Hi, I just joined.
My thoughts and prayers are with everyone!
I had asd/pfo closure on Jan, 2009. I was a pre-olympian gymnast as a kid. I have been athletic, strong and healthy slim-muscular build. I also have athsma. I am on the west coast and had a great medical team. I had a TIA that prompted all the tests that found the asd & pfo. I had the amplatzer put in. I am fairly young, 42, and did not want a debilatating stroke risk at 52-I also have three children-now one year later are 3, 9 and 15. My 9 year old was with me when I had the TIA - she wanted me to read something before I took her to school and I couldn't read it, nor was I speaking properly and was listing a little to one side. What came out of my mouth was completely different than what was on the page even when I asked her to tell me what the first word was in the sentence. She got very very nervous of course.
It turns out I also had migranes for years. I just pushed through not complaining about the daily headache or auras. Never told a doctor about them. I had had them for so long they were just a part of my day - my Dad said I had headaches from at least late elementary school. Most likely I had other TIAs and didn't pay attention to them.
Waiting for the surgery was the hardest part. I was very fearful I would have another TIA or worse. I sat in my special chair in a sleeping bag knittig and watching tv or playing games with the kids. I did a lot of research also.
I never went under the whole 3.5 hours of surgery! I had been given clonazepam by another dr for anxiety and that raised my tolerace level to the anesthesia. At one point I too had a device in and the dr said "no, that's not going to work. Pull it out." I thought it was neat to be aware during the process. I did look at them and say "that's not going to work?" I talked too much to them during the surgery-chatting and asking questions- but the Dr said he could tell I wanted the procedure.
I took Plavix for 3 mos post op and aspirin since the noted TIA. I had a very small opening at 6 mos and surgery is considered successful.
Right away after the surgery I didn't have to worry about how I was breathing. I can run and not gasp for air. (I ran 3 mi to see in Jan 2010- I have more stamina even though I have not hardly worked out the last year and have gained weight. I feel like I could fly as I run and I am so grateful. I have been afraid to work out hard and long like I love to because of the fear of TIA /stroke. I have to get over this and work out hard at least a couple times a week. There is no reason not to according to my Dr. He did his part and I took it easy like I was supposed to but now it is time for me to work out for health too!
Also, I do not have that daily headache!!
In joy, Peony42