Two years after being diagnosed with aortic stenosis, my wait for surgery continues as the latest echo showed just minor changes from a year ago. That was a surprise since the previous year's changes were greater than what is normally expected in the primary values of valve opening, velocity and pressure. So, the rapid decline has abated for the time being. Won't have to see the cardiologist for another six months unless symptoms of labored breathing under exertion get worse.
After consultation with my cardiologist (who spent a Fellowship year at Mt. Sinai Hospital), I've decided to stay closer to home when the time comes. He explained that in my case, the regional hospital and the cardiothoracic surgeons just 75 miles away provide as good care as what he witnessed in NYC. That will be better for my wife, too. So I'll check that decision off my list, but still have to make a final decision on surgeon as the time comes closer. Next year? Year after? Who knows except the Almighty. At least I'm not panicking the way I was two years ago, thanks to this website and the wonderful people who share their experiences! I will be well prepared and confident when the time comes.
Ahhh. Retirement. The "golden" years...
After seven decades of only occasional minor health issues, things changed in May, 2016 when I was diagnosed with a heart murmur by my newly-minted primary care doctor. That led to an echocardiogram, a diagnosis of aortic stenosis and a referral to a cardiologist. A year later, another echo revealed my aortic valve area had narrowed from moderate to severe. In March 2017, I was also diagnosed with prostate cancer. In August, I finished eight weeks of radiology treatment for cancer and will learn how effective it was in early December 2017 within days of my next appointment with my cardiologist to see where we stand regarding the next step in this journey.
When people learn of my problems, I explain that they're just bumps in the road of life. Both conditions are fixable, I tell them. I'll get past them and enjoy a future of two more -- maybe three -- decades to come! Those promised "Golden Years" are still ahead!