Hi: This is the first time I have tried to do this so if I make errors please excuse me. I am nervous but I think you might be the best people to answer the many questions I have. I am a 77 year old woman who is being prodded by my cardiologist, primary care doctor and my daugher to go for it. I say "prodded" because I have been thinking of not "going for it". I am concerned going through with it at my age. My cardiologist says there is no reason for me to be afraid, my primary doctor has been my doctor for 16 years and says there is noone who knows my physical condition better than he and he sees no reason that I should be concerned. But I have the problem with after care. My husband is 81 years old and is feeling his age so I really cannot expect too much help from him. My daughter lives a half hour dirive from me and has three young children (11,9 and 5). Even though she feels she will be able to spend a few hours three days a week with me, I cannot count on it. I must figure on outside help. Now for my questions. How long did it take you to be able to move around on your own? How long did it take before you could prepare food for yourself? How long before you were able to bend or reach for things? These things may seem foolish to you but they are causing me to worry about going ahead with the surgery. Do you know anyone in my age group who has gone through it? The surgeon says I will need a mechanical valve because the opening is very small so , of course, that means coumadine. What problems come up that I do not know about. I have read about pumpheads. How does that affect you and how long does it last? The doctors have put me in contact with women in my age group who have gone through the surgery and they have said, although it was not a piece of cake, they do not regret having the surgery. But I feel there must be some others they did not put me in contact with who feel differnetly, As you can see, I am scared and would appreciate hearing your experiences.