Dr. Appointments, Testing and Results

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 Р50 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.

CT Lung Scan Results

I have 4 lung nodules from 4mm – 8mm in size they are considered small at this point.

The first lung scan showed 3 nodules the second one showed 2 and it said one was resolved and this one showed 4 but listed two as new ones.

I have always loved reading anything about medical stuff and sometimes that just ends up scaring me more. Especially when I read the descriptions of the nodules.

There is no way to know what they are until they can be biopsied. Lung nodules are not necessarily cancer.
Lung nodules have to be 1cm before they can be biopsied due to the dangers associated with them.

The pulmonologist reminded me that lung cancer stage 1 is very curable that is why we are doing these CT Lung scans this was my 3rd one in 1 1/2 years.

He changed my morning inhaler to a stronger version and now its morning and evenings this is because I have been experiencing some more shortness of breath.

I felt pretty good about this appointment he is so good to answer my list of questions and explain things to me and he never rushes you which is a big plus.

He is ordering some more testing and wants to see me again in the month.

Lung CT

I have been so stressed out the last few months due to the Lung CT I had 3 months ago.

I smoked for many years but quit almost 11 years ago. Smoking always has consequences and I knew this at the time.

It seems I destroyed part of my lungs and have 48% usage of them. The part I destroyed is the alveoli which is the part that mixes the blood and oxygen.

This explains the shortness of breath I have been having and it is caused by Emphysema once you destroy part of your lungs you never get that back again. I rarely cough from this which is a good thing. My dad had this but had a horrible cough to go with it.

On Friday I did the 25 minutes worth of breathing test at the pulmonologist office and found out I have Asthma.

Now I am armed with an Asthma medication and two inhalers that means I am ready to deal with this.

I love spending time outdoors whether it’s working in the yard or walking on trails with nature all around and taking pictures of its beauty. I enjoy bike riding and playing fetch with Miss Daisy I will not give these up because they are all very important to me.

I recently have found a love for making stuff with concrete but now I will wear a mask I should have been doing this before.

Life is full of obstacles that try to stop us from doing the things we enjoy. Never give up on the things that you love doing just make adjustments to fit your new lifestyle.

Nothing can stop you from living life other than yourself.

 

 

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