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

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

Jonathan F Bushey
  • Male
  • Ballston Spa, NY
  • United States
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Jonathan F Bushey's Discussions

Recovery Pains
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How long or often do any of you receive or feel pain in different parts of your chest after your operations? I had my surgery done on October 20th 2010 and every now and then I get pains in the…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Graeme Aug 22, 2011.

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A little bit about me I guess:

I am a 33 yr old Single white male who was born with Aortic Stenosis. I had been seeing a cardiologist since I was 4 months old and have now been moved on to a new team of cardiologists as the one I had been seeing specializes in pediatric cardiology and I am definitely an adult in body and age but not at heart. I had my first open heart surgery at 2 years old to open up the valve (balloon angioplasty) and cut the aortic valve into 3 leafs (since there was only 2 and there is supposed to be 3, one was the size of 2 combined). I am a member of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), which is a world wide organization that "re-creates" medieval life styles and activities. Lots of new friends from all walks of life all over the area I live in and most are helping me get through this rough patch.

Since July 19th, 2010 when I signed myself into the ER for Difficulty breathing and coughing up blood I have been informed that I was in CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) and all 3 cardiologists, the ER Doctor and the in house Hospital Doctor all said that I should have died with the episode I had had on July 5th. They all said the same thing that there is some higher power holding e up or something.

Since my 2 day stay in the hospital I have seen my original cardiologist, who I had since I was 4 months old, and now another group of Cardiologists that will continue his work. It's a unanimous decision that I need my aortic valve replaced. The final decision is that I will be receiving a St. Jude's Bi-Leaf Mechanical valve. The surgery to do this is now tentatively scheduled for Wednesday October 20th, 2010 in Albany, NY, US at St. Peter's Hospital. The surgeon is going to be Dr. Edward Bennett who, it is believed, was present when I had my original open heart surgery at 2 years old, just waiting on them to find the original op note to confirm.

It's been almost 31 years between the 2 operations so I had a great run on what they thought would be a temporary fix. I can only hope that I have the same luck this time around. I am surrounded by friends and family who are supporting me and have found who are true friends and who are just there for what they need and want. We all knew this day would come at some point in time but I wasn't quite ready for it to be now. Especially after all the times the doctors had said it would have to be replaced by the time I was 9, then 10, then 15, then 25 and then 35. I am now 33 so the last one was pretty close.

Since the Hospital stay (September 19, 2010) I have dropped from 280 lbs (most was probably the fluids in my lungs and so on) down to 233.5 lbs (September 15, 2010) and will continue to drop weight as I need to go another 60 lbs. The low sodium (2 Grams/2,000 mg a day) diet and lasix (furosemide 40mg) have probably helped a lot. I am still going to events and practices and classes as normal since as I see it I should and will make it through this speed bump in life. My friends and I are planning on attending several events after Surgery.

On Monday September 20, 2010 I will have a catheter done to check things out internally. This may change the surgery to a closer date but I think it will remain the same.

I guess this is all for now. have any questions or comments let me know and I will be glad to answer them.

This is Deer, he's been with me since before my first operation when I was 2.... 31 years always been there when I needed a hug

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Jonathan F Bushey's Blog

Surgical adventures and the start of the recovery process

Well it's been just about 14 days since my surgery for Aortic Valve Replacement and roughly 9 days since I was discharged from St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, NY. The adventures of the newest chapter in my life have begun and some times I get a little confused or scared but at the end of the day I some how find myself pointed in the right direction. I am only 33 years old at the moment but…


Posted on November 5, 2010 at 14:00 — 4 Comments

Waiting is one of the hardest parts.

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… Continue

Posted on September 28, 2010 at 20:40 — 14 Comments

Comment Wall (16 comments)

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At 18:42 on February 11, 2011, Graeme said…

Seems like its all coming togehther Jonathon - wel ldone!





At 8:51 on December 10, 2010, Graeme said…

Hey Jonathon


seems you are getting it right...well done! I also had my yearly cardio visit last week..naied it..bp perfect 80/119 echo was terrific and cardio exercise test showed average fitness for person... 10 years younger..! maybe we should start marketing valve replacments for all.. :-)  cheers Graeme

At 22:05 on November 23, 2010, Bruce Blanchette said…
Hey there Jonathan!!
I've been wondering how you were doing (I hadnt been back to this site in a while)
I am very glad things are going well. Happy Thanksgiving. I am sure it is more meaningful than ever.
How's the scar healing?
At 23:34 on November 18, 2010, Richard Deal said…
can you get a coaguchek xs on worker's comp (?)... nothing better than testing yourself - granted it is capillary blood and not venous, but i find it accurate...
At 23:06 on November 18, 2010, Richard Deal said…
great news jonathan... keep on the good recovery road!
At 19:29 on November 11, 2010, Graeme said…

a big YAY! for you 2 from me..thats a good brisk walk..hope no puffing or blowing??? Too cold and windy and wet to walk here..blowing a gale and raining sideways...ah.. i do love (not!) England in the winter..!

take care

At 8:58 on November 5, 2010, Graeme said…
Jonathon, just checking in..seems like you are coming along in leaps and bounds..a long walk and done in good time..well done you!


At 17:22 on October 31, 2010, Graeme said…

sounds like things are progressing well good for you! keep us posted on how things progress and any questions you have!


At 12:43 on October 18, 2010, Graeme said…
Im sure the could donate them to a museum..!! hang in there! cheers Graeme
At 15:16 on October 15, 2010, Graeme said…
Hey Jonathan

Hang in there! Best of wishes for the tests today and upcoming surgery..don't worry - you are going to be fine! Keep us al posted on your progress...




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