Tomorrow is my day for AVR

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NorthWoods

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Champlin, MN
Down to the last day before surgery. Surgeon is planning a Mini-Sternotomy for my surgery and is installing an On-X valve. All the pre-tests and bloodwork came back good, and tested negative for Covid. Current INR is 1.02 at a natural point, so we'll see what he wants to do afterwards. I believe he said target around 2.0-2.5.

Surgery is being performed at the University of Minnesota East Bank Hospital. Excellent staff members and all said that I should have a great outcome.

Both of my daughters who live with me (I am a single father), are both pretty scared. I told the both of them that I will have a better quality of life afterwards, and hopefully a speedy recovery. Spring is almost here and I'm getting very impatient waiting for all the snow to melt so I can see the grass again.
 

Superman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Messages
1,140
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Wishing you and yours well. Unfortunately nothing will adequately prepare your daughters for how ugly you’ll be coming out of surgery. 😁 Seems these days packing us full of IV fluids is the way to go. We end up pretty bloated and pale. Might want to warn your daughters. But it’s normal. They start diuretics and the water comes off. I put on 15 lbs of fluid during the day I was under.

Sounds like you’re in good hands and have good support at home. Looking forward to your positive recovery reports!
 

Paul1972

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
160
Location
England
Down to the last day before surgery. Surgeon is planning a Mini-Sternotomy for my surgery and is installing an On-X valve. All the pre-tests and bloodwork came back good, and tested negative for Covid. Current INR is 1.02 at a natural point, so we'll see what he wants to do afterwards. I believe he said target around 2.0-2.5.

Surgery is being performed at the University of Minnesota East Bank Hospital. Excellent staff members and all said that I should have a great outcome.

Both of my daughters who live with me (I am a single father), are both pretty scared. I told the both of them that I will have a better quality of life afterwards, and hopefully a speedy recovery. Spring is almost here and I'm getting very impatient waiting for all the snow to melt so I can see the grass again.
Best Wishes for your surgery x
 

Keithl

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
381
Down to the last day before surgery. Surgeon is planning a Mini-Sternotomy for my surgery and is installing an On-X valve. All the pre-tests and bloodwork came back good, and tested negative for Covid. Current INR is 1.02 at a natural point, so we'll see what he wants to do afterwards. I believe he said target around 2.0-2.5.

Surgery is being performed at the University of Minnesota East Bank Hospital. Excellent staff members and all said that I should have a great outcome.

Both of my daughters who live with me (I am a single father), are both pretty scared. I told the both of them that I will have a better quality of life afterwards, and hopefully a speedy recovery. Spring is almost here and I'm getting very impatient waiting for all the snow to melt so I can see the grass again.
Good luck. As others have said the day before and morning of are terrifying. If you are in decent health you will, be fine. I was actually pleasantly surprised how it was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined. Do what they tell you, breath deep after surgery do the breathing exercises and warm as soon as you can and you will be fine. My surgery was on a Thursday and the next day I was doing work emails and that Monday I was working 6 hour days from my hospital room. I would do the breathing exercises more frequently and walk as much as I could. If my INR had gotten into range there were going to discharge me after 4 days, but would not until my INR was 2.0 or over.
 

Unicusp

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
169
Sorry I missed your post. I was a little busy myself! One week ago today.
Best wishes and hope all went well! Ck back when able. Take care.
 

Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
Down to the last day before surgery. Surgeon is planning a Mini-Sternotomy for my surgery and is installing an On-X valve. All the pre-tests and bloodwork came back good, and tested negative for Covid. Current INR is 1.02 at a natural point, so we'll see what he wants to do afterwards. I believe he said target around 2.0-2.5.

Surgery is being performed at the University of Minnesota East Bank Hospital. Excellent staff members and all said that I should have a great outcome.

Both of my daughters who live with me (I am a single father), are both pretty scared. I told the both of them that I will have a better quality of life afterwards, and hopefully a speedy recovery. Spring is almost here and I'm getting very impatient waiting for all the snow to melt so I can see the grass again.
Hi @NorthWoods,
How are you recovering?
Hope it is an uneventful recovery and your doing well.
 

Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
@NorthWoods that's great to hear.
You will get back to normal in no time!

How long was Intensive care and hospital stay?
Are you use to the 'clicking' of the valve?
 

NorthWoods

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Champlin, MN
@NorthWoods that's great to hear.
You will get back to normal in no time!

How long was Intensive care and hospital stay?
Are you use to the 'clicking' of the valve?
Was in ICU for a day and a half. Had a really hard time waking up and breathing on my own.
I barely notice the clicking of the valve. If I breathe deep, I can feel the valve working and a hard pumping.
Still have sternal muscle spasms that go up to my left arm, so still taking muscle relaxers daily. It is getting better.
Sneezing feels like someone punched me hard. 10 out of 10 in pain. Coughing is about the same.
I bit my tongue tonight eating and took over 2 hours for the bleeding to stop. Ended up using a gauze pas soaked in Lidocaine 2% solution and Afrin nose spray as both are vascular constrictors.

I started sleeping on my side a few nights ago which feels a lot better than being on my back. Takes me a while but can finally sit up un-assisted. I start cardiac rehabilitation next week before going back to work. Started driving a few days ago as was cleared by the surgeon and cardiologist. Felt weird but nice.
 

Meanjellybean

3 OHS, 1 mechanical on the way - ETA 2 - 4 months
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
57
Location
Australia, NSW
1 and half days is pretty good. Did you remember having the breathing tube in when you woke up?
I remember when i woke up they chipped my tooth as they took it out.

Ahha i dont miss those post surgery cough or sneezes thats for sure. Are you still on pain support medications?

I remember i was drugged out on endone and was watching "how i met your mother series" for the first few weeks. Everytime i laughed it was terriable. Not a good move on my part.

Has your INR balanced out? How often do you do blood tests? Or home tests?

A few people said that the on-x was not as loud as other valves.
Good to hear your doing well and sorry for all the questions.
 

NorthWoods

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Messages
27
Location
Champlin, MN
I am off the pain meds. Withdrawals were the worst. Nightmares, cold sweats, the feeling of being pinned down, waking up every hour screaming in pain. Now I can sleep and have normal dreams which is a lot better.

INR is taking its' dear sweet time. 2 weeks ago it was 2.1 and then 4 days later it was 4.2..... go figure.
Then back to 2.2 and again a 4.2 and the last check a 3.4
I started out on 6mg Warfarin and now down to 4MG. I have a feeling I will end up around 3-3.5mg daily to maintain the 2-3 INR. I go-in to the clinic twice a week to get checked and it is about 2 miles from my house so real close. I keep the same diet, which includes a beer a night or a Squirt grapefruit soda a day to every-other day. It's all consistent and my Dr has approved having those in moderation. I still eat my greens in moderation as well and more than likely have the exact same diet.

Most days I don't hear my valve and sometimes forget I even have a new one. However when I get a severe muscle spasm that feels like a heart attack.... then I know.

I take 1000mg Tylenol 3 times a day for pain management. That's it. Plus the 750mg of muscle relaxer, which I might get a refill of. I take one blood pressure pill in the morning to keep the pressure down while the valve tissue heals. I have about 2 more weeks of that then I'm done with lower blood pressure. I have to do clinic INR checking for at least 6 months before they will approve me for home checking. Meters and strips are not cheap and my insurance will pay for all of it. My surgery cost around $200,000 USD for everything so far and my insurance has paid 90% of it.
 
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