I was diagnosed during cardiac screening when I developed shortness of breath following returning to work after 9/11 in lower Manhattan. It was mild at the time, so just monitoring. A few years later it moved into moderate. I started doing research and found Adam Pick's webpage. It was very different then! I bought his book and read it through so I would have some idea of what might be ahead. Fast-forward to 2013 when my job offered a package for early retirement. I was on the early end, but was just plain tired. I left NYC to join my sister out in sunny Tucson, AZ last year. A couple of months before moving, my right knee finally had had enough, but I couldn't do anything at that point. When I had an echo as part of cardio clearance for knee replacement in January, the cardiologist called me because my regurg was severe. Surgery went ahead, but then began the testing. The TEE showed that surgery was necessary. Then, the slow process of getting all the ducks in a row, including CT and MRI with different contrasts. That was a crazy morning. I pulled out Adam's book and started making plans, as well as looking this site up again. Lots of waiting and now the final wait for the surgery. I feel very confident that things will go well, but am definitely nervous. I've viewed Dr. Gillinov's videos, which were scary at first, but I like to know exactly what's going on. I started reading some journals, the first of which wasn't exactly comforting as today she is having a second surgery, but it let me know some of the possible things that can happen, and for that I'm grateful. Always prepared! Fortunately, I was cleared to not have catheterization. One less test is always good. I'm also very thankful that I have family about 1 1/4 hours from the hospital in Alliance. I'm looking forward to spending time with them before and after surgery. I am also looking forward to getting back up hiking in the mountains around Tucson without getting so breathless.