6 weeks post surgery

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srwieland

Guest
Sorry I've been out of touch for a while, but since I'm not working yet feeling better, I've been off to the beach, springs, etc. I also had friends visit me from out of town. Plus my wife organized a summer camp all by herself so I've been going with them on field trips, camp outs, etc. God, wouldn't it be great if I never had to go back to work! Oh well, I've got two weeks left to live it up, so I'll try to make the most of it. In any case, I'll try to stay more regularly in contact.

Tomorrow marks 6 weeks post surgery for me, and it could not be going better. Things have certainly gone much better than I ever expected. I saw my surgeon yesterday and he said that I have recovered quicker and better than any other patient he's had. Don't know if he's just flattering me, but he sure did a bang up job and I certainly feel greatly relieved to be doing so well . Other than soreness in my chest when I get fatigued, which is a warning sign for me to slow down and rest, I have no other pains or discomforts. The chest popping is gone, the sneezing hurts only a little now, the sore throat disappeared over 3 weeks ago; all those little bumps in the road have now smoothed out. On the other hand, my heart function is super and free from any of the murmur, arrhymias, and pains I had for the previous 25 years.

The greatest news of all, besides having all restrictions lifted (from driving, lifting, etc.), is that my surgeon took me off all meds (I was on a beta blocker and an ACE inhibitor). I am so euphoric; it has been many, many years since I haven't been on meds of any kind! Just this outcome alone makes the whole thing worthwhile.

They did an echo which showed everything was fine; no leakage or other problems. The echo tech told me that calcification shows up very well in an echocardiogram and that they will be doing one on me every 6 months because of the special valve I received. This will monitor whether or not it calcifies and thus whether or not my body fully adopts it as its own and can be expected to maintain it the rest of my life, unlike a normal homograft would. They are very excited about it, especially since I have done so well in the short run. You never know, but my gut feeling is that I got a very good deal with this thing. We'll see, of course, and I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again everyone for all your help, advice, and encouragement.
 
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Gillian (in UK)

Guest
FANTASTIC

FANTASTIC

What a fantastic story, Steve. I'm sure it will give great encouragement to anyone waiting for surgery. Just sorry you have to go back to work :)
 
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Gerry

Guest
Hi Steve

Great to hear your report - brings back memories of my recovery period.

Keep progressing and keep up the good reports.

All the very best from over here down under.

Gerry
(visiting Sydney at present)
 

Rain

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
1,328
Location
Colorado
Congratulations!

Congratulations!

So happy to hear the great news, Steve!

I'd never taken meds before in my life until a couple months before my heart surgery.. now it looks like a life time deal. I HATE THE MEDS!! But gee whiz... I love being alive.

Hope you really enjoy the next two weeks.
 

KristyW

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
475
Location
Commerce City, CO
Great News Steve!!

Great News Steve!!

Steve,

It sounds like your recover is going great!!! I'm just one week post-op myself, and I can't believe how fast things are healing.

Have a great 2 weeks!

Kristy W.
 
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Dianne

Guest
Hi, Steve

Your recovery has been impressive! And being off all medications must feel great. The new valve you have sounds like something worth checking out, for those of us still waiting.

Enjoy the rest of your time off.
Dianne
 
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Frank

Guest
Great News Steve. You're story is a real help to all us that have surgery in our future. Hope things continue improving and keep us updated.

Frank, also in Florida
 
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Freddie24

Guest
That's great news Steve,

Today is the 5 week anniversary for me, and like you, I couldn't be feeling better. I've been back at work for a couple weeks now and it's just like normal. No excess fatigue or anything. The only thing I've hesitated to do yet is sleep on my stomach. I'm a total stomach-sleeper but I'm a little scared to try it yet. It probably wouldn't hurt but I think I'll wait until the 6 week anniversary to give it a whirl.

I would also like to echo your sentiments that the support and information I've received from this site has been invaluable. Thank you so much for all your help!!

-Freddie24
 
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Zazzy

Guest
Great news Steve.... keep up the good healing.... too bad about returning to work though.

Take care,
Zazzy
 
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Dan O'Brien

Guest
Great news Steve. You'll likely feel even better in another six weeks. Keep it up and enjoy your return to work, if you can.
 
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gary

Guest
how's that thing work?

how's that thing work?

If the matrix is denuded of tissue and only the collagenic 'frame' remains, when does your own tissue grow over the matrix to form the valve leaflets?
 
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Jim

Guest
Thats great Steve! Thanks so much for contributing your stories to this site. Dedicated people to this site like you help makes it a lot easier to stay encouraged for the rest of us.

Jim:)
 
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fdegranville

Guest
Great New,

Great New,

Steve,
All you news is terrific. I hope all on the pre-op forum read your message, it will surely help them!!!! Continued excellent health.
fdeg
 
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srwieland

Guest
Thanks everyone for your encouragement and appreciations. It really counts when it comes from those who know what it's like to be up against valve problems.

Gary, my body should be populating the valve with my own cells right away. I'm not sure how long it takes to thoroughly permeate it, but I do know that, both in animals and in the few humans who were reopened for other reasons (e.g., coronary problems), the valves had been already throoughly 'adopted' by the recipient's body within one to two years. My semi-annual echocardiograms will reveal whether or not the valve is being calcified like a normal homograft. If so, it has not been populated by my body's cells as it should; if not, then this valve should have become 'my own', as they say. I'll keep you posted in any case. Thanks for your interest.
 
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Jeff H.

Guest
It sounds great steve. I'm happy that your doing so well. I don't get on the computer as much lately so I'm a little late on the reply, but it's not to late to hope and wish you all the best going back to work and what a great recovery you have had. I am going on my 4th week post , and still have that popping but no pain except in my sholders and neck. It seems to be subsiding a little. I'm ready to go to work but it will be a nother month or so. The camp thing must have been great for your recovery. Never a dull moment. Sounds Great. Take Care and Best Wishes! Jeff H.
 
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Susan in FL

Guest
Hi Steve! Is this Steve in Gainesville? I'm really glad it is all going so well. Yea, going back to work is a bummer for sure--but sure beats the alternative! Just keep walking walking walking and breathing breathing breathing---that helps more than anything! Continued good luck! Susan

(P.S. My daughter at UF is officially working on Dr. Rier's (Reyer?) spinal cord project and has her own pass into the Brain Institute. She is really loving the work there.):cool:
 
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srwieland

Guest
Thanks again everyone.

Yes, Susan in Florida, this is Steve in Gainesville. I've been back to work for over a week and, believe it or not, I'm actually enjoying it. I was getting a little stir crazy there at the end of my 'vacation'.

I know of the project your daughter's working on. The Brain Institute is an increadible facility and I have a lot of friends working there. My office is in a building right next to it. If you ever come up this way, let me know and we can do lunch and compare horror stories and all that. There's another heart buddy here, 'Mike in Florida', who also might like to join us.

Take care and thanks for your response.
 
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vogtbymailb

Guest
post op 3months

post op 3months

After 2 weeks and one day, in the hospital i"m doing well. I had three thoracentesis' while I was there. This is done to take out chest drainage. I also had pnuemonia. I still tire easily, some days more than others. Doctor isn't ready for me to have cardiac rehab as yet. Coumadin is not as regulated yet. I'm driving now. I now have a computer, as soon as I get my own e-mail established you'll be hearing from me more. Best of luck to all of you.
 
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srwieland

Guest
Sounds like you're still a little in the 'bumpy road' stage of recovery, but at least you're driving again and surely things will really get better soon. I'm now over 9 weeks post surgery and still have a little sternum soreness, but other than that my cardiologist last Wednesday says I'm truly over the mountain. We have to live well and remain vigilant, though, because with hearts you never know when something could complicate. Best of luck with your continued recovery and keep us posted.
 
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