My Life on Earth

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Aortic Stenosis...Praise God

Little Man, Mini-Me and I were off to the cardiologist this morning. Our appointment was for 7:45am. We got there a few minutes early, they got us right back and got Little Man hooked up to the EKG machine. Then Dr. Israel moved on to the echocardiogram; basically an ultrasound of the heart.

Through both of those tests, Little Man was fabulous again, Dr. Israel was able to determine that Little Man has Aortic Stenosis. He asked if I had been told that he has a heart murmur. I said yes, when he was an infant, but that the primary doctor has not said anything about it since.

Dr. Israel said that aortic stenosis is where the value has harded, due to calcification. He said that we would need to monitor his condition yearly. Right now he has mild stenosis, he said that it would worsen and eventually we would have to do something, but for now we are going to wait. He said with aortic stenosis that it could be two to three years or two to three decades before we have to fix his heart. They wait until the blood flow is restricted to a certain point before fixing. Because of the aortic stenosis as well, if Little Man needs any dental care (cavities, surgeries, etc) and some other procedures he will need to be on antibiotics before hand, because he will be more suceptible to heart infections.

I pulled some additional information about aortic valve stenosis from online.

Aortic valve stenosis — or aortic stenosis — is a condition in which the heart's aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, obstructing blood flow from your heart into your aorta and onward to the rest of your body. This condition usually results in an abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) that your doctor can hear with a stethoscope.

When your aortic valve is obstructed, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your body. Eventually, your heart muscle becomes thicker because it has to pump harder due to the obstruction. In addition, your heart can pump only a limited amount of blood - and eventually can't provide the increase in blood flow you need for activities, such as exercise.

Several factors, including aging, can damage the aortic valve and lead to aortic valve stenosis. Some babies are born with a defective aortic valve.

If you have severe aortic valve stenosis, you may need surgery to replace the valve. Left untreated, aortic valve stenosis can lead to serious heart problems.

Aortic valve stenosis ranges from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms typically develop when narrowing of the valve is severe and can include:

Chest pain (angina) or tightness
Feeling faint or fainting with exertion
Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
Shortness of breath, especially with exertion
Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
Heart murmur

Depending on the amount of narrowing, an infant or child with aortic valve stenosis may have no symptoms, may tire easily or may have chest pain with vigorous physical activity.

Praise God, I believe we have our answer. I also read on one site that migraine headache medicine can speed up the stenosis of the aortic valve. Praise be to God, because when we went back to the neurologist on October 13, if the cardiologist could not find anything, the neurologist was going to start Little Man on migraine medicine to see if migraines were causing his symptoms. How great is God. We, mainly Little Man, had to go through all this to get to the cardiologist; which I believe is ultimately where we needed to get to begin with. Please continue to keep us and Little Man in your prayers. He will have this for the rest of his life, and though it may not be causing major problems now, in most cases it does lead to morbidity if not known about and if it goes untreated.

Thank you for all your prayers. I will continue to keep you updated, as we know more information.

1 comment:

Adrian, Heather, Caleb, and Emily said...

I am glad you finally know what is going on. Its all in God's hands and J. is a strong little guy. We'll keep praying for Little Man!