Heart Surgery

I had been diagnosed with a heart murmur back in 2005 at which time the
cardiologist said it was unremarkable and that I just needed antibiotics prior
to dental work. Two years ago I had a second ultrasound of my heart and no red
flags were raised.

Back in February I was in my doctors office getting examined for pneumonia.
During my checkout my doctor mentions that my heart murmur is louder then it
should be. It’s been a couple years since my last visit to the cardiologist so
he thought it was time to schedule an appointment.

One month later I’m at the cardiologist and they want to do another ultrasound.
My heart murmur does sound louder to him as well. He thinks there is a 90%
chance he’ll want me to see a heart surgeon after my ultrasound, just to see
what he thinks.

I’m completely caught off guard when the surgeon says that I won’t be able to
get my pre-op scans until two weeks after I’ve recovered from my second bout of
pneumonia.

Scans and appointments behind me, my surgery is scheduled for May 14th at UW
Hospital. The surgeon says there is an 80% chance they will be able to repair
my mitral valve and if they can’t it will be replaced with an artificial valve.

My boss is awesome and told me I don’t need to worry about anything with my job.
He just wants me back as soon as I can. Fortunately since I’m a software
developer working at home, I should be back to some degree pretty quickly.

I’m certainly freaked out, but it’s not like I can opt-out. The alternative to
getting my heart fixed is not a pretty picture. All I can do is prepare for the
worst and hope for the best.

UPDATE: I survived my surgery. They did not need to replace my valve, they just
repaired it. I’ve since gone through the recovery process and am back to
normal.

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Author: Andrew Shell

Madison, WI developer, Co-Founder and CTO of Pinpoint Software, founder of Madison PHP.

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