PFO Closure Recovering

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buffalogirl18
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/24/2008 7:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello PFO people! My name is Amy, I am 34, I just had my PFO closed 1 week ago today.  It was 10mm, the closure device was 20mm, about the size of a quarter. The doctor used the Gore-Helex closure device. It was done under general anastesia. I had two TIA episodes in Oct-Nov 07, went to a neurologist, they did transcranial doppler, bubble study, cardiac MRi, that is when they found the PFO.  I had a significant right to left shunt. I have suffered from chronic migraines since I was a teen. I am currently taking Topamax and Plavix.  Doctors are keeping me on both post op as well for at least six months.  I have two unique issues with the PFO closure: 1. I am allergic to nickel. *anyone else out there? i cannot where any jewelry unless it is gold or silver or I break out in a serious rash, that is why doctor chose the Gore-helex device over others on the market, because it has much less of the nitinol, and it is supposed to be safer, we shall see. 2. through many blood tests I was shown to be genetically resistant to both aspirin and plavix, which means my body does not absorb it properly. *anyone else out there? I am currently taking 1000mg of vitamin C per day along with my Plavix to help me absorb the Plavix, but I still do not get the full health benefit of it, but the only other option I have is Coumadin, but my neuro and cardio will not even consider Coumadin due to my serious history with migraines, and the difficulty in regulating it. So, here I sit, 1 week post op.  I thought that 7 days would be the magic number, and I would just feel like a new person, but I still tire easily, I still have little dizzy spells, my heart still does funny things some times - my head gets heavy once in a while, and I have little flutters, palpatations, I have this feeling like a chicken bone is stuck in my chest, I get a feeling of warmth/heat in my chest a lot, is this all normal? Should I call the doctor?  Will he think I am crazy? I go back for my next check up and Echo on 4/11, do I wait that long to feel better? Help! He told me I could get back on the treadmill today, and start back on light to moderate weight/resistance training and housework in 3-4 weeks, but I am really nervous, I am afraid to even drive a car yet, I still get little dizzy spells. Anyone out there to help?

buffalogirl18
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 3/27/2008 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello! It is me, Amy, and I am on day 11 of recovery...I see that some people have looked at my post, but none have replied, so I thought I would give an update on how I am feeling, incase anyone out there is wondering...I am feeling MUCH better, although I still have that "chicken bone" stuck in my chest, I think a better way to describe it is like that sensation you get when you swallow a really large pill, and it gets stuck half way down your throat, only it is in the left side of my chest, in my heart!  Anyhow, my energy level is much improved, I am driving by myself, running errands, able to walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill at a decent pace, and I am doing most of my regular daily activities with little effort.  It will still be 3 weeks before I can carry a laundry basket or heavy groceries, but other than that I am feeling pretty good now!  I still can't seem to find a really comfortable sleeping position though, I toss and turn all night, and usually end up flat on my back most of the time.  But, I have come a long way from where I was just a few days ago, and I am sure by the time I see my doctor on April 11th, I will be over these last few symptoms as well!  All in all, I think having the closure was well worth this week or two of scary stuff, especially if it means not ever risking a stroke again! ~Amy~

VN2000
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 4/11/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Amy,
How did your appointment go? Mine is on April 29 and I am hoping all goes well. It's just a scary feeling coz' any weird sensation makes me feel I'm getting a stroke again.
Please update me on your appointment.
Thanks and Take Care of yourself.
 

buffalogirl18
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 4/11/2008 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, well, I am still in the middle of testing right now.  I dropped off my holter monitor today.  I spoke to my doctor this morning, he does not seem too concerned, but I think they act that way because they do not want the patient to be any more stressed than they already are on their own, don't you think? So, for now I am in limbo.  I still have more appointments next week, my neuro and my cardio doctors really aren't saying much at this point.  They think I am having PVC issues, where my ventricles are sending out an extra beat, I am getting thumping and low pounding episodes.  At this point I haven't been told yet if they expect it to go away with time, if it will require medication, or a procedure. I know what you mean, ever since my stroke, and my 3 TIA's, I am very in-tuned to my body, and very sensitive to any changes, so it scares me.  And, this is all still very new to me, this all just happened to me only within the past 6 months.  And, let's face it, a heart isn't an easy thing to fix, or replace. Thanks, and you take care of yourself as well,  best of luck at your appointment too, I know the waiting is the hardest part. :) ~

PFOgirl24
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/29/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
I know it gets really nerve wrecking when something is going on that nobody can figure out. I actually had my closure 2/8/07 & have still been having some issues. I actually get stabbing pains in my heart, & tingling in my right arm all of the time. I have had heart echos & MRI's and everything looks normal. So i guess i just have to take more tests. Also have metal allergies, so my Dr. used an implant that haas less metal( i guess it's ok). How long do you have to take the Plavix? I only had to take it for 6mos, then 81mg Aspirin after that. I would try EVERYTHING i could before using Coumadin. I had really bad reactions to it.
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