Hi! My name is also Kim. I will be 40 this year. I've recently found SP and it just occured to me to look for this group. Your thread title caught my attention.
I was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse in elementary school. I was assured that this would only become a problem in my 60's. And that medical advancements might make surgery uneccesary.
My MVP was never an issue. I took antibiotics at the dentist and that was it. I married, had two children and lived my life.
At age 28 I had to have a full work up with my cardiologist before my hysterectomy. Even then I was told I'd be ok until I was in my 60's.
Fast forward --2010 I'm 37 and feeling pretty bad. My weight is too high but I have no energy or motivation. I grow weaker and more worn out. I have constant "cold" symptoms.
It honestly did not occur to me that this was related to my heart. I was going to the walk in clinic about once a month. In Nov 2010 I had an echocardiogram.
I could tell by the tech's reactions and questions that something was *off*. He explained that I DID NOT have MVP, instead it was aortic stenosis--pretty severe. and an aortic aneyurism!
My walk in clinic dr was not very helpful and I had to be very aggressive about getting to a cardiologist. But I did. By January I was meeting with a surgeon.
I *could* wait to deal with this but my symptoms would get worse pretty fast. I hoped I would be able to have a non invasive surgery. That did not happen.
Jan 24, 2011 I go in for full OPEN HEART surgery. The plan is to replace my valve with a ST. Jude artificial valve and repair the aneyurism.
It took 6-7 hours but it was "textbook perfect" according to the Dr. We expected 3 days in ICU, it was only 24 hours. I believe they thought I would be in the hospital about 10 days but I was able to leave on Friday afternoon.
So that's some background on me. Let me say that you WILL feel soo much better afterward.
All of your running and cardio will benifit you greatly. It's a BUMP, not the end of this road. It's very likely that you will start cardiac rehab within weeks of surgery. They will teach you how to build your endurance back up.
I would say that it was about six months from surgery and I was better than before.
It IS scarey, and there is pain but improves the quality of your life.
Happy to answer any questions
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