Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Matter of the Aortic Valve

As I've mentioned on here before, I went to the annual Turner Syndrome Society of the US conference three weeks ago. It was really an amazing time. Such a great community, and being surrounded my medical professionals who are so caring and knowledgeable about Turner Syndrome. There were professionals speaking over the 3 days. And on the last night, we had a dance party. It was such a blast to have fun, dance and laugh with these girls and ladies that have so much in common.

At the conference, there was a cardiologist who was giving free echocardiograms. This cardiologist had also given a talk about the heart and having Turner Syndrome. I was very impressed. He even had his own staff with him to help with the echocardiograms over the conference. I have an abnormality of my heart where one of my valves is bicuspid, when in actuality it should be tricuspid. And I've never had any problem with it whatsoever. I've had several echocardiograms because of it, but it's only been to monitor it. Anyway, they said that unless there was anything pressing or needing attention, the doctor would get back to us at a later time with our results. On the last day of the conference, literally 30 minutes before I need to take the shuttle to the airport & still have breakfast, the people at the registration table told me the doctor wanted to see me. "Great", I thought. His concerns were that my aortic valve is enlarged. The echocardiogram was very unclear though, so he wanted me to see a cardiologist to follow-up, and get an MRI for a clearer picture. On of the concerns of having an enlarged aorta is that a tearing of on of the layers of muscles can occur. If it occurs, it can be life threatening. So, he referred me to someone at UCLA Medical Center. I've very thankful for this. The two doctors talked to each other. I don't have an appointment until next month, but I will have an MRI done before then.

It was really weird to get this information right before I was ready to leave on a few hour airplane flight. At one point I thought to myself, "what if my aorta is really enlarged and I have a tear in the muscle? And I'm way up in the sky!". But, God also comforted me and reminded me of all the things that the same doctor talked about in his presentation about this condition. Also, even though I haven't had an echocardiogram in a few years, it's never been of a concern. For all I know I may not actually have an enlarged aorta. The extremely cool thing is that I have been prayerful about it, and other people have as well on my behalf. If you could be praying for me too, I'd appreciate it. Let's see if God can continue to protect me and care for me, and show through the MRI that my heart is in tip-top shape!

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