I have an artificial aortic & mitral valves. I had these valves implanted when I was 24 years old. I am 56 years old now & I have been married for 27 years. A person can live a very normal life but needs to have an understanding & loving mate.
I am replying to the email that you sent me which was in my inbox in MedHelp. I had my first 2 OHS (Open Heart Surgeries) in 1975 in Houston to replace the aortic & mitral valves. The surgeon was performed by the world renowned, Dr. Denton Cooley, my hero! I was 24 years old at the time of the surgery & I have lived a full & normal life for 31 years with these valves. Last year, March/2006, I had to have a 3rd OHS to re-replace the aortic valve because it was failing. Dr. Reul in Houston implanted a St. Jude valve. When he replaced the aortic valve, the 31-year old mitral valve appeared to be working adequately enough, so he opted to leave well enough alone & did not replace it. So now I have a brand new valve & an old valve in my heart! Weird huh?!
This past June however, I started experiencing CHF (congestive heart failure) again & I went back to Houston & the doctors were prepared to do surgery to replace the mitral valve. I refused because I was told that it would be a very high-risk surgery due to the amount of scar tissue involved from my previous surgeries. Therefore, they increase my Lasix & adjusted the other medications & kept me under observation for 2-weeks in the hospital. I came home & I continue to feel fine. I do have to follow a low-sodium diet, watch my fluid intake & keep on top of my INR readings (due to coumadin - blood thinner).
All this said & done, I have been married for 27 years & I have lived a full & active life all these years & continue to do so today. I love life & appreciate every single day the Lord gives me. Please email me at: ***@**** if you wish. Take care & best of luck!
You may want to create a profile so that other posters can contact you, or respond directly to your specific questions.
Hope njean's story reassures you that "valvers" can lead very happy and productive lives for many, many years.
I work with a fellow that had two valves replaced. His wife smiles alot. So I guess it can be a good thing.