Super writing, your journal entry today. I "favorited" the link to the heart sounds...maybe will be valuable when I take a graduate Intermediate Exercise Physiology course this fall. Yep, that benign murmur can become a serious issue. Interesting, to me anyway, how reasonably fit people, well...perhaps I should say athletes, can be asymptomatic. My serious issue mitral valve leakage (1/3rd or more regurgitation) probably would not have been discovered had it not been for the echo done at a routine 6 mos cardiolgy follow-up on Nov 22, 2010. I so remember the doc telling me the results of the test...and asking me if I had experienced any trouble breathing. It was then, hind sight, I knew why I couldn't finish the swim on my 1/2 Ironman attempt with trouble with breath...was towed from the lake about 50 yards short of finishing the 1.2 mile swim. For half or more of the swim I had trouble with breath and tried so much to be smart enough to make the finish...but I kept getting deeper and deeper in the water and knew soon, real soon, I'd be under. Did walk out when I could and then had heavy breathing for 2 or 3 hours....blamed it on maybe not good enough training, although puzzled because had done the swim distance prior to going to the event. Then mid Oct ran out of steam on a Marathon about mile 9, again, blaming it on perhaps not good enough training. One of the many lessons learned was the importance of keeping a training log/diary. With such a log it would have been more obvious the drop in performance by being able to see time and distance changes and perhaps heart rate (maybe) differences. Check out www.ironheartracing.com for many of our brother and sister atheletes. Thanks again for the super post you made. ...Barry on the mtn in New Mexico
Great post, Dave. I too recall being told maybe when I was ?18? I had a murmur. Never did anyone tell me what caused it or what it could lead to. Silly me, didn't even ask. I think like you said 'benign' or 'it is common, will prob be fine'. Then years later and many mixed opinions only to find out the MVP with severe regug diagnosis and then CHF! Again, very informative post. Karen Campo
You are really smart and have SO MUCH to offer all the newbies on this sight. I'm really glad you decided to "come out", and I hope you will continue with your informative posts. You obviously have a very scientific mind, and it is fascinating and informative to look at
OHS through your eyes. Keep up the great posts!
PS. Can I use you as a "go to" guy if I ever have to go through this again???
It's so good to finially meet you and read your story. You have been such an inspiration to this entire HVJ communitly. Thank you so much for all of your wisdom and knowledge! I can't wait to read more of your stories!
Your story is as informative & encouraging as your post signing to all of us for so long. Thank you for the sweet and wise words you wrote in our guestbooks for all those months. It is nice to actually know who you are.
The new ones will find great comfort in your words. I know that I did many times. :-)
Just got back from a cruise and saw an email from Nancy F that you came out, so to speak :). I've always wondered who you were. I'm glad to get to know you now. I wanted to thank you for your posts as I went through my surgery. It was kind of cool to have you there, unknown as you were, imparting sage advice and timely words of wisdom. Though I made other friends on the journal, your "mysteriousness" was unique and I always found your posts thought provoking and inspiring. I look forward to seeing more from you. Thanks again!
Dave (ok, Dave doesn't sound right) DVB, exactly my reason for flying all the way to Cleveland for my surgery instead of having it done closer to home (SC)!
Little inconvenient with added expense, BUT the outcome was oh-so-sweet!
Linda THE Tiger, AVR 3/13/12
I agree, but only up to a point. With your example as you've stated it, the cost of risk reduction is not large (you lose two week's worth of planned pre-surgery activities) and the cost does not include an added health risk of any type.
Most of the decisions we face both in daily life and in making "heart decisions" are more complicated. For many of us, exercise prior to surgery is beneficial, but there is a risk factor. Same for picking a surgery with a full sternotomy versus robotic, or a valve repair compared to a valve replacement. Same for taking warfarin (coumadin) post-surgery. I'm not implying that good decision making can't be done when there are countervailing health risks. In many cases with good information the call is easy; the pluses of one choice greatly outweigh the minuses.
Personally, I'm a counter-example to your hypothetical. When I discovered my severe mitral valve leakage last October and was in atrial flutter, my ejection fraction was extremely low at 25%. My cardiologist believed that going into surgery in that condition presented a high risk, and that after ablation corrected the atrial flutter there was a good chance that my ejection fraction would substantially improve. It did, and I didn't have surgery until March (although personally I greatly disliked having to wait that long). By waiting did I undertake the risk of dying before surgery? Yes, but there's a good chance that such risk was less than the gain in my case.
In the context of heart surgery decisions, even when a particular decision reduces surgical risk or health risk with no countervailing added surgical/health risk, decision making becomes hard when the risk reduction is achieved at extremely high financial cost. Today for many patients, this can happen when medical insurance will not approve the surgeon and the hospital that the patient (and perhaps the patient's cardiologist) believes is the best possible choice.
Dave, Thank you for all the support, inspiration and advice over the last 5 months. It is wonderful that you have a journal....If I can ever return any of the kindness & encouragement you have given me...so happy to do so!! Janis Kielbasa
Holy unmasked caped crusaders batman, it is really you!!!!!! Welcome my friend, so good to actually "meet" you. Great call on going public. I hope you don't wake up to find a lawn full of adoring fans wanting to shake your hand to say thank you. I just wish you were closer so I could lead that pack. Your advice has so helped me and many others. Thanks again and glad to see you out in the open like the rest of us. Be well....continue to be a monster.
DVB, I applaud your decision to start your own HV journal page. You've added so much to our HV community during the time that I've been here, since Feb. of this year. Your words of wisdom, advice, and encouragement are greatly appreciated. It's really nice now to be able to associate a picture and a story to your persona. Rock on.
- Jim Smith
DVB, I am so glad you are revealing yourself. I have been wondering ever since I signed on who you are, and all my searches have come up blank! It's nice to know your story and to be able to "talk" to you! Thanks for all your support and advice!
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Aah the mystery is reveiled. I was wondering who you were had my curoisty going. Anyway welcome for real. I have read what you have put in here on all of these journals including mine and I actually thought you might be a doctor. Anyway I am happy to meet you DVB (Dave). Keep getting into our guestbooks.
For the long haul
Hmmmm.....I'm not sure I believe you are really DVB!!! He's been a mystery phantom for soooo long! Well...even so...I guess Dave Van Buren would still qualify as DVB! So welcome out of the shadows! Now, do we still call you DVB or do we call you Dave? All kidding aside, I'm really happy to finally "meet you". Thanks for all of the encouragement you have provided to all of us. I'm so excited!!! DVB is real!!
Linda THE Tiger, AVR 3/13/12 (which I aced, in part due to support of DVB!)