Hi, name is Pat age 56 live in North Ireland on the border in a wee town/ city called Newry. Married to Ruth and had my Aortic Valve replaced by Dr. Alaistair Graham in Blackrock Clinic in Dublin on the 20th of Oct 2017. Turned out I had a Bisucpid Valve - as a kid I was told - my mother was told I had a murmur and I was sent to specialist , and then everything seemed to go fine until a few months ago , I had been having dizzy spells for years and pains in the chest , went to the hospital on different occasions but was always assured it was nothing to worry about, most likely a bit of anxiety. But in early Oct of this year I had a spell of just falling over without any warning - so that concerned me - and then one episode where the tightness and face went white lips blue, and I knew I was not well. This was confirmed following day - when I discovered I had a severe stenosis in the Aortic Valve - surgeon rang 2 hours later and Had a place booked a few days later to get Valve replaced in Dublin. ( Thanks to the generosity of my family I was able to get this operation right away. )
It was a big deal for us a lot happened very quickly, we did our best to keep emotion out of things, and we closed ranks ( for us this worked ) the fear of catching a cold or flu or some infection before the operation was terrifying for me ( I had an uncle who died from the same operation in New Zealand the previous year) so the last thing I needed was saying goodbyes to everyone and them saying hope all goes well - the few days before we focused on diet ( Plant based ) and lots of water, and mentally we styed strong together. Operation lasted 6 and half hours, and the surgeon and the doctors and the nurses and basically everyone were just unbelievable, there will always be that gratitude for these individuals - I am not a religious person, so my dependence was on these guys knowing what they were doing, but I had an army of people praying on the wings for me, we come from an extremely religious family, and after years of conflict we have agreed to let everyon get on with the way they want to express their faith, so by all accounts there were plenty of angels there. ( According to my Mother, if there is such a thing as an angel, my dad was certainly present. I went in at 5.00pm and 6 and a half hours later it was finished, I landed up in my room following morning with the draining tubes out and I was walking a small bit that day, that was a big one for me.
It is a major ordeal, and every day throws something new into the mix, its the absolute not knowing whats coming next, that is scary - walking 3 miles one day, and standing talking to someone the next day for 5 mins and having to lie down after that.
I have a Garmin watch and that is a major help to me, I am always checking how the heart is ticking over, and it gives me a lot of confidence.
I was 8 weeks yesterday, and have been driving this past few week, and trying to do small things around the house, cooking and helping out.
My wife Ruth has been a stormtrooper the whole way, her support has helped me through those dark day days & nights & knowing my brothers martin & Julie and sean & Bernie my mother and ruths mum and dad Florence & David and my son Shane & Dionne were in the wings at all times, ready to do whatever.
Hopefully onwards and upwards.
Looking forward to joining the community, and picking up wee tips on how to get through this.
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
I was diagnosed with:
Bicuspid Aortic Valve
My surgery was:
Aortic Valve Replacement
My surgeon is:
Dr. Alaistair Graham
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