Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Transition: Life After OHS

I'm lucky, as someone pointed out to me recently, to have made it to age 60 with BAV disease. I've never liked taking pills or medications, and I don't take any even today. But that will all change soon, and that's part of what I really don't like about having to deal with my heart valve disease.

The other thing is the aftermath of surgery. Yes, having a diseased heart valve and an aortic aneurysm replaced is life-saving and should buy me a number of years, but it's far from certain that the quality of my life post surgery will be any where near what I'm used to. That's because of the kinds of complications people have after OHS. Yesterday I was reading about "TIAs" ( transient ischemic attack), which is like a mini-stroke, and full blown strokes that people get even if they are taking their coumadin and they have their INRs "in-range." Not good. Then you have to worry about getting endocarditis and careful with any invasive procedures like dental visits, colonoscopies, anything that breaks the skin. I read about so many valve surgery patients who must return to the emergency rooms at their hospitals with a variety of problems with their heart. Getting the surgery is no panacea.

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