OK, Lets Clarify a Few Things

September 18, 2009


I realized yesterday that I’ve posted a whole bunch of stuff related to my health, but havent actually mentioned exactly what I’ve got going on in that arena. . .

Its a long story, but I’ll start from the beginning. As I have mentioned before I was born with several congenital heart defects. 5 to be exact; a VSD or ventricular septal defect (hole between the bottom 2 chambers), bicuspid aortic valve (self explanatory, a normal one has 3 cusps), coarctation of the aorta (a crimp in the main vessel carrying blood out to my body), sub aortic stenosis (narrowing below my aortic valve) and mitral stenosis (narrowing of my mitral valve)

Needless to say, I was a pretty sick kid for a while, I was diagnosed with the CHDs in 1987 at about 2 mos of age, and I had my first open heart surgery in 1988 at about a year old to repair the VSD, they placed a dacron patch over the hole, which “fixed” that defect, in 1991, at about 4 years old I had surgery to resect the subaortic stenosis. after that my heart health stabilized, and I did really well through my childhood and teenage years, and continue to do really well, with the understanding that as any other person with CHDs, just because I’m “fixed” doesnt really mean I am totally fixed, I get regular followup so we can keep an eye on things and catch anything before it becomes a real issue. . .

I’m still at risk of having issues, the scars in my heart can cause issues with arrhythmias as I found out last year resulting in the need for a radiofrequency ablation for SVTs this past March. . . and I still have a couple of valves in my heart that dont work so well, that will eventually need to be fixed! I was given an approximate estimate of needing surgery 5-10 years down the road a couple years ago I’m determined not to let it get in the way of life in the mean time! Yesterday my adult congenital cardiologist cleared me for 2 years, I’m hoping the only reminder I have of these issues between now and 2011 is my zipper (sternotomy scars from my open heart surgeries)

Besides my cardiac issues in 2006 I had laparoscopic surgery for acid reflux, that I believe stems from when I was sick as a baby, this went really well, before the surgery I was on tons of meds and vomiting almost every day, and since the surgery I have not had any symptoms of acid reflux, and have been completely off all meds for acid reflux, WOO HOO!!! gotta love that!!! at this point I have basically forgotten about the whole thing, which is awesome!!!

More recently I have been diagnosed with asthma, I have had symptoms for at least the last 10 years that were chalked up to my heart, within the last 5 or 6 years I noticed that when I got colds they would settle in my chest, and last for a long time after some trial and error over the last 3 or 4 years things have settled out and I have finally been diagnosed by my new asthma doc with moderate persistant asthma, and set up with an asthma action plan,
my action plan:

green: PF 400 or better, no symptoms, symbicort 160/4.5 2 puffs twice a day, singulair, and xopenex inhaler or neb as needed, and pre exercise

yellow: PF 250-400, any symptoms, symbicort 2 puffs twice a day, singulair, xopenex inhaler or neb every 4 hours, and either pulmicort flexhaler 180 mcg 2 puffs four times a day, or pulmicort neb 1 mg twice a day

red: PF less than 250, worsening or same symptoms after 24 hrs of yellow zone, add 60 mg prednisone daily for 5 days and call MD, go to the ER if need be

right now things are pretty stable with my asthma, I end up using my inhaler usually about a couple times a week or less, and I feel pretty good, I have recently been in my yellow zone a couple weeks ago, but other than that life is good

Wow! thats a long post, as intimidating as this all sounds its really not all that big a deal, and it doesnt really make that big of an appearance in my day to day life. . .
tomorrow~ish I’ll write a post on how big an impact all this really has on my day to day life. . .


One Response to “OK, Lets Clarify a Few Things”

  1. kerri said

    Just took another look at this post. Explains your username! Clever!

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