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Thread: Surgery on Friday.. How did you keep calm?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    San Diego, California.
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    Default Surgery on Friday.. How did you keep calm?

    Hello all,

    It's your local hypochondriac checking in again . My surgery is in less than two days and I find myself getting anxiety attacks at times; xanax doesn't help much. How did you all handle your day before surgery? How did you handle the preop before surgery?


    Thanks!
    Visit my Christian blog! petergammo.blogspot.com/ DX'd w/ BAV regurgitation @ age 25 (3/2012) -- AVR on June 4th, 2012 w/ On-X mechanical valve.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    Canada
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    Things kind of went slo-motion for me in the last 24 hours. I was sure that we had made the right decision, and that the right people were involved. And I was sure that whatever was about to happen, it was waaay better than what would happen if I did nothing. The fact is, what everyone says is true. The surgery itself is the easiest part. All YOU have to do is show up, and other people do all the work. Focus on your part. Psych yourself up now for being in a great mood on the other side, and on being a willing and eager participant in your recovery.
    We're called valve replacement patients, when in fact, the bigger part of what we are is cardiac rehab patients!
    You're in good hands and they'll do every thing they can to make sure that you're starting your process from the best possible place.
    Best of luck, and see you on the other side. (Where you'll be loudly proclaiming to the world that heart surgery isn't half as tough as you'd expect!)

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    UK
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    Good luck for your operation on Friday

    I had my operation 6 weeks ago

    One way I tried to stay calm was to think of all the positives to the post surgery

    When you will be well and able to do all the things that you currently cant

    Good luck, you will be fine

    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    hessle england
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    i found that the day of the op i was kinder calm about it all,which supprised me as i am such a cry baby, i think others on here have said the same,about being calm not a cry baby lol,you will be just fine
    had avr replacement feb 2008 tissue valve fitted have got a nice porky pig one so no bacon for me ha ha,on hbp tabs and beta blockers,

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    Holland, Michigan
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    Oh, I certainly feel for you! For me I found that it was best to keep myself super busy in the days pre-surgery (that and I did a lot of shopping)!!! I also second what others have said here too - focus on what you can control and one of those things is your attitude. During the last couple days pre-surgery, all I focused on was getting better after the surgery and having positive thoughts. Yotphix is so right, on the day of surgery you don't have to do anything but show up!

    Also, when I look back on everything it wasn't so bad.

    One day at a time, you'll be fine!!!

    My thoughts and prayers are with you,

    Rachel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Chicago
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    Busy is good, but I also found that the last week or so, I was strangely calm. I had already made all of the decisions I needed to make. All I had to do was to be there on time. My fate was truly in the hands of others, and for them it was "just another day at the office."
    Go Class of 2011!

    Steve Epstein
    9 Years in The Waiting Room, then on February 28, 2011,
    AVR with 23mm Edwards Bovine Pericardial Tissue Valve, Model 3300TFX, Pacemaker - Boston Scientific Altrua 60 DDDR IS-1 and CABG (LIMA-LAD) at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago by Dr. Patrick McCarthy and the most wonderful team of professionals I could ask for.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2010
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    Chicago, IL
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    Already said, but keep yourself busy the day before. I too found I was strangely calm the morning of. We showed up and I was kind of like "this is it...can't back out now". Good luck with everything.
    AVR, horse valve with Aorta Reinforcement with Dacron Strip on June 21st, 2010
    University of Chicago - Dr. Jai Raman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    East Ontario, Canada
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    I was all psyched up to be a total wreck for the 2 days before surgery, but then the hospital called me in 2 days early so I didn't
    even have a chance to try out my new tranquilizers. <grin>
    Eat some cake, rent a movie. Best wishes.
    BAV-Aortic Stenosis...AVR Oct 11, 2005 / St.Jude Regent mechanical 21mm
    INR Home testing since 2007 with Coaguchek XS...Self-Dosing

    "Caution: I may have been in contact with Nuts"

  9. #9
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    Sep 2008
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    San Fernando, CA
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    First, I know you are a man of faith. Just keep holding on to his hand cause he is not going to take you anywhere that he can't protect you. As everyone has said, try to stay busy. Surgery day, just show up and keep your eyes focused on the wonderful things that you will be able to do once your heart has been mended. What time do you report to the hospital? I too am in California and will be thinking about you as soon as my feet hit the floor tomorrow morning at 5:00am. The waiting is the hardest part. Keep your mind moving in a positive direction.
    Chris
    Livin' Life At A Snail's Pace
    AVR May 19, 2008
    Edwards LifeScience Bovine Pericardial

  10. #10
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    Sep 2010
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    thinking of you and keeping all digits crossed for a speedy recovery

  11. #11
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    Apr 2005
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    Illinois
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    I was very busy prior to my surgery getting ready to be off of work so didn't think much about the surgery.

    Luckily, I was admitted to the hospital the night before. Friends and family kept me distracted but once they left and I was alone it finally hit me for the first time. I got really scared and started to cry. The nurse came in with a tranquilizer and that knocked me out. In the morning I had another shot that calmed me down so I don't remember much of anything.

    Best thing is to just focus on how much better you'll feel. Best of wishes for a successful surgery and a super speedy recovery.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2011
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    Michigan
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    I try to remind myself that worrying isn't going to change the outcome (at least not for the better). I spent time with my family and ate all my favorite things for dinner the night before...actually ate waaayyy too much. The morning of the surgery, I was surprisingly calm, and about the time I started to freak out (when they were hooking up the IVs) I was just out...next thing I remember, I was waking up...and now 3 months later, I'm good as new.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2012
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    Surgery was postponed for Monday at 5am. GAH!!!!!!!!!!! More waiting!!!
    Visit my Christian blog! petergammo.blogspot.com/ DX'd w/ BAV regurgitation @ age 25 (3/2012) -- AVR on June 4th, 2012 w/ On-X mechanical valve.

  14. #14
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    Extremely nervous. Mostly about all the things that are going to be sticking out of me when I wake up. I need some reassurance, lol.
    Visit my Christian blog! petergammo.blogspot.com/ DX'd w/ BAV regurgitation @ age 25 (3/2012) -- AVR on June 4th, 2012 w/ On-X mechanical valve.

  15. #15
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    Jun 2011
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    Well, pgammo, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it seems you may not be enjoying the waiting too much...

    So, I have good news! On Monday, you get to be put asleep for a little while, and when you wake up, there will be no more waiting. It will be over and you will have done it. The worst will be behind you. Sure, recovery will be a challenge, and it will take some effort on your part, but likely for the first time since you found out about all of this, you will feel like you have some real control of your situation again. You get to be in charge of getting better. Now, yes, it's slightly more than a 9 to 5 job, it will take a little overtime, but hey, so does pretty much any job with great benefits. But the point is: once the waiting is over, the return to normal begins. You may be feeling like each day of waiting is getting worse recently...well, pretty soon, each day of recovery will only be getting better.

    The plan for my last few days was very simple: I did my favorite things with my favorite people. Crazy as this sounds, it was a vacation of sorts. I know it's not easy, but just try to have a little fun tomorrow too. After all, you have the easy job on Monday. Best wishes to you and looking forward to hearing great news from you very soon.
    "EL" - In the Barn | 1975 - BAV diagnosed at birth | 2010 - OHS: AVR and ascending aorta aneurysm (5.0 cm) graft | Valve: 27mm Carpentier-Edwards PERIMOUNT Magna Ease pericardial | Aorta: #30 Gelweave graft | Pacemaker: St. Jude Medical Accent Dual Chamber

  16. #16
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    The tubes are no big deal; the medication will dull all those concerns for you. I think it is important that someone be with you at all times. Have them bring a pad and pen so you can write down things you feel or need when you wake up.

    To tell the truth, I didn't think the post surgery was that painful. It hurt more when I had my wisdom teeth removed.
    Todd Taylor
    Mitral Valve Replacement - Mech St Judes 5/26/2010
    Dr Michael Petracek, Vanderbilt Heart Institue
    "he's more machine than man now" Obiwan Kenobi

  17. #17
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    Feb 2012
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    Johnstown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgammo View Post
    Extremely nervous. Mostly about all the things that are going to be sticking out of me when I wake up. I need some reassurance, lol.
    Bummer!! I was hoping to read everything was over and you were doing great! Oh well, will expect to read that in a day or two now. Is there someone who can let us know how things go?
    As far as all the things sticking out of you....honestly, for me, nothing was more than a minor annoyance. I do not remember the intubation tube at all as it came out very soon. The IV in the neck was not painful in the least. The only way I even knew it was there was when I turned my head to the right adn it was like "oh yeah, forgot that was there". The IVs in the arm were also not painful. Ditto for the pacer wires and chest tubes. If they are, you need to let a nurse know so she can check them out. The foley catheter was a blessing the first few days - without it, I would have been running to the bathroom an awful lot since a lot of fluid goes in during the surgery and a lot has to come out the first few days after. Did not even feel it coming out when the time came.
    Regarding removal of the chest tubes and pacer wires: I asked for pain meds 45 min or so before they were supposed to come out and it was not painful in the least. Honest!! it felt a little weird but that's all.
    The nurses, therapists, etc are really good at managing all the tubes - they do it all the time. The hospital gowns will have little pockets for things to fit into so you don't have to carry them. The gowns might have snaps strategically placed to make it easier for them to manage the tubes and such.
    It will be OK. It's out of your hands for now....let your team do their jobs. They will do it well!!
    All will be well!!
    3/7/12: AVR ( 21 mm St Jude mechanical) for BAV; repair ascending aortic aneurysm with tube graft
    UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA; Dr. Lawrence Wei

  18. #18
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    Feb 2012
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    Holland, Michigan
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    Oh, I too was waiting for the "I'm all done" post!!! SO VERY SORRY that you have to wait some more, I've been thinking about you all weekend. I had OHS 10 months ago and I remember being pretty comfortable during my recovery. I also didn't know that I even had tubes, or IV's, or pacer wires in me after the surgery -- I found out I had all this stuff in me as they were taking them out of me!!!! I have to say that I was in LESS pain after they took out my tubes. In fact when they took out my tubes, I was feeling so good that Tylenol became my main form of pain management.

    Of course, everyone is different, but I really just want you to know that what helped me the most was taking things one step at a time and really not thinking too much (I happen to be really good at not thinking - HAHA). My biggest worry (and personal sadness) was that my family had to endure a really hard waiting game while I was being operated on, but in the end they too were just fine.

    As others have mentioned, you are being taken care of with the team of your medical professionals. I think you're a person of faith, so also remember you are always in God's hands. Everything works out just as it needs to. My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

    Rachel

  19. #19
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    Apr 2005
    Location
    Illinois
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    pgammo

    So sorry to hear about the delay! My dad's valve repair surgery was put off a week the night before it was originally scheduled and I remember how badly that upset him since he was so nervous about it.

    However, it will all be over with on Monday! : ) You'll be better than ever and start the healing process. I was lucky and got through the healing without a hiccup and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

    Again, best of luck and we'll look forward to hearing about your progress.

    Cheers and positive vibes!

  20. #20
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    San Diego, California.
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    Thanks all. My wife will keep you updated on my progress! Your words of encouragement have been really helpful.
    Visit my Christian blog! petergammo.blogspot.com/ DX'd w/ BAV regurgitation @ age 25 (3/2012) -- AVR on June 4th, 2012 w/ On-X mechanical valve.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgammo View Post
    Surgery was postponed for Monday at 5am. GAH!!!!!!!!!!! More waiting!!!
    Oh, delays are nerve wracking indeed !!! But in the grand scheme of things, Mondays are a good day for surgery. Hang in there !
    BAV-Aortic Stenosis...AVR Oct 11, 2005 / St.Jude Regent mechanical 21mm
    INR Home testing since 2007 with Coaguchek XS...Self-Dosing

    "Caution: I may have been in contact with Nuts"

  22. #22
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    kingsport, tennessee
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    So how did it go? Hope everything is going well for you, looking forward to some positive news.

  23. #23
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    Jan 2011
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    Peter has been posting a good bit. He is doing quite well. Click on his name and then "View Forum Posts" and you will see he has been posting plenty and in great details
    My surgery was on 3/27/2012 at Suburban Hospital, MD by Dr. Michael Siegenthaler and his team from NIH Heart Center
    Ascending Aortic Aneurysm and Hemiarch repair with 24mm Vascutek gelweave graft and BAV replacement with On-X 25mm
    Buy this book before surgery and read it before and after - Coping with Heart Surgery
    My hospital stay post is here
    After surgery training to be strong and healthy

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