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JohnMorales, February 10,  2019  8:37am EST

The What Ifs ---- -And Why Me OHS...

What If ---- -And Why Me OHS...

Are you still waiting for your OHS, mine will be in a few weeks and I'm not Handling this well at all , I have confidence in my Surgeon and his team That everting will be ok he has 37 years of experience he's a professor of Thoracic surgery at NYU so why worry, I envision waking up to being told it went great. But yet the what if keeps creeping into my head, I don’t think I'm alone in these Thoughts, I'm so happy to see so many in recovery here and doing well I keep saying that will be me But still it creeps into my head, I'm depressed , my head has been in this lightheadedness foggy feeling for the past week and I cant shake it free, you start to wonder is there something else wrong with me gee this really suck’s.
In Decenber my primary care said you need to get a echo I think there is more to this shortness of breath 2 Echo’s later I was diagnosed with Severe Mitral Valve Regurgitation, Tricuspid Regurgitation not to mention I have had afib for as long as I can remember and have had a pacemaker. My question was how do I fix this , answered OHS. This is no other remedy for a leaky valve just like in plumbing. My world crumbled I thought I was just getting older and out of shape im 64 I have some emphysema but not a lot. There are no choices to make here either way the outcome of having or not having the operation is the same my biggest fear. I'm an obsessive person and it has literally taken over my thought process.
These group has helped me in gaining some confidence seeing so many successful people making me feel that it will be ok they do this all the time the death rate is very small , my Dr said people don’t die on the table, so why am I so scared. Well for those who have recovered you have already don't it I need to reach in here somewhere and gain some more confidence that it will be ok , visualize the success and try to move forward. Have faith that God has more for me to do. But they what if and why me’s, has taken me to places I shouldn’t go to. I'm writing this as I want to share with some of the folks here who feel the same as I'm and know I'm not and you are not alone I'm in there with you writing this helps me get it out and share it , hope you don’t mind me doing this .. my family I'm sure is already stressed enough so why not share with stranger who are dealing with the same issues…. I'm scared , I'm petrified, But ill be ok I just need to get to the recovery side. Ill ready the books and try to gain more confidence.


I know people dopnt like to read others doubs and fears but it helps sometimes to talk outloud.


5 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, February 11,  2019  9:57am EST

    Good morning, you are bringing your doubts and concerns to the exact perfect place! We have many OHS survivors on the site and I look forward to reading lots of experienced words of encouragement. I can only imagine how hard waiting must be for you. Best Katie 

  • NurseTessa
    NurseTessa, February 11,  2019  11:58am EST

    Good morning John. First what you're feeling is very, very normal. I think sometimes it's important to hear that and know that not everyone else is all rainbows and puppy dogs. Open heart surgery is a big deal, it's a big surgery, and it's a big recovery. Acknowledging your feelings and saying/ writing them out loud is a huge step. If you are concerned at all that your feelings of dread may continue after surgery, I would talk with your surgery team or even your primary care physician about the possibility of a medication that may be able to help. Helping hundreds of patients recover from surgery I believe that mental state is 75% of the struggle. It's going to be important to be motivated to move when it hurts and cough when you don't want to. Remember to not only have confidence in your surgeon and team, but confidence in yourself and your own recovery abilities. In the meantime do some things you love, get some breaths of fresh air, spend time with family, cuddle your pet, take part in a hobby whatever bring you happiness.  Try to focus on now and not get caught up in the “what ifs”.  I hope that your recovery is smooth sailing and you come out thinking “now why was I so worried?!” Be well, -T

  • AmbassadorB
    AmbassadorB, February 11,  2019  3:36pm EST


    You're just honest.   I've never talked with anyone who has faced OHS, and hasn't been scared.   Frankly, I think it's Mother Nature's way of preparing us for a major "Gonna Be There, and Do That".    I also believe, based upon years of active participation in athletics, that it's a good thing!   It sharpens your mental outlook on your activities and what you know is going to be a challenge.  The adrenalin that is associated with an emotional event (scary) is key to getting you in top condition for the surgery.   I'm an octogenarian, "old geezer",  and had my Aortic Valve replaced just 5 years ago.   OHS was about 8 years before that.  

    I'm glad that I have done all of the heart procedures that I have.    My quality of life is excellent and I enjoy an active living.  Keep  Moving! 

    Know that you're doing the right thing (smart), that you have an excellent team with years of experience in the surgical world, and that you have a strong group of supporters who wish you well and close ranks with you!

    Ambassador B      Bernie



  • AmbassadorR
    AmbassadorR, February 13,  2019  4:08pm EST

    Hi John,

    Of course telling you not to worry is easier said that done, but I feel confident telling you not to worry. For a patient, heart surgery and recovery is not always easy, but I believe it is very doable. I've been through it twice and am fine. Like you, i'm also an obsessive person and during the time before, and for weeks after my surgery, I thought a lot about my heart. That's who we are. Your fear is natural, but this type of surgery, as you know, is very common. I'm also 64 years.

    For me, having surgery gave me an opportunity to re-invent myself. To take care of the things physically I had ignored. I changed the way I looked at life, and took advantage of this new found love. Strange as it may seem, I am somewhat glad this happen to me because of my new outlook, and because I could help other people going through this. My surgery, on the practical side, made me healthier and stronger. My heart got a needed tune-up. I could look forward to many more good years, and not worry about my heart failing me. It was fixed. 

    I wrote a blog during my experience and you are welcome to read it. It may help. The link is below.



  • KA1963
    KA1963, February 18,  2019  1:12am EST

    I have had 3 OHS and will need one more Valve job eventually. Try not to dwell on it. It is amazing the advancement in OHS. Every surgery I have had gets easier than the prior. I have had a normal active life and appreciate life so much more. You will do great.

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