I have spent the last few weeks at Dr. Appointments, testing and getting my results on follow up visits.
I have had 3 EKGs, 1 regular stress test, 1 nuclear stress test, 1 echocardiogram and I wore a Holter monitor for 24 hours. The only results that are not back yet are the Holter Monitor.
I have mitral valve stenosis this was discovered about 12 – 14 years ago. Almost every year without fail I have gotten my yearly echo that is until I got breast cancer and then I had other priorities to take care of. No one should ever put off their yearly heart testing that was not very smart of me but I have no one to blame but myself.
Mitral valve stenosis is caused by Rheumatic Fever but I never had that as a child or an adult. This was verified with my parents. Think of stenosis as a hose that is being stepped on and blood can not flow through the valve properly there is leakage spewing and backflow.
My mitral valve is what they call Moderate/ Severe, there is moderate regurgitation or leakage, as well as my Left Atrium, is now enlarged. There is an estimated right ventricle systolic pressure of 45 – 50 mmHg. I am sure this will be verified by a heart catheter in the very near future.
The symptoms that this causes me are cough, chest pain, and soreness like a bruised feeling as well as dizziness and fatigue.
The Cardiologist says right now we have to get my pulse rate down to around 50 it runs 74- 80. To do this we have decreased my thyroid medication, changed BP meds to a channel blocker 2 x a day. He even added Lasix even though I am not retaining fluid he thinks there is fluid we are not seeing. All these things will ease up the pressures around the heart and hopefully help some of my symptoms.
On top of all this, I have lung issues emphysema and asthma so my lungs are not in the best shape.
In order for me to have Mitral Valve Replacement surgery the heart and the lungs have to be in the best shape, we can get them with medication. With getting an artificial valve replacement I will have to be on 2 blood thinners for the rest of my life.
I have a pulmonologist appointment this Friday and we will see if there is anything else we can do for my lungs to get them ready for this surgery.
Hopefully, by January this surgery can happen. It is open heart surgery which means more recoup time for me. The thought of cracked ribs scares me to death as well as being put on a heart-lung machine but I am trying to stay calm and not overreact.
I am sharing my story with you all in the hopes I can help someone else. I want others to learn through my experiences and I will do my best to keep everyone updated as new things happen.
I can’t press the “like” button because this all sounds very scary. I hope you have the very best doctors to help you get through it all. I will keep you in my heart.
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Thank you Dawn.