Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adam's Guide to Heart Valve Surgery

Tomorrow, exactly two weeks after my surgery, I will head back to UCLA for a follow up visit with my surgeon Dr. Reemtsen. I’m hopeful that he’ll give me the green light for stepping up all aspects of my recovery and that I’ll get reassurance regarding the few concerns I have. It still boggles my mind that I’m doing as much as I am in such a short time after open-heart surgery. In fact today, as we prepare for Denise to head back to Saipan next week I walked around Toys-R-Us for nearly an hour. Yesterday was a full day too. We spent the morning packing up and moving to another temporary “home” here in LA and then the rest of the day visiting our good friends Dave and Sandy in Redondo Beach. Although there is really nothing very stressful about watching Dave BBQ up yet another delicious meal they do have two young tykes capable of tiring anyone out just watching them AND I did miss my afternoon nap!
(This was a pre-operation BBQ at Dave and Sandy's, no less delicious!)

Besides looking forward to the reassurance that everything is on the mend tomorrow I’m also looking forward to once again extending a great big thank you to the surgical team and expressing my gratitude for such good care. At this time I’d also like to extend a big public thank you to someone I’ve never met but who has already had a significant impact on the success of my surgery and speedy recovery.
About 2 weeks prior to surgery, I came across a web site selling a book related to heart valve surgery. I believe purchasing The Patients Guide to Heart Valve Surgery by Adam Pick was the single most important thing I did to prepare myself for this ordeal and I cannot recommend his book enough for anyone who will be going through open-heart surgery (or caring for someone that will). Adam is a double heart valve replacement recipient who is fairly young and, as I’ve recently found out, also a Scuba Diver! Adam also has a very informative blog that continues right where the book left off with real life success stories and answers to questions his readers have posed over the years. He also manages to help patients keep up with the advancements in care in a straightforward, no-nonsense sort of way.

According to Adam, the single most important thing one can do in preparing for open-heart surgery is to take the time necessary to find a surgeon with which you have the utmost confidence in. After tomorrow I hope to write a post that will express just how lucky I feel to have met Dr. Brian Reemtsen and his team.

For those of you coming into this little open heart surgery discussion a little late you can find all the posts easily by clicking on the Open Heart Surgery Labels at the bottom of this post or by clicking on the links under open heart surgery over on the right hand side of the blog. Those ones are listed in chronological order!

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