Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cleveland Clinic

I'm at the Cleveland Clinic where my mom is getting her heart surgery done. She has to have her aortic valve replaced and while running pre-op tests on Tuesday they found an aortic aneurism that has to be taken care of. I'm not sure what's involved in that...if they surgeon removes it or what it is even...but I know it's bad if it bursts. She's already told the nurses that they better not try to keep coffee away from her while she's in the hospital cuz if they do it won't be pretty. lol now you know where I get it from.

She is in pre-op area and we can visit her 2 at a time. Tim (my stepdad) and I went in first and then I went in again with Jeof (my brother) and then my grandparents went in and now just Tim is back there. When they take her up to the OR (which is supposed to be at 12:30) we can all go back together to see her.

I also found out that I have to be checked for Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease because I was diagnosed based largely off of my mom's diagnosis of Mitral Valve Prolapse which turned out to be a total misdiagnosis. Now it's worried that I also do not have MVP but actually a bicuspid aortic valve.

This is a picture of a normal aortic valve:


This is a picture of a bicuspid aortic valve (that my mom will have until they replace it with a normal one):


Now my mom's bicuspid aortic valve was stenotic and while it's supposed to open 5 millimeters, it only opens 0.8 millimeters so the blood isn't getting out and her body has a seriously lack of oxygen. A lot of the issues I have--dizziness, shortness of breath, lack of pulse (not complete lack obviously) are all symptoms of a bicuspid aortic valve so now I have to be checked. I hate going to the doctor. All they ever do is fight with me or treat me like I don't know anything. I'm definitely glad I don't ever have to go to hunterdon medical healthcare system again so I should be diagnosed better now. When I get around to it, I'll be going through Emory for heart stuff...but after I do the half-marathon because I don't want anyone telling me I can't do it. I lived through the LA Marathon, I'll live through a half-marathon.

But even if I'm diagnosed, I don't necessarily have to have this surgery my mom's having...at least not until my 40's or 50's and by then they won't even have to crack open my chest to get to the heart...they're perfecting a process to replace aortic valves through the groin. Sounds painful to me, but a much better and safer option so I'm not worried.

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