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British Heart Foundation
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Long wait is almost over - update

First of all I’d like to thank everyone who responded to my post. The support people give on this forum is amazing.

Apologies for the late post, but I have had a couple of terrible days, and not due to the operation! I have an intolerance to some painkillers (like many people) and they made me quite ill. And I was worried about the AVR and double bypass!

I’ve been put on warfarin for three months, so this morning they came to test my blood (can’t remember what the test name). Anyway the machine kept timing out, so the nurse tried it four times! She came back and tried again a bit later - same thing, four times. Not good for someone who doesn’t like needles!

Apart from that everything seems fine. I have the day four tests tomorrow, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Will post an update ASAP.

Thanks again you wonderful people.

Keith

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Hi Keith, glad to see you are now on Recovery Road! Many of us have the odd bad day I initially - I had a fever (thought to be related to the transfusion) and then developed an electrolyte imbalance. The test you are looking for is the INR (international normalised ratio) used to regulate warfarin dose. You can get a system for home monitoring but probably not worth it for a few months. Remember there will still be to odd bad day but things will move forward but not as fast as you would like. Take care!

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I suppose I’ll have to be realistic, and accept there will be bad days as well as good, although it must be easy to get frustrated when things don’t move on as quickly as you’d like. Still, as long as they are moving in the right direction....

I hope all is well with you.

Keith

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Well done, Keith.

Looks like you've come through the surgery unscathed and are now focussed on recovery. Wafarin for three months s no bigee and the time will fly. Furthermore, twelve weeks will see you in or approaching a new normal; hopefully pain free, mobile and well into cardio rehab. I hope you get discharged soon and get some quality sleep at home - something else to look forward to.

Best of luck with your recovery, Keith. Positive mental attitude is probably your biggest ally.

Onwards and upwards

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So far, so good, but I’ll wait and see what tomorrow brings. I know it’s not going to be easy, but I’ve not come this far to give up😁

I’m definitely looking forward to a good night’s sleep, and not being disturbed for observations!

I have to say that the staff at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital have been fantastic. I think I remember reading that you were here too.

I hope your recovery is going well.

Keith

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Yep- I'm another LHCH success story.Well remembered

Nearly 9 months post-AVR. Gradually nailing all the things I couldn't do during the months preceding surgery and off to the French Alps for some snowboarding in Feb. Just my version of cardio rehab!

How lucky am I?

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Snowboarding - the new cardio rehab. That is amazing. I hope you have a fantastic time, and that you’ll update us on how it went.

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I’m another LHCH success story. I had a triple bypass in April 18 there. I too was in a little while longer because initially my lungs were functioning properly & I had to be given oxygen through a special mask & I stayed on cardiac intensive care a bit longer before going to the recuperation ward for nearly a week.

The staff there are wonderful & caring aren’t they.

Jean

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Hi Jean,

Pleased to hear that you also had a positive experience. As I’ve said in other posts, the staff here are amazing. They create such a calm environment, and are always on hand if you need them.

I hope all is well with you.

Keith.

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It is now, Keith, though my recovery was slow due to being admitted to our local hospital about 2 weeks after discharge from Liverpool with an electrolyte imbalance, I was there for about 2 weeks whilst everything was sorted & came home very weak so cardiac rehab was delayed. That’s finished now & I am now in the middle of a cardio fit course at a local recreation centre here on the Wirral. It’s still run by a cardiac physio but it’s in a normal gym which is a bit different from the cardiac gym.

Hope you continue to improve Keith.

Jean

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Thanks Jean, and looking forward to cardio rehab ‘over the water’ in Liverpool sometime in the near future!

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If cardiac rehab is the same as Wirral, Keith, & I think it is it’s 24 sessions, that’s twice a week so it lasts 12 weeks. I’m sure I heard somewhere it’s the same on all of Merseyside & had been led by Broad Green. I went to St Catherine’s in Birkenhead for mine & am now going to the Concourse in West Kirby for cardio fit.

Good luck.

Jean

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Thank you Jean, and good luck with the rest of your recovery. Doesn’t matter how long it takes as long as we get there.

Keith

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Fantastic news Keith everyone I checked the board I looked for a msg. Well done take all things very slowly and as you are advised. All the best.

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Thanks Nathan. I will be taking all the advice I get, from all medical staff and this forum. So glad I found it last year.

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Glad everything is going ok Keith. Just don’t go overdoing things. It’s very easy to do too much as you start feeling better and then suffer for it the next day - I speak from experience! I’m on warfarin for the rest of my life as had a mechanical valve and I don’t like needles either. Thankfully I can home test and have found where to prick my finger that is less painful (the side not the pad).

Hope your recovery continues to go well.

Wendy

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Hi Wendy,

I think I have already discovered that it is easy to overdo things. I felt fine yesterday and had a few visitors throughout the day, but by evening I was exhausted 😩 . Going to take it easy today!

Glad you are able to self test. Very good for someone who doesn’t like needles. Maybe I could get used to it, but I’m not so sure!

Hope all is well with you.

Keith

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Hi Keith

I’m doing well thanks, just booked ourselves a holiday after not having one at all last year, so something nice to look forward to.

Hope you’ve had a good relaxing day today.

Wendy

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Hi Wendy,

Nice day talking to visitors thank you. I hope there are fewer tomorrow though😴😁

Keith

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I know what you mean, I was knackered each time after having friends round - have the advantage of a recliner chair so could have a quick snooze when they left 😜.

Wendy

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Hi Keith glad your ok my friend these things are sent to try us and part of the process of recovery I’m afraid but I must say you sound in good spirits and it’s great to have as part of the gang on this side of the fence . Keep your sense of humour In tack it will help get you through over the coming weeks

Great to hear from you

Best wishes

Pete x

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Hi Pete,

Yes, a sense of humour definitely helps, and I have to say that some of your posts had me in stitches. Now I’m in stitches for another reason😂

The operation was only four days ago, but it seems quite a while ago. Thankfully feeling much better since they sorted the painkillers.

Onwards and upwards, or something like that. I’d settle for a plateau at the moment!

Keith

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Nice one lol 😂

Although the whole experience does take over your life and thoughts for the first 10-12 weeks I’ve found lately I have days where I never think about it which is nice as it’s just good every now and then to just feel normal !!!

Hope you understand what I mean 😀😀

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Hi Keith

So pleased to hear you’re on the recovery side! I’ve heard many others say they’ve had a bad reaction to the pain relief - more often than not morphine is the culprit here!

I would love to hear all about Liverpool Heart & Chest as that’s where I’m heading - probably in March - with Mr Paul Modi doing my mitral valve repair. Been there a couple of times for tests etc and felt very reassured by both the hospital and staff. Amazing place so I’m sure you’re in very safe hands!

Hope you get a good nights sleep! 💤

All the best

Jan

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Hi Jan.

Mr Modi replaced my stenotic aortic valve in April with a bioprosthetic valve.

I believe his specialism is mitral valve surgery so you're in good hands.

I've nothing but praise for Mr Modi and the team at LHCH. It was a really positive and complication free experience.

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Thanks Ian, it’s so good to hear this and will reread all the positives from everyone who has been so supportive as the date approaches. Nervous but know I’m going to be in good hands and an excellent hospital.

Great to hear you’re doing so well!

Jan

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Hi Jan,

I too was feeling nervous, especially on the day I was to be admitted, but once I arrived at the hospital I was fine. The staff are amazing, and I can’t praise them enough. If you have any concerns just speak to one of the team. Don’t worry, you’ll be in good hands. Before you know it you’ll be giving the similar advice to others!

Keith

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Hi Keith

May I ask how much notice you were given before your surgery date? As we live a fair way from Liverpool, we’re going to try and book family accommodation in Robert Owen house for my husband as it’s on the hospital site. My surgeon estimated March when I originally saw him last October so just wondering when I may receive THE letter!

How are managing pain wise now you’re off the original medication? Did it take long before you were up walking around?

I couldn’t agree more with your descriptions LHCH being a calm environment. This is what impressed us the most during our visits- very different to our local hospital!! 😅

I hope you’re feeling even better today 😊

Jan

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Hi Jan,

Feeling a bit better thank you, although I never realised how tiring it could be talking to visitors!

They keep telling me what medication I’m being given, but I’ve not been paying attention! I’ll let you know when I receive my bag of goodies when I’m discharged! All I know is at the moment they are working, and not making me nauseous.

I actually went for a short walk the day after my operation, but the physio thought it was a bad idea to try again the following day.

Yesterday and today I have been walking around without too much trouble, and actually took my visitors to the family room for tea and coffee.

My cardiologist told me back in May that it would probably be before Christmas, but the surgeon booked me in for January. I think that was early October, but I’m not 100% as I’ve had so many appointments recently!

You should have a final appointment with the surgeon, and he should be able to confirm then.

If you haven’t then I’d call and query it and explain about wanting to book accommodation.

I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.

Keith

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Hi Keith

Many thanks and I’ll do as you suggest.

Great to hear you’re getting around and the new pain medication is giving you sufficient relief.

Yes I remember visiting can be exhausting from a previous op (also sick on pain relief!) so know where you’re coming from. Everyone means well and so pleased to see you, but you also yearn for a little peace and quiet (and no conversation 😂).

I expect you’re feeling even better today so yes onwards and upwards 👍😊

Will look forward to hearing your progress

Jan

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Pleased to hear about your progress. Nuisance with the drug reaction but hopefully that will settle. Hope you continue to go from strength to strength. Take care Keith. Cheers. Zena

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Thanks Zena. The drugs were the last things I was worried about! I was lying in bed on Wednesday, feeling nauseous, and thinking that I shouldn’t have had it done. How stupid was that! Thankfully Wednesday seems like a long time ago.

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Not stupid at all we go with the emotions of the moment. I am pleased you are sounding brighter. As you say Wednesday is a long time ago. Just think how you will feel in another week then 2 then a month. Stay strong Keith. Keep positive and driving forward. Take care. Zena x

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Thank you Zena!

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Hi Keith. I really can't say anymore than's been said already other than I wish you all the very best. You'll get where you want to be soon! xxx

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Thank you very much Handel

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Hi Keith. Belatedly again (don't know why I keep missing your updates!) great news that you're out the other side and hope your recovery and recuperation goes smoothly. It's great no longer to have it hanging over you. Good luck!

Nic x

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Hi Nic,

Many thanks. I have the same problem with responses, and worry that people might be offended if I don’t acknowledge their posts in any way. If I haven’t replied to anyone it’s not intentional!

Yes, it’s nice not having it hanging over me but, for anyone who is waiting, it wasn’t as bad as I feared!

Keith.

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