New (and worried)

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New (and worried)

Postby mrkbtlr » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:01 am

Hi everyone. Last year I was diagnosed with a heart murmur which, apparently, I was born with. I went for a check up today and the Cardiologist said that it had got much worse. On reflection, he's probably right as I have been experiencing chest pains and have been getting a little breathless. He has referred me to a cardiac surgeon and said that I will need a mitral repair done via open heart surgery. One look at this on YouTube has sent me in a spin. I'm really worried about this surgery. I'm a 47 year old guy who, apart from this, is really healthy. Has anyone else had this surgery? I'd love to hear your experiences and thoughts. Thanks in advance. Mark :D
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Re: New (and worried)

Postby Tricky Dicky » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:39 am

Hi Mark, I had an aortic valve repair done when I was 13 and it lasted 37 years until last year when I had the valve replaced with a mechanical one. It can be a bit of an ordeal at the time, but you soon recover.

Why not read some of the back issues of Guch news? Lots of stories from people who have had operations etc, see http://www.thesf.org.uk/news/guch-news.aspx
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Re: New (and worried)

Postby coo_beastie » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:01 pm

Hi Mark,

I know this reply is a little late, but last year I was in the same boat. I knew I had a murmur but in May I was diagnosed with a sub-aortic membrane which needed open-heart surgery to correct. I also needed a valve repair, and it came as a complete shock as I'm a healthy 27 year old! So I know just how you're feeling.

It's pointless telling you not to worry - you will, I did, everyone does. All I can say is that it's totally normal to feel that way. It's tough to wait for surgery, I spent the whole time googling and youtubing until I wore myself out with anxiety. If I could give you a piece of advice, it would be to find a relaxing hobby or something you can really focus on to take your mind off it. For me it was planning my wedding, which is so stressful that I didn't have enough time to worry about my stupid surgery because oh my God, I need a dress and shoes and blah blah blah.

Surgery is really tough, but if you're relatively young and healthy it's not so bad. You say you're 47 - you should be up and about in no time. I had my surgery on a Friday at 2pm. I spent Friday night and Saturday day in ICU, then was moved to a ward at about 8pm on Saturday night. I walked out of the hospital to my dad's car on Wednesday afternoon. Without complications, by day 3 you should be able to climb a flight of stairs. It'll hurt, but you can do it! In terms of how you'll feel, everyone's different but for me it felt like a combination of really bad flu (from the anaesthetic wearing off), broken ribs (which it technically is) and the worst sunburn I've ever had in my life (the chest wound). I'm not trying to downplay just how enormous heart surgery is, but if you're young and otherwise healthy, you'll do fine. For me, the absolute worst part of the whole thing was having the larger of my two chest drains removed. They do this pretty soon after you wake up in ICU. It takes around 5 seconds but it just feels disgusting. It doesn't hurt, but it's gross. It feels like someone is pulling one of those corrugated dryer hoses out of your belly... ugh! I get the creeps just remembering it!

I could bore you to tears with my surgery stories, but I'll stop there. If you need someone to talk to, or for some reason you want to hear more about what surgery is like, you can always PM me :)

Take care,

Amelia.
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