The Official Real Life Happens PP Member Support Thread

Well, there's a little news that I haven't shared at this point:


About 15 years ago, I discovered that I had a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with. It never stopped me from playing sports of any kind all the way up through adult hockey and coaching youth hockey. We just kept an eye on it. Unfortunately the events associated with my Hodgkin lymphoma, and the treatment there of exacerbated the demise of my valve. However, we needed to put the valve replacement surgery off until we could get to a spot where the lymphoma was at least under control. We scheduled the valve replacement surgery for March 15. Unfortunately, due to the constant turbulence caused by the malformed valve an aneurysm formed in the aortic root necessitating open heart surgery. Not fun stuff. I went in last Friday. I had the valve and root replaced. So far, the surgery appears to have been a success. In case you're wondering what that looks like. Here's a picture of my chest in the horizontal position, post surgery. Cow valve btw.

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Suffice to say, it's been quite the eventful 18 months for me. Hopefully, I get out of the hospital tomorrow, but no guarantees.

It's important for me to state that the last 30 years have been idyllic. To go through the last 18 months has been a huge pain in the ass, but I still feel like I've gotten off easy relative to how good life has treated me.

So, that's the latest....
Fuck!! I'm going to go ahead and blame this on Kraft. :ROFLMAO: I'm glad they got it fixed. I have a history of heart issues in my family and it scares the shit out of me. I do take care of myself a little better than my dad and grandpa did though so hopefully that helps.
 
Thanks PP I know your sarcasm is very heartfelt. There’s more information to come on my bicuspid aortic valve and how that moves from generation to generation and also skips generations.

It’s just been a shitty year and a half but I mean it when I say that since meeting my wife back in 1991 so many things have gone right. First of all my wife Lynn herself! If you knew her back, then you would have been just as stunned as me that she was single at almost 30. Then fortunate careers and after a slow start, three beautiful, smart good natured kids came along in 33 months. There is so much more.

So while I don’t believe that life has to even out, I do believe that life tends to even out and so i’ll keep my nose down into the dirt until we get through this rough stretch.

Plus, I have a wicked facking scar!

Just need everything to heal up as I now have over 7 feet of wire holding my breast plates together.
Going through airport security is going to be interesting for me for the rest of my life, lol.

being that you from Lowell, I knew you were probably tough, aloyouis, but now THIS??? jeezus --- YIKES!!!

take it easy man.....

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:beer:
 
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You're winning this thread you know... :coffee:


Seriously, all the best in your recovery from this. Hoping with the nicer weather moving in (well, some day it will eventually have to move in) that it will aid with that. Also, if you stop following the Pats for the next 1-2 years, that may also help.
Winning the thread? The irony of that is palpable. I’d rather not. We all have challenges and I’ve been a spoiled rotten brat since the day I moved to Michigan.
 
Fuck!! I'm going to go ahead and blame this on Kraft. :ROFLMAO: I'm glad they got it fixed. I have a history of heart issues in my family and it scares the shit out of me. I do take care of myself a little better than my dad and grandpa did though so hopefully that helps.
Pay attention to what’s going on at all times. Go see a reputable cardiologist on a regular basis. Had I not been doing that we may have waited too long to fix this and then I would’ve had my “John Ritter” moment.
 
He's from Lowell? I originate from the other filthy "L" town in a certain river valley. Now I why I've always liked that guy.
Born and raised, I grew up in an apartment complex called Princeton Village literally across the street from the Lowell dump.
 
The plan is to turn my A cups into hard iron chest pans!😝😝😝😝😝
So you mean falsies?
BTW, the March Madness game that I was watching last night was Kentucky vs Oakland. I assume Oakland was from CA. But the school is from Rochester MI.
What an exciting and huge upset win by Oakland. They are now my favorite team.
 
Aloyouis, glad to hear you're ok. Make a speedy recovery please.

Was there a reason why they didn't do a straightforward TAVI? Were there complications that required open heart surgery? Were you on or off pump?
 
So you mean falsies?
BTW, the March Madness game that I was watching last night was Kentucky vs Oakland. I assume Oakland was from CA. But the school is from Rochester MI.
What an exciting and huge upset win by Oakland. They are now my favorite team.
Yes, Oakland University is D1 for basketball only and they are in Rochester Michigan. My oldest son attends that school. What an upset!
 
Aloyouis, glad to hear you're ok. Make a speedy recovery please.

Was there a reason why they didn't do a straightforward TAVI? Were there complications that required open heart surgery? Were you on or off pump?
Yes, I believe the procedure you are describing was discussed at length only here in the states they call it a TAVR. If this is the one you're talking about going up through the groin.

The way it was described to me is that the fix for my valve and, my aneurysm was a much better fix going straight through the chest than trying to do it up through the groin and they would only do the TAVR if they thought I couldn't physically withstand having my chest cracked.

Hence, the reason I'm now a permanent member of the "zipper club".

I was on the heart-lung machine for a little over two hours. The entire procedure took about seven.
 
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Yes, Oakland University is D1 for basketball only and they are in Rochester Michigan. My oldest son attends that school. What an upset!
Wow! Your son must be on cloud nine. I was cheering towards the end as if I had real interest in Oakland.
My daughter went to college in the Amherst area when UMass was coached by Coach Cal. I went to several games there and was a Coach Cal fan. But, I couldn't help myself getting caught up by the Oakland come. back. Hope you weren't watching with your ticker.
Oh yes, my family lived in Lowell but moved here in Maine when I was 5. I have no memories of Lowell except the Lowell Sun's movie page.
 
Yes, I believe the procedure you are describing was discussed at length only here in the states they call it a TAVR. If this is the one you're talking about going up through the groin.

The way it was described to me is that the fix from my valve and, my aneurysm is a much better fix going straight through the chest than trying to do it up through the groin and they would only do the TAVR if they thought I couldn't physically withstand having my chest cracked.

Hence, the reason I'm now a permanent member of the "zipper club".

I was on the heart-lung machine for a little over two hours. The entire procedure took about seven.
Very interesting. That's the procedure all right, "Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation'.

That's serious stuff you went through, going on the pump for 2 hours, that is not minor surgery. Glad you seemed to have sailed through it. I've always been fascinated by patients going on the pump. I mean, they are literally clamping the heart and stopping it and then transferring the function to machine. And then they have to re-start the heart with their little jump leads to get it going again when ready. Did you have any concerns about that or doubts etc? I know they do these on pump open heart/thoracic surgeries all the time now and it's routine, but it's amazing that they actually stop the heart. Fantastic what they can do.
 
Very interesting. That's the procedure all right, "Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation'.

That's serious stuff you went through, going on the pump for 2 hours, that is not minor surgery. Glad you seemed to have sailed through it. I've always been fascinated by patients going on the pump. I mean, they are literally clamping the heart and stopping it and then transferring the function to machine. And then they have to re-start the heart with their little jump leads to get it going again when ready. Did you have any concerns about that or doubts etc? I know they do these on pump open heart/thoracic surgeries all the time now and it's routine, but it's amazing that they actually stop the heart. Fantastic what they can do.
Trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

I just dug into it a little bit and it's the same thing. And yes, I had major concerns. There are serious potential blood clotting problems, as well as other morbidities involving kidneys and liver and other organs when you're on a machine that long, but presented with all the facts and the rapid deterioration of the valve and the expansion of the aneurysm I had a little choice. I won't lie, the first two days post-op were hellacious to the point where I had to be sedated and restrained. I don't do well in any kind of a confused state. Given the last year of treatment I've had combined with this highly invasive procedure coming out of that surgery confused/angry was a near certainty.

I can't speak highly enough of the staff from the nurse techs all the way up to the cardio-thoracic surgeons at Beaumont Hospital here in Royal Oak, Michigan. Just like I did with the cancer diagnosis I went elsewhere for second opinions (University of Michigan) and they concurred with the procedure wholeheartedly.

Irrational feelings are the rule of the day after so much of this shit. I still have a much greater chance of dying from the lymphoma than I did from this procedure, but this procedure scared the living shit out of me on a much greater order of magnitude. 100 times more.

I was hoping to be out of here by now, but this morning, I showed some atrial fibrillation so they pumped the brakes. Eliquis and Lopressor solved the issue. Hopefully I go home tomorrow.
 
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Trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

I just dug into it a little bit and it's the same thing. And yes, I had major concerns. There are serious potential blood clotting problems, as well as other morbidities involving kidneys and liver and other organs when you're on a machine that long, but presented with all the facts and the rapid deterioration of the valve and the expansion of the aneurysm I had a little choice. I won't lie, the first two days post-op were hellacious to the point where I had to be sedated and restrained. I don't do well in any kind of a confused state. Given the last year of treatment I've had combined with this highly invasive procedure coming out of that surgery confused/angry was a near certainty.

I can't speak highly enough of the staff from the nurse techs all the way up to the cardio-thoracic surgeons at Beaumont Hospital here in Royal Oak, Michigan. Just like I did with the cancer diagnosis I went elsewhere for second opinions (University of Michigan) and they concurred with the procedure wholeheartedly.

Irrational feelings are the rule of the day after so much of this shit. I still have a much greater chance of dying from the lymphoma than I did from this procedure, but this procedure scared the living shit out of me on a much greater order of magnitude. 100 times more.

I was hoping to be out of here by now, but this morning, I showed some atrial fibrillation so they pumped the brakes. Eliquis and Lopressor solved the issue. Hopefully I go home tomorrow.

I know what you mean, anything to do with the heart is scary. It's an amazing little pump when you look into it. Every beat, the left ventricle is pumping approx 70 MLS of blood up through the aorta. So every minute, you're looking at 5 litres of blood! That's 10 pints, every minute, of every day for all your days of your life. That blood is feeding every millimetre of your body from the top of your skull down to your little toe.

It's a miracle of engineering. But when it goes wrong, it really fucks you up as you've seen.

I don't envy you at all. I had my heart attack 3 months ago but had the simplest of procedures to unblock the plumbing.

Well done for getting through this. Those aortic valve replacements give incredible results, a brand new valve that will last a lifetime.
 
I know what you mean, anything to do with the heart is scary. It's an amazing little pump when you look into it. Every beat, the left ventricle is pumping approx 70 MLS of blood up through the aorta. So every minute, you're looking at 5 litres of blood! That's 10 pints, every minute, of every day for all your days of your life. That blood is feeding every millimetre of your body from the top of your skull down to your little toe.

It's a miracle of engineering. But when it goes wrong, it really fucks you up as you've seen.

I don't envy you at all. I had my heart attack 3 months ago but had the simplest of procedures to unblock the plumbing.

Well done for getting through this. Those aortic valve replacements give incredible results, a brand new valve that will last a lifetime.
Probably because I'm a self obsessed egomaniac I was unaware that you had a heart attack. Holy shit! Or maybe I just read about it after coming home from a Euchre tournament after having too many Smithwick's.

Given the further lack of discussion about it, I take it, things have turned out well? I certainly hope so my friend.

And yes, the heart is more than an amazing machine.

By January 2019, I hadn't been playing hockey for 4-5 years nor taking very good care of my body. I'm 6 foot 1 and I breached 250 pounds. January.2.2019.was the end of that. I had gone to see my cardiologist the previous December and he was concerned about my heart fitness in addition to my valve and so I told him I was going to lose 50 pounds. I lost 55 pounds. By May 1st. My left ventricle EF had been measured at 48 the previous December and by May 15th it was 75. I kept that fitness level all the way up until the lymphoma symptoms started to hit in January and it became impossible for me to do the work. It was down to 50 the Tuesday before this procedure.

I fully intend to get back to 75. I am sure you are doing same.
 
Probably because I'm a self obsessed egomaniac I was unaware that you had a heart attack. Holy shit! Or maybe I just read about it after coming home from a Euchre tournament after having too many Smithwick's.

Given the further lack of discussion about it, I take it, things have turned out well? I certainly hope so my friend.

And yes, the heart is more than an amazing machine.

By January 2019, I hadn't been playing hockey for 4-5 years nor taking very good care of my body. I'm 6 foot 1 and I breached 250 pounds. January.2.2019.was the end of that. I had gone to see my cardiologist the previous December and he was concerned about my heart fitness in addition to my valve and so I told him I was going to lose 50 pounds. I lost 55 pounds. By May 1st. My left ventricle EF had been measured at 48 the previous December and by May 15th it was 75. I kept that fitness level all the way up until the lymphoma symptoms started to hit in January and it became impossible for me to do the work. It was down to 50 the Tuesday before this procedure.

I fully intend to get back to 75. I am sure you are doing same.
I mentioned it back in December on this thread, I think. I had what I thought was just bad indigestion for about a week. I wasn't overweight; I'm just over 6 feet and was 189 pounds at the time. My diet wasn't that bad either. But heart disease runs in the family and my cholesterol over the years led to atherosclerosis that slowly built up over the decades. This chain can start when you're a baby would you believe, lesions in the arteries lead to cholesterol. calcium build up over the decades and it just creeps up until the artery is suddenly 70% occluded, the plaque ruptures and your body clots it and blocks the whole artey.

I didn't know it was a heart attack when it happened, I drove myself to the hospital thinking they'd give me some pills for an ulcer maybe! Very quickly, though, once the ECG was done and blood taken, they told me I had had a significant heart attack and maybe more than one. Straight into the cath lab, angioplasty and stent and then a few days later, the 2nd artery was done. Home the next day. Slowly built up my fitness again, lots of pills and total change of diet and everything seems to be ok now.

I just have to be careful going forward, diet and exercise are key.
 
I mentioned it back in December on this thread, I think. I had what I thought was just bad indigestion for about a week. I wasn't overweight; I'm just over 6 feet and was 189 pounds at the time. My diet wasn't that bad either. But heart disease runs in the family and my cholesterol over the years led to atherosclerosis that slowly built up over the decades. This chain can start when you're a baby would you believe, lesions in the arteries lead to cholesterol. calcium build up over the decades and it just creeps up until the artery is suddenly 70% occluded, the plaque ruptures and your body clots it and blocks the whole artey.

I didn't know it was a heart attack when it happened, I drove myself to the hospital thinking they'd give me some pills for an ulcer maybe! Very quickly, though, once the ECG was done and blood taken, they told me I had had a significant heart attack and maybe more than one. Straight into the cath lab, angioplasty and stent and then a few days later, the 2nd artery was done. Home the next day. Slowly built up my fitness again, lots of pills and total change of diet and everything seems to be ok now.

I just have to be careful going forward, diet and exercise are key.
So glad you caught it in time to reverse the damage and get back on the positive side!
 
Finally got sprung this morning. Bogey, the cat, missed me. Divot, the other cat, could not give even a small shit. Probably pissed I came home again, LOL.

The dogs had to be cordoned off in order to settle down.

While I am told I watched most of the Players Championship last weekend I had to look up who won it this morning on the way home. That is Rd. 2 of the Valspar on the TV. I am going to sit here and watch golf today. I THOUGHT I might be back to work tomorrow. Tells you what a fool I am.

Overall, doing okay. I have a blood clot in my neck and an infection in my arm from one of the IV lines. Eliquis and Keflex taking care of them. The chest pain is increasing as the drugs wear off. I think the rough week starts today.
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