Hi all and especially Karen,
For some reason, I've not received alerts when messages are posted. Just decided to log on today.
Karen, I am glad to know when your son is having his surgery. I will be praying for him, your family and the medical team. I feel that things will go well, but I know that mothers can't help but worry.
I am doing very well. Now 10 weeks out. I'm afraid to make this statement because I'm afraid I'll jinx myself, but my headaches are essentially gone. That alone makes me feel like a new person. My energy level and stamina continues to improve. And I know that most people will think I'm crazy for saying this, but I'm finally beginning to gain some weight. I am petite so my weight has always been fairly low. But during the summer of 2006, I had acute gallbladder inflammation and low grade pancreatitis during which I lost 15 lbs by the time I was able to have my surgery. I lost down to 103 lbs (I'm 5'3") and simply could not put it back on. When I was younger, 103 wasn't bad, but as my grandmother always said, when "you get older you need some flesh to fill in the wrinkles". This past year, I always looked gaunt and sickly--way too skinny. Since my PFO closure I have gained 7 lbs--now weighing 110lbs. I think it has become very obvious that I was in desperate need of having it diagnosed and closed. (now I may have to start worrying that I won't quit gaining since I've gained 7 lbs in 10 weeks).
I will just be so glad when I can stop the plavix. I have black and blue places all over me. Just a small bump results in bad bruising. But, hey, such a small price to pay.
I agree with those that say to remember that people on this site are more likely to have problems. In my case, I had googled post PFO care and found this forum. I am one of those that has to read everything I can about things. In my case, I really have done very well and had very few symptoms. The PFO closure has truly made a "new" person out of me. I am so very thankful. But, the main thing I would do if I was having doubts would be to talk to my physician (I think you refer to them as Consultants) and be very open and honest with him about my feelings and ask him to answer or address any concerns or fears I had. (actually I did do that. My poor physician probably was glad to see my pre-op visit end, I had asked him so many questions.)
Oh, one thing I did notice was that most of you had TEEs. I did not have a TEE and my physician doesn't plan to do one. I was diagnosed with a "bubble echo" which is specific for diagnosing circulation patterns in the heart. During the procedure, my Dr. used what is called ICE (intracardiac Echo) which is a tiny echo probe on the end of a catheter that is threaded though the groin vein directly into the heart and stays in for the entire procedure. It is used in place of TEE. I wonder if that is why I'm not having the chest pain and "feeling of chicken bone in my chest" that most of you have. When I return for my 4 month check-up, the doctor will evaluate my PFO closure with the bubble echo. He expects that tissue will have completely grown over the device by then and hopefully I will be able to stop the plavix.
Have a great week.