I was diagnosed with a heart murmur at birth. At that time, no further folllow up was suggested. At age 20, I was seen by a doctor for mononucleosis. He identified a significant murmur and suggested that I see a cardiologist for follow up. My cardiologist diagnosed me with bicuspid valve, aortic stenosis and mitral valve prolapse. For the next 30 years, things were pretty uneventful. I saw my cardiologist yearly for echos to monitor my valve. There were some progressions over the years,but I maintained a relatively active lifestyle of hiking,kayaking and daily walks. I would have some palpitations from time to time, but nothing that slowed me down much.
However,in the last year,I started to feel tired more frequently. I thought at first it was due to work schedule and caring for elderly parents. When I did have some extra rest time, the fatigue did not subside. At my yearly check up,my cardiologist noted changes to my echo and pressures. He wanted to see me in 6 months. As my fatigue did not subside,I also started having greater palpitations, chest pain/pressure and shortness of breath climbing stairs. After ruling out other causes, my cardiologist suggested it was time to see a surgeon. On,October 19,my husband and I met with Dr.Niloo Edwards at St. Peter's Hospital inAlbany, NY about an hour from us. He explained everything and helped ease our anxiety over this procedure. We felt confident with his expertise and surgery was scheduled for following month.
Surgery went well. I was discharged home after three days. Going week three and feeling stronger each day.