10 year anniversary

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akontarinis

Guest
I underwent Aortic Valve Replacement in November 1991 at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY. I was 22 years old at the time. I have a St Jude valve.

Time does fly. I am coming to my 10th anniversary and have had no valve-related problems. INR's can be pesky, as we all know, but overall, all has been well.

I have been a little uneasy as of late, you could almost say paranoid. I never really gave my valve much serious thought after the surgery. I was in my 20s and I wanted to focus on my new life, rather than the questions and fears that I had regarding this ticking object in my chest.

Now that I am getting ready to become a father, I guess I am confronting and dealing with my valve, and fears about it, for the first time. I worry about its lifespan, I worry about it malfunctioning, and I worry sometimes that I will someday have to undergo surgery yet again.

Has anyone else experienced any of this? I know it must sound crazy.
 

Nancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
9,896
Location
upstate New York
Special Welcome

Special Welcome

Hi-

I'd like to give you a special welcome to this website. My husband Joe and I are in the tri-cities area (for those who don't live here, that's the area covered by Albany, Schenectady and Troy, New York). Joe has a 24 year old aortic mechanical (Bjork-Shiley), a 2 year old mitral mechanical (St. Jude) and just had a redo (repair) on the mitral for a leak. He also has had 2 thoracotomies, one for a benign tumor and one for scar tissue which had partially collapsed his lung. The 2 mitral surgeries and one of the lung surgeries were done by Dr. Harry J. DePan, who is part of the Albany Cardiothoracic Surgeons group and is Chief of Cardio surgery at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, NY. The other lung surgery was done by Dr. Riivo Ilves, who was with that group a few years back and is now at Albany Med. Both are spectacular surgeons.

I wondered who did your surgery and if they were part of that group?

Mechanical valves can last a lifetime. Joe's leak was a fluky thing, could have come from his own problems with having had rheumatic fever as a teen, or even from any one of the faints he had, but it's repaired now and he's starting to feel quite well. His repair was done on July 18 at Ellis Hospital.

So welcome upstater, or do you now live in NYC? Nice to have you here.
 
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Perrster

Guest
Second City Welcome!

Second City Welcome!

You are an inspiration to us St. Jude people and a HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS on becoming a dad!

Please stay with the board and contribute your thoughts and experiences as often as you can (you shouldn't have any problems justifying going on-line in between bottles!).

Keep in touch.

PerryA

:eek:
 

hensylee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
Welcome aboard. Nearly everybody else is a newbie to valves compared to you. Congratulations.

I truly believe that once parenthood is staring us in the face, we automatically evaluate everything in our lives to see if it's going to be safe for that precious miracle that's happening to us. Please keep the same faith you have had all these years and know that you are going to be alright - you have no other choice, anyway because your life is now owned by another wee human and you are responsible for it. Ain't that just the greatest. Congratulations to you and your wife - your life will never be the same; diapers, bottles, vaccinations, laundry by the piles, and the greatest love you will ever know.:)
 

Christina

Beloved Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Messages
1,102
Location
AZ USA
Hi and welcome on board,

Like Hensylee already said, your life will never be the same with a little tike that you are now responsible for. And it is only human to think about what the future will hold, and if the valve will continue to hold up or what? I believe it is a good thing we don't know.
I think you've done great for yourself in the past ten years. Without any problems! YEAH!!! If you continue this, I believe you'll do well the next 10 years. Think positive! They told me that my valve will last me the rest of my life, but it did not work out that way for me. Within eleven days I had to have the surgery redone and another mechanical valve was placed. We never know, but most of us do okay again a second surgery. I did!
So keep the faith and stay positive!
It's the only way to live life to the fullest every day!

Enjoy your little one!

Christina
Aortic Stenosis
AVR 8/7/00 & 8/18/00
St. Jude's mechanical
Coumadin 19mg a day.
 
T

Tammy

Guest
Welcome

Welcome

Like you, I was in my twenties when I had MVR - Now 12 years later I certainly have a different perspective on life.
I believe it is normal for you to have the concerns you have, the older we get the more we realize "We are not invisible".

You have had 10 good years since surgery and can only hope for many more. One day at a time - Its how we should all live but it is not always easy or possible. There are good days and bad days and that is part of life.

I worry more than I use too for sure but I try to stay positive - and it is very difficult sometimes.
You have found a good place to meet people like yourself. We have been there and know how you feel.
You will find much positive feed back here.
Take Care and congrats on becoming a daddy!

Tammy
 
A

akontarinis

Guest
Thanks!

Thanks!

Thank you all for the postings. Realistically, now that I am older and more introspective, I know that my valve will not fail, but the truth is, that I just worry that as I start on the parenting journey, I would just like to be around to enjoy it all.

I never had serious thoughts about my valve before. I think that I just value life so much now, that I don't want it to end until I am nice and old.

I recently found this in my online travels:
http://www.acc.org/education/online/trials/acc2000/15year.htm
And it made me feel much better.

Thank you all again.
 

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