Today is my 1-year anniversary for my mitral valve repair. I had big plans for the day which unfortunately began with a dental appointment to get a permanent crown seated. After taking my antibiotics, I arrived at the dentist office & was told that the crown hadn't come in & to come back Thursday. OK, I can roll with that. I spent the morning running errands with my husband & then headed off to my 1pm appt for a massage and facial. Something I don't treat myself to very often, but was really looking forward to pampering myself on this 1 year anniversary. When I arrived at the day spa, the receptionist looked at me & told me that I missed my morning facial. Evidently she had me down for a morning appointment instead of the afternoon appointment I had written in my planner. There was nothing they could do about it & because I missed the morning facial, the lady that does the massages thought I was a no show and left for the day, so I was out of luck with no pampering to be had!! I escaped the spa before anyone could see the tears in my eyes. I know, I know it may sound so silly, but I was so looking forward to pampering myself and having a day of relaxation and I wanted it to be TODAY, not this weekend or another day, but TODAY. After all, I took off work for a “me-day” and it was a special day to remember. I balled like a baby all the way home. I used to not cry much, but sometimes it just does wonders and this past year has definitely taught me that. Some others things that I've learned over the past year: we all heal differently and at different speeds and that's o.k.; the phrase “don't sweat the small stuff” has new meaning - I no longer get upset when someone cuts me off in traffic; I've always appreciated beautiful sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, and nature, but now I take more time to soak up those sights; I appreciate gatherings of my family and friends more than I did before; I appreciate all the medical professionals and am so thankful for technology and the age we live in; I'm thankful for this website and the openness and support of this community; and I'm thankful to God for a path I wouldn't have dreamed of taking on my own, but that has offered unique insights.
Even though physically I felt like I had been hit by a truck when I woke up in ICU on 3/6/2016, moreover I felt a sense of indescribable peace. Yes recovery had just started, but the surgery was over and I had emerged a different person and a better person, I hope, and I hope a more understanding person as well.
As I'm sure others have felt, in some aspects the year has flown by and in other ways it seems like it was yesterday that I took my first assisted walk down the hospital hallway with a nurse on one side, my mom on the other, and my husband following with the IV carrier. You may be wondering what I did today instead of my spa day. I spent the afternoon at the Omaha Zoo traveling all over the zoo, visiting most of the buildings, in and outside, and up and down all the hills – all without having to stop and catch my breath!! Maybe it was a better way to spend my one year anniversary.
Two months since I had my mitral valve repaired (repaired on 3/7/16). Today me and my husband participated in the American Heart Association 3 mile walk. Great to see so many folks supporting the America Heart Assoc. For those just having surgery or pr
Two members of my "support staff" that I'm sure are wondering why I haven't taken them for a walk since coming home from the hospital. My wonderful sister came in town when I was having surgery to take care of them and the house; I think she spoiled them
Good Day, Blah Day, Then Good Day
Journal posted on March 29, 2016
I'm sure others have been through this and I think it's part of the process, but on Easter Sunday, I had a really good day. I felt good, didn't overdue it, or at least I didn't think I did, and was thinking, "ok, smooth sailing from here". Then yesterday woke up feeling blah. Nothing I could put my finger on other than a slight headache and not having a lot of energy or desire to do much. I had an appointment to get my INR checked, and then cardiac rehab. Still felt blah all day. It was also me and my husband's 18 year wedding anniversary, and I felt like we should do something, so we to a quiet restaurant. I ate half of what was served and felt blah the rest of the evening. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good. We'll see what tomorrow holds.
Monday, March 21 was a really good day. Felt pretty good most of the day, did some walking, went to my first rehab session which was more of an orientation and interview and had a good night. At 2am I woke up with chest pain in the center of my chest and was unable to take deep breaths. I also was having pain between my shoulder blades. I couldn't get comfortable sitting, standing or walking. Waited a bit and then went to the E.R. at 2:45am. They were quick to get me back and gave me something to ease the pain which helped the area between the shoulder blades, but the chest discomfort was still persistent. They did a CT scan and said I had pneumonia! They admitted me and immediately began bag after bag of antibiotics. I had my valve repair out of town, so of course the hospital I was admitted to is different than where I had my surgery. Later on Tuesday a physician and cardiologist came in and said they didn't think I had pneumonia, but pericarditis which is an inflammation of the pericardium - the "sack" around your heart which could definitely correlate with heart surgery. They kept me another night and I got to come home sweet home today around 2pm. Even though the staff at the hospital was super, I was so thankful to be home Of course while I was in there, they were monitoring my INR and it had dropped to 1.3 since it was checked last Friday. I have been really good about not eating many foods high in vitamin K. I'm on Warfarin for six weeks for valve health, so the hospital increased my dose quite a bit, put me on an aspirin (325 mg 3 x day) regime for the next couple of weeks for the pericarditis, and an antibiotic. When my hubby went to pick up the prescriptions, the pharmacist made a point of meeting with him and said I needed to be extra careful with all the meds that I'm on and bleeding. I'm so confused and scared too. A week ago I was excited to get off of two rx's and now I have added new ones :( I'm sure it's a speed bump in the recovery process, but find it frustrating and scary. I have my INR checked tomorrow at my regular Internal Medicine physician's office and we'll see what they have to say. Thanks for listening.
Tomorrow will be my two week post op anniversary and my first day at cardiac rehab. I was told tomorrow would be an interview, but to dress comfortably...that how I've been dressing since being in the hospital (I don't think there's any other way :))
A bit apprehensive about rehab as only two weeks have passed since my surgery. I had the less invasive procedure, but still want to make sure everything is "set" before doing too much too soon. I'm sure it will be fine, but just a bit nervous.