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Back home today

This will be a short post, before I go to bed for the night.  I was released from Good Samaritan this afternoon at about 2:00, after spending only 5 days in the hospital.

It is truly amazing what I have been through this week.  I will post more thoughts beginning tomorrow, but I grateful beyond words that Dr. Jensen heard this problem, and sent me to get it checked out.  When you fully understand the procedure, that I had done tuesday morning, It is had to comprehend that I walked out of the hospital under my own power at 2:00.

My medical team was remarkable!  Dr. Bibler was nothing short of the consumate professional, explaining everything every step of they way.  And to all the nurses from the morning I checked in, through today, were so helpful, and made it possible for me get out as fast as I did.

I am thankful beyond words for all the prayers, comments to this blogsite, and especially to my kids for keeping everyone informed.  I have had many visitors, which I cannot express properly how much it meant to me for them to come by and see me. A special thanks to Susan Barta for talking care of the needs of my customers that really couldn’t wait.  Susan, I really proud of how far you have come in the past year.

Last but not least Timothy Loewenstein, who looked after me like a business partner.  I trust Tim like a senior partner, even though we are not really business partners.  Tim has been helpful “above and beyond”, even though there was no “call of duty”.  Thank you my dear freind.

Finally, to my wife, Tracie who at my bedside every minute she could be, keeping me focused, and positive.  I LOVE YOU!

At Home!

Dad is at home, sitting in the recliner chair, watching TV. It is so nice to have him home and I am sure it feels good to be home. I went up to visit him this morning and the talk was still that he may be able to go home. Before I left to go to work the Doctor came in to undress his incision and take one last look. Before he left the room he said he was finishing up his paperwork. Mom said he was home around 2:30pm. Mom went to fill his perscriptions and we had to organize his pill boxes, one marked AM, one marked PM. For about 2 weeks he will be on some other meds besides his Coumadin.

Grandpa brought Dad a shower chair to help him out in the bathroom. It is actually pretty handy. Half of the chair sits outside the tub shower, he can sit on the edge of it, swing his legs around and over the edge of the tub. It is really handy. Taking a shower kind of exhausts dad, but feels refreshing.

Dad said he is going to try and post soon, possibly tonight, although we want him to stay away from the computer since he is always on it! No work Dad! Keep in touch, ask dad any questions about his surgery. He is sure used to it by know. Love you all.

-Lauren

Night Before Surgery

I’m heading to bed, after a pretty long day.  Another day of  Mega-testing.  I beginning to feel like a human pincushion.  At any rate, i’m really ready to get this over with.

I really appreciate the tons of well wishes and thought of prayers for my surgery.  I’m really looking forward to visiting with everyone after my long ordeal.  You are all dear friends.

by William A. Ward
“Each of us will one day be judged by our standard of life, not by our standard of living; by our measure of giving, not by our measure of wealth; by our simple goodness, not by our seeming greatness.”

I finally have a date!

As odd as it might sound to all of you, I am relieved that I have finally gotten the surgery scheduled. I am anxious to say the least, but am looking forward to getting back on the mend.

I will be admitted on Tuesday, Aug 4, 2009 into Good Samaritan (Kearney, NE) for my surgery.  I do have some pre-operative work (labs, chest X-rays, medical history) scheduled for Monday, Aug 3.

Tuesday, Tracie and I met with Dr. Michael Bibler about my condition.  Dr. Bibler was very professional, candid, and explained everything to both of us.  The surgical procedure was detailed, without being graphic.  All of the possible risks and side effects were spelled out one by one.

Dr. Bibler layed it all out like this.  On Tuesday, I have to check in at 5:00 am.  I will be prepped for surgery including a special disinfecting shower, and shave my chest.  Sometime around 6:00 I should be rolled into the OR.  I will have two procedures to “fix” my broken heart.  A mechanical valve will replace my stenotic (stiff) aortic valve, and a my aortic stem will be repaired to make it smaller.  Aortic stenosis causes the stem to become enlarged, or “pouch out”.  Dr. Bibler may also decide to remove the aortic stem and replace it with a valve and stem assembly. Both procedures require that my chest be opened, my sternum be split, exposing my heart.

The surgery could take approximately 3-4 hours.  After surgery I will remain on the breathing machine for 4-6 hours while I’m being monitored.  During this time I will remain in the cardiac intensive care unit.  Dr. Bibler said that Tracie will be able to see me in the CICU.  As soon as I am taken of the breathing equipment, I will be moved into my own room, and will remain in the hospital for about a week.

My recovery will take about 4 weeks.  Dr. Bibler has told me that he will not let me drive for at least 4 weeks.  I will also make numerous visits for cardiac therapy during my recovery.

Thank you to all of you for your warm thoughts and prayers.  These will be so helpful as me and my family go through this together.