Well, I got a notification today to share what I'd be up to lately and I thought why not, sounds like fun. I was originally a pretty active member of this forum for the first year or so post opp, and I found it was a great help to mentally work through quite a difficult time in my life. The support from the members here is fantastic, and although I haven't contributed in a while, I still get daily emails and every now and again read the posts out of interest. Anyway, I'll keep it brief.
* I turned 37 in April this year, and had my Aortic Valve replaced on April 12, 2016 at the age of 31.
* After advice from the group, I purchased a CoaguChek XS System and self monitor my INR, testing weekly. My surgeon suggested I aim for an INR of 2-2.5, I take 6.5mg of warfarin each day, and I generally sit around 2.2. If I go to 2.7 (for arguments sake) I don't stress, but monitoring weekly it allows me to see trends and adjust if needed.
* I've found paracetamol has a rather sizeable impact on my INR, however as I often take this when I'm unwell I wonder if having a virus can also increase INR
(I'm no doctor, I just wonder)
* I drink, in moderation, some weeks I may only have 1 or 2 after work on Friday or on a Saturday evening. Other weeks I might have more if its a social gathering. Nevertheless, I don't stress about it, and I make sure I'm in a safe environment.
* I had a paravalvular leak repaired in 2018, its not completely fixed however it is now considered 'minor'.
* I took the family to Disneyland (Anaheim) in 2019. Seeing the look on my kids faces was one of the greatest moments of my life, and made me thankful of the second chance I'd been given. 3rd chance even? I've had 2 OHS and the plug done.
* I exercise mostly everyday, running 3km in the morning plus soccer training in the evening once a week.
* Yes, I play soccer with the local all age team. We're a lower division team, so its not too fast paced, but can be competitive. My cardiologist was ok with me playing. His comments were "... the risk of bleeding is a concern, but I have no worries from a cardiovascular perspective. I have patients who surf and mountain bike ride, so I often feel the benefits in respect to fitness and mental health outweigh the negatives". I don't 'head' the ball, the team knows this, but we can play around it (fortunately I can run so I'm ok at getting out into open space on the wing). I of course can't control opposition players, but with that in mind I also won't get under any 'high' balls. I get the odd bruise and bump, I've strained muscles, but nothing I can't handle. I made sure to purchase the best shin guards I could find.
I think that's it, any questions from old or new members, let me know.