I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse in 2014 after experiencing episodes of very rapid heartbeat. These episodes occurred irregularly and not often until, in the last couple of years, they seemed to last longer and get worse. I am now 70; the diagnosis was made when I was 63. Now I realize, I might have had some signs of a valve problem prior to 2014, but didn’t really know at the time. I’ve been super fortunate to be healthy throughout my life; never needed hospital visits or procedures. In fact, didn’t take meds until this latest diagnosis of severe mitral regurgitation and AFib. Now I’m on a blood thinner and beta blocker. Sometime in this last year I became hyperthyroid and this was diagnosed about a month before being told I would need heart valve surgery (was told Oct 15).
I had been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos in 2016, but had been successfully controlling it without meds. Diet and supplements had been keeping my labs in the “normal” range up until 2021 Fall labs. The hyper condition didn’t help AFib and the Autumn’s labs showed Graves Disease as well. So they won’t operate if I’m hyper, so I was given a heavy hit of Methimazole, which sent me to the other “dark side” — just very hypo. So now the idea is to lower the hypo lab numbers, but they can operate if I’m hypo.
At first, I kept thinking about “what did I do wrong”? I’ve led a pretty healthy life and have been fortunate to be fairly fit... not that I couldn’t be better! I think my cardiologist got tired of me asking that question and he said, it’s not your fault; it’s likely genetic. I believe my mother and brother had AFib and possibly mitral valve prolapse.
I have found that taking Metoprolol is contributing to having shortness of breath—I think more so than before taking it. Other than getting “short of breath”, I feel pretty good. So it seems kind of surreal that I have to have this surgery. Dr. Anthony Rousou of Baystate, Springfield MA plans to do open heart, mitral repair and an ablation before, while he has me open. I’m waiting for a call-back to learn if the surgery will proceed on-schedule (regarding this current COVID surge).
I came across this website yesterday and it seems to be a great repository of information (thank you, Adam) and am trying to learn if there are alternatives to opening the sternum. Also, it’s such a great idea to be able to tap into a community— I so appreciate this!
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
Shelburne Falls, MA
My surgery date is:
January 24, 2022
I was diagnosed with:
My surgery was:
Mitral Valve Repair