I've crossed the line into severe and need to make a decision

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Chuck C

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Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,512
One year anniversary!

Well, I made it to the one year! Sometimes called the valviversary.

At this point life is very normal for me and has been for many months. In fact, it’s easy to forget that I had open heart valve surgery just one year ago. I am reminded by a little pill that I take every morning and every time someone at my gym asks me if I want to box. Head strikes are now a no-go, so boxing is now out for me.

Although I now skip the boxing, I have been very physically active and within a few months of surgery started hiking Mt Monserate 5 days per week once again. At about the 12 week point after surgery I started running on the downhill. I uploaded a little clip below of me hiking up part of the mountain then running down.

I’m also back at training jiu jitsu, as of about 6 weeks ago. I’d like to continue working towards my black belt. It’s a grappling sport, with no striking, so it is ok as long as I use some caution in which training partners I choose.

My cardio has felt strong, in running and also in competitive jiu jitsu sparring.

As those of us on warfarin know, one of the challenges is when we have surgeries or procedures which require coagulation. A week ago I had my first such procedure- a radio frequency ablation of a benign thyroid nodule. We were able to successfully complete the procedure without bridging. I just had to bring my INR down to 1.5 or lower. Because I self-manage my INR, I was able to test often and only stayed in the 1.4-1.5 range for about 24 hours. I might create a separate post on how I achieved this.

If there are others that come across this thread who have not yet had their surgery, please know that you can return to a normal active life following recovery, even if you are on warfarin. It is a bump in the road, but life will return to normal.

I am so glad that I found this site 4 months prior to my procedure. I’d once again like to express my gratitude to the members here. It was such an incredible help emotionally to connect with others who had faced this procedure and the discussions also helped dispel many of the popular myths surrounding it.
 

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pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
9,907
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
were able to successfully complete the procedure without bridging. I just had to bring my INR down to 1.5 or lower. Because I self-manage my INR, I was able to test often and only stayed in the 1.4-1.5 range for about 24 hours. I might create a separate post on how I achieved this.
I know such takes time, but I believe someone else other than me saying these things is beneficial.

 

Beach77

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
55
Location
San Diego CA
Happy anniversary Chuck! I'm 1 year and 4 months and will have my first bridge in a couple of weeks! Life is back to normal too! I also forget at times about the surgery. Hope all is well with your thyroid! I think my thyroid causes me more issues than my heart! Ellen
 

d333gs

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Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
169
Location
France
LOL! Thats a great clip Chuck! Bravo! Have you fallen yet? I gave up the chancy stuff when I went over the handlebars on decent with my mountain bike (two months pre ohs). I still hurt just thinking about it.
 

Chuck C

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2020
Messages
1,512
LOL! Thats a great clip Chuck! Bravo! Have you fallen yet? I gave up the chancy stuff when I went over the handlebars on decent with my mountain bike (two months pre ohs). I still hurt just thinking about it.
Thanks. Good question.

Prior to surgery on two occasions I fell while running the downhill. One of the falls was pretty bad- some cuts and bruises. Since surgery I have been much more cautious, being more mindful of my steps. No falls since surgery.
 

Peej

Active member
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Messages
35
I am so glad that I found this site 4 months prior to my procedure. I’d once again like to express my gratitude to the members here. It was such an incredible help emotionally to connect with others who had faced this procedure and the discussions also helped dispel many of the popular myths surrounding it.
Happy anniversary Chuck. You've given a lot back to the forum too. Wishing you many more!
 

Luckyguy17

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
512
Location
Montreal, Canada
Yes, I would say it feels great. I think that we have a lot to be grateful for. Imagine if we had this condition and were born pre 1950. It's not cake walk, but it's treatable with a very successful operation and for this I am grateful.
A great update Chuck and congrats on the one year, wishing you many more.

We also need to be thankful for the diagnosis which allowed for the surgical solution extending high quality life.

I have lost several seemingly healthy friends in their 50’s and 60’s from heart attacks and strokes. Have often thought there may have been an undiagnosed condition, possibly treatable with medication, preventive surgery, or lifestyle changes, which could have extended their lives, possibly for decades more.

Heart disease today is so highly treatable once diagnosed.
 

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