(Revised/Updated on August 11, 2020)
Yes, heart patient.
When you become older, it slowly becomes clearer to you.
After the various checkups, you hear more and you know more.
You also hear that considering your age, people don’t want to do much.
So every year or every two years, a checkup.
Until the year 2005.
I was then unemployed and had just had another checkup.
I was on my way to an interview when the cardiologist called.
During the checkup, they saw that the leak had become “bigger” and that the aorta had also become wider.
A bit of a circle that you were caught in.
The heart must work harder.
As a result, the aorta becomes wider and the valve starts to leak more.
So the heart has to work even harder.
The risk was now that the aorta could rupture, with all its consequences.
The advice was to replace the heart valve and a part of the aorta.
In the days and weeks thereafter, I received more information and advice.
The heart valve must be replaced.
An artificial valve or a biological valve.
Both have advantages and disadvantages.
The artificial valve can last a lifetime.
But then you are stuck with a lifetime of medication, every day. (Blood Thinners)
The biological valve.
Is good for 5 to 6 years. (Back then)
But this valve is only given to athletes and the elderly.
I don’t do any sports and wasn’t old enough.
So the artificial valve had become the option.
So July – August 2005 I had my open heart surgery and an artificial valve was placed.
This did not go without a struggle.
A lung had been hit during the operation.
They called this a blow or a collapsed lung.
But luckily I recovered from this and the rest went well.
Yes, then you have an artificial valve.
And only then could I call myself (for myself) a heart patient.
Every day you have to take blood thinners.
And every few weeks, you need to check the thickness of your blood.
Also, I got medication to lower blood pressure.
And yes, you also slowly learn to live with this.