Hi all - first time poster. I found out in early March that I have a sinus venosus atrial septal defect and thus require open heart surgery to repair it. I was supposed to get married May 1 - basically got the diagnosis and treatment plan a week before I had to postpone the wedding because of covid. Fun times! Overall thankful for my relative health and continued employment (trying to keep perspective)
In any case, it's looking like the surgery will be in another month or so. I'm trying to figure out how to prepare. The surgeon recommended taking a daily multivitamin with iron, no caffeine/alcohol, walking daily and generally living as normal. Which is great! I'm also getting my trust drawn up *just in case* (I have a 6 year old and 9 year old)
But I also feel like I ought to be doing more. I haven't really found much detail on recovery. I'm almost 38 so the doc seems to think I'll be on the faster recovery side of things. But - for those that have been through this - are there things I should be thinking about for after the surgery? A comfy pair of shoes for walking. Books to read. ... beyond that? I'll have my mom and partner available to help as needed but - what else can I do now to get ready?Thanks for your advice!Jill
Dear Jill,I too was a mom of young children when I had my surgery at age 42. That was 16 years ago now.My biggest desire after surgery was to get back to caring for my family the best and fastest way.Here's some tips that helped me. First of all, be a good patient. Let the staff guide your recovery. They may often know what you are capable of before you know. Cardiac rehabilitation was my most important ticket to my recovery. It addresses both your physical and emotional recovery. Maybe you could tour your rehab facility before your surgery to get a feel for it. Make a way to go to rehab!Second, allow friends and family to help. That's not as obvious as it sounds. If possible, let people help you with meals and child care and chores so you can focus on your recovery at least a month. If you get spread too thin trying to keep everything going, you will drag out your recovery.Give yourself smaller short term goals instead of bigger long term goals, especially at first. Don't plan a half marathon this fall. Maybe try to walk 100 more steps each day.(you get the picture).Resting and activity are key to recovery. After a rest take a walk. After a walk take a rest. Yup, get yourself a great pair of walking shoes.Last of all, talk. When you talk you'll find out all those new strange thoughts you're having...are normal.Best wishes to you.