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JannerJohn

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Dec 27, 2020
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20
I require AVR and Ascending Aorta Replacement and I am scared senseless. Even if you do survive the surgery is all this really just palliative and you set yourself up for a life of fear and worry. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I'm 50 and in a complete state of shock and firmly believe the operation will kill me and I will never see my young children grow up. I just don't believe these repairs last as long as the surgeons say. I feel all our hopes and dreams have been cast away.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
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I require AVR and Ascending Aorta Replacement and I am scared senseless. Even if you do survive the surgery is all this really just palliative and you set yourself up for a life of fear and worry. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I'm 50 and in a complete state of shock and firmly believe the operation will kill me and I will never see my young children grow up. I just don't believe these repairs last as long as the surgeons say. I feel all our hopes and dreams have been cast away.
Your feelings are very common and if the truth be known, we all had those feelings........which, for the most part, didn't materialize. The six inches between our ears is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.........but if you educate yourself on forums like this one you will find that your fears are pretty much unfounded. You are much more likely to see your kids and grandkids grow up if you have surgery than if you don't have surgery.
 

elMIguel

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JannerJohn, You and I have experienced much the same in regard to pending OHS. I'm roughly your age (55), great family, daughter about to graduate, great job and great health (or so I thought 2 months ago). Then I got hit with my diagnosis of AVS. My surgery was supposed to be this week but has been postponed due to the winter storm that has hit my state.

Since I'm on the same side of this as you, I'm not sure I have much to offer other than this... I think our odds are good. I base this on my research, consultation with my surgeon and cardiologist, and reading many of the recovery stories posted on this site. I have many of the same fears as you (and probably a few extra). I wish I (or my family) didn't have to deal with this, but we do. My confidence still ebbs and flows throughout the day but I'm ready to start recovering. I'm ready to start living again because these past 2 months have been miserable.
 
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pellicle

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Nov 4, 2012
Messages
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Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Dude, the people on this site are not imaginary, we are all testament to the incredible certainty that you will be stuck here for more years to come.

If your post is not effusively melodramatic for some theatric goal then i urge you to get professional psychological help. Some people suffer from what your are experiencing, but personally I've never witnessed anything as pronounced.

Most of the members here have had 1 surgery, some two, me three, and others more ...

what are we all if not living proof?

Best Wishes
 

pellicle

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I'm ready to start living again because these past 2 months have been miserable.
ok, here's my question to you: how much of this misery has been your personal doing?

Take command of your ship, if people can believe in imaginary friends (who never communicate no matter how much you pray) why can't you accept the reality of science and technology? How are you even reading this?

Everything around you is tangible evidence that this stuff works. The real tragedy of the human condition is they go into a building and believe in a god for which there is no evidence and not the slightest tangible sign.

I truly don't get it.
 

daVinci

Active member
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
32
Location
England, UK
I require AVR and Ascending Aorta Replacement and I am scared senseless. Even if you do survive the surgery is all this really just palliative and you set yourself up for a life of fear and worry. Sorry to be so pessimistic but I'm 50 and in a complete state of shock and firmly believe the operation will kill me and I will never see my young children grow up. I just don't believe these repairs last as long as the surgeons say. I feel all our hopes and dreams have been cast away.
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with things. Have you ever had health issues before that you've had to deal with?

You'll only set yourself up for a life of fear and worry if you let your mind think that way.

I can tell it doesn't feel like it to you at the moment, but we're actually the lucky ones in a way. Diagnosed with a disease that left untreated will kill you, yet there is a proven treatment on offer to you that can produce an entirely normal lifespan!

I've seen and assisted with surgeries that all of us here have been through/ are going to go through. I'm not going to pretend that the thought of surgery doesn't make me anxious too. But I promise you that people get fixed and get better, go home, process everything, and life carries on as normal generally. All these people I've seen go through the process. It's less of the death sentence you describe and more a sentencing to many positive and healthy years more of life.

I understand you're rightly anxious, I feel similar and probably have a couple more years to wait for all of this. But if you're really feeling low and sinking into it, please look into seeking help if you can.

Like Pellicle said, everyone here is proof that it works. I've seen proof that it works time and again.

All the best to you, feel free to message me if you feel you need to.
 

DachsieMom

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2015
Messages
350
Location
CT
We all feel that way upon hearing the news. I encourage you to read the many posts on this site and you will read about everyone who continues to have a full life. I was 41, just shy of 42, with a 6 and 8 yr old. I had a thoracic aortic aneurysm (sinus of valsalve aneurysm). I now have a st Jude valve conduit 21 mm ( the valve with Dacron tube), surgery almost 6 years ago. Most days I forget I have it. I run, work a ridiculous amount of hours, do whatever, eat whatever. I just take 3 little pills each day and prick my finger every week or two for a test ( you can’t feel anything). I expect that my valve will last a lifetime.
 

elMIguel

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ok, here's my question to you: how much of this misery has been your personal doing?
Admittedly, 95% or so. We recently got our electricity, heat, and running water restored after being without for the past 3 1/2 days so that accounts for the remaining 5% ;-)

Take command of your ship, if people can believe in imaginary friends (who never communicate no matter how much you pray) why can't you accept the reality of science and technology? How are you even reading this?
I don’t disagree. I’m just being honest with how I feel about this experience. I’ve progressed from terrified, to very scared, to just anxious. So I’d say that that’s progress I’d say. :) What’s the next stage? Insouciance?

As noted above, I’ve done my research and applied my rational mind to this. But that doesn’t mean that all my anxiety disappears. For me, I think it’s a process rather than an epiphany. Getting past it and having some time to reflect will help. I’ll get there. Having to support and insight from you vets is invaluable.
 

pellicle

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Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
I’m just being honest with how I feel about this experience.
honesty is what we should all aim for. Not political correctness, not bravado, but honesty.

so I say in complete honesty that if you are feeling these ways beyond a point where you can cope with things then YOU SHOULD REACH OUT to get help

1613703573161.png


in reaching out you also need to participate, because the immune system and body system heals everything except mental health issues.

All the "positive thinking" on the planet will not help you if you don't see it as "yes, that's right" ... if it is you lying to your self saying that then there's the worst dishonesty there is.

Remember your unconscious has access to your own built in bull5hit detector, so if you are attempting to lie to yourself then it'll know and perhaps in the worst case stop talking with you.

1613704059767.png


You do not want that. As an old saying goes: There is no fool like the fool we fool when we seek to fool ourselves.

I can offer so much but if what I and others offer here is not helping then I urge you to seek a counsellor.

They can be found in many forms, both clerical (religious) and secular.

I wish you peace
 

JannerJohn

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
20
Dude, the people on this site are not imaginary, we are all testament to the incredible certainty that you will be stuck here for more years to come.

If your post is not effusively melodramatic for some theatric goal then i urge you to get professional psychological help. Some people suffer from what your are experiencing, but personally I've never witnessed anything as pronounced.

Most of the members here have had 1 surgery, some two, me three, and others more ...

what are we all if not living proof?

Best Wishes
Pellicle I'm so terrified at the moment I cannot see any future let alone have surgery. Its really selfish with a young family and completely irrational but my brain cannot comprehend what is happening.
 

pellicle

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Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
7,609
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Hi

Its really selfish with a young family and completely irrational but my brain cannot comprehend what is happening.
firstly there is nothing wrong with being selfish when you feel your life is threatened. That should take priority over everything else (not least because you are no good to your young family dead).

I understand that its a lot to grasp, I've had times in my life where what happened was far too much to grasp and it took years to really come (still on that journey) to terms with it.

There is perhaps as much shock to you for your feeling as you do as there is the news itself. I was not being flippant when I urged you to seek help. Even if all you do is call any of the emergency mental health lines in your country someone will speak with you and you will find eventually that you can be connected with help.

Something I learned in survival training (which was what you may call a jungle survival course) is to stop thinking further ahead and only think of now. How are you now, do you have enough of the basics now.

Once that's sorted out you can move to "what will I do next" ... simplification is essential. Disregard that which may seem important and focus on the now.

We are born into a world which has no interest in us, our survival is not certain, but humans have built a society which gives us all amazing chances to beat the odds.

Roll the dice when you can as you can.

I hope that's honest enough

Best Wishes
 
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Superman

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,047
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I wish I knew what to say when people feel this way. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be humming along normally then be hit with a speed bump like this.

Being that I’m not even 50 yet, I’ve had two open heart surgeries, with my first in my teen years - I never really knew this kind of shock.

It’s different because you’re wondering if things will ever be normal again. When my first surgery came up at 17, I was excited because things were finally going to be normal! I lived my whole life in the waiting room as a kid.

Most of you know me by now. I cannot complain. I’ve had a truly blessed life. Not rich, but I’ve never known true need. Planning our summer vacation to Utah and Colorado to do some hiking, sight seeing, photography, and other cool stuff (all on warfarin).

If you really are finding the mental aspect of this crippling, there is nothing wrong with getting help and treatment. @pellicle nailed it with the comic. The brain is another part of the body. It can be sick. It can be injured. It can require treatment. Yet somehow there’s a stigma to getting things fixed up when needed. If your arm was broken and affecting your ability to live your life, you’d get it fixed. But even typing that has me worried that I’m being overly offensive in suggesting a person seeks help for their mental state.
 

FishnFool

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
16
I am 55 and had AVR surgery Nov 19 2020. Your fear is valid. The hard part was updating our living trust and medical directive making videos for my kids just in case the worse case happened. Then I went onto positive mode. I recommend you see your new life as one of gratitude. You will make it. I will tell you that the day after surgery was my most difficult day. However 3 months later I'm back I feel 100% better I have more energy than I had before the surgery and I'm living my life.
I actually had a moment where I was in severe pain and it came to me that people survived the Holocaust. I can survive a day of pain or two and I did and I'm fine. Andy Dufrain said it best. "Get busy living or get busy dying." Choose life.
 
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caro

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Leading up to surgery was definitely the most stressful part of my life. I was also convinced I would die. YES to therapy. I just started seeing a therapist almost a year after my surgery and the main take away I have right now is “I should have seen a therapist SO long ago!” I needed help as soon as I found out I needed surgery. Honestly, I wish I had started seeing someone in high school! Be kind to yourself and definitely talk to a therapist. It will only make things better.
 

JannerJohn

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
20
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with things. Have you ever had health issues before that you've had to deal with?

You'll only set yourself up for a life of fear and worry if you let your mind think that way.

I can tell it doesn't feel like it to you at the moment, but we're actually the lucky ones in a way. Diagnosed with a disease that left untreated will kill you, yet there is a proven treatment on offer to you that can produce an entirely normal lifespan!

I've seen and assisted with surgeries that all of us here have been through/ are going to go through. I'm not going to pretend that the thought of surgery doesn't make me anxious too. But I promise you that people get fixed and get better, go home, process everything, and life carries on as normal generally. All these people I've seen go through the process. It's less of the death sentence you describe and more a sentencing to many positive and healthy years more of life.

I understand you're rightly anxious, I feel similar and probably have a couple more years to wait for all of this. But if you're really feeling low and sinking into it, please look into seeking help if you can.

Like Pellicle said, everyone here is proof that it works. I've seen proof that it works time and again.

All the best to you, feel free to message me if you feel you need to.
No health issues ever before. I think this may be the root of my anxiety. The diagnosis came completely out of the blue. I still have no symptoms but the echo and CT scan dont lie. Its all come as such a shock to our little family.
 

KatherineA

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@JannerJohn I felt much like you are when I was first diagnosed, not at 55, but at 65. I even thought of not having surgery I was so frightened of it and was absolutely convinced that I would not survive it.

I was very resentful of people who were/are jocks or otherwise with the big personalities who can and do minimize and control their fears easily, orr seemingly so

But at 70, on January 7, 2020, I did have surgery, with a new biological Aorta valve and the ascending aortic aneurysm fixed. I did survive and was out of the hospital on day 4 afternoon. Back at a friend’s house for a nap before dinner.

I prepared by getting in my best shape physically, but most of all mentally. I did crossfit light for a couple years. Then as surgery approached and my moderate inched into the severe, I didn’t seek counseling, but sought meditation teachers, took 500 hours of yoga teacher training. I learned how to do Reiki myself and sought out Reiki healers. (I see many readers now tolling their eyes). But, I learned how to cultivate my own brand of calm.

we are all different. Look inside, and I’m certain you will find how strong you are. My goodness, you’ve certainly demonstrated that already. You just need to see it yourself as the strong person you are and find a way to cultivate it.

And no need for the machismo, unless of course that’s really your style. Sure that’s the best approach for some. I sincerely encourage you to Do your own thing. Go into the process being yourself whether you seek it in sports, meditation, counseling, forums, family, etc.

I did not join any forums like this. I did not ask a lot of questions. This did make more questions after. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦‍♀️ But, that’s me and the path that was right for me

You will survive. Day 1 stinks, day 2 is way better, and 3 you’ll be thinking this is not so bad Goes up exponentially from there.
 

JannerJohn

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2020
Messages
20
@JannerJohn I felt much like you are when I was first diagnosed, not at 55, but at 65. I even thought of not having surgery I was so frightened of it and was absolutely convinced that I would not survive it.

I was very resentful of people who were/are jocks or otherwise with the big personalities who can and do minimize and control their fears easily, orr seemingly so

But at 70, on January 7, 2020, I did have surgery, with a new biological Aorta valve and the ascending aortic aneurysm fixed. I did survive and was out of the hospital on day 4 afternoon. Back at a friend’s house for a nap before dinner.

I prepared by getting in my best shape physically, but most of all mentally. I did crossfit light for a couple years. Then as surgery approached and my moderate inched into the severe, I didn’t seek counseling, but sought meditation teachers, took 500 hours of yoga teacher training. I learned how to do Reiki myself and sought out Reiki healers. (I see many readers now tolling their eyes). But, I learned how to cultivate my own brand of calm.

we are all different. Look inside, and I’m certain you will find how strong you are. My goodness, you’ve certainly demonstrated that already. You just need to see it yourself as the strong person you are and find a way to cultivate it.

And no need for the machismo, unless of course that’s really your style. Sure that’s the best approach for some. I sincerely encourage you to Do your own thing. Go into the process being yourself whether you seek it in sports, meditation, counseling, forums, family, etc.

I did not join any forums like this. I did not ask a lot of questions. This did make more questions after. 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦‍♀️ But, that’s me and the path that was right for me

You will survive. Day 1 stinks, day 2 is way better, and 3 you’ll be thinking this is not so bad Goes up exponentially from there.
Hi Katherine I have thought about not having surgery but my wife rightly tells me that is not an option. Were you symptomatic before surgery and how do you feel now?
 

caro

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@KatherineA love this insight. BTW my introduction to Reiki was at Cleveland Clinic in the hospital room a few days after OHS. Reiki is amazing!!!
 

Superman

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Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,047
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I don’t know if it’s an individual or universal thing, but two of my most vivid memories are from waking up after surgery. Over 30 years ago, my dad was there and said, “Yup. He’s awake.” Over 11 years ago, I didn’t come out of it until 2:00 the next morning. Nurse was in the room and asked how I was feeling. Without a filter my first words were, “Feeling pretty sexy.” Still have no idea how that popped out of my mouth.

Not exactly related to the OP, other then to offer unique challenges make unique memories that make our lives interesting. Even if only to us.
 

caro

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haha!! That’s great @Superman . Not long after I woke up in ICU, I remember asking a nurse if I could have some Gatorade so that I could “have something to look forward to.” I don’t drink Gatorade so I have no idea what that was about but apparently I felt that Gatorade was special.
 

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