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AJ Golf

Hello to all of you wonderful people here on this forum. It's good to see that some came along months before having surgery; and those who are years into recovery.

It appears that my time has come to have the surgery I have been avoiding for many years. For the longest time, there were no significant changes noted. I was diagnosed in the early 1990's while in the military. I was able to continue serving until I retired in 2002. for a large portion of that time, I was able to stay with the same cardiologist. I retired; and about a little over a year later he left the military for private practice out of state. Our last visit was encouraging in the fact that though he stressed to continue to get seen, I was fortunate that there were no significant changes warranting surgery anytime soon. This is sometime in 2004.

I had a follow up in the military hospital with the "new doc", but he was called away on an emergency and I waited, and waited, and hours later we had a brief talk in the hallway! He scheduled my semi-annual echo, and that was it. I couldn't get in to see him, and I got no calls about any problems. I got copies of all my tests over the years and put them in a file at home.

Now at this time, my wife (my rock!) was working for a cardiology group. They were kind enough to unofficially look at my tests and stated to keep on top of it. I didn't until last year - a good year and a half after my last real visit. Bottom line - the numbers got a little worse, and many opinons later (about a half dozen read the echo) they all said surgery is something to "look at seriously" now.

Now to a few weeks ago, another echo, and the numbers have stayed relatively the same, except the EF. So my first TEE, and my new doc says - it's time now! FYI - the wife is with another firm now, but I am being seen by her former employers - they are the best in the area!

Sorry so long winded, but it's alot of info and I wanted to get it out there. FYI, during my initial diagnosis at the Naval Hospital in Florida, the doc gave it to me straight - if you do nothing to correct this, your heart will explode! He gave me the comparison to a stretching water balloon. He estimated by age 50 (I'm now 44). He suggested surgery should happen around 35 - which we all know didn't.

I did have some of the top cardiologist and surgeons in the military looking at me. I was sort of a "guinea pig" as well, where the doc would call me out of the blue and ask if I could come to the clinic so students could listen to my heart and guess what I had. I should have charged admission ...

Thanks and I look forward to some more posts pre-surgery and will (God willing) post-surgery as well.
 

WayneGM

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
4,625
Location
Waterdown, Ontario Canada
Welcome to the VR Community, AJ. Sorry for the circumstances but glad you found us. You've come to the right place for information and support. Best wishes.
 

Ross

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
25,981
Location
On The Hot Seat
Welcome to the funny farm. Pull up a seat and read or just jump in and ask away. Either method will get you fully educated quickly. :D
 
S

Shutterbug

First of all welcome to the VR community. There are a lot of great people here who will respond and give some great advice. They will be some of your best sounding boards when needed or greatest ears when you need to sound off. Am just 9 days post op, and I couldn't have gone through it so well informed with out this site and these good people.
Rich
 

hensylee

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2001
Messages
11,656
Location
snowy - Sharpsburg, Ga USA
hey, AJ, welcome to VR. No better place to be for you just now than amongst those who have paved the way for you. Ask and ye shall receive. blessins.........
 
A

AJ Golf

Shutterbug said:
First of all welcome to the VR community. There are a lot of great people here who will respond and give some great advice. They will be some of your best sounding boards when needed or greatest ears when you need to sound off. Am just 9 days post op, and I couldn't have gone through it so well informed with out this site and these good people.
Rich

Rich,

Thanks! I noticed your post the other day about the 51-hour discharge. Then again, the one on having to head back via Podunk GH :eek:

9 days post op - that's great!
 

Freddie

VR.org Supporter
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
5,943
Location
Canada
Welcome AJ Golf

Lord knows I have asked some very simple questions, and there has always been an answer from these kind and educated people.

My advice to you........ask away.

Beware of Cooker. He always has something up his sleeve to make you laugh
:D :D
 
A

AJ Golf

Thanks

Thanks

Freddie said:
Welcome AJ Golf

Beware of Cooker. He always has something up his sleeve to make you laugh
:D :D

That's what I've heard :cool:
 

67walkon

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2007
Messages
258
Location
Tequesta, Fl.
There are no stupid questions here! There are a lot of great answers, however.

Welcome to our wonderful world. The next few weeks will be worse for you than the weeks after surgery; everybody told me that, and I didn't believe them. The surgery isn't fun, but it isn't all that bad and it really isn't particularly painful. They made you do stuff in basic training that hurt a lot more than this!

Ask everything you can think of. Reassurance and shared experiences are great!

John
 

KAJ

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
557
Location
Jacksonville, FL
AJ,

Welcome the the site! You will find a great deal of support in this fantastic group. From your post, I assume you retired from the Navy. If so, I am as well. I retired in 97 as an ADCS. Never hesitate to ask any questions and or just vent.
 
A

AJ Golf

Thanks to all

Thanks to all

Really ... I'll ask away especiall to some questions which I may not have seen answered already.

FYI, I retired from the Air Force. My experience at the Naval Hospital when first diagnosed was because it was the closest major military hospital, with a full cardio staff. It was way back when Orlando Naval Training Center was one of the largest.
 
R

ruth

Welcome AJ!

Glad to see you found us, I hope you find the same reassurance here that I did.

Take care,
Ruth
 
M

Mary

I put you on our calendar (surgical!) for August 30. If anything changes, please let us know!
 
A

AJ Golf

Mary said:
I put you on our calendar (surgical!) for August 30. If anything changes, please let us know!
Just received a call from the surgeon's office ... the surgery is now scheduled for AUGUST 31st ...

Thanks,
AJ
 
P

pcannon

Newbie

Newbie

Hello AJ,

I'm a newbie also. I'm also in the military, PA Army National Guard but am not retired. I still have 8 years to go. My surgeon is going to try the mitral repair next week. I can't stay in the military if they do the replacement. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.

Peggy
 
A

AJ Golf

pcannon said:
Hello AJ,

I'm a newbie also. I'm also in the military, PA Army National Guard but am not retired. I still have 8 years to go. My surgeon is going to try the mitral repair next week. I can't stay in the military if they do the replacement. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.

Peggy
Peggy,

Nice to hear from you. FYI, they never mentioned to me while on Active Duty that they would discharge me for replacement. I know people who had bypasses too, and stayed in. My opinion, if they have to do a replacement, and want to discharge, fight it - or get them to medically retire you.
 

marciemarine

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
Messages
151
Location
Oneida, New York
Welcome to the site! I am a retired military dependent and I hd my aortic and mitral valves replaced last November. The military clinic in Newport, RI was where I was first diagnosed with aortic stenosis at age 43. Then eight years later I was also diagnosed with mild to moderate mitral stenosis. I was going to regular cardilogy visits and they were keeping an eye on things. My doctors were telling me that the problems stemmed from Rhuematic fever when I was younger. When I told them that I and my parents had no recollection of that, I was told that it my have disguised itself as a bad sore throat. In the meantime, my husband retired from the service, but we still get Tri-Care Prime . Fast forward to last year when my aortc stenosis and mitral stenosis were severe and I needed the surgery. The surgery went well and I am feeling much better. It really is worth it. Good luck to you. The support at this site is fantastic! Marcie
 

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