3 Tips for Navigating Bumps in the Road on the Way to Aortic Stenosis Treatment
When my doctor first diagnosed me with severe aortic stenosis, I felt overwhelmed. Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the heart’s aortic valve does not open enough to allow blow to flow properly. Eventually, people with aortic stenosis will need to get their valve replaced with a new one. During that doctor’s appointment, I had a hard time concentrating as my cardiologist used medical terms that were new to me, like stenosis, regurgitation, heart failure, valve replacement, blood thinners, and minimally invasive procedure. The new vocabulary list included tests to be scheduled, like echocardiogram, heart catheterization, TEE (transesophageal echocardiogram), and cardiac CT. I felt as confused and uncomfortable as if I had been handed the keys to a rental car in a foreign country, where everyone drives on the opposite side of the street and traffic signs are posted in a different language.
Navigating aortic stenosis from diagnosis through successful treatment is a journey, and journeys often have a fair share of bumps in the road. As another patient who has “been there” ahead of you, I’d like to share a few tips to help you steer clear of the obstacles and arrive safely at your desired destination: a healthy life with your new heart valve!
1. Ask for Directions
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