I recently had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand. It had been been giving me trouble for a year or so – numbness at night, after-effects of hefting a camera, difficulty holding a pen for any length of time, that kind of thing. The surgery worked like a charm, and the scar is healing quickly. (I’m pretty well back in action now, and I recently picked up the camera once again for the Canadian Opera Company dress rehearsal of Madama Butterfly, a noon hour concert and group photo shoot by the COC Ensemble and several other shows – everything seems to be working fine.)
As part of the preparation, I had to have a full physical. That showed new issues in connection with a heart murmur. I was born with it, and until now it hasn’t been a problem. I’ve been blessed with a cautious doctor, though, so it was off for an electrocardiogram and ultrasound. That’s when the excitement really started.
It turns out I have aortic stenosis – a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve that can bugger up blood flow in the heart and throughout the body. According to the cardiologist, the lab results indicated a probable need for surgery within 4-6 weeks to replace the valve – ideally with an artificial one. He scheduled an angiogram for Tuesday this past week to see if I’d also need a bypass.
The results are better than either of us expected. Apparently, everything is working well, with no flow problems, despite the valve issue. I have a regular date every six months for ultrasounds from now on, but other than that, life goes on as usual. The Golden Years…
Phew. I’ll take a gelcoat every six months over a valve job any time.