Surgery Monday

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Just got the news late this afternoon. The surgeon's office called and I'm booked for surgery Monday at noon! Quite a shock as I was expecting to have to wait a month or two longer. I'll have to do a lot of running around to get everthing prepared in time - mail, bills, work, etc. But I guess it's best to have it done now.

Whew! Well I'm going for pre-op Thursday and away I go. I still can hardly believe it's so soon. I guess it's a good thing since I was having to take it pretty easy outside in the cold or risk angina.

Wish me luck! I'll see if my brother can post a status update here for me.

Well, Alan, guess you got your surprise for the year! Just settle now and go easy getting things done. And, yes, pay those bills and take care of as much stuff as you can for now and then just get ready. You have been waiting for some while now so guess you must be ready to get it done. My prayers are with you all the way and then some. We will be with you as you travel along and will wait for your brother's posts. Godspeed
Alan, I'll keep you in the prayers also. I bet that threw you didn't it? I sure wouldn't expect anything that fast or should I say on such short notice.
hi alan!
what great news! atleast that shortens your wait!
we will all be praying for and thinking of you this thursday and on monday.
i hope your brother can let us know how things go; we'll all be waiting to hear.
i wish you all the best and just remember that the worst will be over soon. in just a week your surgery will be over.
God bless you,
Great news Alan-

It's time and soon you'll be feeling much better. We'll all be looking forward to hearing how things went. It will be wonderful if your brother can post for you.

Good luck and Godspeed!
Hi Alan,

I am new here, so I do not know you or what procedure you are having done, but I wanted to wish you the best of luck and you will be in my prayers!
Sharing the news

Sharing the news

I will be having aortic valve replacement and aortic replacement.

It's interesting how different people react to illness and surgery. Some of it has to do with personality and some with the specific situation. I've know that I would need valve surgery for over five years. For the first four and a half years I hardly told anyone outside my immediate family. Then as I started to get symptoms and surgery was imminent, I shared the information with some friends and colleagues. I guess the tension has been building up over the years and months. Perhaps if I was having gall bladder surgery or hernia surgery I would hardly think it worth mentioning (not to trivialize those other surgeries). But I feel as if the tension has been winding up for months and now it's finally released. I want to shout from the rooftops!

In different circumstances I might want to withdraw into isolation, but in this situation I feel comforted and supported when I can share what I am going through.


I know there are a lot of emotions involved in this type of surgery - much more than any other surgery unless you're having a transplant! LOL I had no known heart problems and then wham! my heart was at the worst stage for regurgitation and I had the surgery 4 months later. They wanted me to do it in 2 months (only because the waiting list was 2 months long) but I work at a school and asked could I wait until June and they said ok as long as I was a good girl! But, I really deteriorated in those few months and was ready for the surgery. They never figured out what caused my mitral valve to go. One month I was fine and the next I needed surgery! It may have been there before but no one ever diagnosed it and I had had many pre-ops for other things.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll be fine and you'll be back on the road to recovery soon. Don't forget a pillow and you'll need a recliner if you don't have one. Good luck.
Hello all,

Remind me, what are those essential items to bring with you? And the tips and tricks? I think there was something about holding a pillow to the incision?

Any threads I should be reading?

Hi Al,

Best of luck to you! I'm sure you'll do great! And the positive effect of surgery becomes apparent pretty soon afterwards.

Much like you I knew too that some day I would need valve replacement. Yet I didn't say much about it to anyone until it became very apparent I needed it. By the time I saw the surgeon I was shocked to discover he proposed surgery in a matter of days rather than months. It was quite a shock. I came out of the doctor's office thinking that "oh well, surgery... what's a little surgery?!"
Then reality sunk in with me and whamo! I was like MY GOD, I AM HAVING OPEN HEART SURGERY!!

Everything must feel confusing to you right now. As to what to bring to the hospital. Well, the pillow will be your best friend until the sternum is healed. I also brought a few things from home to make me feel comfortable -- semi worn out t-shirts that I could throw away. I brought many books and things, thinking I would get to read. Turned out I didn't read a thing... I just slept.

With my most recent surgery I spent a considerable time in hospital. I started off bringing "only" a small bag and then with time things piled up. By the time I went home three months after surgery I had a gozillion knick-knackety things to pack :eek: ...

While waiting, take a deep breath and try to invision how good you will feel once you've recovered from surgery :).

All my best!

/jessica :D
Alan's Nooner

Alan's Nooner

Going in for a nooner has got to be much better than a 6:00AM appointment on a Monday! You'll do good. You've got your faith, family and friends so now it's your time to just let it happen and look toward your future.

You are lucky to be so well prepared. I was clueless, but nevertheless I wasn't afraid.

Take a notebook (manual or computer). Maybe we can all share our thoughts and experiences and write a book about it some day?

Best of luck to you, Alan and we'll be here for you when you get back.
I slept a lot, too. Take a comfy pair of shoes or slippers as you will be walking the second/third day. If you intend to take your own sleeping clothes, be sure it's soft and opens in front. I wore their gowns the whole while. All of us in the hall walking, looked like zombies trudging along in the same outfits! lol There will be a TV, of course that you can watch as you probably won't feel much like reading. Hard to keep your mind on one subject for long, but if you like, take a book just in case. The PILLOW is your very most important takealong, tho they will no doubt give you one and be sure to take it everywhere, even the bathroom! It is going to be your best friend - and, of course, try NOT to do the 'evil sneeze' thingy. They come from nowhere and are usually a surprise and most unpleasant! For coming home, wear loose shirt. Others will give you ideas, too. God bless Like your new pic
Best Wishes Alan.

Best Wishes Alan.

Hi Alan,

That was quick. It seems like just a few months ago, you were sympton free. I know you will do just great and be back to your normal routine in no time.

I am curious as to how much angina you are experiencing. I am also having angina. It used to just last a second or two so I just dismissed it but now it sometimes last several minutes. I may not be too far behind you. But I will delay as long as possible.

Well take along anything special to you, such as pictures or other items that make you feel good. Of course don't forget the pillow!!
Take Care.

MVR 04/06/89
Dear Tammy

Dear Tammy


What's this angina thing going on with you? Is your St. Jude getting rusty? You're supposed to be our matriarch who's been there and done that 13 years ago! Don't tell me you're looking at a re-do??!!

I hate this kind of news.

Leave it to someone like Janie to think of the Valentine's cards for Alan! Super idea.
Hi Tammy,
I seem to get two types of angina. One is strictly associated with exertion. In my case that's walking outside in the cold weather. I get a squeezing pressure in my chest and some pain. I also get a bit of tingling along my right arm. Of course I slow down at the first sign of discomfort and it stops almost before it has a chance to start.

The second type is rarer, but is a mild ache or soreness in my chest that can happen even at rest. It can last for a while, but there is no squeezing pressure. I've had this a few times at the end of a day at work (even though it's a desk job).

Hi Alan and all -

Well I really don't know if what I feel is Angina or something else. It is not a squeezing but a sharp pain that worsens if I try to take a deep breath. For some reason when it happens I want to take a deep breath but I have to just breathe normally and it goes away usually quickly. I believe the cool weather this week may be a contributing factor and then there is always stress. I
have been slammed at work with year end stuff. This usually happens when I am at rest not on exertion.

Perry - My Medtronic Mitral Valve seems to working just fine. This would be related to the Aortic Stenosis that has progressed due to the Rheumatic Heart Disease. Thanks for asking. The valve will be a teenager this year (13) and we all know how teenagers can be. LOL. Well, at least I do since I have 2 of them.

Gina - Thanks for your thoughts. I am going for my 6 month check up today. I doubt I'll get any new info because we are waiting 1 year from last echo to do another. Unless he detects something new.

I really think I am just having a bad week. My sinus's are driving me crazy and it has been rainy and dreary all week. Not to mention my work overload and moving over the last month.

I will keep you all posted if I hear any interesting news.

Alan -
You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Janie - Are you wonderwoman? I certainly did not feel up to writing cards in the hospital. I just wanted to sleep and whine. Two things I am very good at. Just ask my husband. LOL.


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