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Cactus52

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Messages
37
Location
Atlanta GA
Hello All

I have been in the waiting room for the last 4 years after a bad EKG (LBBB) led me down the road for additional testing Per the FAA and found my bicuspid aortic valve at 1.0cm. It has been stable until my echo 2 months ago where it fell to .8cm and I have become somewhat symptomatic, like loosing my breath climbing a flight of stairs or walking up a slight incline such as a jetway at work. I can still go out for really long hikes as long as it is mostly flat and I am slow to start and build up to a quicker pace.

Two weeks from tomorrow I will be under going surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to replace my aortic valve with the OnX valve using the minimally invasive procedure. (at least that's what they say before they run all their test) I have been dreading and been a little fearful of this surgery for a while now. In the last few weeks as I have been feeling I could go to sleep whenever I wanted and having a hard time catching my breath sometimes, I have reached the point of I can't wait for it. I know it will be an adjustment afterwards and there will probably be some pain and discomfort but as long as I make progress forward I feel I'll do ok. The last two months I have been upping my cardio where I am walking 40-50 miles a week, almost trying to get into shape and am now scaling it back to I have all my strength for the recovery.

I have to say that this Forum and the members have been great. I have talked with a few of you and other pilots who have had this done outside of this forum and have more information than I think I needed. Just want to say Thank you!!!!

I will post again after when I am up and around.........

Scot
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,026
Location
louisville, KY USA
Here's hoping you have a quick recovery.

I noticed that you have been on this forum for about three years so you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Most of us will agree that the "waiting" is one of the worst times that we had to go thru........and that will be behind you shortly.
 

pellicle

Professional Dingbat
Joined
Nov 4, 2012
Messages
7,169
Location
Queensland, OzTrayLeeYa
Two weeks from tomorrow I will be under going surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to replace my aortic valve
best of luck. Follow directions, do your rehab, in a few years it'll be "what was that?"

make sure you take INR management seriously and don't miss your pills. Don't believe the On-X marketing trollop ... safer to go with the current aortic valve recommendations (stay above 2, keep under 3)

Best Wishes
 

Zoltania

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Messages
202
Location
SF Bay Area, California
The collected experience of the members here is extremely helpful. I especially liked the pinned thread about things that surprised people, in the post-surgery forum. That thread taught me that I might get blood sugar tests and insulin injections while in the hospital, despite not being diabetic. I would have been taken aback had I not learned that ahead of time. There are many other examples. Not to mention the emotional support, which has been wonderful.
 

caro

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
18
Location
NYC
Wishing you the best! I had mine replaced in February with an On-X valve at Cleveland Clinic. Had a mini thor. Everyone there is terrific. The nurses were especially amazing which is great because you’ll be seeing them the most. During COVID they may not offer this anymore but if they still offer Reiki or some kind of meditation, I highly recommend it. The services are included and Reiki really helped me relax when I was in the step down unit. Deep breathing and listening to a meditation app before surgery and during recovery are very helpful. Something else I liked about CC- they arrange a van for pick up and drop off from the airport. When you’re picked up, they give you a good variety of snacks that really come in handy during your “stay.” Always happy to talk about recovery or CC if you’d like. It will be over before you know it, and you’ll feel great.
 

bizinsider

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
75
Location
San Diego, CA
Cactus, I had my work done at CC in March. Excellent experience. ICU staff rocked. Did not like the first nurse in step-down (zero energy/personality, which is a let down after there energy of the ICU team) and let our surgeon's nurse practitioner know. Presto - new and fantastic nurse. Not sure if your surgeon has a holistic nurse on the team but there is one - and you have back pain, and need relief – make sure to speak up. They did reflexology on me which worked like magic. Best of luck!
 

KatherineA

VR.org Supporter
VR.org Supporter
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
51
Cleveland Clinic has a Center for Integrative Medicine. They are fantastic. You can ask for Reiki, acupuncture, etc. it is very helpful, especially the first days.
 

Freebird

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 27, 2019
Messages
94
Thinking of you today, Cactus52. Can't wait to hear what it feels like to be done with the fun part!
 
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