My Heart

(Below is an excerpt from a confusing time in my life, written by myself, during the semester at Valpo in Spring of 2015.)

[Pulmonary Valve Regurgitation: blood flowing back into the heart before it goes to the lungs to get oxygen…caused by Pulmonary Hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries)…caused my blood vessels to thicken…hearing a murmur…may need a new pulmonary valve (surgery)]

I transferred from USI to Valpo. I visited the Health Center on campus here at Valpo to get a new physical, as I was changing universities. Everything went as usual until the nurse practitioner told me she may have heard a heart murmur. I was in disbelief because I’ve been healthy and heart-strong all my life, being an endurance athlete. She said I would need to get it checked out.

The next week, I went to a clinic on LaPorte Ave., close to campus. I got an EKG done by one doctor and another reviewed my results. He (the second doctor) noted my EKG (electrocardiogram) results were good, except for a little hitch in my heartbeat waves. He also noted that I had high blood pressure for a young, healthy, athlete, with no family history of this. I was referred to Dr. Shah, at a Med. Center on Roosevelt Rd.

Two weeks later, I did see the young Dr. Shah. He was outstanding. He talked to me about my heart and answered all of my questions. I felt comfortable around him. He seemed the most knowledgable of any of my doctors whom I’d seen so far. He checked my murmur and blood pressure. Each had gotten a little worse over the two weeks. He scheduled me for an ECO (echocardiogram), where they would rub gel in different places on my bare chest and get all different 3-D views of my heart on a screen. This was to be done in two more weeks.

Today, Feb 10, I got my ECO done by a lady doctor. She said my heart was easy to read on the screen because I am fit. However, after the results were sent to Dr. Shah, he concluded this: my pulmonary valves are abnormally thick and have a moderate leakage of blood out of them. They are located on the dorsal side of my heart and lead to my lungs. My result? I will have to go in at a later date and get a TEE test done along with some blood work, in two separate appointments. I will be put to sleep and doctors will stick a camera down my throat and esophagus to get a better view of the dorsal side of my heart, my pulmonary valves. I was born with this. I’ve been active and fit all my life.

This worries me.


Published by Nick Arndt

Runner of dirt, rocks, and pavement. Live/work/train in the Adirondack Mountains.

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