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?
OMG I go to the same cardiology group at Emory St. Joseph's. The cardio in your photo isn't my cardio but he did perform a TEE on me 6 years ago.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.