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JetService
Topic Author
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:15 pm

At a routine doctor appointment, my doc said he heard a heart murmur and wanted to check it out. I told him when I was a kid, I recall my pediatrician telling my mom I had a murmur but it was common and nothing of concern. My doc said he wanted to check it out so he orders an echocardiogram. Four days after the test, his office calls me and told me they made a consultation appointment for me with a cardiologist the following week. WTF?! i'm only in my 30s and feel fine fer crissakes!!! I go to the cardio and he tells me I have aortic valve insufficiency and will probably need open heart surgery to replace it. HOLYPHUKINSHIT! So he orders a more intense echo from the inside out where I have to swallow a probe while numb and high so they get an inside-out look at the valves (that's Friday). Following that, a cardiac cath where they jam a hose into my leg and run cable into my heart to drop some dye in it. That's if the first test is inconclusive. This f$%kin sucks. I asked him where he got his degree, because he didn't notice I was still too young for this horsesh!t. He said, "Too young? You were born with this, sucka." So that's my fun news. Now I'm left with some major decisions. Do I push for a stinken pig or dead-guy valve that will wear out in 5-10 years, or do I push for a mechanical valve made from Legos that turns me into a human ticking watch (yes, you can hear them, I guess) and have to take blood thinning drugs for the REST OF MY LIFE! Oh, but the mech valve apparently lasts forever barring spontanious failure where I'd drop dead on the spot or better yet complications from the blood thinner where I could take a baseball to the head and my body drains of all its blood in 4.6 seconds. Hmmm, even more pressing, do I elect to have the surgery this fall and miss all the good bass fishing when they go into their winter fattening-up feeding frenzy or during the winter to miss 8 weeks of bowling (the only thing in my life that I'm actually halfway decent at)? Anyway, has anyone of you known anyone that has had this (preferable a story of someone still living)? Any experienced insight is appreciated for a freaked-out me.
"Shaddap you!"
 
Continental
Posts: 5223
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2000 3:46 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 2:28 pm

Take the surgery! It will really help you! I didn't have anything wrong with me until I got tachycardia a few years ago. I found this odd because I'm an athlete, and I work hard all the time, and I'm in prestine shape (I'll do a pre-shut up to all who want to oppose). They say it goes fast because of lack of potassium, and I have a muscle tissue which is microscopic which hasn't scarred over yet, so it still conducts the current. I still get irregular beats now and then, but basically I got em' down to once or twice a year. It's getting less frequent, I guess they're scarring over. Once that happens, I'm clear. Anyway, just take the surgery and what they recommend, it'll help you, DO NOT DISREGARD IT.

co
 
virgin744
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 5:51 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:15 pm

Jetservice,
Get a second opinion, and possibly even a third! If they say you need the op then go for it. BTW I'm 30 and i found out I have a heart murmur a few months back too, they said its common and nothing to worry about, I didnt have it till about 9 months ago so it worried me too, but they assured me that had it been serious they would know about it and tell me.

virgin744
 
KROC
Posts: 18919
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:19 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 9:18 pm

Damn my man. Either way, make sure you get a second opinion and no matter what, get the problem fixed. Better to have it done while you are young "sucka" then later on in life where it can take a greater toll on you.
 
Qb001
Posts: 1923
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2000 12:42 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:12 pm

AFAIK, the blood thinning drug is a simple Aspirin a day.

My father, 70 years old, takes that medication. This summer, he took a bad plunge while biking. He was bleeding from multiple scratches and he didn't bleed dry; so don't worry about that.

But make sure to have a second opinion. Doctors in the US are well known for "over treating" simple problems...
Never let the facts get in the way of a good theory.
 
AC320
Posts: 2809
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 11:29 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:18 pm

Well the fact that the doctor can hear the murmur is cause to get some testing and monitoring done. However, a second opinion is in order. Doctors can make mistakes, or misinterpret results. I would never walk into a situation involving any kind of surgery without at least a second doctor's opinion.

Heck I found out a year and half ago that I have a heart murmur, when I volunteered to help a tech demonstrate an echocardiograph to some students. 5 minutes in she goes "hmmm that's not right, let's check that again, do you have any known heart conditions?" Naturally I start getting worried, she call in a doctor who has a listen to the old ticker, says he can't hear a thing at looks at the video screen, and declares it too small to even worry about.

It is a common thing, human anatomy isn't perfect. Have someone else check it out and if they come to the same conclusion, deal with it. Don't go messing around with your heart's health, remember you only have one!
fuddle duddle
 
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:34 pm

I'm sorry to hear that. For a minute, when I saw the topic, I figured that this topic would immediately be deserving of another "signed by" post. But as it turns out, you have a legitimate concern.

Take care of yourself. And in the meantime, enjoy yourself. There's no point in owrrying over something you have no control over.
 
virgin744
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 5:51 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:43 pm

Qb001,
I think the drug in this instance is actually warfarin (sp.) as apposed to dispersable aspirin. Warfarin has strong side effects, one bing not able to fly long distances for the 1st 6 months after having it due to, also causing sever haemorrageing (sp. too) i.e low platelets, i.e.e bleeding doesnt stop easily once it starts.... That kinda stuff.

virgin744
 
jcs17
Posts: 7376
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 11:13 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:18 pm

My dad's coworker had the procedure done with the mechnical valve. Yes, if the room is quiet enough you can here a small tick. He also says that when he is resting he can actually hear the blood rushing in and out of the valve. You will sleep a lot, and miss many days of work becuase you just dont feel like getting up. I hope I didnt scare you, but this guy is a close family friend, and from what he has told us I wouldnt wish this procedure on anyone.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
JetService
Topic Author
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Thu Sep 18, 2003 11:37 pm

Thanks all, so far he hasn't 'officially' given me a timeframe for surgery, but pretty said from the results of the original echo, its going to happen some day (within a few years was my guess). The 'indication' was 'moderate to severe aortic valve insufficiency', mildly enlarged left ventrical and mitral valve prolapse. He said the last two are no big deal and wouldn't need treatment if alone, but the first is the concern. The only good news I heard was that the surgery would pretty much cure the problem forever. I would only have to worry about spontanious complications which rare. He made a point to tell me that at my young age they are even more unlikely. The blood thinner is Coumadin which is a tradename for Warafin, but he did mention taking aspirin along with it. One concern I have and haven't told him yet was that I get frequent nosebleeds from allergies. Anyway, I update after tomorrow's procedre (if you're interested) and hopefully it will be good news. But it he tells me I'll need surgery even within 5 years, I my choose to do it now since I have no other problems and have pretty good insurance. Thanks for your thoughts!!!

Jcs17, don't worry, I can't possibly any more freaked out! LOL!
"Shaddap you!"
 
mopac
Posts: 196
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 12:05 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:51 am

Hey guys,

-This is my first post on a.net. I've been visiting a.net since '99, and visiting the forums regularly for about a year and a half and just now got around to signing up. (That damn paypal!) Jetservice's post got me in gear to sign up finally.-

Jetservice- As I was signing up you made your post saying you would take Coumadin.

Coumadin does a great job at thinning the blood and is widely prescribed but I would look closely at the side effects of Coumadin over time. Most people worry only about clotting but there can be other effects to think about, namely the occurrence of various types of cancer, specifically pancreatic. Mind you I'm not an expert, but the experts don't know yet what exactly causes pancreatic cancer so it's hard to link the two.

There might not be much choice in the matter but my personal experiences with people who have used Coumadin tells me that the drug has a "Hat Trick". But of coarse no doctor is gonna tell you that outright.

No doubt they will get you fixed up good as new if you elect for surgery, but pay close attention to the little stuff because sometimes they can pack a punch down the road.

And I would definently suggest getting a second opinion, a good one. Finding a good second opinion source can be difficult but I would suggest starting at the top. One suggestion would be Denton Cooley at St. Lukes in Houston. Cooley preformed the first successful transplant, the first artifical heat implant, he's a Medal of Fredom recipient, and his group have preformed more open heart surgeries than any other in the world at over 100,000. I would definently get the second opinion and the (possible) surgery from an outfit like St. Lukes. Interestingly enough, St. Lukes or any of the other "Premium" groups usually do not cost more than local options, so your insurance provider shouldn't object.

Regards,

MoPac
 
AWspicious
Posts: 2780
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2001 7:47 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:51 am

I'm freaked-out! ....And I don't even know you!
Geeze, man. I hope all goes well. This sort of stuff gives me the ibbie-jibbies. Hell - Any major health concern makes me worry about my own mortality. Kinda makes me wanna be a better person...

a.w.
Nevermind political correctness - Envision using your turn signals!
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:29 am

JetService:
Man I am sorry to hear about this. As others above has stated, get a 2nd. opinion and. It sounds as though this is something you can live with.
Are there any side effects once this surgery is done?
Bring back the Concorde
 
JetService
Topic Author
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:47 am

Superfly, thanks, he tells me I may be able to just have the bum valve monitored for awhile and have it treated it if it starts causing problems (right now it isn't). But once a surgery is done it pretty much cures the problem. Barring any complications, a mechanical should provide a lifetime of problem-free..uhhhh, valving, and not reduce life expectancy. The main concern is that some secondary risks increase with the drugs like major bleeding problems. Something like 2% risk. Other than that, I'm finding out that I can eat my regular diet and resume activities after an extended period of recovery time and pretty much be back to normal. One nuisance is I'll have to have blood work done frequently for awhile to check the blood thinning. But that's better than my heart coming apart I guess  Laugh out loud
"Shaddap you!"
 
Superfly
Posts: 37705
Joined: Thu May 11, 2000 8:01 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 5:11 am

JetService:
Will that effect alcohol consumption with thining blood?
Bring back the Concorde
 
JetService
Topic Author
Posts: 4611
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:06 am

Superfly, from my understanding, alcohol can modify Warafin's effects so as long as I maintain the same rate, I think its OK. Sounds like consistency is more the key. I guess no more binges  Sad
"Shaddap you!"
 
vaporlock
Posts: 3528
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 9:22 am

RE: I'm Defective!

Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:54 am

JetService, don't ever think that your Defective!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy My niece had the same thing happen to her at around 18 yrs old. She went thru a very very long period of tests and was really freeked out of her mind. It is always good to have a second opinion, I would recommend it with any type of surgery.

She had the surgery some years ago and she has been fine ever since. In fact she was up out of bed walking around within 24hrs after the surgery. She went with a metal valve so that she would not have to have surgery again and she has never had a problem. (I believe it was her mitro valve- not sure if that is the correct spelling) She also had 2 small holes in the front of her heart & an extra large one at the back of her heart. They fixed the holes with some type of patch that is actually grafted to the heart and will eventually grow as the heart changes. She is 100% normal and the only restriction she had for about 1 year was that she could not ice skate. After her surgery and recovery she wrote a childrens book titled "HOW DO YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART"! Trust me I know it is very scary but you are otherwise healthy and if you do in fact need the surgery.........you will be able to live a normal healthy lifestyle!!

She is now married and has 1 son and she has never had any problems.

Keep your chin up and try and remember that your not really sure of all the facts yet. I'll be thinking about you tomorrow when you have your test!

Phyllis  Big thumbs up

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