When I was a little girl my heart made a very audible squeaking sound which I thought was what everyone’s heart did. When mom heard it she took me immediately to our pediatrician who told her she was hearing things or maybe she was crazy. After listening he had his nurse come in to take blood from my finger. As soon as she jabbed me I told him he could hear it and voila he believed her. But in the early 1960s there was not a name for this.
Fast forward many years of watching my heart and my mitral valve to Fall 2020. At my routine checkup with my cardiologist when I mentioned that I was getting winded climbing my stairs and tired he decided to explore. After an echocardiogram followed by a TEE (trans esophageal echocardiogram) he concluded that in addition to having bi-leaflet mitral valve prolapse the regurgitation had become severe (his words when i woke up were I had many, many leaks).
We saw our local Cardiothoracic surgeon. Since everything about me is complex he explained that a valve repair would be too complex for him and he only felt he had about a 50% chance of success. He ordered a full cardiac catheterization to reveal if I had any coronary artery disease (luckily they found none). He felt seeing a mitral valve specialist was my best chance for a repair which is a much better long term solution to my problem.
After several weeks of hunting and begging for copies of my health history we shipped a huge box of test results on cd discs and paper copies. It arrived at Mt Sinai during the middle of a blizzard, so it was several weeks before I heard from the surgeon. When he reviewed and discussed with me, he felt very confident in their ability to successfully repair my valve. So now off to NYC we shall adventure.