Valve Replacements

By larae1981 Latest Reply 2011-08-18 23:45:09 -0500
Started 2011-08-18 22:59:58 -0500

It's been over a year since I had my open heart surgery. I had my aortic valve replaced. I was born with a bad heart. I'm kind of scared, I am still having some problems. Some of the same problems that I had before the surgery. The shortness of breath, the chest pain, and the like. I don't have medical coverage till the first of the year, so I'm stuck. If I do go to the ER they basically tell me that I'm crazy, or that there is nothing wrong with my heart. I know there is, but noone else seems to care. What should I do?

Tags: surgeries

1 reply

HeartHawk 2011-08-18 23:45:09 -0500 Report


You are in that same "in between" position I was once in - pretty sure something was wrong but unable to get anyone to listen or, when they did, medically prove something was wrong.

In reality, Both I and my docs were right. I did have heart disease and, like you, I finally found the right docs and tests to prove it. If you have had heart surgery it is a safe bet you have been looked over pretty thoroughly but things can be missed.

The other side of the coin is anxiety. Let me tell you, with anxiety what you feel is real although is not likely cardiac related. But, how do you tell the difference between cardiac symptoms and anxiety symptoms? It is not easy but here are some simple straightforward suggestions.

  1. Get a stress test, preferably a nuclear stress test. Short of an angiogram, this is the best way to diagnose acute heart problems of the kind that would cause shortness of breath and chest pain. If nothing is found, then anxiety may be the culprit.

  2. Ask for a Holter Monitor. This is a 24-hr, portable EKG you wear home. This can detect arrhythmias that might not show up in a doctor's office and is another potential source of the symptoms you mention.

  3. Seek some anxiety therapy. It's what I did. After showing up at any number of emergency rooms and after all the tests that showed nothing more wrong with my I had to consider the possibility of anxiety. I always chide people for not treating their brain like their heart. It is just another organ and it can be treated.

By all means look for physical problems but don't forget the brain! Find a doc who will be honest with you about whether anxiety could be part of the problem. I found out when the doc at the ER treated me with an anti-anxiety medication and the problem went away. Anxiety can be treated and, if it proves to be part of the problem, you will glad you did.


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