Echo wasn't good after all, but it's not time...yet
Journal posted on May 15, 2010
As I stated earlier, I had my echo in late February. Right after the echo, the cardiologist's nurse called and said it looks good and to just keep my office visit May 12th and my BO2 Max treadmill test on May 4th.
On May 4th, I had the BO2 max test, which is a trip. You're on the treadmill and you breathe into this scuba-type mouth piece the whole time and they just keep increasing the treadmill to see how your heart reacts. I was told the results were above-average and really good.
I went into the May 12th appointment thinking it was just going to be the usual, "no change, see you in a year."
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. The Cardiologist comes in (who I really like, good man) and tells me it will be time for the surgery in one year, two years max. Needless to say, I was a bit shocked. I have no symptoms and I thought the tests looked good. He said the Echo showed my heart was still the same size, but the regurgatation (leakiness) was getting worse.
I know it could be a lot worse. He could be like, "it's time now," but at least I have some time to prepare more.
The Cardiologist and I talked about the different replacement valves and blood thinners. He said the clinical trials for the new blood thinner were complete and extraordinary. He thinks they'll be approved by the FDA in about 6 months. He said this new blood thinner will be a revolutionary step in blood thinning treatment. He said that the new drug will not require the kind of testing the warifan or coumadin does. He said there won't be the common bleeding problems that the traditional blood thinners can have. This is good news, which makes me lean towards the mechanical valve.
The hospital I would probably have the surgery at is called Barnes-Jewish and it is a top 10 heart hospital in the country and is about 5 minutes from where I live. I have full confidence in the surgical teams there. I'm not worried about that at all. I knew this day would come eventually, I was just hoping it would be about a decade or more out. I'm good with it. The other journals on here are so helpful and coping would be a different ballgame without them. I'm not good with medical stuff and these journals have made it a lot easier. Thanks.
I just received a call from my cardiologist's nurse, who gave me the good news that my heart is stable. There's been no difference in the heart size or the aortic root. This is such a huge relief as I was becoming a little stressed out about it. No surgery needed in the NEAR future!
I still have a treadmill test on May 4th, but I'm not worried about that as I workout on the treadmill almost everyday with no problems.
My annual appointment with the cardiologist is May 12th. I know I have some questions for him that I thought of from being apart of this heart journal community.
In the meantime, I will continue to read everyone else's journal and be as supportive as I can. I really do learn so much from everyone else's journal and reading them makes me feel better about the surgery. For the first time since the diagnosis, I really felt I would be able to handle the surgery, psychologically.
Thanks for all the support and I'll probably update again in May.
Around this time of year I always seem to get a little anxious about the condition. It does happen every year. I start to think I have symptoms and I get worried but just wait until May when I have my annual cardiologist appointment and echocardiogram.
Once I have my echo and cardiologram the results are always good and then my "symptoms" magically disaapear until about late Feb or early March. This year it seems stronger. I get a little light headed sometimes (but i think i could be from being hungry) and it feels like it takes more energy to breathe (but it could be that my nose is stuffed up). Other times, I feel really great and my workouts at the gym have never been better. I can handle the eliptical for an hour without any problems or unusual breathing issues. My heart isn't pounding or anything, which makes me think my "symptoms" are in my head.
Anyway, for the peace of mind, I moved my echo up to Feb. 23rd.
Hopefully, it's just all in my head like it usually is and it's no big thing, because if it isn't just in my head, well, the timing would really suck, as my boss is retiring and I'm hoping to get her position. I just don't want to mess around with waiting and just want the piece of mind.
I just don't really know how obvious the symptoms are going to be and that's the problem. Are they subtle or not?
I just joined this journal/support network. Adam Pick's book really helped me in dealling with the diagnosis. It is an incredible tool for patients, caregivers, and supporters. I don't think it is too early to start building a support group for the inevitable surgery I face. I hope I'm far off from it, but it is not really my decision. Thanks for reading. I probably won't post much until my annual check-up with the cardiologist, which is in May. I'm sure I'll post frequently when it is time for surgery, which hopefully isn't anytime soon.