My story goes back to around 1993 when my primary care physician discovered that I had mitral valve regurgitation during a regular physical. It was mild then. When I told my father-in-law Ralph that I have a heart murmur, he asked "What is it saying?". The condition has been monitored regularly with echo-cardiogram. At first it was every three years. Then around six years ago, it was every year. In the past two years, it has been every six months. It is now getting to the point where the cardiologists (I sought a second opinion) are recommending surgery to repair the leaky valve, even though I am completely asymptomatic. The trajectory of the disease is clear. If untreated, the heart wall will thicken and deform, I will have shortness of breath, and later, heart failure. Who needs that?
I am scheduled to go into surgery on March 29, 2017, at Mayo. The surgeons are planning a minimally invasive robotic valve repair. You can find out more about it here http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/minimally-invasive-heart-surgery/home/ovc-20259199
I am expected to be in the hospital for three days. Given my current condition, I should be able to resume normal activities three weeks later. My hope is to be in DC on Saturday, April 22, 2017, for the March for Science. I look forward to tennis, badminton, table tennis, and track time in my car.
I have my team to support me through this ordeal. My rock and hero (not rock hero) Jan, Ansel and our daughter-in-law Sarah, and Nolan and his girlfriend Ari. This journey is going to be a lot easier because of you! Thank you.