3rd Heart Valve Anniversary today! My Onyx valve is ticking along stronger than ever. Thanks again to this community for the support and informational resources! To those just starting the journey...Godspeed to quick and successful recoveries.
I hiked to the peak of Mt. San Antonio, the highest peak in Los Angeles county at 10,000 feet. My legs hurt but my heart was strong. I was worried when I was diagnosed with a failing bicuspid aortic valve that an active lifestyle would not be possible. I can certainly say that you can get to the other side of the heart valve journey and not only survive but you can thrive! We are fortunate to be alive in this time of great medical advancement! I am again grateful for this community and all the hard work and dedication our surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and researchers have put into enabling us to live fulfilled lives.
I like to refer to the day I had my aortic valve replaced as my “second birthday”. I was essentially reborn after the valve replacement. Exhaustion and shortness of breath and weird palpitations are gone. This weekend I will be marking the anniversary with a hike to the peak of the largest mountain in Los Angeles county...10000 foot Mt. San Antonio aka Mt. Baldy.
I am ever grateful for the health care professionals, doctors, scientists, all of the patients who took on clinical trials to advance techniques and outcomes and finally...this community for all the support it provides patients and families facing the bewildering and scary diagnosis of heart valve disease.
Just visited my cardiologist at Mayo Clinic today to review my annual echo. Very pleased to report that the heart has remodeled and is in all the normal ranges. I had an enlarged left ventricle and the heart wall was thickening from the Aortic Valve regurgitation and the extra work my heart had been doing for so long. So far the Valve Replacement has been a complete success. I have been very fortunate to have had great care and access to this site for support and information. Thanks Adam and everyone who participates in this forum! You have helped me surmount one of the greatest challenges of my life.
One year ago today my amazing journey of heart valve replacement began. It was a surprise start as last February I did not know I had a ticking time bomb in my chest. It was quite by accident that my bicuspid aortic valve was discovered. I had changed healthcare providers as my employer dropped coverage for the HMO that I had been a member of all my life. I was a bit disappointed as I had to find a new doctor and go through the process to get fully checked out. It was this routine check up where my new doc heard some odd heart sounds. He immediately referred me to a local cardiologist. Over the next few months after many appointments and tests and second opinions and lots of time spent in this forum we decided on a valve and a surgeon and surgery date. It came and went quickly! Surgery was done June 21 and quick recovery commenced. I had a few setbacks with afib and some fun with a cardioversion. By October I was walking several miles a day and attending cardiac rehab which was very helpful in gaining confidence in adding running and more intense work to my routine. Today, I am in the gym daily and preparing for 100 mile cycling trip. My new valve has really helped! I had been physically active prior to my surgery and thought I was fine. Now one year later I can run longer and recover faster. Life is great! All of those who are in the throes of stressful decisions and challenging recoveries keep working hard keep your heads high. It is a tough journey. Godspeed to all for swift recoveries and good health.
I am 8 weeks post op for AVR OHS. It has been a good recovery thus far. This week I have noticed a new pain/tenderness at a few points where the ribs attach to the sternum. The incision is not painful, just some bone ache. Anyone dealt with this? Any thoughts.
My Afib situation is now under control. I was re-admitted last week and had a cardioversion to shock my heart back into sinus rhythm. It is night and day. I can walk without getting woozy and even start some light jogging. Cardiologist has told me give up weight training so my enlarged left ventricle can remodel. A little bummed about that so I am going to have to discover another way to get my muscle tone back.
Well I am two weeks post op and doing pretty darn good other than a new bout of Afib. HR jumped from 41 to 136 while sitting in my easy chair! Felt like I was back at the gym but not doing the work!?! Went to the ER and they calmed the speed but not the arythmia. Fortunately I am on warfarin so stroke risk is down. But 3 days with this weird HB is becoming annoying. I am meeting with surgeon again on Tuesday. Hopefully it is just the heart re wiring it self. All in all I feel great. No pain at the incision and I feel generally good!
I am two days out from surgery. Went through pre-op tests and meetings with surgeon and his assistant yesterday. I opted for the mechanical on-x valve. I am excited to get this done so I can start recovery and get back on the bike... This is such a great community. Although I have not been very active in posting it has been helpful to read about others journey. Good luck to all with future surgical dates and those who are recovering!
I need to make this decision this week. I was leaning towards Biological valve as I am very active with outdoor activities like mountain biking and road cycling. I have a major concern on how blood thinner will impact these activities. I have now learned that durability of biological valves are considerably less...with the possibility of 5 years or less. This is not acceptable for me. So now I am leaning towards mechanical and accepting changes in lifestyle. I know there are many people in this community who have been through this process and have made this decision. Does anyone have any feedback as to how they navigated this decision process? Thanks in advance for sharing.