Big Thank You!

Valve Replacement Forums

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Fire559

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Indiana
I wanted to drop a note to say thank you to everyone on this forum. You have all given me some great ideas, hope and goals. I am now 40 yrs old and had a bicuspid aortic valve replacement with ascending aortic aneurysm surgery on Aug 9 2012. St jude mech. Valve. This was found during a routine work physical. I'm a firefighter and was concerned about returning to active duty. My dr's gave me the blessing to return without any restrictions but then began my battle with dept. Doc. Thanks to some help from reedonator and terry45 specifically i am finally back to full active status!! And this past weekend i participated in my first ever triathlon! I did the bike portion of a team sprint triathlon with some coworkers. Seriously thinking about doing another this summer. Finished with a time of 45:37 with some serious hill action on a 20k ride. Considering ive never done this kind of race before, or been on a street bike before (i own a mountain bike and borrowed a bike from a friend) i think i did fairly well. Not sure if i would have been so positive about trying this without reading about some of you others' experiences. Thanks again for everyones stories and i hope mine can be an inspiration to others as well.

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Oilman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2012
Messages
128
Location
Red Deer, Alberta ,Canada
Ya, that's great news you have been able to go back to firefighting full time, without any restrictions. From your date of surgery you are about 10 months out soon. Sounds like things are going well, that good to hear. That's also cool that you just jumped on that road bike and did a 20k race too. I just started riding a road bike two weeks ago. I go 20k also but only one hill to climb, and I don't race, it's good cardio for me coming up 6 months now. Thanks for the update, and keep up the good work.
 

Terry45

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Temple, GA
Congrats Fire559! I understand the battle you faced and I'm proud of you for hanging in there and fighting it. Many would have given up and taken the retirement. When you love what you do and know you can still do it you have to give it a shot. I completed my annual physical last month and had to be very aggressive with the medical folks. The PA looked at me and said "I've never met anyone that lived through all that". My reply was, " how many have you met that didn't"...lol After that she cleared me for another year..lol

Again, great job!
 

middleman

Active member
Joined
Jul 17, 2011
Messages
27
Location
Central California
Congratulations Fire559 on your return to full duty. You are now part an exclusive club of firefighters who have return to work with an AVR. It proves that it does not end a career. Only a few of use have made that choice to return. It should be a proud moment for you. You beat the odds in more ways than most people know.
On June 5th, it will be two years since my surgery and my fight to get back on the job. I completely understand your frustration. I think that it is time to change the NFPA standard to allow some latitude for the doctors to allow firefighters to come back to work.
Good luck and stay safe out there, you beat a big one but remember you still don’t have an “S” on your chest and you know other thing can get you. You have done a great job. :)
 

AZ Don

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Messages
721
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Congratulations on returning to active duty and an active lifestyle. My condition was very similar and the Dr's are telling me that I should restrict my activities (after recovery) as I am at risk for another aneurysm. Haven't gotten into all the details yet as I just got home from surgery, but I was told to restrict weight lifting and strenuous exercise that would raise my heart rate significantly. Maybe it's a matter that it's a small risk to develop another aneurysm so it's a personal choice of balancing this risk vs. the rewards of an active lifestyle?
 

Fire559

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2013
Messages
5
Location
Indiana
Re: Big Thank You!

I've noticed some discrepancies on what dr's seem to tell people on here. Not sure if dr comfort level or regional thing. My surgeon and cardio both said that after surgery i would be able to do what ever i wanted without any restrictions. Only reason i had aneurysm was do to the valve and back pressure. I had some concerns about graft sewn area and was told that, yes occasionally there is an issue with leakage there but as long as heal correctly will have no issues. Maybe your restrictions only until fully healed. I had severe lifting restrictions first 4-6 weeks (2#) and then 25# for next 2 months. After that i have been steadily increasing back to presurgery weight. I will say i am not there yet but mostly because i have been pushing my cardio more recently. Stick with it and dont take no for an answer. You know you better than anyone. But dont push too hard until after 3 mo or so just to make sure healing well. Good luck

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AZ Don

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2013
Messages
721
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Thanks, I will definitely follow all limits set by my Dr's for now while I am recovering. Along the way I will ask them to back up their longer term restrictions and see what research I can find on this subject. Will share on this forum if/when I find anything relevant.
 

cov8888

New member
Joined
Nov 28, 2013
Messages
1
Location
California, USA
Dear Fire559,

Hey well first off Happy Thanksgiving to you sir. I just want to let you know that I also was doing an Internet search due to having the similar medical condition and had a valve replacement (Mechanical) done. The only difference is that mine was an emergency one, I’m a Paramedic in the EMS aspect and my ultimate goal is to become a FFPM. After reading your post I’m glad and excited that I am able to continue to reach for my ultimate goal to become a FFPM. Wondering if you have any tips suggestions on how to accomplish that with the medical condition. Thank you sir.

Thanks

Sincerely; cov88888
 
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