I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse/heart murmur in my 20's. At the time, I freaked out and was very upset when a new doctor diagnosed me and sent me for an Echo. I was so upset, I went to see a cardiologist who stated it was no big deal and that millions of people have it. It was not caused by rheumatic fever or infection.... Just a malfunction. I was told I'd feel light headed from time to time and that I'd have palpitations now and then... All true. No big deal.
Fast forward to about 4 years ago... Had to go to a different doctor for some inner ear dizziness. This Dr. Kind of freaked out over my murmur and sent me to see a cardiologist and have an Echo. The news I received stunned me. I was told I had leakage and that it might get to that point where the valve may need repair. Again, I was very upset and freaked out. I had to return in six months and was advised there was no change. I returned in a year and was advised it worsened and I needed to return again in six months. This year I was advised I needed to speak to a surgeon. I was totally upset.
My cardiologist sent me to Dr Hassan Nemeh, Surgical Director of Heart and Lung transplantation at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mi. He agreed with the diagnosis advising me I was in that window of opportunity where my heart valve can be fixed before it started to affect my otherwise healthy heart. Dr Nemeh is very skilled at repairing the valve, especially when both flaps on the valve need repair. Highly revered in the medical field, I heard nothing but good things about him. His bedside manner is wonderful and he is caring and a perfectionist. I was very lucky to have him as my surgeon.
Prior to surgery, I wore a heart monitor for two weeks to check for a-fib. Except for one brief run of mere seconds, Dr Nemeh decided to also do a MAZE procedure during surgery. I also underwent a transesophogeul ECHO, and a heart cath. Other than a tiny leak in my tricuspid valve, everything else was clear.
I had my surgery on Aug 12, 2015. Dr. Nemeh repaired my mitral valve and when he restarted things, my valve was still leaking, so he redid the procedure again during the same surgery. Second time was the charm and it worked! I was very fortunate to have a doctor who persevered and repaired my valve rather than replaced it. The tricuspid fix and MAZE were also completed, but a 3-4 hour surgery turned into about 7hrs! Dr. Nemeh kept my family informed personally and his personal touch was appreciated.
I was in ICU for two days, and then put in a private room at Henry Ford hospital. I was supposed to be released after about six days but due to an 8 sec run of afib immediately after surgery, Dr. Nemeh decided to put me on Coumadin for awhile and I was put on a heparin drip to bridge to Coumadin. I was finally released on August 22. I actually appreciated the extra time in the hospital realizing after getting home that it was better that way. I wasn't ready sooner!
My recovery is going pretty well. I can say that the pain from my sternotomy was not nearly as severe as what I had from a shoulder replacement three years ago. I was on regular Tylenol when I came home and never used my narcotic painkiller. My biggest issue was with muscle spasms in my back along my shoulder blades. For that I was given muscle relaxers. Once I got home I began taking less of them and stopped after a week.
Currently I'm in cardiac rehab... My fourth week. There was a huge waiting list to get into the program, but I walked everyday on my own to gain my strength slowly. Because it took time to get into the program, my cardiologist delayed my return to work by a month. I'm good with that! Being a supervisor at an emergency 911 center is stressful so extra time off is good for the soul.
I did not join this site before surgery, but found the information very helpful and encouraging. Now I find that often there are times that I could help someone who is having the same issues I have had. So I decided to join with my story. Plus, I've noticed that there aren't very many Michigan hospitals here and I wanted to be sure people knew of my wonderful surgeon and hospital.
Hopefully I will continue to get stronger. I am currently on day 11 of a 14 day heart monitor in the hopes of being cleared off of Coumadin. If there's no afib detected, I'm good to go! I sure hope so.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask. That's why I joined... To help others.
Update 12/25/15... Cleared to go off Coumadin the first week in Dec! Back to work although still drained at the end of the day. Getting stronger! Life is good!
More Info About Me & My Heart
More About Me
I am from:
My surgery date is:
August 12, 2015
I was diagnosed with:
My surgery was:
Mitral Valve Repair
Tricuspid Valve Repair