Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fragile Hearts

As a romance writer, I know how fragilme a heart can be. They're broken at least once or twice a chapter, and only mended when the hero and heroine are together at last.
Unfortunately, in real life, the heart is fragile as well. My husband has to have a valve replacement. He's lived with a faulty valve all his life, actually. Born with a severe heart murmur, the doctors said he should avoid strenuous activities, and they told him he'd never be an athlete.
Well, never say never to my husband. He (typical bull-headed Taurus) decided he'd play polo, no matter what. And he did. He and his brother were the best polo players in France, and among the top five players in Europe. But the strain took its toll, and his aortic valve, never very strong, began to fail. The first signs were fatigue and snappishness. Totally unlike him. Then he fainted. An electrocardiogram turned up nothing, but he still felt awful, and when, finally, his doctor put a stethescope against his chest, he knew something was very wrong. (Sometimes a simple examination beats a high-tech exam!)
He's in the hospital now, waiting for his operation ( Scheduled for Monday). He hates being sick. He's always been incredibly healthy. Never cold, never ill, never complaining ( ladies, if you like the strong silent type, find yourselves a Taurus man!).
But he'll be fine after the operation, and he'll finally have a heart valve that works 100%, instead of just half that. He's looking forward to feeling better than ever. I'm looking forward to having my husband back home!

For information on hearts, I went to the American Heart Association website, and the British Heart assocation website had pdf files you can download and read like booklets explaining the different pathologies. Nothing beats talking to your own doctor though, and the wesbite couldn't pat me on the shoulder and tell me my husband will be feeling better than he's ever felt in a matter of weeks.


Oopsy Daisy said...

OMG! Sam I am so sorry. Thank God they caught it in time though. I especially feel for your family because I have aortic stenosis too and will need the same operation at some point in my life. I am at the moderate stage now and they want to wait until it gets to the severe stage for some weird reason. Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you, your hubby and your entire family. He will be fine. Although this is scary to you, this is a routine operation almost and he will make it through just fine. Update us when you can.

Rosie said...

Oh my goodness Sam! I so very glad the doctors figured out what was wrong and that you are getting it fixed.

I'm sending good thoughts and prayers too. Keep us posted when you get a chance.

Bernita said...

I profoundly sympathize.
My husband had a quadrouple by-pass several years ago.
Wonderful how heart surgery - and diagnosis - has advanced in just a couple of decades.
But it's anxious times just the same.

Charles Gramlich said...

My thoughts are with you, and your husband. My father was born with a similar problem, but lived long before the modern day of heart surgery. Today they probably could have fixed his problem.

Wynn Bexton said...

They do such amazing things with hearts. Good he's getting it taken care of, and I hope all goes well and he's home again soon.

Gabriele C. said...

My best wishes to both of you.

John Nez said...

My hopes & prayers are with your husband for a full recovery! That all sounds so scary... but then I'm a total medical chicken of the first order.

Just two weeks ago I had my own little medical mishap... a TIA micro-stroke. It was a very scary experience... with a rushed trip in the ambulance to the hospital. I came home the same day, but it was terrifying all the same, since there's a family history of stroke, that I live with like the sword of Damocles over my head. For a while there I couldn't even remember the name of the President! Imagine that!

The MRI cat-scan was equally terrifying for a medical chicken... locked up like a mummy for 1/2 hour with earplugs and deafening noises... not being able to move anything.

But hopefully things will recover to normal. At least I'll be on a fear-enforced diet now... down to my original high school weight before long. Great motivation to lose those 15 pounds.

Anyhow, I trust & hope your husband's operation went well and that he will be getting lots of rest & relaxation. LIfe is so short and it's so easy to lose track of the important things...