Mended Hearts Open Forum

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corona virus

  • 1.  corona virus

    Posted 03-28-2020 23:24
    Edited by Anthony Smith 03-29-2020 06:39
    I'm staying inside my house.  INSIDE.  I've been out only two times in the last 2 week. I was VERY careful about distance and disinfecting everything I brought into the house.   Anybody with me?

    Scared -- but diligent.

    Anthony Smith
    Lake Elsinore CA

  • 2.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-29-2020 10:09
    Concerned should be the guide, not fear. 
    Yes, we are compromised. I have my CABG X 4, pacemaker, Emphysema, Arthritis, Sinusitis, Hayfever, I am 71 and according to my wife, I snore way too much. But I refuse to be afraid. We are isolating as much as we can and follow all the guidelines about washing up and so on.
    We have a beautiful new granddaughter we drove cross country to see and we are staying away for her protection. 
    I urge all of you out there to remember some of you have already faced death in the eye and come through stronger. We are better prepared to deal with any physical challenge we may come across due to our past experience. 
    We are "MENDED" Hearts, Scar tissue is tougher the normal tissue. Our families and caregivers have knowledge of how to deal with a crisis and with love and a sense of humor we will get through this as well.
    We are tougher than we think we are.
    God bless each and every one of you. He will watch out for you. I know because I asked him. He said, "Sure, I got you". ����☺ 
    Love to all,

    Richard Short
    Chapter 395

  • 3.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-30-2020 10:03

    Richard and Ira are on point. To be sure the virus is, and will, disrupt our lives. We will be unable to manage the disruption to the lives of so many others: but we can manage our own. Viewing this as a management process, as I also view the rehabilitation process from OHS, the president, and other decision makers, are making decisions while the learning curve is progressing. We need decision makers: not critics. To emphasis my ability to control the process, I now think of us as "sheltering" rather than  "self-quarantining" that has a negative implication.

    The starting point of any process is identifying the facts: a vaccine will take months so real hope is therapy. The president has eliminated the initial problems of the the CDC focusing on gun violence, the NIH on drunken monkeys, the FDA bogged down in regulations, and private industry relying too much on China, so initial time tables are irrelevant. The fact that the data on the percentages of risk is evolving and, to some extent, irreverent since I have already made my choices. My facts are that I am a heart patient with a pace maker and respiratory weaknesses. This virus is spread by people so we are "sheltering" and avoiding family, but we also take long walks each day around non-crowded places. Uncertainty wears me out, so I used the info available to set tentative dates of September for relief, with a hopeful July and will re-evaluate monthly. My best guess is our lives will not at least immediately revert to our previous ones, so my challenge is to think of this time as an opportunity to rethink my priorities: if you will, an extended mediation. Besides cleaning and organizing, I am considering taking up painting. This is an opportunity to unique to waste: besides we will only have one April, 2020, and so forth.

    I laughingly think of the quote "You had better get busy living, or get busy dying" (Shawshank Redemption).

    Brent Zepke
    Author: One Heart-Two Lives: Managing Your Rehabilitation Program WELL

    Brent Zepke
    Santa Barbara CA
    (805) 698-4651

  • 4.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-30-2020 10:20
    Richard is absolutely right about being "mended" hearts with scar tissue tougher than before.

    "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."

    - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

    Strength and Good Health,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 10:01

    To Brent t al.

                  You sure it wasn't Bob Dylan? "He not busy being born is busy dying."

    Bob Levin


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 6.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 10:18

    Actually, Andy Dufresne did say "You had better get busy living, or get busy dying" in Shawshank Redemption, but he no doubt got the idea from Dylan and It's Alright, Ma.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 7.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-29-2020 10:31
    Hello Anthony and Richard, 

    I am at almost 8 months post op and your post 
    brought back memories of early recovery for me

    My surgeon told me that my Diaphragm was damaged during
    my OHS and that I may have breathing problems  until I heal
    completely which can take a year

    At 8 months post op now I still have episodes of the shallow breathing you noted, but I do deep breathing in through the nose, hold it in and then let it out through my mouth.  I practice this type of breathing even when not exercising or climbing stairs, the staff at the hospital taught me how to do this and it really helps.

    Fear and Panic can lead to breathing problems also, you say that you had alcohol drinks and then did not have any problems with your breathing.  The bad thing about alcohol is that sometimes people start using the alcohol for stress relief instead of deep breathing and possible meditative work.  That in itself is problematic for people recovering from any Major Surgery

    Youtube has excellent videos on stress and how to cope with it, and during this time when we are at home now, youtube and facebook groups can become your best friends along with this

    Mary H


  • 8.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-29-2020 14:04

    I think you're being unduly pessimistic in believing that none of us would survive Covid-19 regardless of our ages based on our health histories.  First of all, this group is comprised of a huge range if people with varying types and severity of heart problems, general medical histories, ages and fitness levels (theoretically including anyone from elite level professional athlete with a valve repair to nonagenarian in late stage heart failure plus terminal cancer and everybody else in between these extremes).

    In addition, all this talk by health authorities about people with preexisting conditions being at higher risk for serious complications is a bit perplexing when one researches the issue and finds that nearly HALF the adult US problem suffers from some sort of cardiovascular disease.  Our group is just the known tip of the iceberg that have had documented cardiac events of varying kinds.  That doesn't make us any more at risk than the hidden, submerged part of the iceberg that has unknown but ticking health time bombs that may result in someone keeling over at dinner tonight, dead before their head hits the table, from a widowmaker heart attack about which they had zero advance warning.  And then there is the general adult US population, approximately half if whom are deemed obese and/or diabetic or pre-diabetic as well as the chain smoking, beer guzzling, vaping addicted, Spring Break crowd and their wannabe pals in every university all over the world.

    So who is really not at elevated risk when it comes right down to it?  Kids?  Twentysomethings?  Maybe but, interestingly, in my town of 60,000 right across the river from NYC, the vast majority of those testing positive for Covid are the youngsters.  It has been rare to hear about a positive senior test, probably because it is the seniors who seem to be taking social distancing far more seriously than many of the younguns.

    Bottom line is that this pandemic is a lousy deal for all of us for sure, and we need to take every step recommended to try and stay safe, but I ain't buying that we're we're all dead men/women walking.  I'm not Catholic, but if I was, I wouldn't be calling my priest to give me last rites just yet.

    Hang in there and stay safe and healthy, friend.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 9.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-29-2020 19:12
    Hello Ira, 

    Another way to think about all of this is that we are working to better our health with the OHS, our rehab and our continued better choices in life with our diets and  new ways of dealing with stress and even better medications to help us with our recovery..

    Many many of us are in the best shape of our lives now after
    surgery and continuing to move forward and not ready to be
    written off as well...

    Nice to hear from you Ira..

    Mary H

  • 10.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-29-2020 19:25
    In a word, Mary, we are survivors.  We all have survived close encounters with death and come out the other side.  We know how to fight to stay alive because we are veterans of that fight.  We are not immortal and we all are living on borrowed time, but we all know how to fight tooth an nail for a further extension of that loan.

    Peace, love and strength to all of us,


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 11.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 11:29
    I'm with you 100%. Shawshank Redemption is with you 100%.
    I am dying. 
    I have CHF, but it is metastatic breast cancer that is taking my body. 
    Can't take pain pills, or THC,or hemp oil or even mineral oil. 
    We all die. 
    I just want to rid my heart of hate from anything that happened to me in the past. 
    I want a sweet release. 
    My name is Virginia Bridgman and I hope to meet some of you on the other side one day. 
    A sincere prayer with my name utter in your tongue is tremendously appreciated and I will feel it in my Spirit. 
    I Love You All. 

  • 12.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 13:12
    ​We are with you now and we will be with you on the other side when you have your sweet release, Ginny.  To paraphrase the definition of "Namaste" from Ram Dass:

    We honor the place in you
    Where the entire
    universe resides.
    We honor the place in you
    Of love, of light, of
    truth, of peace.

    We honor the place in you
    Where if you are in that
    place in you and
    we are in that place
    in each of us,
    There is only one of us.

    Namaste, Ginny.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 13.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 13:15
    Thank you Ira. That brought heartfelt gratitude tears to my eyes. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️, for each apostle. And maybe ❤️for me.  Namaste �� 

  • 14.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 14:25
    thank you Ginny for your note, and thank you Ira for your reply to Ginny and all of us

    I like to think of my life as possibly being hundreds of journeys, some I remember and some not yet taken, but 
    the Eternal Energy of the Soul can never be destroyed, and We All do Shine on.  

    Peace and Namaste

    Mary H

  • 15.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 14:28
    Thank you Mary. I'm so grateful for all of you. 

  • 16.  RE: corona virus

    Posted 03-31-2020 17:34

    As a open heart survivor, I have also been practicing self-quarantining, regular hand washing and social distancing. I'm posting this ACC update which should be useful.

    Guidance on Cardiac Implications of COVID-19
    American College of Cardiology

    This is a excerpted summary of American College of Cardiology guidelines . For more information, go to the guidelines by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

    March 25, 2020

    Because "viral infections such as influenza can destabilize and worsen cardiac conditions," it is likely that COVID-19 will also have an effect, with varying severity in individuals, particularly given indications that 40% of patients with COVID-19 have underlying cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease. These patients are at high risk of having complications.

    Acute Cardiac Complications of COVID-19

    • COVID-19-related cardiac complications include arrhythmia and acute cardiac injury.
    • COVID-19 cardiac complications appear in line with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and Influenza.

    ACC Guidance

    • COVID-19 is spread through droplets and can live for substantial periods outside the body; containment and prevention using standard public health and personal strategies for preventing the spread of communicable disease remains the priority.
    • Those with underlying cardiovascular disease (CVD) have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and have a worse prognosis. Advise these patients of the potential increased risk and encourage additional, reasonable precautions.

    • It is important for patients with CVD to be up to date with vaccinations, including pneumococcal vaccine, given the increased risk of secondary bacterial infection; it would also be prudent to receive influenza vaccination to prevent another source of fever which could be initially confused with coronavirus infection.

    • Older adults are less likely to present with fever, thus close assessment for other symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath is warranted.

    Please see the Medscape Coronavirus Resource Center for more COVID-19-related information.

    Victor Fabry
    Short Hills, New Jersey