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“Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Apr 22

Posted by: ACHA
4/22/2013 12:35 PM  RssIcon

By Meghann Ackerman

It had taken me a few weeks of debating politeness versus curiosity to approach someone I barely knew and ask him about his medical history. But, I reasoned, in his introduction to the class I was coordinating he had mentioned having heart surgery—it wasn’t a secret. Still, I didn’t want to be rude.

I also knew that my motivation was selfish. I wasn’t particularly interested in his actual condition or surgical procedure; I just wanted reassurance that heart surgery was not the end of the world.

Medically, I’m not terribly worried about Victor’s next heart surgery. Most likely, it will happen in Boston where we have some of the best hospitals and doctors in the world. And with medical technology improving exponentially, who knows where we’ll be when surgery time comes? Maybe doctors will be able to use the Force to convince his heart to work correctly.

It’s what comes after the surgery that I worry about. Will the recovery knock my husband out for months? Will I need to be out of work to take care of him? Of course, each surgery is different, but hearing more people’s experiences, and knowing they got through it all OK, is very reassuring.

Meghann Ackerman is a writer, cook, cat fancier, crafter and zombie enthusiast living in Boston. In 2011, she married Victor Morse, a graphic/web designer, video gamer, comic book reader and punster who has aortic stenosis. Armed with a poor understanding of science, Meghann is learning all she can about congenital heart defects and how they may affect her family.

Copyright ©2013 ACHA

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5 comment(s) so far...


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Re: “Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Hello. I can tell you how my life was after all 3 heart surgeries. I had valve surgery in 1988, I was 20, five months later another. They tried to fix my valve first. Then they went in and replaced the valve with "St. Judes Valve". So I click. No one can hear it but me. In 1995 I had both valves replaced. Mitrial and Aortaic valve. After all the surgeries I was out of work for almost 3 months each. I was able to feed my self and dress and all the normal things for my self. But I could not make my bed for about 1 month. No lifting anything over 5 pounds. Personal life with, at the time my boy friend and then husband was fine after 3 -4 weeks. Remember, the chest was cut open and now held together with wires until it heals. Then you are good to go. I was able to drive after 1 month. The car insurance does not cover you again until then. If you get into a accident and hurt your chest, they don't know if it is from the crash or surgery. After I was cleared, about 3 months I went back to work. Part time at first and then full speed ahead. Life was much better cause I felt better. There is a brief moment I was crankie cause I could not do my normal things, but I am also like that when I get a cold.
If you have questions give me a yell. Hope this helped. I have been dealing with a crappy heart for 47 years in September. Born with a big ticker...

By Ronnie on   4/23/2013 7:56 AM
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Re: “Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Hi Meghann,
Everybody is different but in my husband's case his Doctor didn't want him to work for 8 weeks. He drives tractor trailers and became very depressed. Next thing i know i am walking the dog and it's 4 weeks post-op. He takes the keys to the truck and heads off to Chicago without me knowing until i got home and saw the hand written note he left ME!...Yes my intentions were to be with him at least 6 weeks before resuming work but that didn't happen :)

Good luck!
-Lina

By lina Martinez on   4/23/2013 7:56 AM
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Re: “Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Thanks for the post. Thinking of you guys in Boston. I'm from NC, but am a senior in college in TN. Stay strong!!! Boston Strong!!

By John Youngblood on   4/23/2013 7:56 AM
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Re: “Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I know everyone's experience is different and a lot will depend on the type of procedure that is needed, but it is really reassuring to hear from others who have been through it.

By Meghann on   4/23/2013 2:17 PM
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Re: “Can I Ask You a Really Nosy Question?”

Thanks for the post? Well I have had six Heart surgeries and I am only 25.I was born with a murmur .By the age of 4 i needed my first heart surgery then I went back home and ended up coming back to get reopened at the Texas children hospital.Then when i turned 10 years i needed another one .When i turned 15 I needed another to replace my valves with a st judes valve,then it turned out the valve they had replaced was infected prior to inserting it in my heart so i needed to fly back to dallas to get reopened and fix the issues .That time was horrible because i needed to keep my scare open to allow all the infection out of my heart .Finally the last one Was by the age of 21 i had my six heart surgery and at that time they replaced my mitral and aortic valve.This surgery resulted in a tipple by pass. Im glad to say I have overcome this experience but the most important thing you need to keep in mind that your body will do great with strength. Overall i have received 6 heart surgeries 3 in Dallas TX and 4 at Houston TX children hospital. Most of the times i had my valves replaced was do to valve replacement ,it seems as most of then can last from 5-10 years .I do have three valves that have needed replacement .But I have not had a major recovery issues the last surgery i was walking and everything by the 5th day .You just have to make sure you take it lite on the chest .Hope that everything turns out great for you guys!!!!

By priscilla on   4/25/2013 11:28 AM

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