Michelle's Heart Valve Journal

Joined August 22, 2016

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My Story

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    I am from: Spokane, Washington
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    My surgery date is: February 14, 2018
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    I was diagnosed with: Aortic Stenosis
    Bicuspid Aortic Valve
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    My surgery was: Aortic Valve Replacement
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    My surgeon is: Dr. Jon Boyum
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    My hospital is: Deaconess Medical Center

In my own words:

My first echo was in 2013 and showed mild aortic stenosis. I had a second echo last summer and got the news it had progressed to mild-to-severe. I met with a cardiologist for the first time who told me I was 'right in the middle'. He recommended walking every day and getting my LDL below a 100. I am an ex-smoker so of course he emphasized the importance of staying tobacco-free. No problem. I kept at the exercise and changed my diet. I lost 10 pounds and overall feel pretty normal, other than mild pain and tightness over the left side of my chest that comes and goes. But my last blood draw showed that my LDL had only dropped to 134. My next appt with the doc is April 11. At this point I am feeling a bit depressed, after reading a few studies on the Internet. The medical profession is unclear as to when to recommend surgery on asymptomatic patients who are showing signs of severe stenosis but otherwise are still able to continue with normal activities. I hope the cardiologist will give me better guidelines as to how to prepare for what is inevitably coming. I felt pretty proactive and hopeful at first but now just feel scared.
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