New member, getting patched up next week

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/14/2008 5:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Guys. Was referred to this site by a MD. Lot of good info I read before posting. I am scheduled for the PFO closure next Friday. Supposed to go in at 0700, procedure at 0830, and out sometime around noon. Seems quicker than some here experienced?

Anyway, I got to this point somewhat differently than most here. Am a scuba diver, and six years ago had a post dive episode of severe (like could not even crawl) vertigo. Decompression sickness (DCI), nitrogen bubbles getting into the bloodstream, can cause this, but I had no other symptoms of DCI. Vertigo went away after a week or so and no cause was found at the time, even with a MRI (more on that later) called for by an ENT looking for vestibular issues. Went back to diving, and with the exception of a couple transient bouts of dizziness, all seemed well. Then last April, same thing happened, less vertigo this time, but the hearing on the right side shut down. Thought it was barotrauma, so back to an ENT here on Oahu. No solution to the hearing, still deaf in the right ear, but another MRI looking for a tumor as the cause showed up a couple "occlusions". Off to a neurologist that specializes in strokes with my old MRI film just in case. He immediately tells me I had a small stroke, and that the MRI from six years ago showed that as well! He could not believe there was no followup back then.

Lots of fun testing followed, ending up with the TEE that confirmed I had a PFO and on to a cardiologist. He did not bother suggesting the blood thinner routine and "wait and see", but went straight to recommending getting the hole fixed if I wanted to continue an active life. Did not recommend anyone on the island, but a visiting pediatric cardiologist that comes over for cardiac surgery several times a year. Luckily that is next week so I did not have a long wait. Unbelievably, insurance coverage is not a problem.

Seems everyone has a different recovery experience. Not looking forward to that, and hate to give up weight lifting for a month or more (you lose strength fast and have to work back up to it) and no diving for six months. Oh well, got to get this done with. Will let the forum know how it goes next week.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 11/14/2008 7:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Good Luck On Friday Kekoa!
Nice that you dont have a Long wait & get get it over with.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 11/15/2008 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Kekoa, and welcome to the forum!
I hope all goes well for you on Friday and that you have a speedy recovery.
The reason why your PFO procedure was approved without any problems is because you have already suffered a stroke.  It's when people haven't had a stroke that they may have issues here in the US (not in other countries from what I have read).
There are a couple of other scuba divers that have recently posted here.  I don't know if you have read their posts.  I think the thread is called, "After 2 bubble echo's my large PFO..." and was started by s2k.
Take care and I hope you will keep us posted.

Michael's Wife
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 150
   Posted 11/23/2008 5:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Kekoa. I had a similar experience on a recent dive. I did realize the next day that I had taken a 'undeserved hit' and had 5 chamber treatments beginning that day. I've been referred for a TEE that's scheduled for Tuesday. As I get migraines with aura, sometimes after diving, I've suspected a PFO for awhile now. If it turns out that I have a PFO, I'm hoping my insurance will cover closure. I've had some DCS symptoms over the 20+ years I've been diving, but the recent episode was clearly the worst.

Hope everything is going smoothly for you and you're back in the water soon.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 11/23/2008 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
.A Warm Welcome to HW and I see that you have met
or gotten some great input from the wonderful members here already

Just wanting to add my prayers for your surgery and welcome to you
The ppl here are very helpful and caring......supportive

 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/24/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
good luck with the closure. It wasnt that bad at all :) my only issue has been with the plavix. Let us know how it goes.
I only stayed in the hospital over night.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 113
   Posted 11/28/2008 11:09 AM (GMT -6)   
How is your recovery going patched? I hope all is well!

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