Still kicking


wtnhunt
 Share

Recommended Posts

Friday May 21'st, underwent open heart surgery to replace my aortic root and valve.  Surgery at Vanderbilt went well, I am told I was only in surgery 4 hours, we were expecting 6.  Had to spend one extra day in ICU due to low blood pressure, but got to come home the following Wednesday. 

Things had been going ok with recovery, walking quite a bit, little more each day.  Not set to start cardiac rehab until early July.

Friday morning my heart rate took off and ended up in a fib.  Got in to my cardiologist Friday morning and he started some new meds and increased my metoprolol to try to get my heart rate down.  At rest it was running mid 130's.  

This morning about 4am heart rate shot up to 140, then dropped hard down to 80.  Been stable all day in the 70's to 80's at rest.  Think my rhythm is normal again. 

Anyway, other than being tired and still a bit sore, looking forward to feeling better for this fall.  Maybe will even get some time to hunt this fall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Ravin R10 man said:

Thanks for the update William!  God speed to a full recovery.!! 

Thanks Martin. 

Surprised, there have been 27 looks at this and you are the only one to reply.  No wonder this place is freaking dead.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/15/2021 at 10:20 PM, elkoholic said:

Let me add one more wish and hope for a successful and rapid recovery.  It may take a little time to stabilize and with any luck you can start rehab as scheduled in July.  Take care!

Thank you Dave.  Heart rate has been stable in the 60-70 range at rest the past couple days.  I go back to my cardiologist tomorrow morning. Hopefully can back off the metoprolol.  Imagine he will keep me on the eloquis and pacerone for at least a month, maybe into my rehab.

I want to be back to walking and building back my endurance.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/17/2021 at 4:34 PM, wtnhunt said:

Imagine he will keep me on the eloquis and pacerone for at least a month, maybe into my rehab.

Hopefully your visit with your cardiologist went well.

My thoughts.... The length of time for the Eliquis will depend on the type of valve, which for a biological valve is usually a minimum of three months at least and for a mechanical valve it may well be a permanent thing.  The pacerone may well also be continuous, depending on heart rate variability and AFib occurrence (which would also affect Eliquis therapy).  The anti-coagulant therapy could also be influenced by whether or not a left atrial appendage closure was also performed along with the aortic root and valve replacement, which is often the case.  All things to be discussed with your cardiologist if you haven't already done so.

Hopefully your recovery continues in the right direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, elkoholic said:

My thoughts.... The length of time for the Eliquis will depend on the type of valve, which for a biological valve is usually a minimum of three months at least and for a mechanical valve it may well be a permanent thing.

Thank you for your insight Dave.  He is tapering me off the eloquis(don't know why my phone won't let me spell it right, keeps auto correcting).  I go to two aspirin a day when I stop the eloquis.  Then a month later down to one aspirin.  It is an Edwards life sciences bioprostethetic valve.

1 hour ago, elkoholic said:

The pacerone may well also be continuous, depending on heart rate variability and AFib occurrence (which would also affect Eliquis therapy).

He has me already tapering off of the pacerone.  Cut down from two full pills to one and a half.  Then to just one. Then completely off it.

He backed my metoprolol back to just twice a day as well, total 100mg.  

Hopefully no more rhythm issues and I can start my rehab in a couple weeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William, I wish you the best with recovery.  The best advice I can give is move, move a lot, and dont be far from your heart pillow when you sneeze or cough.

And the reason I can give advice...

August 17th, I went in for open heart surgery.  Replaced my aorta valve, fixed an aortic aneurysm that was .2cm from bursting.  While coring out the valve, there was so much damage they had to use the largest mechanical valve made which cut into the electronics so they had to put in a pacemaker.  Not exactly the place I tought I would be at 36 years old.  In ICU for 7 days because I initially had an external pacemaker and the docs thought that maybe my heart would fire back up.  It didnt, do internal pacemaker went in.  Recovery was not horrible, but I have youth on my side which helps a lot, so they say.  I treated cardiac rehab as my personal gym and came out every day soaked head to toe in sweat while the others, way older and out of shapeish were there because they had to be.  Keep your head up and know it's good to be alive.  I remind myself everyday.  Also, I HATED metoprolol.  I begged my doc to get me off of it, but it was his way of controlling me and keeping me from over doing it.  The rehab folks were impressed I was able to get my heart rate up in the 150 range while on it.  At the 7 month mark the doctor told me I could stop taking it.  Though, I am not sure you will have the option to get off of it, I would suggest asking the doc for a different beta blocker if you have any side affects.  Dizzy, depressed, gain weight, etc...

Good luck William!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

The best advice I can give is move, move a lot, and dont be far from your heart pillow when you sneeze or cough.

Still rough 5 weeks later when sneezing or coughing, but not nearly as bad as a few weeks ago.  Pillow helps, when I haven't had it handy, just cross my arms over my chest tight, helps a lot.  I did get sternal plating, but have some popping in my chest when I breath really deep.  

 

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

August 17th, I went in for open heart surgery.  Replaced my aorta valve, fixed an aortic aneurysm that was .2cm from bursting. 

Glad you puled through, not sure what my aneurysm measurement was at the time of surgery.  Last prior echo showed 5 cm, in December.  Was growing about .5 cm every 6-9 months so guessing probably close to 5.5.  My valve, two of the cusps were fused, valve was heavily calcified.  

 

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

While coring out the valve, there was so much damage they had to use the largest mechanical valve made which cut into the electronics so they had to put in a pacemaker. 

My surgeon said my new valve was large, but it is a 2.9 and has three cusps like it should.  Way better than the original that was choked down to 1.2.  Surprised with your age that they put in mechanical rather than bioprosthetic.  That means blood thinners for the remainder of your life.  I know the valve I got will eventually need replaced, but they can do that with a non invasive tavr procedure 10-15 years down the road.   

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

Recovery was not horrible, but I have youth on my side which helps a lot, so they say.  I treated cardiac rehab as my personal gym and came out every day soaked head to toe in sweat while the others, way older and out of shapeish were there because they had to be.

Before the afib episode I was up to walking my pasture about a mile a day in 3 walks, that was at about 2-3 weeks post surgery.  The afib issue, they had me rest.  Back to doing more now.  I have been told my level of fitness will play in my favor for my recovery.  Looking forward to getting back to being able to exercise regularly.

 

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

Also, I HATED metoprolol.  I begged my doc to get me off of it, but it was his way of controlling me and keeping me from over doing it. 

I have been on metoprolol or other beta blockers since 2014.  Metoprolol became ineffective at controlling my bp in 2019 and they changed me over to carvedilol.  Had to also go on lisinopril and clonidine as needed, was taking 3 bp meds.  All due to the bad valve I was born with.  I gained weight and stayed tired.  Got up to nearly 230 in the winter of 2020.  Knew I was going to have to have the valve replaced and was determined to get to a comfortable weight and was around 200 by the time I had my surgery.  Hoping post rehab to get back down under 190.  I don't know if I will ever be able to go off the metoprolol, but hoping my dose will be able to be reduced.  

 

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

Keep your head up and know it's good to be alive.

Glad to have it behind me.  Thanks for the reply and encouragement.  Hope you are fully recovered and all is well with your family.  Good to see you check in too.

Thank you Lewis and Frank for the well wishes too.   

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, William !!!

Sorry to hear what you had to endure.  But glad the end result is a positive one.  Now that you got a rebuild kit in ya, you oughta be good to go for a lotta more miles.  Hoping that your recovery continues well and is as full as can be or better !!!! 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/25/2021 at 6:46 AM, wtnhunt said:

Still rough 5 weeks later when sneezing or coughing, but not nearly as bad as a few weeks ago.  Pillow helps, when I haven't had it handy, just cross my arms over my chest tight, helps a lot.  I did get sternal plating, but have some popping in my chest when I breath really deep.  

 

Glad you puled through, not sure what my aneurysm measurement was at the time of surgery.  Last prior echo showed 5 cm, in December.  Was growing about .5 cm every 6-9 months so guessing probably close to 5.5.  My valve, two of the cusps were fused, valve was heavily calcified.  

 

My surgeon said my new valve was large, but it is a 2.9 and has three cusps like it should.  Way better than the original that was choked down to 1.2.  Surprised with your age that they put in mechanical rather than bioprosthetic.  That means blood thinners for the remainder of your life.  I know the valve I got will eventually need replaced, but they can do that with a non invasive tavr procedure 10-15 years down the road.   

Before the afib episode I was up to walking my pasture about a mile a day in 3 walks, that was at about 2-3 weeks post surgery.  The afib issue, they had me rest.  Back to doing more now.  I have been told my level of fitness will play in my favor for my recovery.  Looking forward to getting back to being able to exercise regularly.

 

I have been on metoprolol or other beta blockers since 2014.  Metoprolol became ineffective at controlling my bp in 2019 and they changed me over to carvedilol.  Had to also go on lisinopril and clonidine as needed, was taking 3 bp meds.  All due to the bad valve I was born with.  I gained weight and stayed tired.  Got up to nearly 230 in the winter of 2020.  Knew I was going to have to have the valve replaced and was determined to get to a comfortable weight and was around 200 by the time I had my surgery.  Hoping post rehab to get back down under 190.  I don't know if I will ever be able to go off the metoprolol, but hoping my dose will be able to be reduced.  

 

Glad to have it behind me.  Thanks for the reply and encouragement.  Hope you are fully recovered and all is well with your family.  Good to see you check in too.

Thank you Lewis and Frank for the well wishes too.   

 

Sounds like we had similar valves. Diagnosed at 3 months old and knew this would happen at some point.  My aneurysm was a new thing.  it developed over the past 1.5 years and was around 5.9-6.0 1 month before surgery.

The surgeon and my cardiologist both suggested the mechanical over bio valve.  They are claiming they will not have to even think about replacing the mechanical valve for 40-50 years.  The bio valve needs replacing every 10-15 years depending on which doc you ask.  So, at 36 years old 40-50 before the next repair is nice.  Also, the doc/surgeon says they rarely, if ever replace a valve for a 3rd or 4th time.  So, my 3rd replacement could be mid 50s-60s for me and I hope to live a little longer than that.  We shall see.

My only meds now are the 81mg bayer and warfarin.  I can live with that for the rest of my life.  I just have to be a little more careful when I am 6 miles deep and cutting up elk/bear.  Gotta keep those self inflicted wounds down.  It would be lame to bleed out because I cut myself. 

Sounds like your doing great and I wish nothing but the best.

Look forward to that cardiac rehab.  I enjoyed it as I could watch the screens and see what my heart rate was doing.  I was back to work at the 10 week post op mark.  Week 4 post op, I was at 15k steps a day and week 6-10, I was taping 25k a day.  Once work started, that got in the way of walking and I am now down to 10k min. a day and normally average 15k.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I applaud the resolve shown by both of you.  Good physical condition prior to surgery is a key factor in a successful outcome and along with a positive attitude will be a major player in recovery and sustainability.

Wishing the best for both of you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Don, and Jerry for the well wishes.  

Back to the surgeon tomorrow, hoping he says I am good to do more, and still set to move forward with rehab as scheduled.

6 hours ago, 92xj said:

Sounds like we had similar valves. Diagnosed at 3 months old and knew this would happen at some point.

Bicuspid aortic valve, 2 of the cusps were fused.  I was misdiagnosed early on though.  I was told all my childhood I had mitral valve prolapse.  Had a heart cath at around age 4, 1973.  Technology then was obviously not what it is now.  Did not find out until 2009 that it was actually a bicuspid aortic valve.

Of our 4 kids, we know 3 of them do not have bavd.  Our oldest keeps putting off getting an echo.  

  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our 5 year old had her echo and is clear.  The 3 year old will be scheduled sometime this year.  So far, none sound jacked up like me, so I am hoping for the best.

 

And the mentally game is the toughest, luckily I am beating it.  I went in knowing when I woke up for surgery the mental game was going to be the hardest, but knowing I was alive when I opened my eyes was a huge mental help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 11:41 AM, 92xj said:

at 36 years old.  In ICU for 7 days

WOW!  You outta be in Prime of LIFE, and went through that??

William aint over the hill by a long shot!, Geez Louis, makes my aches and pains seem minor!  

GLAD TO HEAR YOU GUYS ARE RECOVERING, and can compare progress back to good health.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, 92xj said:

Our 5 year old had her echo and is clear.  The 3 year old will be scheduled sometime this year.  So far, none sound jacked up like me, so I am hoping for the best.

That is always the best news we get, to hear our kids didn't get this passed on to them.

My tune up kit was made up of a https://terumoaortic.com/products/gelweave/  and a https://www.edwards.com/devices/heart-valves/aortic-pericardial. I got the 29mm valve, largest offered.  Closed the sternum with https://www.klsmartin.com/en-na/products/implants-thoracic/implants-sternal-closure/lss/.  This stuff and the advancements in technology around it are amazing to me.

I had my surgical follow up today in Nashville, nurse practitioner instead of the surgeon.  Cleared me to drive. Keeping me on light duty a couple more weeks, then gradual building up as tolerated.  Some light popping in chest, probably just in the ribs, but not worth risking sternal healing issues.  Going forward with rehab as planned starting next week.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can expect some rib sounds, you are right. I had them for awhile. I had more issues with my leg where they took out some arteries ( or whatever ) for my bypasses. Got infection there, and went back for another week in hospital, but that is all behind me now, yours will be also, best of luck.

too_

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/14/2021 at 3:01 PM, wtnhunt said:

Thanks Martin. 

Surprised, there have been 27 looks at this and you are the only one to reply.  No wonder this place is freaking dead.  

It’s good to see you still around and that your surgery went well !!  I myself just logged in for the first time in years…..you may or may not remember me as a fellow mod back in the day.  Remember when we all found the Realtree forums when there were hardly any members….hell that was back in the day of dial-up and damn few cell phones lol.  It’s good to see so many of OG members still on here.  Most alarming thing I’ve seen is no youth room posts in over 3 years.  Not good.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

William, how's everything going?  Feeling good?  How's the mental health?  Having any odd thoughts these days?  I know that's personal, but we're all fake people on the made up internet, so it's ok.  Hope all is going well.  I'm 7 days from my one year anniversary...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share