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.