Update 6 weeks

I am doing well I have my energy back for the most part it took 5 weeks for me not to feel wiped out.

I saw my cardio for the one month follow up he was very pleased with my progress and I got to go off some medications YES…

We went to Livingston yesterday first time in 8 weeks and boy was I tired by the time we got back home.

The house is framed up YES… Our son says plumbing and sheetrocks next. He said we should be finished by August.

In the meantime I put down a $5200 deposit on a well that will cost $11,400.00 they are 4 – 6 weeks out.

The mulcher was there yesterday since we had it resurveyed and we gained about 15ft on the left side of the house. This is a good thing because of Jacks future shop.

We found a huge magnolia we thought was the neigbors but its on our property. Since our property is named Magnolia hill we seem to be finding lots of magnolia trees. There is on or two in the front, one on the hill and this one on the side another few in the back yard. I love magnolias and this variety seems to grow fast and get tall.

This is my update for now.

Update #2

Today is 3 weeks since my surgery.

I am slow moving trying to get my energy back again but not overdoing it.

It is hot here so 90% of my walking is indoor at this point. I go out early a.m. or later p.m.

The Livingston house update is slow and steady.

The framers are supposed to be there this week.

The people doing the front gable porch and the back lean too porch will be getting started soon. The concrete area for the porches is 12ft x 40 ft so the lean too back porch will be that size. The gable front porch will be 10ft each side of the front door and 12 ft out.

They will also custom build my island I am just trying to decide on 8ft or 9ft long.

My robotic mitral valve replacement surgery

I went into the hospital on Monday April 17, 2023 for my surgery.

None the less they came out and told my family they had started the surgery and I was on the heart lung machine this was at 9:00 a.m. My family could not see me until 7:00 p.m. that night.

I had wires and needles every where cartoid artery and femoral elbow wrist plus more. Drainage tube in ribs on the right side.

They have to deflate you lung to do this surgery but my lungs suck so afterwards I was 80% oxygen x 5 days and 60% for 4 days then they weaned me down from there. Oxygen high volume makes my nose throw clots not a fun thing.

My sister said once I made it to the 1st ICU recovery I had 3 IV poles with 4 computers on each one a tube jetting out my neck and a breathing tube. I really could not prepare anyone for all this because I did not know.

When I moved to second ICU room the breathing tube came out THANK GOD. I think it was day 3 the drainage tube came out oh geeze that was a relief.

Second night after the drainage tube was removed it leaked all over me in the night. By this point I am doing breathing treatments 4 x a day.

I really never was in pain from the actual procedue I think they said there are 6 incisions.

I was in AFIB going into surgery and coming out. I developed pneumonia from the AFIB so this means IV antibiotics.

IV lasix to get offf about 15#s of fluid from surgery. Thank goodness I had a catheter to pee it out.

I could not eat nothing tasted good, I still have no taste I went 9 days without eating anything and no I did not have a sodium IV drip they were pulling fluid off not adding it. Now at day 13 I am eating about 400 calories a day.

My potassium and magnesium both got low so yippee more IV junk.

My stomach hates meds it makes it burn so they gave me stuff to coat it.

I think it was day 4 I went to the ICU #3 the nurses do not bother you as much the cath came out and I can pee on my own but have to help with the IV pole.

Daily Xrays of my lungs, 3 echoes on my heart and a transesphogeal echo to check the valve and finally cardio version to stop the AFIB. They have me blowing in tubes to make me cough then it hurts to cough but I really do get it.

They had issues getting my INR in the blood to a therapeutic level so I could leave and be safe. It was the last minute on day 11. The international normalised ratio (INR) blood test tells you how long it takes for your blood to clot

I came home on the afternoon of day 11 on Thursday yesterday was my first full day home. I am so so glad to be home and so so grateful this much is behind me.

I have a mechanical valve so my INR has to be monitored every week or two. I take warfarin for this for the rest of my life.

ON day 12 I checked in with my cardio he said I am doing wonderful and he is is excited. He said I looked a little pale but he thinks its from the low BP.

Today is day 13 I feel pretty good , weak from not eating and now my BP is a bit low but I am getting there. Really the side where the drain was still hurts but that will get better over time. No other pain.

My family was great to visit me in the hospital and make me laugh. I am grateful to Jack my husband, Joshua and Cori our oldest son and his wife, Jeanelle our youngest daughter and Andrew my grandon, my sister Sheri and her husband David for making my time in the hospital go by faster. My mother n law who is 94 and kept checking on me she is the best. Love you all.

My recovery is 2 – 3 months before I can drive, pick up stuff thats heavier than 1 – 2 #s and have more energy again.

I am supposed to walk the distance I can without getting short of breath then stop and repeat 5 – 6 times a day. It is more about doing it often through out the day not all at once.

I had a team of wonderful skilled Drs from the Houston Medical Center and going with robotics it is a less invasive surgery to recover from.


Surgery update # 1

I just wanted everyone to know I am okay, out of surgery and back home again.

This is a very detailed story and I want everyone to hear it from me.

I can not sit at the computer for long but I will tell you all my story soon.

A lighting storm in the Houston medical center with lots of glass buildings is very beautiful this happened yesterday morning.

Update on the heart

I saw my regular cardiologist last week.

Today I had a heart cath to rule out any issues before my valve replacement.

There were no surprises so that is a good thing.

If all goes well surgery is next week.

It’s a blessing to live close to the Houston Medical Center where some of the best drs around are.

I think one of the great things is they can do heart valve surgery with robotics this is our plan on mine.

I will keep you all posted as much as possible.

Amaryllis blooms

This is an Amaryllis plant my sister gave me last fall she said it was one she had given to my mom.

It has been gorgeous this year. I still have it in the pot but I am thinking about planting it

with some Iris, and paperwhite bulbs at our Livingston house. Then all the bulbs come back to being family members.

These blooms indicate springtime has arrived here in Texas.

Cricket turned 3 years old

Cricket turned 3 years old on February 2.

I never did get her picture posted because I had just gotten out of the hospital on visit 1 and little did I know there would be another visit a few weeks later.

Cricket had to go on a diet. Her body was resembling a square instead of a curve in the hip area. She was eating 5 cups a day now she is getting 4 cups and as you can notice she has a dip in her side which is perfect. Cricket’s body is built deep from the top of her back to the bottom of her stomach. When you roll her over she is so wide.

I hate when I have to cut her back because she is a very big dog but at the same time, big dogs can not function if they are overweight. She can still run right at you like a bulldozer about to knock you down.

I can not believe she is already 3 years old. The next time she goes into heat she will be getting bred again. I think we figured up this should be around May.

A pair of house finches

I was looking out the french doors at the bird feeders and spotted this pair of house finches.

I have never understood the bird world and how male birds get all the bright colors.

A couple of birds just eating some seed on a warm Texas day.

Specialist Update

I went to the specialist’s appt. on Tuesday.
They admitted me to the hospital to get as many tests ran as possible I was released on Friday.

We did a 3D echo of the heart which was the coolest thing I have ever seen. Then a transesophageal echo is also known as a TEE, then a CT of the heart, lungs, and abdomen with contrast and without.

I have a leg doppler later this month and my cardio will discuss if I need a right-left heart cath.

It’s not an emergency that I do the surgery next week but, for my symptoms to go away I have to do surgery. My worst symptoms are dizziness and shortness of breath. Next up would be how worn out I get because of tiredness.

I am not a candidate for a valvoplasty there is too much regurgitation on the valve. I have to have a mitral valve replaced it can not even be repaired.

The surgeon I met with thinks my procedure can be done using robotics and thru the right side of the ribs. This would be a lot less invasive surgery than open heart surgery. He suggests the mechanical valve and coumadin for the rest of my life. With my age, this is the best option.
I already take Coumadin/ Warfarin so that is no change you just have to monitor it closely.

In the hospital, they put me on a Heparin IV drip because my blood was too thick they said a few weeks before surgery I will need to give myself shots in the stomach 2 x a day for a blood thinner. I am not at a therapeutic level at this time. My level is like 1.8 and for surgery, it needs to be between 3.5 and 4.5.

I really like this team of Drs and I love the less invasive surgery which would also mean less recoup time.

I am ready to get back to doing things I love like walking, photography, and playing with the dogs I feel like I have had to take a step back from everything I love. Our house in Livingston is about to be built and I want to be able to enjoy this time in my life.

Right now we are just chilling out about this and will make a decision sometime soon about when we think the best time might be.

Heart update

We thought we had the AFIB under control then I went to Bradycardia my heart rate was super low.

It ranged from 42 to 46 beats per minute. What this does it make you feel cold inside your body like you are standing in a freezer. There’s not much blood moving at all.

I saw the cardio on Friday but he had me quit the Amioderane before I saw him.

I started a new script Warfarin to prevent blood clots.

I will see a heart valve specialist at Baylor/ St Lukes’s/ Texas Heart Institute next week.

This will see if I am a candidate for valvoplasty this is to get the AFIB under control. Evidently, my mitral valve is very small it’s stenotic. This makes my atrium very large and this causes too much blood to pool it is like flooding out the atrium and flooding my lungs.

It seems that the AFIB will continue and get worse each time this happens.

I am grateful we are outside of Houston and have access to some of the best Drs in the world. My current cardiologist has always listened to me and my concerns he is a great Dr.

Over the next few weeks there will be a lot more testing on my heart they have to make sure this will do me some good.

I will update you when I have more information to share.

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