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Anniversary Clinic Visit

Posted Feb 23 2009 10:14pm
My kidney numbers continue to report that all is well. Unfortunately due to genetics and family history, my heart now needs attention. I have had a loud heart murmur for years. Many echocardieograms have been done to keep an eye on the beginning of aortic stenosis. It was very mild the last time I was evaluated for my transplant so there was no concern about having to deal with the heart before the transplant. Back in November I went in for my 6 month heart check up with another echo performed. It was said that I was now looking at an aortic valve replacement alot sooner than anticipated. Since I wasn't having any symptoms, I was to closely watch and make sure I didn't run out of breath easily or wake up out of breath, have chest pains, dizziness and some other symptoms. They would follow up with me in 6 months and would eventually need to do a transesphogeal echo. This where a scope is run down your throat and they take internal pictures of the back of the heart. I was training with the SARTEC team and doing the most complicated problem to date and the greatest distance hiking. I started getting winded but I thought, "Well, this is the longest you've ever hiked." As the training exercise continued it became harder for me to catch my breath. After about 3 days my breathing returned to normal. OK, it's time to call my heart specialist. He asked me about what was going on and I explained to him the different things. Some had been happening before but I never paid attention to them. He told me he thought I had prolly had symptoms but never associated them with the heart but to the recovery of the transplant. Since UAB had done the transplant, he wished for the heart guys there to do a heart catherization and the aorta valve replacement. That way the transplant team could ensure the best care of my new kidney. When they do a heart catherization a dye is used for contrast to take pictures. This dye poses a great threat to the new kidney. In some, it can temporarily impair the kidney. In others, it wipes out the kidney completely. My transplant doctor said that I would be going into the procedure with a very healthy kidney so I had that going for me. And I said that means I have that much to lose if I'm one of the people it wipes out completely. He agreed and said he hadn't wanted to state that but had thought it. There are some precautionary measures that can help but I'm at risk because I'm a diabetic AND a transplanted kidney. I have an appt with the heart cath doctor on 3/11 and the procedure date will be determined then. Basically at this time, my aorta valve is only half the size it should be and only pumping at about 25%. The renal doctor said, "Since you're going to become a member of the zipper chest club. Let's get anything else done that needs it while they're in there, including any bypasses." Looking at the future of a transplant was a lot easier than what I'm going through now. This situation is not due to my diabetes or kidney damage. My mother apparently had this same issue but chose to never do anything about it. I don't have a choice.While this is a genetic issue, the other issues complicate it greatly. I am to remain calm and not exhert myself which means a temporary sabbitcal from Search and Rescue training. Once again my kids are faced with uncertainity about their Mom. That's what really bothers me, how will my boys be affected by yet another medical issue with Mom? God has not brought me this far to just let me go. I'm just such a big sissy when it comes to needles and pain and everything that has been explained to me is frightening.
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