Saturday, April 6, 2013
There's nothing in the world like receiving major medical news about yourself. I don't care if it's good or bad, its always life changing.
On March 1st, I was given some life changing news - I need open heart surgery.
Now as you are well aware, I am 25 YEARS OLD! I can't say that I have been in perfect health all of my life, but I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had the flu (make that two fingers). I've never ever broken a bone. Life has been fairly uneventful up to this point. On top of that, I have begun a pursuit to even better health through food and other holistic avenues. So for someone to tell me a month ago that I have a life-threatening birth defect of my heart, I was shocked.
To be honest, I knew there was something going on. Back in 2010 my gynecologist noticed a heart murmur during my first visit. She urged me to visit a cardiologist and I conceded. The cardiologist basically said I had a mild leaky valve and something else that he wasn't sure about, but that the decision was mine to pursue checking it out further. Well I'm NOT a doctor, and I certainly wasn't going to volunteer to be poked, prodded, and tested for an unknown conclusion, so I went about my merry little way. The Hubs and I got married in April of 2011 and there went the fastest year of my life (that, by the way, is another blog post for another day).
It needs to be mentioned that my gynecologist is quite...how should I put this...intimidating. She's probably only 5 feet tall, but this little Puerto-Rican woman will put me in my place without missing a beat! (For instance, I saw her after completing my Whole30 experience and victoriously losing over 10 lbs, and she goes on to say, "You've gained some weight since the last time I saw you...?". Brutal.) Since I didn't want to face her during my visit this year and tell her I hadn't seen my cardiologist, I chose to be proactive...or cover my tail...and schedule a follow-up.
The old cardiologist was gone and a new one had replaced him. This doctor was wonderful, and took my issues more seriously. After a slew of tests and seeing doctors over the the course of a month and a half, the diagnosis had finally been made.
On April 1st at 7:30AM, the surgery took place to repair my mitral valve and to close a hole between my heart's upper chambers. That day was a whirlwind of emotions and a peace that I cannot describe. I woke up to the loving faces of family and nurses, all there cheering me on. The surgery went well, but my journey to recovery was just beginning.