New here, upcoming ASD repair

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Mindbottling
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/4/2010 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I'm just writing to introduce myself to this forum and see if anyone has any words of wisdom for me.
 
I learned recently that I have an ASD measuring about 1 cm.  It was detected during a routine visit when my GP heard a heart murmur.  It was confirmed by Echo and TEE (I could see bubbles rushing to my brain on the ultrasound!).  I'm surprised that it took 34 years of my life to get it diagnosed.  I've fortunately never suffered a stroke, but I'm wondering if my mody might have been kinder to me if I'd gotten this taken care of sooner.  I know its not helpful to wonder "what if?" but you know, I wonder...
 
I've lost a bunch of weight over the past 14 months (87 pounds!).  I'm still about 25 pounds away from my goal weight, but I suspect that having less of me maybe made it easier to hear the murmer?  Anyhow, now that I know that it's here, I want it fixed.  I've been working really hard to increase my fitness over the past year, and I hope that this repair may give me a little bonus fitness after my recovery period.
 
I'm working on getting scheduled for closure by a catheter device later this month.  My cardiologist and I are planning on getting the Helex device because I'm allergic to nickel.  I'm really nervous that my body may react to the Helex device as well though because the wires still contain small amounts of nickel, and I'd really like to avoid that kind of reaction happening inside my heart.  Does anyone here have experience dealing with this?
 
The other complication that my body has thrown at me is that I'm sensitive to aspirin.  I'm not exactly allergic, but I do have an autoimmune disorder that basically causes me to have an allergic reaction to whatever kind of stimulation.  My body produced a histamine response to whatever it feels like, whenever it feels like.  This creates systemic hives, and it's not very comfortable.  It's currently in remission and I would like it to stay there.  The reason I bring this up is because it is aggravated by aspirin, and my cardiologist and I are looking into alternatives to be used as blood thinners.
 
To sum up, I'm quite terrified of this whole ordeal, but hopeful that I'll have new energy, migraine relief, and peace of mind.  In the meantime, I'm pretty much driving everyone around me crazy with all of my anxiety.  I make it a practice to avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary, I guess this is necessary.
 
Any words of advice, wisdom, or thoughts that might soothe my anxiety are welcome.

jo1972uk
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 5/5/2010 2:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi sorry i,m new to this forum whats an ASD?,, i also have a heart murmour and had echo but they never found anything else,,, hope ur ok xjo
hi i,m female age 37, stopped smoking 8 yrs ago, was diagnosed colitis i think 2008 ony ever had it under control once and flared up again 4 weeks ago (april 2010) trying to get it back under control,,, had 2 colonoscopy's and they want me to have another, i am  waiting on appointment (may 2010)
medication : pentasa 2 tabs twice a day and mesalazine enema once daily


Mindbottling
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/5/2010 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
ASD is Atrial Septal Defect. It's a hole between the upper chambers of the heart. I think heart murmurs, from what I've heard, can be harmless, but they can also be indicators of something else which is why they do the echo.

Post Edited (Mindbottling) : 5/5/2010 12:34:25 PM (GMT-6)


jo1972uk
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 74
   Posted 5/5/2010 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   
arr i seee, thanks for replying,, hope ur feeling well,, yeah i hear heart murmurs can be harmless,,, i hope everything goes ok for you. keep us posted x
hi i,m female age 37, stopped smoking 8 yrs ago, was diagnosed colitis i think 2008 ony ever had it under control once and flared up again 4 weeks ago (april 2010) trying to get it back under control,,, had 2 colonoscopy's and they want me to have another, i am  waiting on appointment (may 2010)
medication : pentasa 2 tabs twice a day and mesalazine enema once daily


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/6/2010 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Mindbottling

Good Morning and Welcome to HealingWell.
Please know coming here is a wonderful and courageous step. You are voicing your fears so you know what they are.

You seem to understand what your facing but just to remind you, an important step in dealing with surgical anxiety is to become as well informed as possible regarding the illness, prescribed therapies, and surgical treatment. Having a complete understanding of the procedure, why it is indicated, and how it is performed can relieve a great deal of worry. An understanding of anesthesia and the low risks of having anesthesia may also help with concerns about surgery.

Something as simple as reading a book during the preoperative phase can alleviate anxiety by taking your mind off of what is about to happen. Relaxing music can have the same effect. If you have a normal stress reduction routine, such as meditation, exercise, using deep breathing exercises for every day stress, it should help with surgical anxiety.

If anxiety persists, even with a full understanding of what is realistic during and after the procedure, counseling may be an option.

We also have a great Anxiety Forum if you would like to post there asking for the support and help of the members of that forum. I know you would be welcomed.

Kind regards,

Kitt

Mindbottling
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/19/2010 8:55 AM (GMT -7)   
My ASD closure is scheduled for next week. I found that knowing when it will happen, and that it will happen, relieved some of my anxiety. I feel that I'm in the care of a really competent cardiologist who answers all of my questions and even gave me his email address so that I can ask more questions as they come up.

Though he tells me it's a simple procedure, It's still the most significant medial procedure I've ever undergone. My mom is coming to stay with me for a few days to help out with things like cooking and walking my dogs. My cardiologist tells me that I should lay low for a couple of days, but that I can get back to my cardio and strength training routine within a couple of weeks. Does anyone know how accurate this is?

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/19/2010 3:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Mindbottling


I am glad you have your date. Also it sounds like you have a great Cardiologist and that he has been very upfront with you re your procedure. Remember each person is different and if your recovery takes a bit longer it may be just fine. Keep the time frame for healing flexible.



So glad to know your Mom is coming to help out.



I will be keeping you in my thoughts.



Kitt

Mindbottling
New Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/8/2010 10:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I had the ASD closure two weeks ago.  The procedure itself went fine, although they discovered that the hole was larger than originally thought (1.6 cm versus the 1.1 they originally estimated) and there was a scary moment when we weren't sure there was a Helex device large enough for it, which would have meant they put in the other device which contains nickel.  Fortunately, the largest Helex size fit.
 
I think I had high expectations for feeling better afterwards, or even feeling the same as before the procedure.  Instead, I feel tired, my heart rate is elevated, my lymph nodes are swollen, and worst of all, my mood is awful.  I don't know of any legitimate reason why I would be in such a horrible mood, but I have been consistently grumpy and depressed since the procedure.  I guess I'm just being impatient, but I'm feeling disappionted that I feel worse than before, since I didn't really have symptoms that I was aware of prior to having my ASD diagnosed.
 
I have a follow up with my cardiologist in a couple of days and I've been communicating with him via email.  His response has been "hang in there, it will get better."  I guess I wish I had a better idea of what is "normal" recovery after something like this.

lillyb
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/27/2010 8:11 PM (GMT -7)   
All the best with your surgery and congratulations on the weight loss! I had VSD surgery aged 4 and my scars have healed beautifully. I had a wavy incision like a big W so they would be hidden as I developed!! hehe. I would love to give you some advice on how to deal with the anxiety but that would be completely hypocritical of me as I´m a total baby when it comes to hospitals and doctors but if it helps to ease your mind, the surgery was a complete success. I really hope that your recovery is fast and your life can get back to normal quickly too. I wouldn´t wish this on anyone and you are a very brave person! Hugs
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