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DJ-Rae09

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Apr 26, 2022
Messages
29
I would definitely advise getting one prior to your surgery. This was a really good decision that I made. Fact is, after surgery you’re gonna be pretty messed up. That’s ok and normal. It’s nice not to stress about how to use your device during that time. Get it PRIOR to surgery and practice with it. Don’t take it for granted that it will be easy. You gotta use a lance size and depth that will draw enough blood. And there is a technique to it. For real.

Because I purchased and practiced with mine prior to surgery, I was able to start testing successfully the day after I got home from the hospital. It was a HUGE help (for me).

Plus, my hospital seriously F’d up and let me leave with an INR of 1.1 and no Heparin shots (lovenox). They had put me on 5mg … but, that was too low. I need 10-11mg. Luckily - the fact that I was home testing allowed me to sort this out quicker. That said - I was still under 2.0 for almost a week with no heparin to compensate. Can’t imagine what this would have been if I wasn’t home testing. Ugh.
Thanks Tim. I will make sure I get the device prior to operation!

How is your recovery going nearly 1 month out?

Cheers!
 

Timmay

Active member
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
44
Location
Frederick, MD
Thanks Tim. I will make sure I get the device prior to operation!

How is your recovery going nearly 1 month out?

Cheers!
Pretty good! I'm walking 2-3 miles a day. My chest scar is healing well. A lot of the weird little things that have popped up as challenges from week to week seem to have gone away. I still have challenges for sure - but new challenges are few and far between. My challenges at this point are ...
  • musculoskeletal chest pain from the muscles and nerves all trying to come back together and be normal. No pain just sitting around. Just pain from movements. This is getting less as time goes on. This is mainly a problem when trying to breathe deep.
  • so sleepy. I'm just so tired in the AM and I feel relatively exhausted once I finish up work (desk job, working from home, software developer). I'm only working part time right now - 6hrs a day.
  • trying to get my lung capacity back. I'm up to 2500cc on the spirometer but I just feel like this should be more at this point.
I started Cardiac Rehab yesterday and it was cool because I was actually able to work up a sweat ... AND feel confident that everything was ok because I was hooked up to monitors with someone looking at what was going on.

Neat little thing: It is 4 weeks later and the two little scabs from the drain tubes at the bottom of the sternum incision JUST came off in the past 2 days. I still have a nice scab on the top of the incision. Being careful to let that stay on as long as possible to heal, heal, heal and heal. I definitely don't want an infection there.

Another little sidenote: Managing my own INR and finger puncturing every day. I can't wait to move over to every other day ... and eventually once a week. Let's do the math together. 30 days. $6 per strip. Probably 6 extra strips used due to mistakes. 36 x 6 = $216 in strips this month. Plus, it just gets annoying puncturing fingers every day. lol. I make it part of my daily vitals routine. After my morning walk I do Weight, Temperature, O2, Blood Pressure, INR, Blood Glucose (finger is already punctured so why not). I then also record my warfarin dose, total steps for the day, my max spirometer reading, my average resting pulse rate (also supplied by my FitBit) ... and some comments for the day. This sheet now really shows my progression and helps me track what is going on.

When are you scheduled?
 

Timmay

Active member
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
44
Location
Frederick, MD
... looking forward getting onto the other side and eventually enjoying a nice cold beer to celebrate with my new shiny valve :)
I saw this and just had to reply. I am so looking forward to this too. I'm sure I could probably have one now but I am playing it super safe and waiting until I feel almost normal-ish. Hoping that might be at 2 months. But I'm also content if it takes 3.
 

ValveAdmin

Administrator
Staff member
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Apr 9, 2019
Messages
163
Location
SE USA
I saw this and just had to reply. I am so looking forward to this too. I'm sure I could probably have one now but I am playing it super safe and waiting until I feel almost normal-ish. Hoping that might be at 2 months. But I'm also content if it takes 3.
Always better to be safe than sorry?
 

DJ-Rae09

Active member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
29
Pretty good! I'm walking 2-3 miles a day. My chest scar is healing well. A lot of the weird little things that have popped up as challenges from week to week seem to have gone away. I still have challenges for sure - but new challenges are few and far between.

When are you scheduled?
Nice sounds like you making good progress.

I'm scheduled Monday the 25th of July. I will be admitted to hospital day before.

I also work in IT for a global US software company (pre-sales engineer role).

Cheers,
Tim.
 

Timmay

Active member
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
44
Location
Frederick, MD
Nice sounds like you making good progress.

I'm scheduled Monday the 25th of July. I will be admitted to hospital day before.

I also work in IT for a global US software company (pre-sales engineer role).

Cheers,
Tim.
Gotcha. If you need anything brother - feel free to hit me up. PM me or we can chat on WhatsApp. Others here extended that offer to me and truly it’s been a huge help. I’m willing to do the same.

It was definitely difficult for me to go back to work - even though it was part time. I firs went back to work at 2-1/2 weeks after the operation for 4hrs a day. I did this for 2 days. Then I went to 6 hours a day. This coming week I’m going to try 7 hrs a day.

I drastically underestimated my ability to get back to work quickly. I underestimated OHS’s affect on my psyche. I underestimated all of the little things that I couldn’t predict. That said - everyone’s experience is different. And we all have our own journey.

Oh - change of subject - some more advice. Prior to surgery I picked up 6 brand new white towels and 6 brand new white T shirts … a larger size than I usually wear. This was a great decision and worked out great. It’s important to keep your incision clean. Use 1 towel a day. Don’t use it more than once. A fresh T shirt every day. Then when you go to wash them, you can use a little bit of bleach and they’ll get super clean. Every shower gets a fresh towel to ensure no bacteria or fungi growth.

it’s cheap insurance. I think each towel was only $3.50. And the 6-pack of t shirts was cheap.
 

DJ-Rae09

Active member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
29
Gotcha. If you need anything brother - feel free to hit me up. PM me or we can chat on WhatsApp. Others here extended that offer to me and truly it’s been a huge help. I’m willing to do the same.
Thanks so much, I will for sure reach out when needed :)

It was definitely difficult for me to go back to work - even though it was part time. I firs went back to work at 2-1/2 weeks after the operation for 4hrs a day. I did this for 2 days. Then I went to 6 hours a day. This coming week I’m going to try 7 hrs a day.
Interesting you were back at work so soon. I've taken 1 month off work and then see how I go from there.

I underestimated OHS’s affect on my psyche. I underestimated all of the little things that I couldn’t predict. That said - everyone’s experience is different. And we all have our own journey.
I can imagine.
As much as I think I'm prepared, I know it's going to be very tough in the short-term and nothing like I've ever experienced.

Oh - change of subject - some more advice. Prior to surgery I picked up 6 brand new white towels and 6 brand new white T shirts … a larger size than I usually wear. This was a great decision and worked out great. It’s important to keep your incision clean. Use 1 towel a day. Don’t use it more than once. A fresh T shirt every day.
Ok great, good advice :)
 

DJ-Rae09

Active member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
29
I do like my 7-9% New England hazy IPA beers though. Mmmmmmm.
I love anything American IPA....single's, double's, hazy, west coast or new england :)
We have a decent craft beer culture/scene here in Australia, but nothing like the US

I'm getting thirsty now :D

Funnily enough, I would've been in the US (Austin, TX) the week of my surgery for a work conference, that trip isn't happening now for obvious reasons.
 

DJ-Rae09

Active member
Joined
Apr 26, 2022
Messages
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