I'm a 40 year old Fire Captain, married to an amazing wife and have two kids (12 and 14). I'm very active. I run, mountain bike, flyfish, backpack, skateboard, and pretty much anything else outdoors in Colorado.
I was at a routine work physical ten years ago when the doctor first heard a murmur. After meeting with a Cardiologist and getting my first echo, was diagnosed with BAV and moderate-severe regurgitation. This was a huge surprise as nobody had ever heard it before. We've been following it closely through the years. Even though it's messed with my mind at times trying to figure out whether every weird chest sensation is a symptom, and knowing that surgery was imminent, I tried not to let it slow me down. I've run lots of races, including marathon distance, and have continued doing the job I love.
Things have progressed with the leak growing and some LV enlargement. I also think I've slowed down some and don't have the endurance I once had. I've been in denial and tried to chalk it up to getting older, but I think they have actually been symptoms.
My cardiologist referred me to a local surgeon just so we could start talking about the future. He wanted to operate right away, but would really only consider a mechanical valve. This put me in freak out mode. I understand the mechanical valve is the logical choice for someone my age, but I can't be on anticoagulants and do the job I love. I was lucky to be able to put the brakes on and do some more research. I kicked around finding a Ross surgeon or just going with a tissue valve. Then I realized I might be a candidate for an aortic valve repair since I have isolated regurgitation. Found a great surgeon about 1.5 hours away that would try a repair. He was guessing 50% success in repair. My backup would be a tissue valve. I decided to take a plunge and send my stuff to Dr. Svensson in Cleveland. He wants to take on the case and offers 70% chance of successful repair; plus he will do minimally invasive.
I am scheduled for surgery on 7/3/17 in Cleveland. A little nervous about the logistics of and cost of travel, but think it will be worth it in the long run. Hoping for a successful repair that can buy me several years so I can keep doing the job I love! This community, site, and book are fantastic! Thank you for reading and best of luck in all of your personal journeys.
Here's a URL to my blog that chronicles our journey as a family.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
Fort collins, Colorado
My surgery date is:
July 3, 2017
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve