Well I haven't posted in awhile. I ended up getting the mechanical valve on July 1st. I went to Dr Razzook at Loma Linda University. He was referred very highly. I met with him and he was awesome. He was very down to earth and explained everything he was going to do. My experience with the surgery was not that bad. DAY 1: d Woke up about two hours after the surgery only to find out that I was intubated. Not a fun thing. They took that out pretty quickly after I woke up. Didn't have any severe pain, but I do have a high pain tolerance from what I was told. With in an hour of waking up I was asked to get into a chair. This was the first time I moved my arms and tried to use them to sit up.. Not fun I felt my sternum at that point. If there is one thing that I would recommend to anybody going through this it that you make sure your stomach muscles are strong. It will make things and the pain a lot less on your sternum. So I sat in the chair for a bit and they let me walk around the nurses station. I did okay. I had to drag around my pleuravac( chest tube ), foley catheter, and an IV pole with about 10 pumps on it. They pain was not as bad as I was preparing myself for. Day 2: The next day they took out my foley and one of my IV's. Got up and walked quite a bit that day. I did numerous laps around the nurses station. Then the respiratory therapist came by and introduced me to my new enemy the INSPIRATION SPIROMETER. This thing is hell. You have to take in air to help your lungs out. If you do not do this you can get pneumonia. My neighbor next door refused to do it and was having all sorts of problems. This thing seems like it would be easy, but it is not. I could only get to a 1000ml the first day and I thought I was going to die. The RN did not give me pain meds at a normal time. They would come in and ask me if I was in pain and I would say that I was okay. I expected to be in pain. As I learned later that if I took the pain meds I could get higher numbers on the inspiration spirometer and move around much easier. Day 3: I was up and walking about 10minutes straight and I did that at least 4 times that day. They told me to relax, but I wanted to walk because it gave me belief that I would be okay. So I walked and walked. I ended up leaving my unit and they sent somebody out to look for me because my telemetry box was not registering. I told them to get lost because I could not just walk in circles so I was going to walk down the next hallway anyway... Model patient..lol..They took our my chest tube and my art line that day. Day 4: More walking, Lots of walking. I found that if I took the hydrocodone they were giving me that I could almost feel normal. They took out JP drain and the pacing wires. So at this point I still had an IV and central line.( another IV).. I was suppose to go home in the afternoon because I was doing really good they said... Then while just sitting in my chair I had about a minute of AFIB.. Needless to say they didn't let me go. I ended getting some different meds. Day 5: Walking. No other bouts of Afib. I was told that I could go home. Yeah buddy... They took out my central line and IV. Next thing you know my BP was to low. They were about to put another IV in and I told them that I didn't feel to bad and they determined that I may be a little dehydrated. So I drank so water and my BP came up and I was able to escape......Yes... finally... I was told that I could walk as much as I wanted. And let me tell you I did. On my second day home I walked about 2.5miles at one time. This was a bit much as I was useless the rest of the day. Lesson learned. The next day I walked the 2.5 miles but I did it in two outings. I had no problem. That day they prescribed me a different BP medicine (Lopressor). My body does not like it. My BP tanked it was like 70/35. I was sweating and light headed. Almost had to go to the ER. After about an hour my BP went back up and felt better. We called Dr Razzouk's RN and she said to only take half of what I was prescribed. So we did that and same thing happened. So the very next day I decided not to take the BP med I was on prior to surgery. I didn't have any problems with that and my BP was under control, but now my AFIB popped back up again. Since I have a mechanical valve I could hear that my heart was beating erratically. So we call the RN again and they decided they wanted to see me. Went down there and they prescribed a different med for the arrhythmia. Amaridione...This med wiped out the AFIB for good. The only thing with this stuff is that it slows your heart rate way down. I was barely in the 50's with this stuff. I took it three times a day for the first week and then only once a day after that for the first 3 weeks after my surgery. So I am a bad patient. I have been driving already. I figured I am much safer driving than having my wife drive me. lol.. So after the first 3 days home I felt pretty good. My endurance was going up very day. By the second week after surgery I was walking 8 miles a day. 4mi in the morning and 4mi in the evening. Pretty much feel normal. Still a bit scared of hurting my sternum. So my knee started bothering me since I have been walking so much. I have had menicus surgery on both of them. So I decided that I was going to ride my stationary bike in the house. I have a heart rate monitor so I went with it. I feel great now. I can breathe. So I did that for a few days and decided to just go ahead and ride my road bike. I did two 12 mile rides and felt fine. My sternum didn't bother me at all. So for the last 3 days I have been going on a flat 30 mile ride that is trail so there are no cars. So I feel great and I am completely not following directions. I am not supposed to drive for another 2 weeks...lol.. If I feel good then why not... So I know there are a bunch of people that say that this is the most horrible thing, but its not bad. Try to have some fitness level before you go in and also some stomach muscles because otherwise it will be tough for you get out of bed... Good luck and I hope everybody has a great experience like I did
Had a Left and Right heartcath done today. The echocardiogram was confirmed. Moderate to Severe AS. Kinda what we were expecting. Luckily there wasn't any Coronary Artery Disease. I still can eat a few more cheeseburgers. Now looking forward on what to do? My primary care doc and the cardiologist want to send me to get a mechanical valve placed at Loma Linda. I don't want to take blood thinners because I ride mountain bikes, motorcycles, and do plenty of other things that wouldn't go to good with Coumadin. So the battle of the insurance people is about to start.