Cardiac surgery is one of the most common operations performed on adults. The physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and technologies relating to this complex patient population are researched and discussed frequently in critical care journals. Most of this article is written by a patient who has had cardiac surgery, specifically an aortic valve replacement. The patient shares his journey from diagnosis to recovery. The discussion includes the discovery and monitoring of aortic regurgitation, surgical options, valve replacement surgery, postoperative pericarditis, pain, family and visitors, and life on warfarin. The current practice is reviewed by the patient’s wife, a critical care clinical nurse specialist. When we really listen to the patient, we can learn how to provide more holistic and humanistic care.

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