At age 13, a doctor heard a heart murmur during a routine camp physical. A follow-up appointment and echo with a cardiologist showed mild leakage in my aortic valve, which appeared bicuspid. I was told the valve may someday need replacement, and to have it checked periodically. So I’ve followed it. I was generally amused during regular physicals when the doctors would hear my murmur. They would usually get this look of surprise on their face and then run out of the room to bring in a couple more doctors or nurses to listen also. It must have been unusually loud.
Visits to the cardiologist were scattered during my twenties and early thirties. I started yearly visits at about 35 and six-month visits at about 45. During this time, I had four beautiful daughters without problem. During the third and fourth pregnancies there was some concern about the regurgitation and I was followed as a high-risk patient, but everything went fine. The regurgitation started progressing to moderate, then to severe in the last ten years. The left ventricle is enlarging and an ascending aortic aneurysm is growing. I’m mostly asymptomatic, though I have noticed some trouble during steep uphill hikes and I’ve found myself avoiding strenuous exercise. General overall fatigue is my biggest complaint.
I’m now 54. In May, I was told it was time to look into surgery. I’m scheduled for valve replacement and aneurysm repair at the University of Washington on October 12.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
Aortic Aneurysm Replacement
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