Terrie posted a note for William that says:
Hello William. Just want to say first off "Thank you from the HEART for your service to our Country". Also, you are part of a beautiful Family which will keep your heart stronger!
When I was a young girl I overheard my Mother and a neighbor talking about me and the fact I had something called a Heart Murmur. Since I had Polio when I was only months old my Mom said that I wouldn't survive long. I was so young I just squirreled that information and lived my life forgetting that information. It wasn't until I was in my 30"s that someone actually noticed it was there(the murmur) and when someone starting keeping an eye on it for changes. Like you, I had been healthy enough up until then and when I was diagnosed with Aortic Stenosis, caught off guard. I understand how serving our country you really "GET" what fear is but can see how the anxiety of such news can spawn a different kind of anxiousness that you hadn't experienced before. I am 65 yrs. old as of last week and want to say that those feelings were normal to experience under the circumstances at any age!
You also go through such up front questions of how you want to face it and how not to let it affect everyone around you. With your beautiful family it must have been pretty rough but HEY!
You did what it sounds like you have done all your life. Faced it and came out on the other side. I can't believe you were in and out so quickly! Good for you and your strong Spirit. I am happy for you and wish you continued uphill progress and many happy memories to come. Your experience makes me look at my coming surgery to replace my Valve with more confidence. Thank you for sharing with all of us! As you have learned from this site you are not alone and many are praying for your good health! Take care-Regards....
Dan Sinclair. posted a note for William that says:
Sounds like you made good decisions and are doing great. I just had my six month anniversary of aortic valve replacement surgery with a tissue valve. Marked the day with a ten mile power walk. I am in better shape than I have been in in a while. 57 years old and ready for more of what life has to offer. Take Care of yourself and that beautiful family!
Julia Hsu posted a note for William that says:
I am glad to read that you are home now w/ your son. I had Ross on 5/15. Like you, I didn't have symptoms when I found out I needed surgery last fall. So I understand how you felt. However, I did developed symptoms early April so they moved up my surgery. I am not where I can say I feel better yet, but I hope I will soon. You have been so courageous to serve the US and protect the rest of us. I hope the new valve will keep you healthy & active for many years.
BTW, when I was deciding about which valve, my surgeon mentioned valve-in-valve if I go for bovine valve since a 2nd valve replacement is unavoidable. You should check that out for the next time.
Good luck & best wishes to you & your whole family.
David Augustus posted a note for William that says:
William, I had my BAV replaced on Tuesday morning with a St. Jude's mechanical valve along with re-construction of my aortic root. I selected to go with the mechanical valve as I'm 49 years old and I didn't want to go thru valve replacement again when I'm in my 60's or 70's. I was given a monitor today so I can check my INR at home. If you have confidence in your surgeon like I did, you will great. I will keep you in my postive thoughts over the next week,
Lori Winterfeldt posted a note for William that says:
I felt compelled to reach out to you as my surgery is in a few days as well. Although I've been dealing with chronic conditions for a long time (check out my blog) I can relate to what you're feeling in terms of the effect that it has on your life. My first brush with illness was at 24 and the issues as a young person are a whole lot different than as an older one.
It sounds like you are a committed, dedicated person and just from reading your comments I believe that you CAN and WILL get through this. Yes, it is a scary thing, but you sound strong, physically fit and if you aggressively pursue recovery (including cardiac rehab), I believe that you wil do well.
I totally relate to your comments about the prostetic vs. mechanical valve. I've decided to go bioprostetic even though it will mean another surgery. I'm already on a ton of meds and just don't want to put myself on the blood thinners at such a young age. But this is a very personal decision.
As I've told some of my colleagues at work, "I'm anxious to get the surgery done so that I can focus on recovery and move forward."
Fear is normal; accept it as part of the process and move forward....one step at a time. If you think about everything that you have to do, you will become overwhelmed.
I'll be following your story and hope that we can help each other over the next few weeks.