Posted 8/14/2009 12:32 AM (GMT -7)
I am glad to see the PFO thread is still going, albeit in slightly different format. I want to reassure all of you that most PFO closures are successful. Some people have some trouble during the recovery phase, but most go on to lead normal lives again, as they did prior to symptoms and complications from their PFOs. Remember, that it is the heart we are dealing with, a central organ in the function of your body and hence your survival. Having a tooth pulled takes a few days to heal, now imagine implanting something in your heart, one of the most important organs in your body!
I think many of the people that have posted in the past and continue posting are people who had symptoms and side effects that their doctors had not mentioned to them. Now, 3 years later, most doctors mention at least some of the side effects many of the patients have reported here. I think this was partly due to PFO closures being new technology and science.
I am living proof that this procedure is amazing and will in most instances give you back your quality of life and may very well save your life. I was very sick leading up to the procedure - I won't bore you with the details because I have posted them extensively on the "PFO - open heart or transcatherer 1, 2 and 3" threads. I had a mini stroke (possible small stroke) and my heart was starting to fail by the time I had the procedure done and found super doctors who listened to me and my symptoms. Therefore, the road to recovery was slow for me. But, I am 9 months post-op and feel better than ever. Yesterday I celebrated by 41st birthday and I felt so grateful to still be alive and healthy again!
It is a tough decision that you are making, whether to have your PFO closed or not. You are not choosing between pasta or hamburgers for dinner. It is a decision that could potentially save your life, but is not without complications. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that many of us have had to make that decision and it has been one of the toughest ones in our lives. Most of us have gone on to lead normal, healthy, active lives again. This is when many of us stop posting because we are too busy being "normal" again. I have not posted in over a month because I have been too busy exercising again, taking my son to a pre-college course, then picking him up and taking the opportunity to take a vacation while I was up in the New England states, then getting ready for his surgery (he has a rare, non life-threatening disease that requires surgery on his vocal cords every so often) and then finally celebrating my birthday on August 13th.
I have always been grateful for everyday that I am on this earth, even before this life changing event, but now even more than ever. Life is so beautiful and the challenging times are what make it all worth it because they make us better people at the end of the day and they make us enjoy all the pleasurable, happy moments that much more, no matter how small.
I apologize for being so wordy, but I wanted to give all of the newcomers to this forum some words of encouragement. This site truly helped me keep my sanity during one of the most difficult periods in my life, and I am just merely paying it forward. There is hope and a wonderful life after this trying ordeal that you are all going through.
I wish everyone much wisdom and luck in making your decisions.
With deep respect,