Sep 27
Hopefully , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Facing Aortic Valve Replacement

At age 11, I had Rheumatic Fever and was left with valvular heart disease.  It has now been recommended that I have the aortic valve replaced.  I 68 years old, and while not looking forward to this major surgery, I'm also wanting a better quality of life.  I would appreciate hearing from others who have been at the place where I am now and good offer some encouragement.
  • LeslieJ
    Hopefully, while I never want to hear that someone is facing an aortic valve replacement surgery, I too, had that surgery in October 2014. I am a very proud owner of a mechanical aortic heart valve! I had been told in October of 2014 that with my "old" valve I had 1-4 years left to live. Very sobering for a 50 year old. Now at 52, I'm living on and enjoying life. Thankfully, I had little time to prepare (a.k.a. worry) before the surgery. The recovery from surgery was not as painful as I feared. Uncomfortable yes, but not necessarily painful. I was told, and I truly believe, there are 3 stages of recovery that you MUST get through to be back to enjoying life and living on! 1) Physical - scars must heal, nerves grow back together (odd little twinges), and muscles need to get strong again 2) Emotional - I went through sudden crying fits for the dumbest reasons and 3) Mental - this is key and a big one to get through. Mental recovery is moving from "heart surgery patient" to "healthy now, let's go"! Right after surgery I suggest button down the front shirts. If you're a woman, finding a bra will be challenging, probably. Check websites for post-surgery accessories. And lastly, be patient with your recovery! I was told it'd be a 1 year recovery time frame. It took about 10 months before I was back to exercising hard. However, I now know 2 other people who've had open heart surgery and their recovery time was much shorter. Good luck with everything and feel free to reach out to me. Leslie
  • Hopefully
    LeslieJ. Thanks for the encouragement. While it isn't a "piece of cake" it doesn't sound all that bad. I had never considered the problem of find a bra. Interesting! I may write you again. Teresa
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