Pino Correale posted a note for Lauren that says:
Hi Lauren, you raise a very important aspect of the recovery process. Not too many people can grab the courage to open up the way you have. I have tried to do so myself through this blog, but not surprisingly, fellow patients heart brothers&sisters haven't really engaged. The reason as you can very well imagine remains always the same FEAR and STIGMA !!!!!!! Well i happen to symphatize with you because i am 8 weeks post/op from OHS/AVR and honestly physically i feel like a lion, much less so emotionally-mentally. However slowly i hope to get better and better. Again on the mental side of things my OHS it sure was not a walk in the park !!!!! I want to wish you well and thanks for sharing your story, you might have opened up a little window here.
Emily Rowley posted a note for Lauren that says:
It's great to see you are going well :D
I had a good childhood friend with the same Pectus Excavatum condition plus some of her ribs caved in and she was very skinny making it noticeable at times. As far as I'm aware she didn't have any heart problems.
It's strange how when I was experiencing symptoms, some are like "It will be fine, I'm sure there is nothing to worry about", then get to the Cardiologist's Office, undergo ECG and they say "Oh no you have a severely enlarged heart with heart failure due to a congenital heart defect. You need to have Open-Heart Surgery as soon as possible".
Did your Specialists mention you may need a further operation down the track to replace your valve? I have the same heart problem as you with my Mitral Valve and had surgery to repair it.