Open Heart Surgery, My Story
Where do I start?
First let me say that I'm writing this for only one reason, information for anyone experiencing symptoms that might be related to heart disease, to give you hope and courage so that you take whatever steps are needed for your good health. Doing nothing is not the answer.
Twenty years ago, my doctor told me during a routine exam, that I had a heart mummer. I was referred to a Cardiologist, and he told me that in ten years or so I might need surgery to replace my Mitral Valve. Well, the time has come. Tests and my deteriorating condition confirm surgery is needed.
So many questions, where do I find some answers, what are other people saying about their surgery, what hospital do I go to, what doctor shall I go to, pain after surgery, fear about the surgery, rehab, how long before I'm back to "Normal" etc.
He created an on-line community of heart valve surgery patients so folks can share their experiences. This is such a great help for patient's and family's about to undergo Open Heart Surgery.
Before surgery, you will most likely need to have a few tests taken. In my case I needed, an Echo, Angiogram, blood work, EKG, X-ray of chest area and urinalysis. You might need this and maybe additional test depending on your health.
You will need to trust not only your doctor but his staff of doctors, nurses and technicians. The whole TEAM. Do your homework and pick the best. My choice was Dr. Michael Argenziano of Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, only one hour away from my home.
I also had the Chief Anesthesiologist Dr. Jack Shanewise working on me. Wow! How did I rate the best?
A big help to me was my faith. Family and friends praying for me and my doctor and his team. So I walk with the Lord, He is always with me, He leads me to restful waters, He guides my path, He gives me courage, so goodness and kindness are around me. He gives me His peace.
A song comes to mind from John Tesh, I'm trading my sorrows, and my pain for the Joy of the Lord. If you click on the youtube link go to 2:30 on the time-line for that song.
If I didn't have hope for a great outcome after this operation, with all the pain and recovery ahead, I would not do this. I know that they have done thousands of these surgeries, but this time it's on ME.
Tuesday, 4 A.M., April 28, 2015.
So off I go to the hospital, to be continued.............................
Update, post-op 3 weeks
I'm feeling pretty good, progressing better then I expected. This is what I remember;
I was greeted at the hospital at 5 AM with smiles all around, from the valet to the admitting desk.
A nurse came to get me from the waiting area and took me to the "prep" area where I change into a hospital gown, spoke with my Anesthesiologist and Surgeon. Said good-by to my wife and daughter and walked into surgery. As the anesthesiologist placed a mask over my face he said "the next thing you will hear is the beeps and sounds of the ICU" and he was 100% correct. It was "lights out" for me and about 10 hours later I "came to" and that is what I heard. I was heavily sedated so I was in no pain but I did have a tube inserted into my mouth to help with breathing. They took very good care of me.
About 22 hours after the operation they took the tube out. Doctors and nurses checked on me every few minutes and I started to regain my strength. After 7 days I was sent home. Every day I increased in strength and well being.
I can't sing the praises of my ICU nurses too much, Justin and Eleasha, I will never forget you. God bless you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you or a loved one is in need of open heart surgery and would like to contact me, please do so. That is the purpose of this post.