View Full Version : A scar is born..........heart surgery update

01-08-2007, 10:44 AM
Whatís 10 inches long, has a slight curve to it, is shaved, and hella ugly.............but still makes me want to play with it? My new scar!!! I havenít named it yet, but I will.

Surprisingly calm about what was about to happen, I went to the hospital at 6am on December 14th. They explained (again) what the game plan was, but seamed to skip over the part that said they were going to shave me from my chest down to my knees. They described the 3 phases of anaesthesia, and what to expect right after surgery. When you are under for a long time, you need to come out of it naturally, as opposed to a relatively short (knee surgery?) where they give you another anaesthetic to pull you back into reality. At least thatís what I understood. One was to relax. Then one to forget everything that was about to happen. And the last one to go night night. Shortly after that, I think was when they pulled out a sawzall and went to town. Split me right down the middle. Iíll spare you the gory details, but letís just say they canít operate on your heart if itís still beating. My damaged valve (Mitral) is in the back of the heart, so it (heart) was moved around and what not for better access. There are no stitches or staples holding me together. They use a medical type super glue which has proved to help cut back on possible infection. I wanted to post something before I went in, but my doctors all stressed how much rest I was going to need, and didnít want me answering my phone. If it makes any difference, my immediate family was allowed to visit 2 at a time, for only 5 minutes out of every hour. My brother snapped 3 pics of the rats nest of wires and tubes before the nurses made him put his camera away. I still havenít seen them.

Post op, rumor has it that the designer in me spoke first and asked if the scar was straight. I certainly donít remember, but it sounds like something I would say. Due to the tube causing pain in my throat, I distinctly remember asking for a slurpee, but my request went unanswered. Bastards!!!!!! After that, I donít recall much of the time I spent in ICU. I know that despite all the specialists telling me there was probably less than a ten percent chance of repair (vs. Replaceing the valve), I finally caught a break. The relief of not needing blood thinners for the rest of my life, along with knowing I would be able to get back in the water was unreal. Some friends were so stoked Iíd be able to surf with them again, they pitched in so I could get a custom shaped board. Despite the potential of losing any manliness I may have had, this made me cry for the first time in who knows how long. And I gotta say, surf trips to Costa Rica (and beyond) are way better than heart operations. Friends rule!!!

There were a couple of glitches along the way as well, but all things considered Iím beyond pleased. The day after surgery my right lung collapsed. They did something with a large needle, but I donít recall any pain.......just a little bit of pressure. I think all the needle work is just part of the process now (and has been for the past 3 months). After initially showing improvement, the next morning it was worse. While awake and alert, they inserted a tube (the size of an index finger) into my chest, and it was significantly more torturous. When it went through the sack around my lung it made a crazy sound like a flat tire. Psssshhhhhhhhhh. That went to a little machine that made bubbling noises, which I needed to carry with me should I venture down the hall on a short walk. It kept company with the drain tube protruding from beneath my rib cage for about a week. I transferred out of ICU and headed to another room. It was the first one Iíve had to share in 3 months. My roommate definitely wasnít an HAMBer. What a fuckin sissy..............not to mention they never found anything thing worse than an ulcer in the 8 days he was there!!!!

I was released December 21st (I could have been the 20th) and I headed to my parents place. Perhaps a day or two after Christmas, I was having difficulty taking a deep breath. There was a sharp pain on my left side........but way to the left. Not anywhere near any incisions. After visiting the cardiologist, he said the sack around my heart was a little bit pissed off at the surgery and was rubbing against my ticker. A few pills and cat scan of my chest clearing me of any clots did the trick. For the past 2 weeks I have been learning what I can and canít do. Although it takes me longer than normal, I can shower, eat, get dressed, and meander for a 5-10 minutes at a time. Getting out of bed is a bit of a challenge, as I canít use my stomach muscles to sit up like I used to. Itís more of a roll. Iím just beginning to be able to roll onto my side now. I really need to think about it, because sometimes I feel my sternum click. Itís still growing back together and tied up with wires (all on the inside). Opening jars are a pain in the butt, as are heavy doors. Child proof medicine caps are damned near impossible. No driving yet, and I canít lift anything over 10 lbs for 3 months. Plugging something into a light socket is tough as well, so I use my knee to assist. Of all things, my biggest fear at the moment is sneezing. If I do too much, my body lets me know and I take a little nap. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

After visiting the surgeon, today (Fri) I arrived back home in Redondo. I need to unpack, but expect that to take about a week. Iím off all pain meds, and my hair is unruly. Not even gel can fix it. From here on out itís recoup, recoup, recoup. Doc says I will pretty much back to the way I was before I got sick in about 6 months. According to my math skills, that should be right around Paso. Sweet!!!!!!

2007 brings me a ton to be thankful for. Far more in fact than what I could possibly even begin to bitch about. Being above ground is a good thing. I hope you all appreciate it.

Thatís it for now, just wanted to fill you in. Happy new year.

This is about 10 days after the surgery. You can see the super glue instead of stitches or staples. A few days later, it peeled off, and with it came the dried blood that makes this pic look worse than it actually is. The red dots at the bottom are from these little electrical wires they put in in case there are problems. Then they can use them like jumper cables to hook up a temporary pace maker without splitting you back open. Out of frame to the bottom is another small scar (1 inch?) from the drain tube. Then about an inch under my right nipple is another one inch scar that was from when they inserted another tube after my lung collapsed. Oops.

01-08-2007, 10:52 AM
Fuck, I bet that hurt.

Glad to see you moving around again man and stoked about the water deal... Sounds like your life is headed back to normal... Well deserved.

01-08-2007, 10:53 AM
i'm glad to hear your on the road to recovery
good luck and take it easy

Pirate Vixen Clothing
01-08-2007, 10:54 AM
Glad to see you on here hun!!!
2007 is gonna be a great one for ya hun...
Still in my prayers every night...
(burb's gal)

Pirate Vixen Clothing
01-08-2007, 10:55 AM
Opps sorry for the name mispell...
I was typing while answer questions from my assistant...

01-08-2007, 10:57 AM
Yikes, doesn't sound or look like any fun. Glad to hear your doing better and will be back to "normal" in time for the upcoming cruzn season.:cool:

01-08-2007, 10:58 AM
Hey Coby, glad you are doing so well. That rules!

Chris Casny
01-08-2007, 11:01 AM
Hang in there, man

01-08-2007, 11:01 AM
Flesh WeldingÖ Cool!
God bless, Coby.

01-08-2007, 11:05 AM
Hey Coby, glad to see you are making it through this....youch!


01-08-2007, 11:12 AM
That sure does not sound like the best way to spend the holidays, but I am glad to hear you are on the mend and will be better than before with the repaired valve. I had a hernia surgery and it was only like 4 inches long, but I know exactly what you mean about the stomach muscles and not able to sit up out of bed, you have to roll on your side and then bring your knees up, then push your arm to make you into sitting position. Any laughing or coughing hurt like hell at first. Keep getting better and look forward to Paso!

old beet
01-08-2007, 11:25 AM
Coby, glad to have you back!!!!........OLDBEET

01-08-2007, 11:25 AM
Welcome to the club! I had Mitral valve replacment in '99,after, what I thought was a bad cold. The local hospital said they were gonna knock me out and put a camera down my innerds to see what the problem was. I woke up 4 days later, with tubes,wires etc. hanging out my chest. I heard a strange clicking noise,then they told me what happened.. 10 days after I went home,I got a endocardia infection, and had to have the bubbler tube inserted in my chest,kinda uncomfortable,but worth it.. I have nothing but praise for Dr. Tedder, and all of St. Thomas(Nashville )Hospital..every day IS a gift:D sparky

01-08-2007, 11:27 AM
Holy shit dude, that makes me cringe to just look at it. Now I know how my wife felt when I came home from my open heart surgery (7 by-passes) and she had to clean the thing. Sure glad we have this technology today. It saved my life and let me find the HAMB

01-08-2007, 11:28 AM
WOW. I am at a loss of words Coby. You have been in our thoughts, and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to read your update. Typed and posted by you no less. The world isn't ready to lose you yet. Keep healing! *hugs*

01-08-2007, 11:33 AM
been there...done that, I had my mitral repaired (not replaced), in 2001. Just relax and recover. Looking back, it was a full year before I returned to my normal asshole self.

01-08-2007, 11:37 AM
Kick-ass man. Glad to hear you are home and getting better after all that.

Fat Hack
01-08-2007, 11:41 AM
So glad to have ya back, my friend!!:)

You're one of the GOOD ones...hope you keep on keepin' on for a LONG time to come!

:cool: :cool: :cool:

01-08-2007, 11:49 AM

Glad to see you'se back gettin on your feet bruddah... hang tough man... :D :cool:

01-08-2007, 12:19 PM
:) Kick ass. You are a tough SOB. Yesterday I wore the Tshirt I bought off of you... I put it on and was wondering how you were doing. I guess I know now.

01-08-2007, 12:47 PM
The 1st thread that I read this morning and it is of Coby! Awesome is all I can say. I will remember that if I am having a bad day or get a little booboo and want to fly off the wall about it, I will think of what you had just gone through and not be so selfish and think, shit, it could be worse. Glad to have ya back on here bro. We all have missed your presence at the local get togethers, the big events and on here as well. To a speedy recovery!!!!!!!!!!!! KNUX!

41 Dave
01-08-2007, 12:52 PM
Coby, Real glad you are on the mend. I hope 2007 brings nothing but good health and all the surf you can ride !

41 Dave

01-08-2007, 01:26 PM
I've had by-pass surgery twice 8 years apart, on different arteries. Six months later I was playing hockey at age 64. Last year a teammate had valve replacement at age 45. He was back on our team 4 months later. Proof that you can return to a very active life after these procedures. Good luck with your recovery.

happy hoppy
01-08-2007, 02:26 PM
I am aroused, THANKS!

Been praying for you man, happy your better.

01-08-2007, 02:33 PM
glad to hear that your recovering.

Jeff Norwell
01-08-2007, 02:37 PM think my signature sez it all.........

01-08-2007, 02:47 PM
I don't know you but glad things are okay. Hope the healing goes well. I have had a bad heart since I was 2 yrs old. 24 now and have had 5 surgeries over the years. I thank God for Modern medicine. It's amazing what they can do these days...

you'll be in our prayers...

01-08-2007, 03:02 PM
My sentiments exactly. Glad you made it through. Get well.

Fuck, I bet that hurt.

Glad to see you moving around again man and stoked about the water deal... Sounds like your life is headed back to normal... Well deserved.

Kiwi Kev
01-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Get a tattoo of a hand, a needle and some thread. You probably won't feel a thing after what you went through.

01-08-2007, 03:44 PM
Man- Couldn't they just put a zipper on that damn thing? Velcro maybe? It'd be a riot at parties...expecially on Halloween. Chicks would totally dig you!

Anyways- Glad to see you back at it, and I'm thankful you're well and looking forward once again. I want to work with you some more, so when you feel up to it, let me know and we'll get things rolling. Maybe some drawing will be about all you'll want to do for awhile...!

Take care Amigo - Glad to see you back !


Deuce Roadster
01-08-2007, 04:08 PM

Relax ... it will get better ... been there ... done that ... I had 5 bypass surgery ... and they sewed me up ... no glue ... Mine is 14 inches ... ( the scar :rolleyes: )

Just takes time ...

01-08-2007, 04:19 PM
fuck coby, im glad you are back dude. if you are up to it., when i get back into town perhaps the eddies and i can head down for a spell.

take care, thats an epic undertaking.

01-08-2007, 10:45 PM
glad to see that you'll be back on top. i was just flippin thru the first church on friday i love that book

01-08-2007, 11:30 PM
I'm such a pussy, I took oxycotin for 3 days until I realized the pain came from the tape of my wound dressing for 5 stiches was just pulling the hair on my leg. :)

Re-Coupe! We need more Church!

01-09-2007, 12:14 AM
Man when you heal...were going to find you a nice Survivor car for you
to own and rule the world...Or will build you one...

I think you need a Survivor Hot Rod cause..well your a Survivor..

I glad you knocked that bitch out and made it through OK...

Call me if you need anything!!!


Bad Bob
01-09-2007, 12:39 AM
DAMN! Get a tattoo of a chainsaw off to one side,with the blade inserted in the cut. Just kidding. Glad you're back with us. Looking forward to the next Church mag. I'm sure you'll see things differently now. Just don't fill it with birds,flowers and sunsets. Kidding again!

01-09-2007, 01:53 AM
2 questions....

1.Will that picture of your scar be in your next little picture book?

2. Why did they remove your nipples?

Glad your on the road (to recovery) again!

01-09-2007, 02:04 AM
Holly Chet Bro, Hope You Recover Soon. Get Well Coby.