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jimnyc
09-15-2008, 11:03 AM
I generally have the most faith in doctors and don't second guess their abilities. When I had surgery on my neck/back, any negative consequences never really entered my mind. Sure, I knew it was possible I would have further issues with the disc down the road, but I knew I was walking away from the hospital the very same day, and never thought otherwise.

It's now confirmed that my Mom will be going in for open heart surgery tomorrow. She has multiple blockages and will be having her aortic valve replaced. I was worried enough about this procedure but for some reason reading Wikipedia's entry made me much more nervous - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aortic_valve_replacement

I guess I assumed if I blocked out all of the bad stuff it would ultimately disappear, but it's not. This surgery alone scares the shit out of me when I read it, but it's worse knowing she is a very high risk patient with severe emphysema and failing health.

When I speak with her I know I need to remain strong, but she is obviously the most scared out of anyone, and you can hear the trembling and fear in her voice. When I listen to her I get nervous and don't know what to say. I just keep telling her that this is what these surgeons do on a daily basis and she couldn't be in better hands, but I don't think that does anything to lower either of our fears. She's a very scared/emotional person to begin with.

dmp
09-15-2008, 11:08 AM
WOW, Jim. Scary. Have faith brother.

Immanuel
09-15-2008, 11:15 AM
Many of us have already said this before jimnyc, but our prayers are with your mom and you and your family. Keep the faith. Be strong.

Please let your mom know of our prayers and that we look forward to her return to the board.

Immie

Kathianne
09-15-2008, 11:26 AM
Jim, you've got her into the best hospital possible; without the surgery the prognosis is not good. You have absolutely done your very best, as a family and as a loving son.

With the surgery there is the possibility she can regain some semblance of normalcy, without it? You must walk yourself through these items, so that you can be strong and help her to be positive. My heart breaks for all of you.

Emphysema can be funny, I've come to believe doctors and nurses often use it to bash the smokers, causing much stress going into a situation like this. I've got the shirt after coping with my own folks. My mom's was bad however, after a year on oxygen, with no major complications, her oxygen levels had risen to where it was no longer necessary. Any time she was hospitalized after that, they put her on oxygen and gave the breathing treatments. Every time she was released, oxygen was no longer prescribed.

Take heart, you've done your best and she has so many prayers and good wishes coming her way, you too!

hjmick
09-15-2008, 11:33 AM
Jim,

I feel your anguish as my wounds are still fresh. It sounds as though your mom is in very good hands. You have done and continue to do all you can, my thoughts are with you and your family.

Abbey
09-15-2008, 11:37 AM
Jim
If it helps any, my mom had open heart surgery, and lived a normal life for about 20 more years afterward.

My husband and I will pray for Joan, and for you, too, today and tomorrow.

-Cp
09-15-2008, 12:49 PM
I generally have the most faith in doctors and don't second guess their abilities. When I had surgery on my neck/back, any negative consequences never really entered my mind. Sure, I knew it was possible I would have further issues with the disc down the road, but I knew I was walking away from the hospital the very same day, and never thought otherwise.

It's now confirmed that my Mom will be going in for open heart surgery tomorrow. She has multiple blockages and will be having her aortic valve replaced. I was worried enough about this procedure but for some reason reading Wikipedia's entry made me much more nervous - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aortic_valve_replacement

I guess I assumed if I blocked out all of the bad stuff it would ultimately disappear, but it's not. This surgery alone scares the shit out of me when I read it, but it's worse knowing she is a very high risk patient with severe emphysema and failing health.

When I speak with her I know I need to remain strong, but she is obviously the most scared out of anyone, and you can hear the trembling and fear in her voice. When I listen to her I get nervous and don't know what to say. I just keep telling her that this is what these surgeons do on a daily basis and she couldn't be in better hands, but I don't think that does anything to lower either of our fears. She's a very scared/emotional person to begin with.

If it were me Jim, I'd be asking her surgeon how many times he has done this procedure... I'd also be getting a 2nd and 3rd opinion too...

crin63
09-15-2008, 01:00 PM
If it were me Jim, I'd be asking her surgeon how many times he has done this procedure... I'd also be getting a 2nd and 3rd opinion too...

I have to agree. Don't get opinions about heart surgery from cardiac surgeons. It's like asking a Carpenter if you should add another bedroom on to your home. Get your opinions from cardiologists, then pick the best surgeon you can find.

Kathianne
09-15-2008, 01:27 PM
If it were me Jim, I'd be asking her surgeon how many times he has done this procedure... I'd also be getting a 2nd and 3rd opinion too...

Having read some from both Jim and his brother, they have had multiple opinions and moved their mom from one hospital to a major medical specialty hospital. Really, it's past time to say prayers and support those we care about. I know not everyone has even the basics, but let's not cause further stress. Please.

Abbey
09-15-2008, 01:29 PM
Having read some from both Jim and his brother, they have had multiple opinions and moved their mom from one hospital to a major medical specialty hospital. Really, it's past time to say prayers and support those we care about. I know not everyone has even the basics, but let's not cause further stress. Please.

Kath, that was my impression too. I think they have already done all the leg work, and the decision has been made with knowledge.

dan
09-15-2008, 01:44 PM
I'm sorry, Jim. I can't even imagine how tough this is on everyone. I'll keep your mom in my thoughts, I hope everything works out.

avatar4321
09-15-2008, 03:13 PM
You guys will be in my prayers.

retiredman
09-15-2008, 03:17 PM
Jim...my wife works for a cardiology group. they do valve replacements all the time and the surgery has a really good success rate. I know you are scared but heart surgeons are really pretty high on the surgery pecking order.

BoogyMan
09-15-2008, 03:41 PM
I hope that all goes well and that the surgery is a resounding success.

You and your family will be in my thoughts.

jimnyc
09-15-2008, 05:11 PM
Mom did in fact receive a 2nd and 3rd opinion, which is why she was moved to St. Michael's in Newark, which is a specialty cardiac care hospital. Now I obviously don't know the surgeon personally, but he comes highly regarded across the nation as one of the best in the business, and his specialty is high risk cardiac surgery. While he is performing the procedure, she has a team of specialists involved and the cardiologist is the primary in charge. But she also has a lung specialist as well and all will be on hand for the surgery.

My brother just informed me that the surgery is scheduled for 6:30am tomorrow, so I'll likely be heading out shortly to stay at his place as he is only a few minutes away from the hospital. They said we needed to be there by 6am the latest if we wanted to chat with her before she goes in.

-Cp
09-15-2008, 05:27 PM
Having read some from both Jim and his brother, they have had multiple opinions and moved their mom from one hospital to a major medical specialty hospital. Really, it's past time to say prayers and support those we care about. I know not everyone has even the basics, but let's not cause further stress. Please.

How is anyone or anything causing further stress?

Yurt
09-15-2008, 05:28 PM
i hate this shit. i really do. i have listened to all the "feel good stuff" and so what. it sucks. nothing, knock on wood, has happened to my parents, but my grandma (whom i took care of for 2 years in HS until she needed professional care) had cancer and those fucking nurses made me watch her get a test. i told them i had no desire to see the scan or anything and that my grandma would be pissed if she knew i saw her on a table. oh no, no yurt, you should see this, this is what your grandma goes through when you take her here.

fuck that. she was basically naked for the scan. uncalled for.

and jim, if you think i am asshole and not sensative, oh well. nonetheless, sending you good thoughts and strong feelings. i can not offer you anything more.

Kathianne
09-15-2008, 05:30 PM
How is anyone or anything causing further stress?

If you told me your mom was going into surgery tomorow and I said you should get more info, how would that hit you?

remie
09-16-2008, 09:11 AM
Hey Jim

I am thinking about you this morning brother. Stay strong.

diuretic
09-16-2008, 09:38 AM
Best wishes Jim, your mother has very good care, thinking about you all.

jimnyc
09-16-2008, 07:04 PM
Mom was brought in sometime before 7am this morning and the surgery was completed around 11am. They performed a triple bypass as well as the aortic valve replacement, and something about taking a vein from her leg for use with her heart as well. The doctor stated that the surgery went much better than anticipated and that she was a fighter. She was brought into the cardiac intensive care unit after that where she'll be for at least a few days. At this point she is still sedated and hasn't really woken up yet. They plan on continuing the sedation till at least the morning as there was a little bleeding this afternoon and they want her to have her body recover some more.

I should never have went into the recovery room afterwards. I had no idea. I thought she would be in a bed, maybe pretty groggy and sore, and perhaps incoherent. She is on a ventilator to have her breath for now and has all kinds of tubes and lines all around her. It's the last image you ever want to see of anyone, let alone your Mom.

Thank you all very, very much for your thoughts and prayers.

manu1959
09-16-2008, 07:13 PM
wow....just wow.....jim i am glad to hear the surgery went well....and she is on the road to recovery....all my best to you and your family....

Mr. P
09-16-2008, 07:15 PM
Mom was brought in sometime before 7am this morning and the surgery was completed around 11am. They performed a triple bypass as well as the aortic valve replacement, and something about taking a vein from her leg for use with her heart as well. The doctor stated that the surgery went much better than anticipated and that she was a fighter. She was brought into the cardiac intensive care unit after that where she'll be for at least a few days. At this point she is still sedated and hasn't really woken up yet. They plan on continuing the sedation till at least the morning as there was a little bleeding this afternoon and they want her to have her body recover some more.

I should never have went into the recovery room afterwards. I had no idea. I thought she would be in a bed, maybe pretty groggy and sore, and perhaps incoherent. She is on a ventilator to have her breath for now and has all kinds of tubes and lines all around her. It's the last image you ever want to see of anyone, let alone your Mom.

Thank you all very, very much for your thoughts and prayers.

The vain from her leg was for the bypass..

BullyP works CIC I think, maybe he'll chime in.

I think she'll be fine.

Immanuel
09-16-2008, 07:24 PM
Sounds like things are going better than expected Jim. We'll keep you in our prayers and wait for an update later.

I hope she's up in no time... yelling at you to clean your room.

Immie

red states rule
09-16-2008, 07:26 PM
Jim as always, your mom, you, and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

jackass
09-16-2008, 08:52 PM
Jim glad to hear that all went well. Give Joan a kiss from me! :)

Sir Evil
09-17-2008, 06:54 AM
A thanks to all who chimed in here, and even though I'm not really part of things here anymore it's all truly appreciated! The few that may of known Joan (our mom) here probably did not know the health battles she has already endured, cancer twice, emphysema, and already had been through a heart scare some years ago. We were all scared, and concerned she may of been in a much more fragile state. She has so far beat the odds again but her battle has just begun as her recovery will be the hardest part.

We were lucky enough to have everything fall into the right place at the right time. After the initial opinion of the cardiologist, we grabbed a second opinion from another and were given very bleak news but within a few hours things looked up as she was transported to another hospital that specializes in high risk cases such as hers. She is in the best care possible, and some of the best surgeons the area offers so we have much more faith in what has so far transpired, and what is yet to come.

Again, a big thanks to all!

:beer:

diuretic
09-17-2008, 07:18 AM
That's excellent news - best wishes to your mother you blokes :salute:

Gaffer
09-21-2008, 09:48 AM
To clarify the taking of a vein from the leg. That is done for the by pass. They use the vein to go around the blockage. Over time it expands and becomes part of the artery.

The longer she stays sedated the easier it will be for her in recovery. It is very painful and she will have sore ribs for a month or more. The tubes come out after about three to four days. The biggest concern and hardest part for her will be getting her lungs functioning properly again. They collapse the lungs during the surgery and have to get them back up and working again. Takes time to get your breathing back to normal. When she gets home be sure no one smokes around her. Just a little smoke in the air can cause a shortness of breath until her lungs are back to normal functioning.

The tubes are for drainage. They will come out after a few days.

Not having electric here has left me with no input or knowledge of what was going on. As long as she's determined she will pull through it.

gabosaurus
09-21-2008, 04:22 PM
That is what I love about being a Christian. You know that your fate, and the fate of your loved ones, are in the hands of God. When it is time of go, it is time to go.
My prayers go out to you and your mom.

Sitarro
09-21-2008, 04:57 PM
Hey Jim,

I, like Gaffer, have been out of the loop and didn't know what you and Joan were going through. My best wishes and prayers for her and you, sounds like good news so hang in there and continue to be the outstanding son she raised, for her.

jimnyc
09-22-2008, 09:05 AM
Thanks once again to all!

I saw Mom over the weekend but she was still sedated and on the ventilator. Gaffer nailed her experience spot on.

She was taken off the ventilator late yesterday and is now on an oxygen machine, but much better than having a huge tube down your throat. All of her levels are doing well and we're awaiting the doctors this morning to find out how her progress is and to make sure she is done with the ventilator.

dmp
09-22-2008, 09:16 AM
Good news, Jim. Sounds like she's tracking for a good recovery!

Kathianne
09-22-2008, 11:05 AM
Sounds like a good update! Tell her we say hi! and about all the prayers, including my kids at school, every morning. ;)

stephanie
09-22-2008, 11:26 AM
Excellent news...

when ya can... give your mom a shout out from all of us here..

Abbey
09-22-2008, 01:38 PM
No ventilator = fantastic news!

Go Joan!!!!!

Trinity
09-22-2008, 08:32 PM
Thanks once again to all!

I saw Mom over the weekend but she was still sedated and on the ventilator. Gaffer nailed her experience spot on.

She was taken off the ventilator late yesterday and is now on an oxygen machine, but much better than having a huge tube down your throat. All of her levels are doing well and we're awaiting the doctors this morning to find out how her progress is and to make sure she is done with the ventilator.


You know I still remember the phone call I got from the hospital...... a women asking for me and then telling me she was a nurse at the hospital.......... I was thinking why are you calling me? Then she told me my dad was being transported to the best heart hospital in the area and that he had a heart attack.....I think I was still in shock when I arrived at the hospital.

It's a tough ride but it sounds like she will be ok...... just make sure she has someone stay with her to keep a close eye on here when she gets released. She will need some assistance but if she's like Gaffer she'll want you to leave after a week.......... then he went back to work two weeks later. I was shocked I thought for sure he would have been off work for a couple of months at least.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all....I'm betting she'll be just fine and 6 years later you'll be like wow hard to believe that ever happen.

Gaffer
09-22-2008, 10:06 PM
She will be confused after she wakes up fully because she will have been dreaming and seeing things when awake that will mix with the dreams. She'll remember things that never happened and not remember things that did happen. Have her keep the coughing pillow near by, she will need it for about two months. Coughs and sneezing hurt like hell.

Tell her hi from me and that I know exactly what she's experiencing. And six months from now she will look back on it and go WOW.

jimnyc
09-28-2008, 06:25 PM
It was definitely a good weekend for Mom. I left on Friday to go to NJ to see her and no less than 10 minutes after I arrived they came and told her that she was being released to the rehab center. To think she was on life support a week earlier, and now the doctors feel she is well enough to begin rehabilitation. She was transferred back to the same hospital in Edison but this time to their rehab wing. Visiting hours M-F don't even start till 4pm as they do a lot of therapy during the week. She's not too fond of what they've had her do thus far during the weekend but I explained to her that she needs to get her strength back and it will get easier as she goes along. She seems to be eating better and is a little less anxious than I've seen her in the past. Hopefully this is the beginning of good things coming her way.

stephanie
09-28-2008, 06:36 PM
Wonderful news Jimmy and boys..

and Joan, you go girl..we're all pulling for you..:clap:

retiredman
09-28-2008, 07:04 PM
It was definitely a good weekend for Mom. I left on Friday to go to NJ to see her and no less than 10 minutes after I arrived they came and told her that she was being released to the rehab center. To think she was on life support a week earlier, and now the doctors feel she is well enough to begin rehabilitation. She was transferred back to the same hospital in Edison but this time to their rehab wing. Visiting hours M-F don't even start till 4pm as they do a lot of therapy during the week. She's not too fond of what they've had her do thus far during the weekend but I explained to her that she needs to get her strength back and it will get easier as she goes along. She seems to be eating better and is a little less anxious than I've seen her in the past. Hopefully this is the beginning of good things coming her way.

good news Jim. Give her my best.:salute:

Immanuel
09-28-2008, 07:14 PM
I'm glad to read the good news Jim and looking forward to even better reports.

Please let your mom know we are all still praying for her recovery.

Immie

jackass
09-28-2008, 08:08 PM
Very glad to hear it Jim. Give Joan and your family my best wishes!

dan
09-29-2008, 12:56 PM
Great news, jim!

actsnoblemartin
09-29-2008, 12:56 PM
god bless you and your mother.

amen

Love you bro, best of luck to you mum (thats british for mom)


Thanks once again to all!

I saw Mom over the weekend but she was still sedated and on the ventilator. Gaffer nailed her experience spot on.

She was taken off the ventilator late yesterday and is now on an oxygen machine, but much better than having a huge tube down your throat. All of her levels are doing well and we're awaiting the doctors this morning to find out how her progress is and to make sure she is done with the ventilator.

Abbey
09-29-2008, 02:16 PM
Great news, Jim!

Just be prepared for some depression if she is in rehab for a long time.

Sitarro
09-29-2008, 02:24 PM
Great news Jim, give her my best.

Keep an eye on those rehab people, there are many great ones that actually care but there are some that shouldn't be anywhere near a patient. I know that there is one out there that I would like to find and beat to within an inch of his useless life for what he did to my father.