Living with a Mechanical Heart Valve: Click.Tick.Thump. Love It!

Support Group for Mechanical & Artificial Heart Valve Surgery & Using Warfarin

As I have basically been sitting here waiting for appointments and word on insurance it seems that there are times I feel like I am going to go crazy. It didn't help that Monday the 27th of September was unusually quiet around the house... that eerie dead silent, gloomy outside, no rain or wind or noise, just dark sky's, extremely calm before a big storm quiet.. I hope there wont be any more days like that before or after my surgery. I have been trying to hang out with friends and continue going to events before I am laid up for however long it will take to recover after surgery. But, the waiting for it to come and be over with is feeling long and dragged out. Even now I started counting down the days until I go in for surgery. About 22 days give or take a couple hours. 3 more weekends and I do have some adventures planned but not sure if they will go through.

I have the check up from the catheter test On October 1st, the last Surgeons visit on October 14th and then Surgery on October 20th. I kind of feel anxious and hope that feeling is normal. Not knowing how things will turn out is probably my biggest concern. Although I keep being told by more and more friends, family and new acquaintances that I will be ok and that the incident 2 months ago with a teenager who died on the table was a rarity, and that he was in a different situation than I am/will be. They are saying he was an emergency operation and that his wasn't caught in time.

In any case I do have one wish or request that I am trying to fulfill before my surgery. I just want someone to cuddle with and have listen to my chest once before surgery and then after the bandages are off do it again sometime.. not different people but the same person. It's kind of hard for me as I am single and shy. All of my friends are taken and I can't ask them. I guess I feel weird about it or something.

Does anyone have any suggestions or stories on how to pass the time? I know I have been cleaning and moving things around when I can, but, sometimes I feel the need to do something else.

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Comment by Jonathan F Bushey on October 26, 2010 at 13:48
Hi Bruce, Ya I came home Monday morning at 11:10am. Even in the hospital i was feeling better but personally not sure if I was ready to go home. Now I am home and everything seems to be fine. and being able to use my shower is going to feel so great compared to sponge bath in that small washroom. got to get used to doing stairs and so on again and it's hard to keep the puppy down and off of me but we're working on it.

I foresee many naps coming lol. as the walking around and moving around take alot out of me, especially the 11 stairs from my room to the kitchen right now.
Comment by Bruce Blanchette on October 26, 2010 at 13:11
I've been wondering how you were doing. Have they let you go home yet?
Keep ypur chin will continually get better as the days pass.
Comment by Richard Deal on October 26, 2010 at 11:36
great to hear from you Jonathan! All the best for the road to recovery...
Comment by Jonathan F Bushey on October 26, 2010 at 8:05
So ya the hardest part was waiting... right up until the anesthesiologist said, take 3 deeps breaths which was the oxygen and then the second time he said it it was the sedatives and so on, I was out by the third breath and know it, the next thing I remember was waking up wit the tubes in me in recovery not knowing that it was 3 in the afternoon then
Comment by Jonathan F Bushey on October 19, 2010 at 20:56
That seams to be the general word from everyone is reading material.... gonna bring my sketch book if I can feel up to it, and filling my MP3 player with music i love and keeps me chilled out.

Another friend was in the same hospital a couple of months ago for a different kind of surgery but said the food was pretty decent... but then again one nurse and his life mate were going to Dunkin Donuts twice a day for him, for coffee and news paper and a bagel lol
Comment by Bruce Blanchette on October 19, 2010 at 18:48
Bring lots to read. Don't eat the meatloaf. (I had some nasty hospital meatloaf, just the smell of it ruined the rest of my day :)) The first night in intensive care wasn't that bad because I was so sedated.
I did found it helpful to get up and sit in a chair and then get back in bed....back and forth, even for short times. Also, the nurse gave great back rub downs while I was all hooked up to the monitors. Hang in there and good luck.
Comment by Richard Deal on October 19, 2010 at 16:40
although it sounds a little disturbing, make sure you have plenty of clean underwear. anaesthetic can do some horrible stuff to your digestive system, and you might not be able to move as quickly as you would like, or even be allowed to...
good luck for tomorrow - i'm rooting for you!
Comment by Jonathan F Bushey on October 19, 2010 at 15:32
As the final day of waiting for surgery hours tick by I am finding myself to be anxious and scared and more... not sure how things are going to go and wondering to myself what it will be like when I wake up after surgery. Can not help but think if I should have gone to the tour and class last week to better prepare for what I will see and hear before and after surgery.

Trying to figure out what I can and cannot bring with me to the hospital and organize everything so it can be grabbed from home in the days following as I become more able to do stuff.

Any suggestions? I am thinking of bringing the heart hug pillow I already received from the catheter day as well but have been told I will get another after surgery
Comment by Jonathan F Bushey on October 7, 2010 at 17:08
Thanks Bruce.

I have been waiting about that long as well... Since July 21st when they released me from the Hospital after my 2 nights/days stay over when I had signed myself into the E.R. for difficulty Breathing, shortness of breath and coughing up blood for a couple of hours straight. The Surgery is on October 20th, 5 am Arrival time, 7:15 am Start time (all EST daylight savings and all that lol).

I have had my Catheterization tests done on both the right and left sides of my heart. They did find one small artery on the way there that is 89% blocked but its a small insignificant location and they will treat that after surgery. Not to mention it is the only blockage they found with all of the tests. Other than that they said I am good to go and surgery should be a breeze.

Friday the doctor told me that he was impressed with my improvements both physically and mentally. So that has put me more at ease knowing that I am doing good on my own. I am working on finding that "place" I want to be before surgery and getting my mind in the right setting. Everyone I have met locally that has had the surgery or knows someone who has gad the surgery all said the same thing about it being difficult at first during recovery but it will get better and easier as time goes by.

I already have one heart hug pillow from the catheter test day and was told I am going to get another one when I come out of surgery. I know that it is a very slim chance that anyone from the Galway Middle School in Upstate NY USA would be reading this now but I need to thank Brendon for the Heart Hug pillow I received from the Saratoga Springs Hospital the day I had my catheter Test done. I think it's cool that students are encouraged to do things to help others in need whether it is locally or world wide.

Gathering things to make a bag to take with me to the hospital for my operation and the recovery afterwords. Have a "thick" but intellectual book I have been meaning to read, setting up my MP3 Player with all the songs and kinds of music I like and take me to happy places, thinking of bringing my deer that I had when I had the first open heart surgery at 2 yrs old (yes I still have it lol and back then made them make an id tag for it too), I am also updating the lap top so i can use it, was told I should have net available so i can watch movies and check email and so on.

Again Thank you all for your calming stories and the knowledge of what I most likely will experience as things go on. It really has been a big help.
Comment by Bruce Blanchette on October 7, 2010 at 15:30
I had to wait two months or so for my sugery. It was not an emergency situation.
It was a tough wait and what you are going through is normal. When I was waiting, the whole thing seemed very unreal. I just couldn't believe it was happening. Even the night before and the morning of I almost felt like it was an out of body experience and it was not realy happening to me. In preparation for my recovery I got myself a Netflix account and loaded up the que with movies. I made sure I had a number of books to read. I even got a crew cut for the fist time in my life. I figured, I'd feel better since It would be hard to wash my hair. I liked the low maintenance so much I still have the short hair 10 years later. On the day of, take the sedatives they offer you right away to take the edge off. During preparation for surgery they gave me something in my arm that made me laugh uncontrollably right up until they knocked me out. Right before they knocked me out the anesthesialogist (spelled wrong I'm sure) told me to think of somewhere special to be. So get a head start on where you want to be during your surgery and picture it in your mind. The worst part was the first week after returning home but it gets progressively better. Hang in there, you will be fine.


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