Mended Hearts Open Forum

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New Member

  • 1.  New Member

    Posted 01-05-2021 21:09
    Hi everyone,

    My name is Nora. A friend who saw me struggling told me about Mended Hearts. I am a caregiver for my 46 year old husband. Two months ago he had open heart surgery to repair a leaky bicuspid aortic valve and an aortic aneurysm. He came out of surgery with complete heart block and had a pacemaker implanted five days after his surgery. He was re-hospitalized after 10 days at home for pericardial effusion. He came home after five days and we are just trying to get used to this new world, the new words, the new information. Physically, he is healing well. His shoulders and ribs remain very sore and he still has some bruising from the initial surgery. Mentally, the fear around the heart block is a big hurdle for both of us. We had never heard of heart block and never talked about pacemakers until after he came out of surgery. We have a lot of learning to do but reading your stories has been a comfort to me.

    Nora Pelt

  • 2.  RE: New Member

    Posted 01-10-2021 09:57
    WOW! That is a lot to take in for either patient or care giver. I wish you well.
    If you have questions ask them. Use relaible soures on the internet; American Heart Association; Mayo Clinic; Cleveland Clinic.

    Best to you, Janis Miner

    Janis MINER
    Rochester NY

  • 3.  RE: New Member

    Posted 01-10-2021 11:34
    Hello, Nora, and welcome.  It is truly frightening how quickly one's health and one's world can change, I'm sure everyone here can relate to that.  Sending you virtual hugs and wishes for speedy healing for your hubby.  As you learn, I echo the advice to be careful of what you find on the internet, some of it can be quite old or unreliable information.


  • 4.  RE: New Member

    Posted 01-11-2021 11:02
    Nora;  I wish you the very best.  I had valve surgeries in 1983 and 1992 at MGH.  Eastern Massachusetts has the very best cardiac care hospitals, without exception.  You are very fortunate.  Remember that; I am a survivor for more than 25 years with artificial heart valves/reinforcement.  I don't even think about what is inside my chest except when I go to the dentist or check my INR readings.  A New England Patriots fan and now a resident of South Carolina.

    New England Yankee

  • 5.  RE: New Member

    Posted 01-11-2021 05:58
    Hi Nora and welcome, we're glad you joined us.

    Like you, I knew little about heart disease and all the terms that go with it, then one day these experts in masks started telling me about all theproblems I have from myocardial infarctions, to cardiomyopathy, to heart failure, arrhythmias and well you get the idea. I started asking lots of questions after they ejected me from the hospital and came to realize those terms sound frightening but are just Latin. A Cardiologists way of putting fear into us so we follow their commands.

    I too have a pacemaker, well actually mine is a CRT-D which is doctorese for an industrial pacer, and I'm paced in both ventricles 100% of the time. Really when you stop and think about it, this thing is a pocket protector, there to ensure we stick around so we can continue to fund Cardiologists kids through school.

    Seriously, that pacemaker is there to protect him and you two should relax knowing it's there. Heart block is more an annoyance than anything, which now I think about it must be why my family calls me that. Dependent on the degree of block will determine settings best suited to his needs. I imagine your husband has a nifty little home monitor by his bedside that sends messages back to the doctors about his status. If not, ask for one. I should warn though I suspect those devices report everything we do. When I have in person visits to my Cardiologist he always gives me the look like I've done something wrong.

    If you or your husband have any questions please lets us all know, that's what we're here for.


  • 6.  RE: New Member

    Posted 01-25-2021 13:55
    Nora,  Sending you and your husband my deepest support and best wishes for a long and happy life.  I had my unexpected CABG at 52 and it scared the Hell out of both my wife and me.  In retrospect I went into clinical depression.  I have since had 2 stents and a pacemaker with a defib (I went into cardiac arrest, literally died and was shocked back to life three times in August of last year).  I am now in counseling and taking medications, on an as needed basis, when I just can't get the worry thoughts out of my head.  I just turned 60 and hope to live much longer and happy life, and this website is a great place for inspiration.  Because the fear is the big issue (I understand), I recommend both of you get counseling and talk to supportive friends and family.  I thank my friends and family often for listening to me about my path.

    Randy Waclawczyk
    Round Rock TX