First Surgery Coming Up, And Afraid

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I have, all the heart doctors say go with mechanical, and after reading this forum (as well as testimonies from other mechanical heart valve owners) I'm starting to come around to the prospect. Warfarin doesn't mess with the meds I take for epilepsy, but the stuff I take for epilepsy might effect warfarin levels. That being said, I take it epilepsy medication consistently, so it should be easy to calculate my warfarin doses around.

All that nonsense aside, I cant begin to thank you all enough for giving me the skinny on all this stuff. There will be a life after this, and if I wake up with a robovalve, I'll take the responsibility of having one in stride, while keeping my INR within the balmy 2.5-3.5 range and measuring weekly. When I first made this post, I was driven entirely by fear, unsure of whether or not I'd be stuck with a stroke machine for the rest of my life. I figured any control I had over my health was ripped away from me the minute they discovered my aneurysm, but seeing how all of you get by has taught me that's not the case.

While I'm still terrified of having a stroke somewhere down the line, as well as the coming surgery, I know that there's a possibility of a better life after this procedure is done and dusted. I (now) also know that there's tons of people out there doing just that, living fulfilling lives, giving back to their communities, and loving the people around them. The last thing I want to happen after this procedure (even more so than strokes/endocarditis/whatever else) is to live a life driven entirely by fear. You've all shown me that that fear driven life is optional. I gotta commend you all for that, keep on tickin'
I was driven entirely by fear, unsure of whether or not I'd be stuck with a stroke machine for the rest of my life. I figured any control I had over my health was ripped away from me the minute they discovered my aneurysm, but seeing how all of you get by has taught me that's not the case.
that's such a great message.

When you're out and been established on a dose (which btw will likely change a little bit after a few months after surgery, which is normal) and you feel like you'd like to organise what you do and how you make dose adjustment decisions a bit less by feel, send me a Conversation message and we can have a chat about that.

Best Wishes for a good surgical outcome.
I recently tripped on a raised portion of sidewalk while walking my fox terrier.
I was going to fall and couldn’t stop it. Thoughts rushed thru my head and I wrangled my body so my head hit the grass next to the sidewalk. My dog yelped as I had yanked her leash while falling. I lay there a bit and then slowly sat up and assessed my situation. My knee and elbow were bleeding, I had grass on my jaw. I stood up slowly and realized I was totally alone, so I just started walking. I went to urgent care to be checked out since my neck and back also had started hurting. Nothing broken.
The next day I noticed a 2” bruise on my upper chest where I guess I hit the sidewalk. I hadn’t fallen like that since I was a kid skate boarding. I’ve been on warfarin since 2000. My elbow and knee bled for a couple of days.
I felt silly for tripping but it also brought me into reality that I’m getting older and better start working on my strength training again!
That’s my fall story.

Wow. Sorry about your fall. I had to say that just a few days ago when I pulled up in front of my house I witnessed my neighbor trip on her front walk and took a header kind of like you did. She put her arms out in front of her and was able to prevent cracking her head open but bruised her arms and knees pretty bad (and one of those knees already had a torn ACL/MCL or something from what she told me). Anyways I rushed over to help her up and make sure she was OK (her knee was swelling up and she was afraid to drive, which is what she was about to do so I told her to sit tight and ran her errand for her). Anyways whether on warfarin or not a fall like that can be pretty scary and dangerous!!

I'm a klutz myself and am constantly getting bangs/bruises all the time. Including hitting my head really hard (which can be pretty serious when on warfarin but I've not had any emergencies from that yet)....
I am on my cell and already 41 posts I have not read but wanted to say open heart surgery is kind of routine these days. When I was in ICU they immediately treated me more like I had a broken arm or something innocuous. They wanted me up and walking, eating and pooping. No coddling. Just cautious avoiding specifics like arm movement or tube snags and of course I was forbidden from standing and walking without someone present. Not every nurse knew I had a sternum brace so many treated me as though I did not. PT was there within two days I think. I was surprised how informed PT was regarding how each surgeon approaches their surgeries. I had an X-ray tech shoving the plate under me every morning at my bedside from day #1. They did everything to advance you ultimately to a release from hospital ASAP. I never feared the surgery because I had to coordinate and prepare everything on my own in a month's time even to the last minutes when on a gurney and they were prepping my body. I have cataract surgery coming I already am more concerned about than I had a chance to be with OHS. But my initial fear has subsided because I am desperately seeking it to be concluded within 2023. That need overrides fear of a knife cutting my eyes while awake and needing to avoid flinching. But cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the USA and there are very favorable statistics, so there is that as well. Good luck with everything all the way to resuming your life post-surgery.

Funny thing, not really, anticoagulation med and stroke risk encouraged me to get bio-valve. I found this forum too late. I didn't have a cardiologist good at explaining everything. So I'll probably have another OHS. As it has turned out my new cardiologist who is much better than the first one has talked about a possibility of going back on anticoagulation med with my bio-valve anyway.
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“Where should I travel to once I'm through all this ****?”

Hmmm - personal preference. Where do you want to go? Not much of a traveler myself, but I visit Mom in upstate NY on the way to visit my daughter in VT. While in VT I either go hiking or skiing depending on snow coverage.

Robo-heart has turned out to be OK. I get a little self conscious in quiet meeting space at work but at heartbeat around 60 beats per minute, the very sharp listeners figure it’s a watch. Only one person has noticed over the past year.
I live in Southeast Asia and I'm worried about running through my bucket list but right now I've got Indonesia Malaysia the far southern part of Thailand which is more Muslim and Chinese than the rest of Thailand Taiwan South Korea Mongolia Kazakhstan I just went back to the States for the first time in 4 years the bay area where I'm from in five years so I plan to go back to America more often if he's 6 to 12 months I just did a one week Meditation Retreat here in Thailand I plan to do more of those. I definitely want to get back to Europe I've only been there twice would love to go to Russia but now it's not a good time I'm glad I went to Ukraine in 2016 Before the War I feel blessed that I moved overseas almost 7 years ago and I've been almost 20 countries on three continents anyways I didn't mean to dominate the column I'm going to be having surgery myself probably next month and one of the motivators is where can I travel I feel lucky that I had the courage to leave America at age 54 and start all over in Asia

Life is a journey
I’m 33 and I’m getting a mechanical valve. I was worried about living a shorter life, but I prefer to think about it as a life extending procedure. Like someone said before. If we were born 100 years ago we’d just die at our young age, but now we get to live a normal full life.
........... If we were born 100 years ago we’d just die at our young age, but now we get to live a normal full life.
You pretty much "nailed it". Today is my 88th "belly button" birthday.....pretty close to 100 years ago. I was told at age 30 that I would not live to be 40 with my impaired native valve. My mechanical valve, implanted when I was 31, has taken me past the normal life expectancy of +/- 78 by more than 10 years.....and the valve shows no sign of yes, valve surgery, in most cases, is very much a life extender:D.
This is so important, and very well put.

In a world and at a time when there's so much going on before surgery, most of it you have no control over, it's easy to forget this. The anticipation of surgery is very challenging, many of us here have been through it more than once. It doesn't get easier (at least for me).
I just had 2 mechanical valves installed on May 23, replacing my bio-prosthetic valve from 23 years ago and my mitral valve. Warfarin is a pill a day, it's pretty simple and I've noticed no side effects. I feel so much better, both physically and mentally, than I did before this last surgery. It is amazing to me that 8 weeks after having a sizeable portion of my heart removed and replaced, I'm back at work full time and throwing the baseball with my son. Just amazing.

I'm so very grateful to be here on this side of it now. So, for me, that's how I manage, I just feel grateful to still be here. No matter what life throws at me, I feel confident that I can handle it. Ask questions if you don't know, fear can lie within ignorance. This forum is a fantastic place to start reading other people's experiences.

I didn't live a life free of worry before this, and I don't know that people without these issues have that luxury, either. If you didn't have this to worry about, you can always find something, it seems.

You got this.
I'm concerned about the activities of daily living especially in relation to your sternum being broken. I live in a tall building in Asia and the doors are pretty heavy especially the ones to get in and out of the elevator staff I'm hearing more and more that above your waist you don't have much to go on as far as using your body. It seems like the first couple of months while you're waiting to have your sternum heal really impact your activities of daily living? Also I live overseas don't have a car so I'm worried about just simple things like grocery shopping obviously I won't be riding the Subway or motorcycles or anything for a while I suppose I'll mainly just take taxis everywhere any thoughts on how to get through the first couple months especially in a relation to ADL and impaired arm use and your sternum?)
I think you will find that you can be resourceful and manage, when you get to the point of surgery and recovery, newarrior. For example you have already had the taxi idea. For the doors, maybe you would need to wait for someone else to come along. Maybe you could stock up on groceries or get food delivered. Maybe you won’t have a problem at all. It is an unknown. What I do know is that you already live in a foreign country so you must be a reasonably resourceful person. Whether it feels healthier to pre plan every contingency or to wait and say “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” is a good question to ask yourself. For me, setting things aside until they are timely problems that need to be solved now is helpful.
Oops, just saw that you do have surgery scheduled in two weeks so yeah it’s timely. Hope you get some practical ideas. Maybe you want to share your recovery plans with the group and see if anyone has anything to add.

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