Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

Wow. Today was weird. I never thought that having strep throat as a kid could hurt my heart.
Let me back up a little though. I probably had strep throat when I was about 2 or 3. My mom had me in rural Manitoba, as some of you know. She married a guy up there when I was really young. That wasn’t very good for her (or me) so she managed to leave when I was five.  When she got out on her own, we moved to Calgary. That was the first time I ever saw a doctor, and then I got all my vaccinations and everything else. At least I was a pretty healthy kid.
I was saying a couple posts back that my mom was pretty insistent on health care because I didn’t have it when I’m young, and I’m glad that they caught this now. But I need to explain more.
Dr. Blerug said that my heart has a problem now because of that strep throat I had way back when I was a kid. Now, twenty years later it’s changed enough to see on the echo. It made parts of my heart get thicker and join together (Suleman et al, 1). And then she told me something that really surprised me. She said that if I had antibiotics when that happened, my heart would have been fine (Lisac, 2011). Really?  I got this from strep throat? And not having antibiotics? That seems impossible. I never knew that could happen.
People probably say this a lot, but it doesn’t seem real, you know? I’m only 25. I’m a pretty healthy person. I take care of myself and I walk most places.  I don’t smoke. I don’t even eat red meat! I thought that meant I’d be ok for a long time yet.
Dr. Blerug told me exactly what the echo showed: “Mild mitral stenosis.” That means that the valve between two different parts of my heart is narrowed and thick, and parts of it stick together, so blood doesn’t get through quite as fast  (Lisac, 2011).
I said in my last post they took some measurements of my heart, and I got to ask Dr. Blerug about them today. She let me write some of them down to take home. She said these three gave them enough information, and if they needed more information later, they would do other measurements (Lisac, 2011). There was something about Pisa (like the Leaning Tower, maybe?). I don’t really remember about that, but these are the ones they took:

 (Baumgartner et al, 12-13).
I’m a bit tired after today’s appointment… I will write more tomorrow.