Jan 30, 2018 Latest post:
Feb 28, 2018
It all started on Election Night 2016., when I went to bed early (9 pm) since being a political wonk, I correctly knew who had won long before it was declared by the networks and I did not want to sit through pundits talking for hours. However, about 11 pm, I woke with severe chest pain. Denise called 911 and I was taken to the ER. Initial tests were inconclusive, further testing was needed and we had to stay overnight. In addition, our adrenaline was so high that we stayed up all night. Which, it turns out meant that we were stuck watching all the pundits throughout the night on Fox News, the only news network available at the hospital. Tests eventually showed no major issues but a heart murmur was uncovered. I was told to come back in a year for a follow-up with the cardiologist. By the way, the primary reason for the chest pain was a brand new prescription for a stimulant to address narcolepsy; I never took that prescription again.
At this year's checkup in December 2017, the cardiologist was concerned and ordered more tests. The nuclear stress test was clear but the echocardiogram revealed some leakage in a heart valve - but it didn't show how severe it was. So a transesophageal echocardiogram was ordered - that's where a camera was fed down my throat!! The results of that raised more concerns and a heart catheterization was ordered. A camera was inserted in a vein in my groin and fed up into the heart to look explicitly for blockages and the condition of the valve.
It turns out that the mitral valve, between the lungs and the heart, which is supposed to allow a flow only in one direction to the heart. My mitral valve does not close completely allowing blood to backflow into the lungs, which it should not do.
The surgery will require the opening of the chest and the heart , and the doctors will first attempt to repair the valve. If a repair is not appropriate, they will replace it with a pig valve.
I will spend the first week of recovery in the hospital (oh, great I get to watch the Super Bowl in the hospital and high as a kite) . I won't remember any of it. Go Eagles!
And then 3-5 week more at home. Full recovery will take about 12 weeks.
Thank you for all you love and prayer! Tim and Denise