My story actually starts back in 1975 when I was fourteen and went for my High School Freshman Football Physical. My doctor said that I had a heart murmur but that I would live to an old age with no problems. I always felt like he was just saying that to make me feel good, but I never did anything about it other than tell all of my doctors and dentists.
Throughout my life I've been very active and never really thought much about any possible effects of the murmur and never went to a cardiologist. I did have an Echo done in 2011, but the results were normal (I called yesterday to get a fresh copy of the results - I'll get the report, but they don't have the films anymore).
I first noticed shortness of breath and a burning sensation in my throat whenever I climbed hills almost two years ago. I didn't do anything about it, thinking that I was just out of shape. At the same time I started having acid reflux, so I got that treated with Omeprazol. I continued to ignore the shortness of breath until Feb 2015 when I basically collapsed in the airport running to catch a flight. At that point I went to the PCP for tests. She did an EKG and a bunch of other lung and blood tests, but no stress test!! She did double my Omeprazol dosage.
After another collapsing incident in April 2015, I decided to go to a naturalist to get the acid reflux truly solved. He told me repeatedly that I needed to have a stress test, but treated me for the acid reflux anyway and basically solved that problem with diet and supplements. I lost about 15 pounds and 2 1/2 inches from my waist. However, the shortness of breath was still there, so I finally went to the PCP and insisted on a Stress Echo.
So, finally, on October 9 I went for the stress Echo and after the initial Echo, they decided to skip the stress portion because they said they knew what the problem was right away and that I would probably pass out during the stress test. I was diagnosed with Symptomatic Serious Aortic Valve Stenosis and needed to have a valve replacement right away - at least before the end of the year.
Looking back on it, I was really crazy not to insist on the stress test right away, but frankly I was in denial and just never really thought that the murmur would eventually catch up to me. On the bright side, my life and my job are in much better shape and much less stressful than they were two years ago or even 6 months ago, so I guess this is a good time to have this done. I also am about 10 weeks into the new diet that has helped me to lose weight and feel much healthier.
My next step is to decide between a mechanical and a tissue valve.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
December 4, 2015
I was diagnosed with:
Coronary Artery Disease
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft