May 10
kramer0315
kramer0315 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

My story

I am currently 46 years old...I am a son, brother, husband, uncle and most important, a Dad!  I was born with a heart murmur and learned to know that it is pretty normal to have been born with a mumur.    Well, mine continued and persisted throughout my HS and college years and after that as well.  While living with my parents, I always had their support and insight to see a caridologist for check ups every few years or so.  Well, as I moved out and was on my own, they reminded me constantly to see a cardiologist regularly to make sure all is ok.  Turned out after some nagging from my parents, I went to get checked out when I was 32 years old and discovered I had a defective aortic valve and ascending aortic root...clearly a shock to have heard these words as well:  "open heart surgery, mechanical valve replacement, lifestyle change".  To make a long story short, just before my 34th bday I had my open hearty surgery and had my aortic valve replaced and some other work to my aorta to keep it functioning properly as well.  So almost 13 years later, I am well, take Coumadin and Lopressor, check my blood every month, eat right (limited Vitamim K) , excercise and see my Cardiologist about once per year...Please do not ignore signs and always listen to your parents, no matter how old you are!
10 Comments
  • jlholmes99
    jlholmes99,
    At age 66 similar situation. bi-cuspid aortic valve stenosis, bovine replacement,ascending aterery replaced,5 CABG. 4years later, a stroke. nowback in the gym 3 days s week. as my doctor said "listen to your body" She said my heart was "Noisy" I always had a murmer.
  • kramer0315
    kramer0315,
    thx for sharing...we are fortunate...
  • popilla
    popilla,
    thanks good advice
  • Lorb
    Lorb,
    Thank you so much for your story, and amen!! Listen to your parents! Prayers coming your way.
  • GamecockinCola
    GamecockinCola,
    I'm 46, too. It's nice to see someone else "younger" on here. :)
  • abnicolas
    abnicolas,
    Eating right food and healthy lifestyle should be for everyone not only for those with heart ailments. Let's see our doctors on a regular basis, I had 2 angioplasty already.
  • purple heart
    purple heart,
    I agree with you! I too was only 34 when I had open heart surgery to hook me up to the bi-vad machine to give my heart a rest after having a cardiac arrest!! I was on the heart transplant list until my kidneys and liver started to fail. I was taken off and to everyone's surprise my heart came back as well as my kidneys and liver! I am on my 4 the ICD. I'm living a happy thankful life! Don't ever give up hope! The heart is amazing!
  • cfahey
    cfahey,
    hi.. I'm happy to hear that you are doing well. I myself am 54 and was born with a bicuspid valve. I have severe stenosis and am being monitored every 3 months as I don't have any symptoms. I will need surgery in the near future. I guess my question to you is how is living with Coumadin. They are recommending a mechanical valve due to my age, but, I am so fearful of Coumadin.. how has your experience been? thanks
  • AHA Ambassador Mark
    AHA Ambassador Mark,
    The comments from all of us here at the AHA site contain a common thread. Heart disease is the #1 cause of death and disability in our population and it is all too often under-diagnosed. Your story is like mine and so many others where we have early evidence of a heart "issue" like a murmur that is picked up during routine physical exams. We are instructed to follow up over time to check for any changes or progression of disease but life seems to intervene. Unfortunately, valve disease can progress very rapidly and change from watchful waiting to needing urgent surgical intervention in a matter of months. The moral of our stories is listen to your body, see your doctors regularly and be serious about the diet and lifestyle factors that we can control for our health and well being. I wish you the very best in your now heart healthy life and I hope many others can both learn from and be motivated by your story.
  • mossrock
    mossrock,
    Sounds like my story AND my mom! They kept bugging me to go to a hospital...luckily, I listened. My mom lives back in Indiana...she flew out once she knew I was admitted for a heart murmur. I hadn't been to a hospital in years! You have to listen to your body....and you're family! I have the mechanical valve now too...does that make me part robot(!?) It's great we have all this awesome technology and surgeons who are so skilled! Much love to you all! Matt
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