Aortic heart valve replacement and aorta repair on the horizon and I (John) am guessing that open heart surgery is not a bundle of laughs.
It’s a strange thing to realise that things may end sooner than you thought . Thinking about your mortality is of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; until the unexpected happens.
Anyone who has read this blog will know that Liz is a retired doctor. Just before she retired, about 8 years ago, we were watching television one evening when she put her head on my chest. ‘I think you’ve got a heart murmur’ she said.
Thus started a chain of events which led to me having a CT scan and echocardiograms every 9 to 12 months to keep an ‘eye on things’. Apparently I have bicuspid aortic valve and an aortic aneurysm.
After 8 years of monitoring things have got to the point that complex open heart surgery is going to be required. I was only told this earlier this week so it’s kind of weird to be faced with the knowledge that you need serious and risky surgery to carry on living.
To be honest I’m not looking forward to this and it’s obviously a tad scary. On the other hand I’m fortunate enough to live in a country where this surgery is routinely carried out about 7,500 times a year and is free within our wonderful National Healt Service that slime ball politicians on the right are trying to dismantle.
I have no choice; but I can write some words about the process that may help someone else in the future. So despite being the world’s worst blogger I will try and keep this updated to the end (not the best choice of words, John).
The next step is being called for another scan and some further tests so that the surgeons have a clear idea of what they are facing.
So as I get called for tests and then surgery I’ll give you a patient’s eye view of things.
Now hopefully, with the skills of those who work in the NHS and the support of Liz, I’ll come through this ok. I’m a crap writer but would urge you to read this post by a brave lady who had far fewer years than I have had.
It’s a cliche but ‘live every day as if it is your last, for one day it will be’.