Born with a heart murmur. Diagnosed with such as a young child, around 8 years old. This was back when grammar schools gave kids EKGs. Not sure why grammar schools were performing EKGs in the first place, but it did alert my parents and I that something wasn't quite right with my heart.
By the time I was in high school, physicians could no longer hear my murmur and assumed I had "out grown" it. My parents and I took the good news and moved on assuming all was good.
Fast forward -many years. Now I am 50 years old. As a turning-of-age check-up, I decided to have a stress test, mostly to check any calcification build-up in my arteries. Well, my arteries were okay, but (surprise) not my mitral valve. My response to the cardiologist was "what does the mitral valve do exactly?" I knew of the valve, but never gave it any second of thought. The cardiologist then proceeded to tell me to not worry, because the incisions made in my sternum would now be much smaller than years ago. Needless to say, I was in utter shock.
Turns out after second and third opinions, I did not need surgery when I was 50, but I knew it would happen some day. That day is now. Lasted 13 years with no surgery, which was a longer run than expected.
I now have a mildly enlarged left atrium, etc. Decided to have surgery at Mt Sinai in NYC, due to David Adams being that impressive and personable. I know the Cleveland Clinic is ranked number one in the US and near that in the world, which is mind blowing, and I did speak with them. I decided on Mt Sinai, based on my gut. I felt safe and confident with David Adams. At the end of the day, after the research is over with, and internet surfing has calmed down, that's what eventually guided me.
I am relieved and happy that I can have my valve repaired, despite my severe calcification. I don't think that would have been possible a decade or so ago. Sawing through my sternum is daunting, as well as stopping my heart, but I know that I am fortunate to be able to be "cured", not all chronic diseases have such an outcome. Thanks for listening all you warriors and thanks so much, Adam, for your website and altruism!
UPDATE - POST SURGERY, MARCH 17, 2021: Surgery was a great success. I ended up also having my tricuspid valve repaired. The tricuspid regurg. was not that bad, but better to fix it all at once than having to go "back-in".
CARDIAC REHAB, SEPT 1, 2021: Graduated with 36 sessions of cardiac rehab. Was well worth the time investment.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
March 18, 2021
I was diagnosed with:
My surgery was:
Mitral Valve Repair
Tricuspid Valve Repair