After 14 years of watchful waiting, four years after a mitral balloon valvuloplasty, I could no longer hit my golf ball and walk to it without becoming breathless. A stress echo showed it was time to replace my diseased and leaking mitral valve.  There was no doubt in my mind that I would have an artificial valve. The ON-X valve came highly recommended by my cardiac surgeon who is known for his "magic fingers." My choice for surgeon and valve were made on the fact that I wanted a minimally invasive surgery which would get me back to work quickly. Unfortunately, my recovery was fairly eventful complicated by very low blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, a large pleural effusion, pneumonia and multiple hospitalizations.  At the ten week mark, I returned to work half time and 12 weeks after surgery returned full time.  What I did not anticipate is that my memory would be affected; getting better now.  And my hair would fall out; growing back in now.

It has now been 175 days and I FEEL GREAT! While not able to get outside to walk due to the snowiest winter in a long time, I take the stairs in the building where I work. I have more energy, am much less short of breath, have my own INR machine and a physician to manage my levels. I've lost 20 pounds because now I can breathe and move at the same time! I am so looking forward to the spring when I anticipate that I will be able to carry my golf clubs again, walk to my ball and breathe all the while!


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