At 59 I have been diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis. Its all a bit of a shock. Ive seen a surgeon at Kings and he's putting my case to a multidisciplinary team. I will know in a week or so if surgery will be this part of the year or towards the end.
It would appear I have been born with a weird heart valve. They can't work out if its bicuspid because there's 3 leaflets but only 2 of them open and close.
This is turning into my premonition for some reason.
I don't know why but I have spent most of my life thinking there's something wrong with my heart but with no real reason. A couple of times ive gone to the doctors and its always been diagnosed as anxiety and maybe there is an element of that too. Or diagnosed or self diagnosed as menopause.
Ive always been scared to over do it if you know what I mean. I always think I shouldnt over do anything and assumed it was because my parents have been very cautious about life, even their own.
I have had times of shortness of breath or brief pain, light headedness etc etc, nothing major, tiredness, getting over hot all the time. I got diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and have had that for about 6 years.
I was in a serious car accident 20 years ago and have been left with arthritic pain after breaking hips and pelvis and having head injury. Any anxiety put down to that too.
I developed or was born with a heart murmur but told it was benign.
Ive had 3 children. To be honest, apart from the car accident Ive never had anything serious wrong with me, just a feeling that maybe Im not quite right or that if I do exercise for example, I seem to pay for it a bit afterwards.
I have walked around most of my life scared I might suddenely drop dead or heave a stroke etc etc. It really has controlled my life. But again, Ive put it down to anxiety and stopped myself getting help as such. My Parents are hypochondriacs. I would do all I could not be become like that.
Ive had weird moments. Things I could never really explain, odd moments of light headedness and then be okay, odd feelings that I couldn't explain, I can't even now. After my third daughter, I had alot of palpitation moments, went back to work after 6 months and would get moments where it felt like the air had been taken out of me and would go very strange feeling. I was in a good position work wise, I was earning well and had to stop work at that time, take one on that had less responsibility because I assumed I was doing too much. Could never really explain it.
So in October I went to my GP because I was fed up of feeling like my body was letting me down a bit. There were a few things all at once and to me I needed to seek assurance that the thyroid medication was working okay, that maybe I needed a bit of help with anxiety, that the joint pain couldn't be helped a bit more. That no matter how much I tried, I couldn't lose weight and I was fed up of it. This was my last chance of trying to be normal without worrying about my body all the time. I was fed up with people thinking I ate too much when I really don't and I found that quite hurtful. I have a daughter with type 1 diabetes. Our diet is impeccable if only for her. We have no sweetie drawer or even a cake or biscuit in the house.
My gP said before he did anything on those issues he wanted to run some blood tests first. I was frightened to see that he was testing for myeloid and other blood issues including heart failure. Well, after those tests he sent me for an echocardiogram because one of the tests to do with the heart wasn't perfect and a heart murmur that Id always known about but didn't seem to be on their records.
So now I find myself at Kings this week after being referred by a cardiologist. It would appear Ive been born with a weird valve, bicuspid he thinks, that its a severe situation and I need heart surgery some time soon.
And so now all the things I used to think like....ooh whats that little pain, why do I feel short of breath, why am I so hot all the time, why am I a bit short of breath.....how comes these are all the things that actually can happen because of my heart.
Its almost as if Ive always known.