One Month!

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CatDad82

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Jul 1, 2019
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Hello,

Thought I’d share that today is my one-month surgery anniversary. On July 10th, I had ohs at Johns Hopkins Hospital to replace my aortic valve with an ON-X mechanical valve and had a Dacron graft of my aorta. Dr. Dan Choi and a resident performed the surgery. I was in the hospital for a week. In that time, I came to truly appreciate the fantastic work that nurses do. I was super impressed by their care and attention.

Since I’ve been released, I’ve streamed a lot of Hulu and HBO. I’ve started a lot of books. I’ve gone from walking maybe a mile a day to over two miles daily. My mom and my girlfriend have been a huge help supporting me through this. I’ve had some problems with insomnia lately and there are times when the ticking drives me nuts, but overall, I haven’t has anywhere near the level of pain I was afraid of and I think my recovery has gone pretty well.

I miss being able to drive. I can’t wait for the surgeon to release me so I can start driving again. But I feel pretty good. I’m happy with my doctors and have much love for my family for everything they’ve done for me. I’m blessed that they found my aneurysm before anything bad happened and I’m happy with the care I received in the hospital and afterwards. My goal now is to get at least 50 years of clicking out of my new valve.

Thanks for letting me share.
David
 

pellicle

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Thanks for letting me share.
David
David
sharing is what this place is for (as well as impromptu rants ;-)

Please do take seriously the restrictions they've given you (especially on your sterum) and please do also take seriously the exersize and recovery of strength. Daily make small steps forwards but don't over do it and slide back.

I totally do not believe in blessings other than those bestowed upon us by the technology of the age we live in (that enabled your heart surgery and everything surrounding it). So, here's raising my wine glass to your health (as I dish out my warfarin for the coming week)

Your health!
(slurp)
 
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Protimenow

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50? Why not shoot for 90, and accept what you get?

I hope you've already gotten your meter and strips, so once your INR stabilizes, you'll be able to test weekly.

The ticking doesn't bother me now - I don't remember how much it bothered me after I first had it. (It DID bother others, and I was able to exploit it at a press conference or two - but that's another story.)

One thing that may help - and I don't know where your TV is in relation to your bed - but my little TV has a shutoff timer. I set mine for 30 minutes and turn on a program that's mostly talking, and set the volume low. It's enough, for me, to have the voice droning in the background, no thoughts of clicking, and, if I'm really tired (or the show isn't at all interesting) to let it drone on and put me to sleep.

Radio on a timer or, perhaps, audio from your phone may help.

If you've got a Google Home or Home mini, you can set it to play the sounds of rain, or a fan, or other ambient sounds for any amount of time you set it for. (Amazon's Echo probably does the same. Getting a 'relaxing' sound that distracts your mind from the clicking may help you get to sleep.
 

tom in MO

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....I miss being able to drive. I can’t wait for the surgeon to release me so I can start driving again. But I feel pretty good. ...
Congratulations CatDad82. I watched Ken Burns Civil War and every Law and Order :)

If you're off the narcotics, you should be able to drive. That's what I was told.

Some say they were told they couldn't drive due to the airbag, but the same doctor wants them to come in for appointments, blood draws and cardiac rehab. There's an airbag on the passenger side too.

I'd drive, what the doc don't know won't hurt him, but then I'm Irish/German stock :)
 

Keithl

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They don’t want you driving or in front seat due to risk of air bag. If you get in accident your risk damage to your healing chest. I am coming up on 4 months and got used to not driving or being in front seat quickly,Uber/Lyft is your friend. There are some good articles around the variation in sternum cautions amount many of the top cardio thorasic hospitals. My nurse basically said listen to your body, if it hurts don’t do it.
 

Protimenow

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I was such a pain to the surgeons and staff that they insisted that I drive myself home. (No, not really)
 

tom in MO

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They don’t want you driving or in front seat due to risk of air bag. If you get in accident your risk damage to your healing chest. I am coming up on 4 months and got used to not driving or being in front seat quickly,Uber/Lyft is your friend. There are some good articles around the variation in sternum cautions amount many of the top cardio thorasic hospitals. My nurse basically said listen to your body, if it hurts don’t do it.
Just because your doctor is overly cautious because his lawyer runs his practice, doesn't mean you need to listen to them :)
 

Protimenow

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I wonder how much less(?) damage you'll do to your chest as a passenger in a Uber/Lyft vehicle. If you're in the backseat, there probably aren't any airbags - in a major collision, the stress on your sternum could be pretty extreme. If you sit in the passenger seat, the pressure of an airbag, plus shoulder belt would also be pretty extreme. So - is it safer as a passenger in a car than it is to drive it?
 

Keithl

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Just because your doctor is overly cautious because his lawyer runs his practice, doesn't mean you need to listen to them :)
3 weeks is the shortest I saw when I read up on the recommendations, honestly while it was cautious I found my recovery was amazing as even driving requires movement and stresses to the sternum. At 12 weeks my sternum is fully healed and I can do everything I was doing before with no issues. The top sternum wire is annoying at times, but I gave my sternum 6 weeks before driving then 6 more before exerting any real heavy stress to it and I can't tell I have OHS other than the scar. I figured I would baby my sternum as recommended so that I do not have to deal with the "it can take up to a year to fully recover". My guess is an air bag deployment at 3 weeks would not be pretty.
 

tom in MO

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Well your post [I am coming up on 4 months and got used to not driving or being in front seat quickly,Uber/Lyft is your friend] made it seem to me that you are still riding in the back seat after 4 months. My bad :)
 

Keithl

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Well your post [I am coming up on 4 months and got used to not driving or being in front seat quickly,Uber/Lyft is your friend] made it seem to me that you are still riding in the back seat after 4 months. My bad :)

Ha. I rode in back seat and did not drive for 6 weeks. I hated ridding in back, but Uber/Lyft were mostly used for the 10 min ride home from Coumadin clinic each week. I also slept in my back propped up for probably 4-5 weeks then flat on back or side. It was around 12 weeks before I was comfortable laying on my stomach again.
 

Thomas

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Driving after surgery story:

Two days after getting home from my surgery I hired a service to drive me to the hospital for a follow up. It was the beginning of February. Got there ok in the passenger seat. On the way home the driver lost control of the car on the ice and rear ended the one in front of us. The airbags didn't deploy. It wasn't a major hit just a strong jolt; more damage to the vehicles than us. The police wanted to call an ambulance to take me back to the hospital but I declined.
Anyways, after the police left and we were ready to go, my driver was so shaken by the incident that I had to drive her! When I parked and looked at her in the passenger seat, she was still shaking. I drove her to a coffee shop at the end of my street and bought her a cup of tea and we sat for a while until she thought she was capable of driving again. Her service insisted on picking me up in another car and drove me back home (about 400 yards), I don't think I could have walked it at that point.
What fun!
 

Duffey

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Driving after surgery story:

Two days after getting home from my surgery I hired a service to drive me to the hospital for a follow up. It was the beginning of February. Got there ok in the passenger seat. On the way home the driver lost control of the car on the ice and rear ended the one in front of us. The airbags didn't deploy. It wasn't a major hit just a strong jolt; more damage to the vehicles than us. The police wanted to call an ambulance to take me back to the hospital but I declined.
Anyways, after the police left and we were ready to go, my driver was so shaken by the incident that I had to drive her! When I parked and looked at her in the passenger seat, she was still shaking. I drove her to a coffee shop at the end of my street and bought her a cup of tea and we sat for a while until she thought she was capable of driving again. Her service insisted on picking me up in another car and drove me back home (about 400 yards), I don't think I could have walked it at that point.
What fun!
That’s a hoot! Glad it turned out alright for both you and your driver!
 

Protimenow

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A rear end collision and no air bags? (They may have caused much more damage, perhaps, than just being yanked a bit by your seatbelt).

This is a great story. I'm glad that you're alright.
 
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