It is hard having such a gorgeous family :)

It is hard having such a gorgeous family :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

And I thought he was faking!!!

Well life is certainly never dull. I'm happy to report Buddy is doing really good since his surgery but of course another issue has popped up.  We just found out Keri has a pretty serious heart problem. Let's start from the beginning when he started complaining of chest pains. Now granted I didn't know what to think but I wasn't thinking it was anything serious. If we are being honest Keri can be a bit dramatic at times. Well he took a few trips to the ER over the course of a month for these chest pains and finally and Keri was telling me all these things the doctors said it could be.  Of COURSE I was thinking it was probably nothing and wasn't paying too much attention to it. (I know, pretty awful.) Well they ran some tests including a "tee" which is a scope that looks at your heart and they informed him he had bicuspid aortic valve.  Boy were we ALL shocked. Here is a quick summary of what bicuspid aortic valve is according to the internet:

The aortic valve is a one-way valve between the heart and the aorta, the main artery from the heart that distributes oxygen-rich blood to the body. Normally, the aortic valve has three small flaps or leaflets that open widely and close securely to regulate blood flow, allowing blood to flow from the heart to the aorta and preventing blood from flowing backwards into the heart.

. The bicuspid aortic valve may not be completely effective at stopping blood from leaking back into the heart. This is called aortic regurgitation. The aortic valve may also become stiff and not open up as well, causing the heart to have to pump harder than usual to get blood past the valve. The heart then must pump that same blood out again, causing strain on the heart’s lower left chamber, the left ventricle. Over time, the ventricle will dilate, or over-expand. The main symptom of aortic valve regurgitation is shortness of breath during exertion, like walking up stairs.

Okay, so there are 2 scary things about him having this condition. #1- He could be fine one minute and literally have a problem and die.  An athlete that has this condition could drop dead on the court. Keri says one of his favorite wrestlers that had this was driving a car and died. So the doctor told us if Keri has any chest pains small or big.. get into the ER as soon as possible. #2- The condition is hereditary so now we have to have all of our kids checked. The doctor had heard a heart murmur in Ashley when she was little so we are mostly concerned about her. Keri's sister has to get checked as well. Luckily today we had to take the twins in for their check ups so the pediatrician put in for referrals for all the kids to get checked. How they check is they do an ultrasound basically so now I'm thinking ahead to a technician trying to do an ultrasound on Buddy. Yeah that is so NOT going to go over well. 
So the next steps for Keri now is to go to UNC to get an cardiac MRI and a cardiac cauterization to determine how severe his bicuspid aortic valve is.  If it is severe he is looking at open heart surgery immediately to replace the valve. If it is moderate he can put off the surgery for about 5 years. This also means Keri will be getting medically retired from the military. 
So that is the big news right now in our family.  The silver lining in all of this is that if one of the kids does have this as well.. it will be discovered and fixed early on. And that is truly a blessing.

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