Search

Disclaimer

By submitting your story and/or photo to ACHA, you are giving permission for your story and/or photo to be displayed on our website. The stories on this page are the property of the individual who has provided it. Stories may be edited for content. The experiences and opinions expressed are solely those of the individual, and do not reflect the opinions of the Adult Congenital Heart Association or any employee thereof. ACHA is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied within these stories.

These stories are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

Express Yourself

Minimize

Yvette

Jan 8

Posted by: ACHA
1/8/2013 4:20 PM  RssIcon

My first heart surgery was for coarctation of the aorta at age 2. For many years after that I followed up with my pediatric cardiologist and was always given a clean bill of health. At age 25 I ran the Chicago marathon. Around age 30 I stopped going to see the cardiologist (my bad decision).

At age 36, I started to feel fatigued after the smallest efforts. I was traveling abroad in Buenos Aires when the fatigue really started to hamper my trip. Upon return I started having difficulty breathing. At the ER I was shocked to learn I was in congestive heart failure.

Lots of tests and doctors appointments later I was on my way to Mayo in Rochester where I was diagnosed with Shone’s Syndrome and subsequently had open heart surgery. They replaced my mitral valve and aortic valve with mechanical valves. They also repaired a sinus of valsalva aneurysm. I was in the hospital for 6 days. I returned to work 18 days after heart surgery.

I completed cardiac rehabilitation and currently run 12-15 miles a week. Because I have mechanical valves I will be on Coumadin for the rest of my life. I currently test myself every 2-3 weeks with a home test, and the results are submitted to my cardiologist.

About 6 months after surgery I had a “cardiac event”. My heart started to race and would not slow back down. I went to the ER and they clocked my heart rate at 254 beats per minute and I was still conscious! They tried slowing it with adenosine, but that didn’t work so they had to cardiovert me (paddles/electricity). That was a pretty scary experience.

I was in the hospital a whopping 6 days after that! Thankfully the EP study concluded no pacemaker just yet. As a result I take metropolol daily in addition to the Coumadin. It took a long while to get used to the metropolol. It’s been 18 months since my second heart surgery. I am still on metropolol, but haven’t had any more “cardiac events”. I like sharing my story with others and hearing about others’ experiences. I am grateful to have found the ACHA.

Blog List
There are no categories in this blog.
Skip Navigation Links.