Just had my TAVR two days ago.

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Ladybug

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Jul 30, 2019
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47
On Thursday, 9-19-19, I had my TAVR procedure here in Atlanta at Emory St. Joseph’s. The best fit for my size was the Medtronic Evolute Pro. I was amazed when they wheeled me into an OR that looked like Star Wars. The set up must have cost Emory millions of dollars.
The bed in the OR was shaped like an ironing board. Once on that, they attached a “gutter” like trap tray to place my left arm. Just before we got started they used a Velcro soft padded wrist band to anchor that arm in place so I couldn’t flail around. Not as bad as childbirth where they treat you like something out of a scene from One Flew Over The Coo Coo Nest.
Now for the nitty gritty. My eyes crack open when I’m sleeping, so in recovery...and I am not exaggerating...I was in acute distress with bee sting feelings in my eyes. I put on a black eye mask. When they would peel that back I would nearly scream. I was so light sensitive that the florescent lights in the hall felt like looking at an atomic bomb explosion.
I can’t feel the device in my chest at all and I’m not one bit sore. My right groin area has a bruise that two days out is black as a grape and it’s the size of a dollar bill. That first night around 9 PM I got uncontrollable teeth chattering chills. I had 8 blankets placed on me from out of the warmer. Also, a long sleeve fleece bathrobe that zipped up to the top of my neck, and my Linus blanket from home. I shook almost like a seizure but it was just chills. I developed a 102.2 fever. By midnight I knew I would not be dismissed on the first day. They put me on “sepsis watch.” The chills got better around 4 AM. Fever dropped to 101. Later broke. That whole next day, people paraded in and out of my room wearing mask, etc. I had two EKG’s over the day. I had a nearly 2 hr long
echo cardiogram. Blood draws galore...and double sized vials of those. BP’d me to death. I never even got a nap. Around 5 PM, the dr came by. He has a radiant smile and needs to TEACH bedside manner 101 to the the heart transplant guy. The heart transplant guy need to learn how to fake empathy. Medicare required that a full blown heart surgeon be in the room for the entire procedure.
Just watching the echo screen post TAVR, a first grader could have recognized a perfect beating heart. The valve is perfectly sized and placed. My left ventricle is not under strain any long. It’s hour glass shape was the best shape for me because the horizontal pressure of my heart needed that hour glass volume to afix in that spot.
By yesterday afternoon I was chipper and walking three times more than they asked of me. My daughter was my walking partner but did now need to have my arm.
My potassium is low but that’s from all the water I drank plus the IV’s.
I’m hooked up to 5 wires stickered onto my chest to measure electrical rhythm.
I am not in one ounce of pain. The only painful thing I’ve had was the eye episode which calmed down after Refresh was administered several times. And the IV line with adhesive holding it in place, had some pain, and Tylenol knocked it right out.
I’m 95% sure I will go home today. The dr thinks my chills and fever was an anesthesia reaction. My flu swab is negative. I had a senior citizen high dose flu shot a month ago. I highly recommend that people going to the hospital germ-fest, get a flu shot two weeks prior to TAVR.
Dr says my heart is in pristine condition. And it feels like my creative lights are on and somebody is finally home. They let me listen to my heart beat. I almost had tears. It doesn’t sound like a slurpy machine any more. I laid here in the wee hours thinking about how much I have to be thankful for. How lucky we are to be needing heart help at a time where the care is incredibly advanced.
Here is a picture of my 41 yr old cardiologist that’s done 700 TAVRs.
Life’s best blessings to all of you on this journey.
 

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John-3919

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Aug 7, 2019
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9
Happy to hear about your successful procedure! It must feel like a tremendous burden lifted off your chest. I hope you’re able to get discharged soon and get back home.
 

Ladybug

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Jul 30, 2019
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Great to hear Ladybug. My TAVR is Monday and hope I do as well (without the chills and fever).
There must be something to the power of prayer. I had tons of people praying for me. I have never had, in my 73 years on earth, a “surgery” / procedure where there was NO PAIN. It felt like divine providence. I pray every person on here has a great outcome.
 

Angie

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Glad to seeing you well enough to post. May you have an easy recovery.
 

Ladybug

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Jul 30, 2019
Messages
47
Update on recovery: one week since TAVR. I’m weak and sleepy. My legs become water when I walk around the house. How long does it take to get past that. (I’m age 73).
 

rich01

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Aug 23, 2018
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Location
Virginia US
Update on recovery: one week since TAVR. I’m weak and sleepy. My legs become water when I walk around the house. How long does it take to get past that. (I’m age 73).
Sorry to hear that. I'm on day 3 and except for a little discomfort in my groin, I feel fine. Sometimes get light headed when I stand up, but it passes quickly.

If your hospital stay was anything like mine, you are sleep deprived and probably dehydrated. Make sure you get good sleep and drink plenty of water.

If these are new symptoms that you didn't have before TAVR, I would definitely contact the cardiologist. I'm 70 and in good health except for the heart valve, and hours after TAVR I was fine. I've been walking daily since release with no problems.

I have a huge black and blue (actually purple) mark on my groin, but little swelling or pain. All the bandages except on groin came off yesterday. My heart seems to beat harder on occasion, the cardiologist said blood is hitting the arterial wall harder when exiting the new valve, and I won't notice it in a few days.

I wish I could be of more help. but I think your best bet is to try to talk to the doctor who did the procedure. If you call the support number they gave you, I'm guessing they will tell you to go to nearest ER which I'm not sure how much help they would be. I would want to talk to someone who has access to the appropriate health records and was familiar with the procedure.

Again, I was in good health with a strong heart, so my recovery is pretty easy. Your recovery might be going exactly as expected given your past health problems. I hope things quickly get better for you. Drink your water and take a nap.
 

harrietW

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Oct 24, 2014
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566
Location
Magrath, Alberta, Canada
Ladybug !!!
Your amazing ..
That's amazing. ..
So happy to see your post and that initially you had very little trouble no pain other than your eye episodes. Which must of been terrible.
Your weakness and sleepiness l am sure is to be expected. My word you are a warrior .
You have been three so much !!
Strong and brave.
I will watch for updates ... Hope you build your strength steadily over the coming days ...
So happy to read your posts. Xx
 

Ladybug

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Jul 30, 2019
Messages
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Harriet, I’m having chills off and on. No fever. Huge areas across my upper legs, that are eggplant purple. A quarter sized hard knot is at my femoral incision site. Not warm to touch. It’s ok.
I can put on make-up and decent clothes and nobody would know I’m 8 days out. If people come to visit, don’t put on make-up and decent clothes. A lady from church stayed 2.5 hrs, and I was as limp as a dishrag. To drop the hint that she was overstaying, I laid down on the sofa. I couldn’t help it. How do you convey to people that this miraculous procedure involves the HEART, and I/you are not shot from a cannon into a Wonder Woman outfit?
 

Protimenow

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Harriet, I’m having chills off and on. No fever. Huge areas across my upper legs, that are eggplant purple. A quarter sized hard knot is at my femoral incision site. Not warm to touch. It’s ok.
I can put on make-up and decent clothes and nobody would know I’m 8 days out. If people come to visit, don’t put on make-up and decent clothes. A lady from church stayed 2.5 hrs, and I was as limp as a dishrag. To drop the hint that she was overstaying, I laid down on the sofa. I couldn’t help it. How do you convey to people that this miraculous procedure involves the HEART, and I/you are not shot from a cannon into a Wonder Woman outfit?
Sometimes you may just have to be rude. Perhaps you can say that you've got to check your incision (or some other reason to make them consider leaving). Maybe telling them that 'I've got to check in with my surgeon' may do it - and sometimes they'll be gracious enough to wait while you make your call.

I think your strategy of going limp, and laying down was both honest and effective.

You could mention to them that, if you had an open heart surgery, you might still be in the hospital. MAYBE they would get the hint.

Of course asking 'don't you have someone else to annoy?' is often very effective.

If you just tell them that you're tired and need to rest may also be effective, honest, and might get them to realize that they've overstayed.

Before visitors arrive, set an alarm on your phone that will go off if visitors have overstayed. When the alarm goes off, look at the phone, turn it off, and tell them 'time for my nap -- doctor's orders.' They may get the hint and slither out the front door.

Take it easy.

Recover quickly.

Keep us posted.
 
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