards Life Sciences or other medical device companies. I'm just under 8 weeks post op and the card shows up in the mail. One for the wallet and one for the records. It's like "hey Tim, just a reminder you had OHS'!
There is life, and brook trout, after successful OHS! It was great to get out with my son, enjoy the serenity of the wild, and to be thankful that I can enjoy God's bounty.
Journal posted on April 28, 2015
With my heart ticking at about 115 bpm the Dr today instructed me to bump up the meds to see if that gets the rate down. I started back to work today and though it was good to get back the rapid rate is not a calming force. Hopefully the increase will do the job as Ive had just about my fill on these rate meds. Anyone else have to deal with this out beyond 6 weeks?
Funny how these milestones mean something to us now as we look back. The progress is steady each day and each week though contain some setbacks that so far have been minor. The pain is thankfully now mostly a non issue provided I don't try to lift or push heavy objects, especially beyond arms length. There are plenty of weird heartbeats, especially at night and when trying to sleep on my left side and some aches and pains, but nothing too major or warranting a visit to the Dr's office. I have followups with both the cardiologist and surgeon next tuesday that I hope will yield a greenlight to drive and work later next week. I continue to appreciate how lucky I am to have gotten my life back with this surgery and am trying to carry on accordingly. This site has been a very positive experience for me personally to an extent I never thought possible. I wish all of my heart brothers and sisters here positive thoughts and prayers as they embark on the surgery journey and progress for those on the other side of it.
My thoughts continue to be with those entering surgery this week and of course Robyn who is currently battling some complications. This site was invaluable to me leading up to my surgery and continues to be a link to those who are on the same journey. I sincerely hope that new folks here find comfort and confidence as they read about and become part of others' experiences.
I feel better each day and continue to try to walk myself to back into shape. Though I am still dealing with a rapid HR and some irregular beats overall I am impressed with how quickly we heal and amazed at what the medical professionals have done for us. All my steri strips are off now and the scar is healing up pretty well, not as large or pronounced as I thought going in. Not a fan of the crummy side effects of metropolol (rash, night sweats), but it is minimal to what others deal with and I shouldn't have to take the stuff for more than a couple of months. Wishing all my heart brothers and sisters a safe journey.
Yesterday was my 2 week milestone post mitral valve repair and MAZE procedure. It still amazes me that I was so fortunate to have a surgical intervention and am now walking the neighborhood. Though my HR is still up in the 80's at least it isn't above 100 and I am hopeful the rate will drop as my repaired heart settles in. This truly is a humbling experience and I look forward to continuing my efforts to get back to 100% as soon as my body allows. As we enter into this Good Friday, Passover and Easter weekend I would like to wish all those in recovery continued progress and those awaiting surgery the peace of mind to know that they can and will get better. God was certainly watching over me back in October when I was hospitalized. I am so thankful for my family, friends, the folks here on this site, and my surgeon, Dr Serguei Melnitchouk and the entire MGH team for saving my life.
First I hope all is going well today for Jim Hernandez and the many others undergoing surgery this morning. We are all so very fortunate to have such great medical care to improve our lives. I am feeling better each day and getting a decent, albeit broken up, nights sleep. Walked yesterday 2 x 20 minutes and a couple of errands which did tucker me out, but not too bad. Heart rate is still a bit high at 100-110 so the doc moved my metropolol dosage up which I hope drops it down a bit. Thankfully no heart pounding afib, though I would guess there are some early beats in there. The scar itch is driving me batty, but healing fast. Staying on the program, walking, resting, eating well and giving thanks for what I have today and everyday. Wishing all my heart brothers and sisters a pain and stress free day, this journey is easier post surgery than pre-surgery at least for me so hang in there.
Well my arch nemesis AFIB showed up with his big drum beating on thursday, one day after release from the hospital. It was the loudest AFIB I've ever experienced which prompted a trip to the ER for some treatments. They got me back into sinus rhythm and let me head home. A followup to the surgeon the following day was worth the drive. He said it was normal even though I had no AFIB post op. No AFIB today, but my HR is thumping away at 100-110 and doesn't want to settle down. Apparently my ticker is ticked at all that surgical work last week- geez
Good Morning to you all and wishing you all the best in this journey we share.
Yesterday afternoon I met with Dr Serguei Malnitchouk (surgeon) and Dr Timothy Guiney (cardiologist) for the discharge meeting. They were both just fantastic from start to finish in every way possible. These two and the teams at MGH exceeded my expectations in so many ways. First and foremost the valve was repaired, leak fixed, and no AFIB. A trifecta!
I came home yesterday afternoon and it felt great to have loved ones near and share a home cooked meal. I didn't expect a great night of sleep and wasn't surprised by 3 hr sleeps intercepted by sweats and some general discomfort as others have indicated. For those yet to come home I might suggest the "wedge pillow" which can keep you propped up a bit if that is more comfortable. I had done a 6 week recliner stint after rotator cuff surgery and wasn't looking for a repeat. The wedge pillow seemed to work ok, but Ill try it again this evening and report back.
My wife and I took a 15 minute stroll in the neighborhood and it felt super, slow and steady. I appears spring is finally here as the birds were singing and it just smells like spring.
Has anyone had taste/flavor issues post surgery? My favorite coffee tasted just awful this morning! Whats up with that?
Feeling a bit tuckered out now and headed for the recliner. My thoughts are with those undergoing procedures today. Prayers and positive thoughts from here in NH.
I hope that all the heart brothers and sisters surgery's went well today and that others are healing fast too. You are in my thoughts and prayers. The chest drain tube added yesterday removed the air bubble as planned then, after a few X-rays, was removed this afternoon. It was a complication, but a relatively minor one given my OHS. Many of the tips and thoughts on the site continue to make life a bit easier in the hospital. Pending a couple of clearance tests tomorrow morning I should be able to head home tomorrow. I couldn't have asked for a more talented, hard working and attentive surgeon than Serguei Malnitchouk and the entire MA General cardio and nursing team has been excellent also. Pair that great care with the love, prayers and support of friends, family and you all is a winning combination. Hope to check in again tomorrow.
Tim had a small setback today when they found an air pocket between the pleural membrane and the lungs. They have placed a chest tube to drain the air pocket out. Hopefully by tomorrow morning it will be gone.
Good morning heart brothers and sisters. As I enter day 4 post-op in this journey I am thankful for so much. Thankful for The Lords guidance of my surgical team and the entire medical staff here at Mass General Hospital. Thankful for the support and love from family and friends. The folks on this site have been wonderful and giving which has been invaluable, though our experiences may differ our journeys are so very similar. Today will bring more walks, stairs and possibly a ticket home today or tomorrow. I've still got a rumbly in my tumbly but all other functions seem to be right on target. It was either the antibiotics or a reaction to the senekot. I'll try to update later. Thinking of you all and please reach out if I can help.
After a strong day 1 with the chest tubes out and WALKING from the ICU to the step down unit, day three continues to be strong. Today at 11am Tim was able to have the pace wires out. Now all monitoring wires and tubes have been removed.
He's doing well, walking at least twice a day and eating regularly. Some of the medication made his stomach pretty queasy the last two days, but today seems to be much better.
The doctor said he will be able to go home Tuesday. He continues to nap consistently and practice his breathing exercises. He is wishing all of his heart sisters and brothers good luck pre and post Op, and looks forward to connecting with everyone soon!
Thank you for the kind words. Tim is doing extremely well. His breathing tubes were taken out and he is already off oxygen! This morning we walked into the ICU to see a smiling face sitting up in a chair eating breakfast.
His heart rate is beating normally and he will be moved into a recovery room this afternoon. We couldn't have wished for a better outcome for our number one man.
Attached is another picture from this mornings visit! He will get his phone back once moved into a recovery room, and I know he is looking forward to reaching out himself!
My name is Chelsea Goff, Tim's oldest daughter and designated "Communications Director". My family and I wanted to let everyone know that Tim is out of surgery where they were able to repair his mitro-valve and put in a new ring with maze procedure.
We would also like to personally thank each and everyone one of you for sharing stories, helpful tips, and kind words to our number one man. He enjoys this journal very much and we know it has helped him with this journey.
Lastly, attached is a picture from our family dinner last night filled with lots of laughs. More to come from the man himself soon..
I am a lucky man to have such a wonderful family and genuine friends to support me on this journey. The folks on this site have proved invaluable as well with their support and information they post each day. I am looking forward to having my wife and children together this evening for a dinner out and then to the hotel. Hope to get some sleep and then off Mass General in the AM for the succesful surgery. MA Gen has a great team and with God's guidance they will perform wonderfully tomorrow.
Today I spent the better part of 4 hours completing all of the pre-op tests for my upcoming surgery on 3/19. I was very happy to skip the cath and go with an advanced CT scan to check for any potential blockages, less invasive, though the procedure did bring an aire of "seriousness" to what is coming. The RN/PA was able to answer most of my lingering questions which buouyed my confidence. The clock is ticking and I feel some pressure to complete the "to do" list of things that will be out of reach for weeks upon my return home. Thanks to all who post their experiences, it is truly helpful.
I received a robo call from the hospital in regards to a phone interview on wednesday which is prior to my pre-op on friday morning. As the days get closer to surgery the inevitability really starts to sink in. Reading the stories of courage here are inspiring and helpful.
I received some additional validation of my surgeon choice last evening which has improved my confidence that this will all turn out well. I still am struggling with the fact that I need this procedure at all. It is hard to get my mind around it 100%
I have been experiencing more "breathing" issues in my workout and stair climbing. My surgeon recommended backing off the workouts (swimming) a bit and possibly going back onto a diuretic. I was on a diuretic after my last hospital stay and did not like the side effects. Has anyone else dealt with these issues pre operation?
After weeks online post surgery recommendation I was able to get many of my lingering questions answered by the surgeon today. He called me on my cell phone to talk at 630 pm which I was impressed with.