The continuing story of Mickey's TAVR Heart Valve replacement. Part 3 ended......April 16-30 - We are just getting by day by day, one day at a time.
Although we are tired, and we are discouraged about the TAVR being delayed through no fault of our own, we are still confident in the outcome. We feel the presence of our LORD & SAVIOR on a daily basis. We stand in the knowledge and assurance that God is walking this out with us one day at a time. I am still co-leading the Real Christianity Small Group and Mickey is still keeping informed on the Deacon issues. Many from our Church family are such a blessing to us in so many ways during this time. We manage to attend church each Sunday & Wednesday.
YES, it is a very l-o-n-g year.
May 1-10 - This first 10 days of May are a continuation from April 16th and the above. We are waiting. We get through one day at a time.
May 11 - FINALLY!!!! - pre-op is done. This long awaited procedure is FINALLY going to be accomplished.
May 12 - We arrive at Saint Francis Heart Hospital at 7 a.m. Mickey's brother Jerry is here with us from Tennessee. Pastor Steve, Jerry, Son Marc & I all pray together before Mickey is taken in. Marc, Jerry & I wait in the waiting room.
We are joined by friend Don Thompson and Heidi, the wife of John who has nursed and helped us so much.
Dr. Archer is the main Surgeon, with Dr. Ensley and Dr. Cassidy assisting. Dr. Gierdisch, from Loyola University in Chicago, has flown in as Proctor. This is due to the difficulty of the entry into the chest wall based on the prior Heart Bi-pass surgery done in 2008, and the issue of vein blockage in the legs, which is the first entry preferred source.
The surgery is scheduled for 180 minutes. The plan is to enter through the upper chest with a small incision. This was the 3rd and least desirable entry. The Transaortic - Through an incision in the chest.
There were problems and it was necessary for the Surgeon to do open heart surgery. This was the procedure they had been trying to avoid due to Mickey's age and why the entire TAVR procedure had been sought, waited for, and delayed for so long.
THE OPEN HEART SURGERY WAS A SUCCESS, AND THE NEW AORTA VALVE WAS SET IN PLACE!!!!!!
May 13-14 - In the hospital. Doing good. Lots of company. Marc, Jacque, Jerry, Oksana, and myself are there from early morning until about 9 p.m. Jerry & I do return home to sleep.
May 14 - When it rains it pours!! Our HHR is down.
May 15 - Mickey is released from the hospital on the 3rd day at 12:03 pm (that is significant to me and The 3rd Day Sister's Bible Study that was incorporated into my WOW Women - Woman of the Word Bible Study in our home every Tuesday evening!)
Since the HHR was out of the picture the trip home was made in Brother Jerry's car, which reeked of cigarettes, with Jerry driving. Mickey begins to sleep - and I might say live - on the living room couch.
May 16 - Jerry leaves at 7 a.m. for Tennessee. Mickey takes his 4th Pain Pill at 1 p.m.
May 17 - We begin recording daily pulse rates & weight. Today 157/54/97 and 156.2 lbs.
This is also the last week I co-lead Real Christianity in our study of THE END by Mark Hitchcock. Kent finishes up the following Sunday, May 25th and we take an extended break.
May 18 - Faithful, and talented friend, Tim Hembrey came by and installs a new thermostat in the HHR and also brings and plants 2 roses bushes in the flower bed. A red one for me, and a white one for Mickey. What a blessing and treasure Tim is in our lives.
May 19-20 - Pain level is not bad and he takes very few pain meds.
May 21 - Follow-up appointment with Primary Care Dr. Aldridge.
Mickey is gaining weight, because his body is retaining fluid, which is a bad sign - early indication of heart failure. His feet and legs are swollen badly. The feet so swollen he had to wear his bedroom slippers to the Dr.
Dr. Aldridge instructs me to buy pairs of support hoses and prescribes a diuretic to be added to the daily meds.
THIS WAS A VERY LOW - DISCOURAGING & CONCERNING few days and weeks.
Dr. Aldridge is ordering both Home Care Nursing and Home Care Physical Therapy for us.
May 22 - Patty, a church friend brought in supper for us and she and husband Aaron visited with us. Tim & Kristine came and worked in the yard AGAIN.
May 26 - Thersa, the PT, arrives for the first time.
May 27 - Nancy, the RN, arrives for the first time. These two woman will be a great help and source of comfort for us. The PT came twice a week and the RN once a week. Mickey & I do the PT exercises on the days she doesn't come using the instruction sheets that Thersa gave ue. They are helping.
May 28 - Dr. Aldridge. Swelling doing better.
June 1- 8 - The RN visit and PT visits continue.
June 3 - RED LETTER DAY - We attend Wednesday night Church Services. We have missed 3 Wednesday night and Sunday morning services with our beloved Church family and our Pastor Steve.
June 7 - First Sunday back - We made it for the DEDICATION of the completely remodeled Sanctuary. What a wonderful day of rejoicing on so many levels. Mickey is very, very weak but we were determined to be there. Church is one of the most important things in our lives.
June 9 - Follow-up with TAVR Dr. Ensley. Lab - EKG & Echo Cardiogram. He is pleased with the results of the Aortic Valve and is referring him back to his Cardiologist Dr. Irvin.
June 11 - Dr. Aldridge appointment.
Mickey slept through the night in BED!!! Our biggest issue from May 15, when Mickey was released from the hospital, until now has been sleeping. Many, many nights Mickey would be awake through the night and I would be awake with him sitting in the rocker or trying to rest on the living room floor.
June 13 - We celebrate an early Father's Day at Cheddars with Marc, Aric, & Jacque. It is so noisy, we vow to never go there again to celebrate anything. Marc gave the book The Wright Brothers to him as his gift. We celebrated early, instead of May 21, because Marc & Gayle were leaving for a week in Branson. Mickey is VERY weak and this trip out was difficult.
June 15 - Last home nurse appointment with Kathy.
June 17 - Last home PT visit by Theresa.
June 21 - Father's Day and Jacque attends church with us. That is the BEST gift she could and did give her father.
June 23 - We make a trip to The King's Kitchen to meet with Dee from Meals on wheels. It is good to be there and see everyone.
June 26 - The Supreme Court rules and makes Gay Marriage legal in our nation. This has nothing to do with our story, but I wanted it included in here for history's sake as our children and grandchildren, and perhaps some day great & great-great grandchildren may be reading this. We are heart broken with what we see happening to our beloved America.
June 29 - Mickey is able to attend the Deacon Board Meeting.
May 15 to June 30 - As a recap: Mickey is improving but is so very weak and everywhere we go I let him off at the door and we have to sit down and rest a lot.
July 1 - Eye appointment with VA. Good report on the macular regeneration not getting any worse.
July 2 - A big day for us on two fronts. We have our appointment with St. Francis Cardio Rehab at 10:30 and at 3:45 we have an appointment with Dr. Jeremy Moad our new lung specialist. Dr. Moad changes his medication to Symbicort and we see immediate improvement in his shortness of breath.
July 6 - Mickey begins Cardio Rehab. We go every Mon - Wed - Fri for an hour. From this first day he starts to improve greatly. We are soooo thankful.
July 15 - Dr. Aldridge follow-up. So pleased with his progress and tells him, "You were a very ill man. I know I don't need to tell you that."
July 30 - Follow-up with Dr. Irving the Cardiologist that Mickey was referred back to by TAVR Dr. Ensley.
MICKEY WAS GIVEN A GOOD REPORT - so good that Dr. Irving does not want
to see him to SIX MONTH.
When we get home and look at our calendar we are AMAZED. This journey began on July 30, 2014 with an appointment to our then Primary Care Dr. Murrock concerning Mickey's shortness of breath. He refers him to Cardiologist Dr. Irving - ONE YEAR TO THE DAY - July 30, 2015 the above good report.
YES - it's been quite A YEAR!!!! God has been with us every step of the way and we ALWAYS felt in our heart we would get through this trial and that God was not through with MICKEY yet or with us as a team. We are in AWE - we are in WONDERMENT of God's great love, care, and healing!!!
August 4 - Mickey takes back the reigns of The King's Kitchen after his 3 month absence. Jimmy Arnold has done a wonderful job of filling in for Mickey, Sherry Kelly the main cook, and the entire team has done a wonderful job and has not missed a lick.
August 18 - Follow-up appointment with Dr. Moad. He, also, does not want to see Mickey for SIX MONTHS.
Last, but not least, we are joining Planet Fitness to continue Mickey's Cardio exercise, including weights. Susan is continuing to walk 7500 steps a day.