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British Heart Foundation
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The Real Journey Starts Here

The day has finally arrived I’m sat on the train to London’s King X from Yorkshire as I need to arrive at St Thomas Hospital for 4pm to be admitted for my surgery which is an Aortic Heart Valve Replacement .I’m being admitted 2days early as they found a lump on my Aorta on a scan they did on 26th July and want to repeat the scan at 9.15am tomorrow with contrast to try to get a better idea of what it is before they open me up and the operation will happen on Wednesday. I’m thinking about doing initially a daily update of my stay in hospital ( if I can type lol ) then a weekly update of my recovery once I get discharged . I’m hoping people won’t think this is too self indulgent I just thought it would be good for people who have just been diagnosed with a Bicupsid Aorta and have been told they will need surgery and like I was and still am slightly confused by the whole process and journey . I’m thinking about being 100% honest warts and all about my experience, how it affects my emotions, my relationships with friends and family and whether what I’ve been promised actually materialises at the end of it all. I think as well as helping others this will focus my mind and help me come to terms with what’s about to happen

I would be grateful if anyone reading the post gives me honest feedback on whether it’s a good idea or not as my intentions are to try to give a frank and honest report on what it’s like to suddenly find yourself needing heart surgery

Pete ❤️

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Good Luck Pete,

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Thank you so much

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Hi Pete, Good luck my friend and don't forget, stay positive ❤

I started a blog when I was first diagnosed and I felt it did help me. There were many times that I was questioning myself as to why is this happening to me, plus my mood swings were up and down. But writing the blog helped me and my family and friends understand just what was going through my head .

It's a good idea Pete and I'm sure it will help you ❤

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Thank you my friend great to hear how well your doing and that’s why I want to write about my experience so hopefully it helps others and me while I’m writing it

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It is much more common to admit OHS patients the day before so they can do last minute tests and all the paperwork, and not arrive stressed from a silly o'clock start.

I decided not to post for a while and feel this was a good decision. For the first few days I was none to brilliant. I was given my phone back quite early but with the morphine did not text about my bypass but a wheel change problem in the pits. No idea which team but I am a Tifosi!

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Thanks Michael I’ll try not to post medicated crap but if I do let me know lol 😂😂

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It’s a great idea. Looking forward to reading the updates. Good luck (you won’t need it. You’re in safe hands). Take care. Sending positive thoughts. Zena x👍

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Thanks Zena I’m keeping 5hat positive head on as me and you have discussed before sat outside Westminster Abbey people watching before I go into the hospital for 4pm think I’ll have a walk and grab a bottle of water it’s weird at the moment it feels like I’m on holiday ............ couldn’t be any further from the truth lol 😂😂

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If you are going to do it, I think you owe it to yourself and your readership to be 100% accurate (warts and all). It doesn’t help anyone to be hide the truth in my humble opinion.

Good luck with the op and I look forward to reading your reports of your progress.

Steve

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Thanks Steve I agree completely and hopefully my honesty will be appreciated ❤️

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Good stuff Pete & good luck.

I echo what Michael said about not posting too soon. I sent some quite weird texts to my family after coming round from my GA.

Take care.

Ian

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:) Maybe you were in the other pit crew! :)

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Good idea, honesty is the best policy, look forward to hearing from you

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Thank you

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Good luck Pete I've just been diagnosed so will definitely follow you hope all goes well !

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If you’ve just been diagnosed it’s a lot to take in you may have days where you feel angry days where you cry for no reason and iyou may also find that you can’t shut your brain off from thinking about it and if this happens remember it’s NORMAL I went through all the above and I’m sure I still will ........ I was advised by people on the site to keep positive no matter what and it’s right take one day at a time .

Take care you’ll be fine

Remember it’s goid to talk so use the site it helps

Pete ❤️

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Cheers Pete Docs put me on betablockers and said "no alchohol" is this cast in stone as I like a beer in moderation !!

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Docs put me on beta blockers also Bisoprolol 1.25mg which I’ve been on for 3 months and I had a few beers at the weekend with no side effects and I was not told to abstain from alcohol I’ve just re read the leaflet in the tablet box for you and mine doesn’t mention alcohol at all

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Hi Pete, good to hear you are going to be well soon. I am a South African, living in Durban, my late wife was born and lived in Doncaster before emigrating with the family in '66.

Regarding you sharing your road to recovery, feelings and thoughts with us is a masterful idea, and I will check my in-box daily for any news. While not being able to compile the blog yourself, consider asking a relative to give us feedback until you are able to do so yourself. I wish you everything you wish for yourself, have faith and relax.

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Thank you for your kind words

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Go for it - I too was recently diagnosed with bicuspid valve and a few other things wrong with my heart after a no warnings heart attack - life changes in an instant. Hope everything goes well for you.

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Join the club I was told I had a murmur 4 years ago but didn’t find out about the bicuspid valve until January this year it does change your life in an instant your right but remember getting it sorted even though it’s a massive shock it is better than the alternative you will be fine remember everything your feeling is normal don’t be too hard on yourself and positivity is the key

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I think it's a great idea and so helpful to others who are 'waiting' for their procedure. You can feel very alone with treatments and procedures. I am waiting to see my surgeon so very near now. I will be following! Good luck.

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Hi Debbie good luck when you see your surgeon it will be here before you know it and remember to Keep talking to close friends I found opening up about everything I was feeling to my best mate really helped

Pete

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Hope all goes smoothly. I've 2 leaking valves & awaiting annual checkup. Best of luck. Clare

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Thank you you too

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Good luck Pete. I too will be following your posts as also waiting for mitral valve op. I have experienced each one of the feelings you mentioned and very interested to follow your story - warts and all. You are in excellent hands.

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Hi Simms

Thank you so much my operation is tomorrow Wednesday 5th obviously things may be quiet for a couple of days while I’m out of it but I’m hoping to post by the weekend

Take care

Pete

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My op was planned for first thing Wednesday but was pushed back till after lunch. Put everyone into overtime as it was a lo_n__g op. Came around around 02:00 am Thursday. First really distinct memory is being given (un)healthy fish 'n' chips Friday (ate one mouthful of fish and one & a bit chips). Next was drains being pulled shortly before returning to ward. Was exhausted but the fight back begun with a walk to the loo - was on diuretics as had gained 9kg because of electrolyte imbalance. So weekend probably good point for starting updates again.

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Thanks Michael

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Good luck Pete. The blog is a great idea, and I am looking forward to reading every post.

Keith

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Thanks Keith

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I recently had an Aortic valve replacement. I could not hold a phone or have any interest in using my phone for a few days. Good luck with your surgery 😁

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Thanks Gill that’s good to know I’ll mention that on my list later

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Good luck Pete. It'll be me in about a month's time, also at St Thomas's, also AVR for a bicuspid valve. So I really hope it goes well for you. Personally - for purely selfish reasons - I'd definitely be interested in updates on how you're doing and how it all is at St Thomas's. From what others have replied it looks like telling people about what you're going through can be a great release, as well as of course a great way of helping others. But I guess it's logical not to lock yourself into "having" to post every day as some days you may just not be feeling up to it? I guess I'll find out myself in a few weeks! But as I say good luck with it all. Nic

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Hi Nic

Good luck yourself I’m sure things will go quiet from me for the first few days after my op but I am hoping to post from the weekend onwards

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Hi Nic

I’ll be in St Thomas’s too next month! Have you got a date?

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Thanks Alison. Wow! Good luck too. No I've not got a firm date as yet. CT scan booked for Oct 15 and (possibly optimistically) I'm only assuming op will also be next month, as they indicated possibly a fortnight after the scan or thereabouts. But as I say is that optimistic from your experience? I'm keen if I can to get it into Oct because of half term (my wife is a teacher) plus wanting to avoid winter pressures but I guess we'll see! How about you, have you got a date? Thanks. Nic

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I hope you do as well as my friend Shirley, she went into the Northern General Sheffield for her valve replacement, came out after five days, went for check up at six weeks and discharged, she was most disappointed that that was the end and nobody was interested in her anymore.

Look forward to reading your warts and all blog and best wishes to you.

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Thanks Rosei

I was born in Sheffield but have come to St Thomas in London as the consultant gear specialises in my heart valve problem

Hope your friend is ok

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Good luck and all the very best Pete

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Thank you so much

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Hi although I have a different heart condition I will be reading your blog,it's great to find out how others are doing after surgery,wishing you a speedy recovery, take care char x

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Thank you chaz I’ve read leads of people’s posts even though they have different heart issues I find it fascinating so hope you enjoy

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It amazes me how common this operation is! I had my AVR last November (bovine tissue). I can't believe how much better I am now than 18 months ago. I hadn't really been aware of the gradual deterioration in my health, but looking back it began around Christmas 2016. Getting more tired, which I suppose I put down to my age (mid 60s).

Following the op, take it easy and do as you are told. Keep a positive mental attitude and listen to your body. Take part in the cardiac rehab, if the opportunity arises. I'm doing really well, walking 6 miles, no problem, swimming 18 lengths likewise. I still get tired, but I manage it, if I've had a busy time I take it easy the next day. Best of luck. Margaret

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Fantastic your doing so well hope I’m saying the same in 6 months

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I think it's a great idea I have aortic regurgitation but I'm tri cuspic and I have an Aneurysm on my aorta so I'd be very interested in your updates I'm not at the op stage yet but I will be one day and it will be good to take away that unknown feeling. Thank you and all the best to you Pete. Regards Sue

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Thanks Sue a lot of the prep for this is mental and although you may have bad days which I have had when you wake up the next day just start positive again and try to gave the best day you can each day and if some days it doesn’t work it’s not the end of the world as I think they said in gone with the wind “ tomorrow is another day “ abd tgat is do true

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Good luck..stay positive.. looking forward to reading your future posts..hugs

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Thank you hugs back to you

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You probably have had the scan by now. I trust it was clear in that no new issues/problems showed up.

I was in St. Thomas's some years ago with a fractured femur. What I found was that (at that time) unlike many hospitals the food in the ground floor cafe/restaurant was far superior to that served on the ward. If you are allowed off the ward you might want to pay a visit! :)

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Wishing you so much luck Pete. I was already doing a paper diary this year so when I had my bypass in March I wrote things down. Its strange to look back on it but also so positive to see the progress and I am sure that will be the same for you. Take care xxx

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Great your doing well and things are really positive

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I will have to have this sooner than later and I would be very interested to hear how it goes for you .

I wish you all the best and look forward to reading how it goes

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I will try my best to keep people up to date after the op when I’m allowed to use my tablet and type

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Yes please I want to read your updates as I too will be going down the same route as you in a few months and I would much rather know exactly what I am facing, I hope all goes well for you

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Then you hope yours goes well when they give you a date

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Will your updates be on here or on a separate blog? Im a bit of a technophobe!!

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I vote for a separate blog DenHump as this format can get tricky to follow as it grows!

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You can click follow on my profile and you’ll be notified of anything I put in just gonna put titles like first 24 hours if the journey starts here etc etc I can’t do a seperste blog not something I’m proficient in I’m afraid

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Me neither....I didnt even know I could follow your profile...but just worked it out so thanks for that and the best of luck for tomorrow. How long ago did they say you had to have the surgery....so how long have you been waiting? How old are you if you don't mind me asking and are you going for mechanical or tissue?

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I’m 61 I found out surgery was required 3 months ago saw my current consultant on 26th July he put me on his waiting list which was supposed to be 8 weeks but I found out 3 weeks ago I’d only have to wait 5 weeks and here I am . I’m having a tissue valve fitted

Hope this helps

Pete

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Good luck. My sit was not that severe, but just 3 weeks after I am slowly getting somewhere.

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Thank you good to hear your progressing well

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Good luck pal, you'll be fine.

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Thank you pal

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Pete.....good luck mate!

In mid June I was an unexpected "guest" at St. Thomas'. Blue lights blazing, the whole thing! What a place it is! What a truly world class hospital. A jewel in the NHS.

I had an unbelievable level of care from everyone connected with my triple bypass operation. Everyone from the surgeon to the dinner ladies and even the guy whose job it is to constantly check the water supply.

I'm looking forward to your blog. Put your trust in the staff there. My only piece of advice .... take your recovery slowly, it'll take longer than you might think. No prizes for rushing.

All the best.

Alec.

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Thanks Alec I’ll listen to you’re advice

Cheers pal

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Pete. I was an "inmate" at St Thomas' 12 weeks ago for elective surgery to replace my stenosis riddled biscupid aortic valve and repair my ascending dilated aorta. Cannot speak highly enough of the hospital and staff. I arrived the day before my op to a no bed on Doulton Ward situation so I was given a suite on the 8th floor (the private wing ). I found the 5 days I was there most enjoyable !!!!!

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Ardross Thank you for your message great to here you’ve been here for exactly the same operation and it sounds like yours went well and your doing good ......... that’s nice to know 😀😀

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Good luck from me, someone who's on a waiting list for a different type of op at Guy and At Thomas's but regardless of why we are all here, we are all connected someway or another. Take care

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Good luck Pete and think it's fantastic idea for updates...sending best wishes x

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I think it's a grand idea. What insight you have been given to write your blog I look foward to reading it. Fingers crossed and, anything else that can cross, is crossed for you. Please include the "medicated crap. 😷

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