Sep 7
chadgoodyear222 , Posted on SUPPORT NETWORK Blog

Perseverance Pays

     When I was young I had high blood pressure, low blood iron, and got way more nose bleeds than any other kid. No one ever knew why. A doctor doing a routine check up thought he heard a heart murmur when I was about 13. We rechecked in a month and the doc still heard the murmur so he suggested an echo cardiogram on me. The results were the following congenital heart defects. I had a bicuspid aortic valve, an aneurysm on my ascending aorta, and a narrowing on my descending aorta. The narrowing had to be repaired immediately. Three days after I turned 14, a stent was placed in the narrowing via catheter procedure. They opened it from 4mm to 16mm. I felt good and the problems I mentioned were reduced. I thought it would be decades until my valve needed repaired. I was wrong.
     I made it 12 years and then my cardiologist said its time to replace your aortic valve. It just wasn't working good enough any more. I talked to the surgeon and he suggested a mechanical valve but also mentioned a possibility of repairing my current valve. Somehow and for some reason I persuaded him to just attempt to repair my aortic valve instead of replace it. He said he would if he thought he could, but to not be mad if he used a mechanical valve. He successfully repaired my valve and aneurysm. It looked good after 6 months.
     9 months after the surgery my recovery regressed. I could not catch my breath as fast as the week before. I went back for a check up and my cardiologist said everything is just as bad or worse than before the open heart surgery on my valve. I knew instantly, before he could even finish his sentence, that meant another open heart surgery. My wife left the room overwhelmed and nearly unable to comprehend what was just said. We had just overcame one surgery and now I needed the same one again in the same year.
     On the second surgery the same surgeon installed a mechanical valve. Now I feel the positive effects of my heart working better. I am back to work and achieved my goal of being promoted to machine operator. It is a much less physical job position. I can do almost as many push ups and pull ups as before. I guess if you keep going and put forth 100 percent of your effort, it will not make a difference what your 100 percent looks like at the moment. You will achieve your goals with time and perseverance.
1 Comment
  • Kerstin Wiggins
    Kerstin Wiggins,
    I am continually amazed at the strength of the people in this community. Thank you so much for sharing your story and reminding everyone that challenges can be overcome. I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better after your last surgery!
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