Have I mentioned my Australian ‘blogpal’ Alicia? She received her open heart surgery to replace her Pulmonary Valve the same week as my Aortic Valve replacement. She has also been blogging about her journey (and a more constantly than me too). She is also a workout junkie like myself, who probably also feel like she has something to prove, like myself. The best part of blogging for me has been the connections that I’ve made across the world with other people who are going though or have gone through open heart (valve) surgery. PLEASE check out her blog here: http://aliciavicki.wordpress.com/
Recovery is more than getting back to physical health. I am psyched that I have been able to get back to where I am now, however there are some challenges that linger.
- Emotions: I have noticed significant emotional changes since my surgery. I am not suffering from (cardiac) depression, which happens to many heart surgery patients, but my emotions are extreme. I feel greater joy, and greater sadness in my daily life. The extremes are more present than they used to be.
- Pride: I feel like I have something to prove. I feel the need to be stronger than I ever have been before. I’m afraid that I am sometimes overdoing it.
- Physical strength and endurance. Some stronger, some weaker.
- Occasional PVC’s (premature ventricular contractions): though these have decreased dramatically.
Cycling on Feb 22, 2014 ‘Greenspot rd route’: http://my.digifit.com/site/share/workout/c5906ac59bf911e395a409b929907b9a.html My restrictions have been dropped, so I do not need to keep my heart rate under 140 BPM any longer! The cool thing is, due to my beta blocker medication, my heart doesn’t really go above that anyway. We will see once I’m taken off the, hopefully this week. If you are looking at my heart rate chart, don’t worry about the extreme spikes above 200 BPM, I am pretty sure that those reading are errors due to the wind when I go very fast downhill. I think the wind vibrates my jersey against the heart monitor. Those spikes only occur when I go downhill, which is when I am exerting myself the least.
I feel that I am back to my normal climbing strength. Now I am training to climb harder and better than I ever have in my life. I have begun a 3 month training regiment that will put me in the best shape of my life. I’ll be sure to post my progress on this. There are various climbing competitions in southern california that I will be competing in. It is time to get strong. I wish I had a recent picture of me climbing something cool to show you, but I don’t.
This one is tough. Refer to my first bullet at the top of this post.
SO anywayz here’s a picture of me with my shirt off!
So, this girl’s blog is what originally inspired me to blog about my heart valve replacement. She go hers done 1.5 years ago. Like me, she slowed down her blogging after her surgery, but she just wrote a post on how she is doing. Her blog is inspirational and helpful for any valver.