Tina's Heart Valve Journal

Joined August 31, 2017

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My Story

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    I am from: Merrillville, Indiana
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    My surgery date is: September 27, 2017
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    I was diagnosed with: Mitral Regurgitation
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    My surgery was: Mitral Valve Repair
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    My surgeon is: Dr. Marc Gerdisch

In my own words:

Just when I was starting to enjoy myself and even traveling some, this diagnosis has taken my life in a different direction...

I didn't recognize any of the symptoms. I had owned my own business for the past 9 years, was doing well, and thought I was the picture of health. I seriously could run circles around my much younger staff - and worked no less than 40-50 hrs per week. And I was happy! Happy and healthy. I didn't think it could get better than that.

Summer 2017 everything changed. My business burned down through absolutely no fault of my own, and it was a total loss - literally the most stressful thing I have ever experienced (until now) from sifting through rubble to trying to understand the insurance process. Everything felt overwhelming and physically exhausting. A friend advised me that while I waited for insurance to settle I should take on some projects. So, I organized closets, applied for life insurance, spent time with grand kids.

Luckily, I failed my Life Insurance exam due to an elevated NT-PROBNP level. I say it was lucky because it forced me to go to my doctor. He listened to my chest, ordered tests and set up cardiology consults. Back in 1991 I had been diagnosed with mild Mitral Valve Prolapse but was told it would likely never progress. Suddenly, it is "severe" and involves ruptured chordae fibers! It was a shock to me.

I still can't believe that its "me" that medical staff is referring to as "patient". It's surreal. I'm grateful my surgeon gave me the book that introduced this site. It's my first sort of "self-help" book/support group - a first of many firsts, lately. I never realized the value in support groups, mainly because I didn't have a need. But hearing other peoples stories certainly has given me a new perspective and even some well-needed hope.

So here I go - angiogram tommorrow, repair at the end of the month. I have lots of reasons to live....but the top five are Emma, Levi, Hailey, Charlie and Madeline (who I have not yet met), my grand children. We still have so much to learn and experience. Together.

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