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I Need a Valve Job

Not my engine, my heart.  Tomorrow I'm going to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for an aortic valve replacement. They won't know whether it will be open heart or via catheter until they finish 5 days of workup that starts on Thursday. The procedure isn't scheduled until Sept. 3. We will have to stay in MN the whole time since they don't want us going back to Florida because of Covid. If everything turns out OK, I should be going home by mid-September.

I really need to get this done so that I can get back to fishing. The last time I got out was April 15. It's been almost 50 years since I went that long without fishing. 

I started feeling lethargic about 2 years ago and the symptoms gradually got worse. The condition progressed from moderate to severe in April and I ended up in the hospital for a short stay in May. Now I can't walk 50 ft without getting out of breath.

I'm posting about this here because a lot of you guys are old.  When you get old, you start feeling bad for specific reasons. Aortic stenosis happens in 10-15% of people over 65. It often doesn't get diagnosed because people don't go to the doctor or don't like telling a doctor that they are feeling tired. Don't just blame it on age.  Get checked up at least once a year.


  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,820 Captain
    thanks for the heads up
    prayers sent
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 4,195 Captain
    Getting old sucks.  I have two friends that had open heart surgery within a year of today.  Both are doing fine as I anticipate you will be soon enough.  Keep us posted on your progress.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,711 AG
    Prayin for you bud!   I hope everything goes smooth and you're back out in no time.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • Moon ShadowMoon Shadow Posts: 1,074 Officer
    I hope everything will go smoothly and we are reading your reports soon.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 13,178 AG
    Prayers sent Lee, when you get home we should have a beer.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Ruff OneRuff One Posts: 2,293 Captain
    Good luck. Lee. We are praying for your quick recovery. You are going to a top notch replacement Center! 
  • Wishin i was fishinWishin i was fishin Posts: 986 Officer
    Best of luck on your procedure Lee. Time flies these days, you'll be back on the water in no time!
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Posts: 1,399 Officer
    edited August 2021 #9

    Best wishes for a successful procedure and recovery. Let me know if you need me to do anything around your house in case of a storm. My stitches come our on Monday, and I'm good after that.


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • Gr8LakerGr8Laker Posts: 97 Deckhand
    Getting older may suck, but it beats the alternative! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
  • ElapidElapid Posts: 146 Deckhand
    wishing you the best and your imminent return to the water.

  • conchydongconchydong Posts: 14,457 AG
    I hope all goes well.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • xmuskyguidexmuskyguide Posts: 1,981 Captain
    Prayers for a speedy recovery and that you will be back on the water asap. 
  • 4WARD4WARD Posts: 2,987 Captain
    Best wishes Doc.
    A break from the heat and rain should be a small thing to enjoy.
    Hope everything goes well.
    "I hate graveyards and old pawn shops
    For they always bring me tears
    I can't forgive the way they rob me
    Of my childhood souvenirs"... John Prine
  • BillyBilly Posts: 2,773 Captain
    I'm up for that beer with you and A#1 when you get back home.

    Like I said, yell if you need anything, plus I'll stay in touch. And Pete knows how to get ahold of me if he needs help with anything.

    "And the ocean is howling for the things that might have been..."
  • SevenweightSevenweight Posts: 95 Deckhand
    You’ve done your due diligence as always and I expect you to be feeling like your old self and back on the water before long. 
  • bunkerboy222bunkerboy222 Posts: 83 Deckhand
    Good luck Doc!!!!! Mayo is one of the best out there and you are in good hands.      Mike
  • WB DrifterWB Drifter Posts: 290 Deckhand
    You got a lot of folks backing you up hereabouts.

    If you need anything drop us a line.
    [SIGPIC] You are only allowed 0 images. [/SIGPIC]
  • Jstubby2Jstubby2 Posts: 890 Officer
    Doc, good luck! It's been a rough couple of years for a lot of us. Thanks for the good advice as usual. You are one of the few people that keep this forum alive. I have been following your informative & accurate to the T post for years & wonderd why you hadn't been posting. I second that rally to go get checked out regular. You are a good man, I know without having met you personally. I do look forward to meeting & hopefully fishing with you one day. Your way to tough to let this whip you I know. Good luck & gods speed.
  • kingkong954kingkong954 Posts: 690 Officer
    Hoping for a speedy recovery with lots of tight lines waiting for you on your return!
  • JonsredfishinJonsredfishin Posts: 3,058 Captain
    Prayers sent. I thought about you a month or so ago when I noticed you hadn’t posted in a while. Good luck Doc! 
    One president put a man on the moon.
    Another president put a man in the Lady's bathroom.
  • JtsJts Posts: 121 Deckhand
    Best of luck Doc.
  • capt louiecapt louie Posts: 10,909 Moderator
    Ahh  , you got this Doc.  Get patched up and get to fishing !
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,711 Captain
    Hope you'll beat me back to fishing Lee.
  • EarthmoverEarthmover Posts: 415 Deckhand
    We will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.  Wishing you a speedy recovery 
  • Quad32xQuad32x Posts: 493 Deckhand
    Wishing all the best for ya Doc !
  • THINKICANTHINKICAN Posts: 597 Officer
    edited August 2021 #27
    Best of luck, Doc.  At least Minnesota should be cooler this time of year and you may get to see the leaves change.  Look forward to your posts when you return.
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Posts: 1,944 Captain
    yes,  go get fixed up and get back asap to what you love!  really good reminder for us ALL and I have one to share too.... 

    I am 55 and have been going to the doctor regularly only for the past 4-5 years since I married a younger version and she wants me to stick around and keep up with her.. last Oct went in for a regular yearly/bi-yearly check up.. primary doc is doing his thing and breaks out the stethoscope and starts to listen in the side of my neck... then the other side...  back to the right side again... said he 'hears something ' in there and calmly suggested I get ultrasound and maybe a MRI to see what's going on.   I had no symptoms and haven't noticed any slowness or sluggish feelings... felt fine.

    Turns out cardiologist said it looks like i have about 70% blockage on the right side and 15% or so on the left and that 70% is borderline treatment vs Surgery.. i said "WHAT??!!!  70% blockage and you're not rushing me to surgery??"  nope, they can treat it BUT I was about 72- 73% so he suggested I get it taken care of with surgery within the next year or so. 

    so February this year I went in and got it done...  turns out it was 90% BLOCKED!  said my primary probably saved my life!  way too blocked to get a stint so they did a full cleaning... all good now but have to take an aspirin everyday for the rest of the life and get to see the cardi once a year now...  I am in fairly good shape.. hunt ,fish, surf, dive, scallops, etc...  my brother is older and is not in good shape at all, eats fast food, coca colas, diabetic, etc.. and his arts are ok.. doc said I just 'got the wrong end of the stick'... sucks getting old but go get your check up!  you'll thank me later
  • Terry RavenscraftTerry Ravenscraft Posts: 282 Deckhand
    Prayers to you and your doctors ….see you on the water shortly 🙏🏻
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Posts: 2,785 Captain
    I finished the work up this week and my arteries are fine and there is no deposits in my aorta. Just the bad valve. I have a TAVR scheduled for Monday.  If all goes well, I could be back in FL later next week.  Maybe grouper fishing by October.

    Mayo is an amazing place! I wish the local healthcare system ran like this one.
  • billybob11billybob11 Posts: 1,567 Captain
    Best of luck Doc.  I am sure you will be fine.  Had 2 friends in last month had open heart and valve replacement.  St Joseph in Atlanta.   One got a pig valve the other got a bovine valve
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