I was found to have rheumatic fever when I was about 7. I recall being feverish and having aches and pains in my knees and ankles for a while and my Mum took me to a local doctor who thought I might have RF. I'm not sure of how it worked after that but I remember being in the Mater Hospital being bathed with cold towels and a lot of nurses looking after me for some time. That hospital stay lasted for 8 weeks as I recall. Didn't like the food much and having to rest all the time didn't sit well with me. Anyway, that stay finished but I had a few more stays at the Mater Hospital after that.
I can't remember much more but I seemed to recoverl and get on with life even though i was always was the one who went to bed first and woke up last. I also know that if I went to the dentist or had something done to me that I was supposed to take antibiotics first during and after. I did that for a long time but over the years opinion was divided on the necessity. Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn't take antibiotics. I always did for a tooth out though.
I knew that one day I would probably need to have something done but somehow that prospect diminished until 18 months ago when I had a bout of bad indigestion that even I thought needed a visit to our doctor. During the course of the down the throatoscopy(I love medical talk!) my murmur was described as being "rowdy". Anyway, now, 18 months later and several visits to the cardiologist it seems the little bugger is deteriorating at a faster rate all the time and by May of 2013 I may have to have the thing replaced. Lots of time to research and
Look at various options. Also probably a good tperiod of time to lose those few extra kilos I carry.
So there we are at the moment. No stress but a lot contemplative.
March 28 2013
Since my last entry there has been some developments.
It has transpired that my aortic is failing faster than the mitral valve which my cardio either didn't make clear or i didnt listen properly. I have changed cardio to a fellow who's office is a 10 minute walk from my front door as opposed to a 20 minute drive with the attendant parking issues. I did this for convenience and thought it would cover the second opinion option.
I had another echo last week and the aortic valve has deteriorated further so next week it is off to the hospital, which is also a 10 minute walk from my front door, for an angiogram. The second opinion has confirmed the first and we are now able to have everything taken care of near home.
Don't feel intimidated or scared of what lies ahead but I am surprised how quickly the valve is failing if failing is the right word. 57 is a bit earlier than I expected but the choice is out of my hands.
Going to try to catch some bass between now and next week. Fishing report coming soon .
April 9 2013
Had a new echo and we are down to 40mm and so on with an angiogram yesterday that showed no problems with that end of the plumbing. Not a great way to spend a Monday but at least that's an issue not to be dealt with. Need a few days to think about where to next. The fatigue and breathlessness have been restricting life and there is too much fun to be had in the future to have to be "carefull" all the time. Life on warfarin or the like cant be that tricky? We've brought up 2 beautiful daughters so a bit of medication and moderation can't be too hard.
Perhaps a few days annoying the bass at the dam are needed before talking with the surgeon.
It's been an interesting month. The AV is not good and the surgeon says there would be significant benefits arising from having the replacement done now. But, as he said, I won't fall off the perch in the near future given the current condition of the valve. After some discussion we, the surgeon, my wife and I, concluded that a few months of training and getting fit would increase those "significant benefits" significantly. So, a regular excercise program and watching what goes into this body has begun. Not trying to do a marathon, just trying to improve the body and give myself an idea of how I will need to live after the replacement.
So, moderation is the word, get off my bum and excercise us the action.
June 18 2013
After another echo prompted by a weekend of banging and crashing, otherwise known as palpitations, the av has deteriorated further in the last 2 months. The date for the op is July 29.. It's all very very real now.
Which valve to go with is now the focus. Not sure which way I will go yet. Lot of life left in this 57yo yet and a lot of fish to be caught. I don't think there is a bad decision to be made one way or the other in the choice. Might go and sit in the boat and discuss it with the pelicans and see what they think.
TODAY IS IT
Well here we go. Walking up to the hospital later this morning to check in and prepare for the op tomorrow. Still feeling calm. The inevitable never seems to worry me fortunately. What will be will be. Cheryl and my 2 daughters, Gemma and Kristie are the force behind me and will keep me on the straight and narrow. The surgeon, Dr Peter Tesar, is terrific and no doubt the rest of his team are expert also.
So, onward and upward as they say.
The bass are on hold in the dam and the pelicans are standing guard.
All is right with the world.