Thanks for this site Adam, this seems like a good way to keep family and friends informed of my upcoming surgery and to participate in what is obviously a great, supportive community. So here’s my story.
I am a healthy, divorced, father of two, grandfather of 1, 65 year old. I was diagnosed with a heart murmur about 10 years ago. This past August while traveling back from visiting one son in Finland, with another son and his spouse I had my first clear symptom. We had a tight connection in Stockholm, where the gates were far apart in 2 different concourses. I decided to jog the 2nd concourse and about 15 yards from the gate I suddenly felt flushed, out of breath and dizzy - my last thought before fainting was ‘I really should sit down’. I ‘came to’ on the concourse surrounded by a worried looking son and a number of concerned people including two very attractive blond Scandinavians — so for a minute there, I thought I was surrounded by the Valkyries of Valhalla… — but back to reality — I had lost consciousness for about a minute and in the process had turned blue and stopped breathing for a short period. Needless to stay, and despite my telling them we still had time to make the flight, they were not letting me on the plane. To make a long story short, I spent two nights in a Stockholm hospital, being monitored and tested (2 echos’ and 1 stress test) on their cardiac ward. There was apparently another John Dodson in their medical records system (which they refer to as “your story” btw) and so I became John (Texas) Dodson. (Everyone thought I was Scandinavian until they saw the record.) They were very nice, I came home with a couple of written reports which they translated into English and a USB drive full of images and data. My diagnosis: severe aortic stenosis. It’s too bad I’m not Swedish - my stay would have cost me the equivalent of $12 a day for the hospital stay and I would have had a $200 annual cap on any other expenses.
For family and friends: I have a calcified aortic valve, that has stiffened due to calcification. This condition blocks blood flow and is progressive. The rest of my heart is clear. It has nothing to do with leading a healthy or unhealthy lifestyle. They don’t know why some valves calcify more rapidly than others, but it is 3 times more common in men than it is in women. I write it off to wear and tear, old age, and luck of the draw. To quote a line from my cardiologist: “it’s got to come out”.
More to tell, but I’ll post those to the “updates” section of this website.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
October 18, 2017
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve