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Hypochondria

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Midpack

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Hi!

From my diagnosis of mitral valve regurgitation, that will require surgery at some moment, i have clearly developped a degree of hypochondria. Every physical symptom, even if mild and not remotely related to my cardiologic condition, worries me. And when anxious, googling is your worst friend, as you may already know. But hard to avoid, nonetheless. Anything looks potentially serious in google, specially if you have some degree of hypochondria.

I wonder if it is not uncommom, after being diagnosed with a heart condition (that may most probably need OHS), to become somewhat hypochondriac, or excessively aware of any health problem, even if minor and irrelevant.

Regards
 

epstns

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Midpack - It is normal, at first, to believe that every new physical phenomenon is a "symptom" and that it is significant. I would suggest that you research the "cardinal" symptoms for your heart condition (I know that for aortic stenosis they are shortness of breath, fainting or chest pain). Anything less than these would be a curiosity, but maybe not a symptom. If you experience any of the cardianl symptoms, see your cardio asap. For anything else, think about it a while. If it doesn't happen regularly, chalk it up to some periodic event. If it happens regularly (like lightheadedness every time you stand up), then discuss with your cardio but don't panic.

After a while, we get used to just getting on with our lives. I spend over 9 years in The Waiting Room (the virtual room where many folks await their own turns at valve surgery). I started out in a panic, learned a lot about what was important and what was not, then just got on with my life. I'm not unique - there are many folks here who spent years watching and waiting, then had surgery when the time was right. We just have to find our own way to rationalize what is happening and to determine what needs to be acted upon and what just needs to be watched.
 

pellicle

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sounds like anxiety a bit too. I think that such would be understandable. But to me if you investigate the issue and find that its just a symptom related to an already diagnosed issue then just note it and understand this and move on.

Keep observing though.
 

big_L

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Apr 3, 2013
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Iowa
It's not uncommon with this or other major health "challenges". Every little thing is a concern. And yes, google is not necessarly your friend. It helps me to only research medical information on sites such as MedLine Plus or those sites that serve up published research papers. Yes - I do check this board daily, but I try not to overreact to comments here until I've researched them further elsewhere.

Good luck.
 

knotguilty

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Salem County, NJ
It would be easy to say not to worry, but the more you research and the more you read, the more you will realize there is nothing to worry about. Even having to have OHS, it is a life saver, and not a death sentence. You do not say how bad your regurgitation is or how old you are but I have read that mitral valve regurgitation usually needs no intervention in life. The good thing is you are in tune to your heart condition and will stay on top of it. Try not to worry and do anything you can to get your mind off of it. Also eat right and exercise and you will be around for a long long time.
 

Midpack

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Argentina
It would be easy to say not to worry, but the more you research and the more you read, the more you will realize there is nothing to worry about. Even having to have OHS, it is a life saver, and not a death sentence. You do not say how bad your regurgitation is or how old you are but I have read that mitral valve regurgitation usually needs no intervention in life. The good thing is you are in tune to your heart condition and will stay on top of it. Try not to worry and do anything you can to get your mind off of it. Also eat right and exercise and you will be around for a long long time.
Hi knotguilty:
I am 45. Mi regurgitation is at moderate level. It is the result of a mitral valve prolapse. Left atrium and left ventricle are mildly enlarged. I am being controlled twice a year (with echo doppler). Currently asymptomatic. But my cardiologist is pretty sure this will need surgery. And not in 10 years. Much sooner than that. But nobody knows. It can be 6 months, 2 years, etc. But both cardiologists i visit (one is my regular cardiologist, and the other is one i visit eventually to check things twice) agree that surgery is not yet recommended.

Thanks for your positive comments!
 

Luana

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From my diagnosis of mitral valve regurgitation, that will require surgery at some moment, i have clearly developped a degree of hypochondria. Every physical symptom, even if mild and not remotely related to my cardiologic condition, worries me.
That's probably fairly common. If surgery has never even been a remote blip on your radar screen, finding out you need it can be jarring. I've known since I was a kid that "one day" I might need a heart valve replaced, so it's been in the back of my mind, and when the time came for the need, I was quite aware of it.

It's actually good to be aware, as if something worsens with you like increased fatigue or shortness of breath, you'll probably be more likely to let your doc know about it. It's also possible you may never need surgery.

Relax, stay aware, and chances are exceedingly good that you'll be fine.
 

epstns

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big_L, That's an interesting graph. From the context, though, I think it refers to the path of aortic stenosis. It may or may not be the same for a regurgitant mitral valve. Maybe one of our mitral valvers can stop in and help us out here. . .
 

Midpack

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As i undestand it, you have 3 kind of patients with valvular problems:

A- Surgery is not recommended at all for the moment. Just periodical controls are indicated (once or twice a year, for instance).
B- Surgery is a must. Without the surgery, the patient will die quickly.
C- Grey zone. Surgery is recommended by some cardiologists but not by others.

C is the category where cardiologists (and surgeons) often disagree. You have those who prefer an early approach and those who, considering surgery risks, beleive that waiting a little more may be preferable (and will not affect life expectancy).

In Argentina, in my experience, cardiologists tend to be pretty conservative (compared with USA, for instance). The concept of early surgery does not seem to be the norm here. One of the reasons may be that top cardiac surgeons in USA are more skilled and experienced, so more confident that surgery will be completely successfull. Anyway, as i said in another post, i was told by one of the cardiologists i consult (who is the head of the Cardiology Department in a renowned center here) that you have to be careful about some studies published by cardiac surgeons, because they tend to report more on successful cases and not so much on failures.

When you are told that surgery risk is say 2%, it seems insignificant. But, as a matter of fact, it is telling you that 1 out of 50 patients that undergo valvular surgery DIE on the surgery table (or inmediately after). Imagine being asymptomatic, having a normal life, being referred for an early surgery, and die. Not cool.

Regards.
 

Lily

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Oct 18, 2009
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private
Midpack, I have read that anxiety can be a big issue for people with mitral valve prolapse. Another thing for you to google :)

Also, as we get older it's not unusual to worry more about our health. But sometimes it's just harder to keep the worries in check, in a proper balance.

That said, I was amazed at how many "little" health issues disappeared after I got my new aortic valve, like various aches and vision issues and other things I can't remember now that disappeared post-valve replacement; and so I knew it was because my old pump was circulating blood and oxygen better.

You should find much empathy here on this site, and that can help. Best Wishes :)
 

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