Open heart surgery- patient’s perspective


Heart_logo One of the first things I did after starting this blog was write a chronicle of my experience with emergency open heart surgery three years ago.  It was a difficult thing for me to write but something I had to do for closure.  I published the chronicle titled from the heart in installments as soon as I wrote them as I found reliving the experience was very taxing and I needed to step away from it from time to time.  I have received so much great feedback from readers confronted with a similar ordeal that it affirms it was a good thing for me to do.  jkOnTheRun has grown so rapidly that I feel it is a good time to share this with the many new visitors that are coming to the blog now who may not have seen it, as it is now buried in the archives as so often happens with older stuff on blogs.  I have compiled all of the installments into one chronicle to make it easier for you to read.  If it is not something that interests you since it is very off topic just skip over it.  If, instead, you are wondering what happens in this situation then read on…

from the heart



I guess I just wanted to thank you for being honest and making effort to blog your time. I really hope I’ll be able to do the same before my next surgery comes around.



Joe, my chest doesn’t hurt much anymore but it still feels very different than it did before. I guess it’s a small price to pay. Good luck and take care.


I had open heart surgery to replace me aortic valve with a mechanical valve in June 2004.

I know exactly what you went through and it was very scary. When they woke me up to take me off the breathing machine, I was sleeping so hard, I did not want to wake up. Never have been so thirsty and so much pain.

The worst part was yanking out the drainage tubes. I am wondering if you still have pain in the chest and upper back when laying down?


Nancy, thank you for a wonderful message that gives me a warm feeling! I am glad it touches people and especially that it gives one pause to reflect where they want to be down the road. As much as I love mobile tech there are many things that really matter and I encourage everyone to stop and appreciate them.


Thanks for such an exacting, real, and emotionally hitting telling of your harrowing experience. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months now (I voted for your blog) and after reading “From the heart” I have another reason to be a fan (not to mention that your post should have been nominated for a “Diarist Award” — past eligibility, now.) Reading your experience reminds me, once again, that I need to take care of my body as it is the vessel which carries such a fortunate soul–fortunate to love and be loved in both my personal and public lives. Thanks again. I will read, and reread your wonderful post and remain a blog fan.

Kevin C. Tofel

Well worth sharing again. Maybe a permanent link in the future? If not, I highly recommend re-posting once every 4 to 6 months….it makes that much of an impact.



I have only a handful of permanent web clippings on my PDA. I try to keep down the clutter as much as possible, so I mostly keep just the recent stuff. But your blog of the surgery experience made such an impact on me that I keep it with me. Even when I’m not actually reading it, I’m reminded of why I should take care of my health. Not that I always eat like I should and exercise. But it does affect many of my decisions. I hope many people will read it and “take it to heart.”

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