Friday, July 15, 2011

Pulmonary Heart Valve Replacement : 2011 - 22

Friday July 15, 2011:

The company nurse responded to my email to return to work. I have to be checked out by the company doctor. He is not available until Tuesday afternoon, next week. That puts me returning to work on the following day. They also want a list of the medicines I am taking. That has been sent via email.

I saw my cardiology rhythm doctor on Wednesday. Great news. I went into the appointment with the intention of coming out of the appointment with a plan for reducing/eliminating Amiodorone from my morning Rx list. There were a number of options presented by the doctor. I chose the option to stop taking it immediately. It is to de-tox from my system over the next month. A heart monitor will be sent via mail to wear for the subsequent 30 days with a followup appointment in mid September to determine if the elimination is to be permament.

Amiodorone is used to over-ride atrial fibulation. This is a common side effect of the surgery I had. The doctor said for ~70% of the people who have this after surgery it goes away. I hope I am one of the 70%.

Amiodorone has side effects that warrant a size 14 font - 3 page explanation of side effects. Lliver damage, heart damage, eye damage, skin discoloration into the blue/grey spectrum. It is a drug used when NEEDED and stopped ASAP.

I am now physically beyond where I have been for a long time. It is amazing what I can do. Yesterday I did a triple event in the afternoon after a full day. Cardiac rehab., where I went beyond the limit of Wednesday. I am now mid-aim for cardiac rate..... Rehab. was immediately followed by yoga in a nearby town. This was the first time since before the surgery. I have to go carefully while my breast bone is healing. Everything else is where I left it. In fact.... my core muscles and breathing are stronger than before. (Could it be that spiro-blah-blah-blah-ometer?) Then on to the church league softball game.

The photo is a dry run for a cooking contest in late September.
Red and green can come across as Christmas-y. I think it works.

My recipe has been chosen as a finalist. The theme is 'add cranberries, add zing'. I put together the display for the contest on a day there were no cranberries in the house. The photo will be printed off so I have something to go by on the day of the contest. A red fork will be used for consistency in the competition.

The crackers were made from whole wheat tortillas cut with cookie cutters and toasted in a dry fry pan. I'm thinking cranberries frozen in ice cubes, floating in a cup of 7-up. The recipe is to be guarded until after the competition.

The plan is to post a follow-up to the September medical checks.

Updated 9/25/11
The cooking contest came and went on Friday September 23. I actually placed!!! 3rd place earned a $50 savings bond donated by the local bank and a sauce pan donated by the local distributor.

Here is the recipe:
15 oz can of white beans rinsed and drained
4.5 -5oz can of tuna in olive oil.... DO NOT DRAIN
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C chopped onion (Medium)
1/8 t black pepper
1/4 - 1/2 t salt
juice of 1 lemon
Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. Best eaten the same day made.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pulmonary Heart Valve Replacement : 2011 - 21

Monday July 11, 2011:

Above is my loom set up with the castle backwards. The castle holds the 4 harnesses and the levers for raising and lowering them. My loom dismantles for easy threading and flat storage. Now I have to reach over the castle to raise and lower the harnesses.

My cousin sent me a link to a UW auction site that sells excess supplies as their classes change. I bid on a floor loom that got too expensive to justify. Just as well. I am having trouble setting up the table loom correctly. The site is:

Now for good news. Today was the appointment with the surgeon. He has released me to return to work on Monday July 18.

I have spent the rest of today setting up the next 3 weeks of cardiac rehab to correspond with my work hours and setting up my work hours to correspond with the cardiac rehab. Did I mention my surgeon wants me to complete to program? It will require that I begin work half an hour early to leave half an hour early on the three days a week I have rehab.

Cardiac rehab is making my muscles ache. I am gimping around. Today, after rehab the weather had turned to drenching rain. I rinsed the sweat off on my way to the car as I passed people going into the building with their umbrellas.

The surgeon told me I would be able to return to full upper body strength sooner if I focused on increasing free weights to 10# at cardiac rehab. That would develop the support muscles to the collar bone and get me back to complete yoga sooner. Let's see how that goes in the remaining 3 weeks of cardiac rehab from the 3# weights I am using.

The doctor kept repeating 'perfect, perfect, perfect' as he read down the list of stats on the medical report.

I reduced my aspirin by half today and then let my surgeon's nurse know. I have a few bruises that I don't remember getting. That is a sign that I am over-medicated with blood thinner. Been there before.

Don't expect any more postings for this topic. I told the doctor I hoped never to see him again, after I told him he did good work.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pulmonary Heart Valve Replacement : 2011 - 20

Friday July 1, 2011:

It is one month from the pulmonary heart valve replacement surgery, today.

Monday was the first day of cardiac rehab. It meets 3 times a week. Yesterday was the third class.

I was hesitant to push my physical limits based on last Friday. They constantly monitor my heart rate and stream it immediately to monitors placed throughout the exercise area. It took me a while to figure out which posting was mine of the half dozen people in the class. It looks so normal compared to what I've seen in the past.

The difference a few days made in healing. I am muscle sore. That has been rare in the last few years. More often than not I would be fatigued the next day and spend most of the day reserving energy. This is new, and I think I like it.