Saturday, May 21, 2022

Update from My Follow Up Appointment

(we took Madeline with us to my appointment and she loved every minute of charming everyone she saw =))

As I mentioned in my last post, I was scheduled to have my follow up with my cardiologist last week on Friday. Upon arrival, I had another echocardiogram done first, but I didn't have to be put under for this one, so it was a much simpler process. 

At the meeting afterwards, my cardiologist wanted to know how much better I felt since the surgery. It was hard to quantify how much I have improved, since my mitral valve stenosis really just affected my "bursts of energy". (like I mentioned before-exercising, playing sports, birthing a baby, etc) I told him what I've been telling everyone , though, and that is that although I don't notice a difference daily, I definitely can tell it is so much better! My cardiologist said he wants me to "hold nothing back" for the summer; to do anything and everything I want to do, to basically "test" how much improved I feel. At the end of the summer/three months, we will meet with him again to discuss. He said that, with having had this condition likely for most of my life, I have no idea of what it is like to feel normal. (very true, and it all sure makes a lot more sense now!) His concern is that because I have always struggled, I won’t know what is actual improvement. 

Sadly, there was bad news. My valve leaks now, which we knew was a possibility. (they told us there was a chance ahead of my surgery, and then they told us afterwards that a leak developed during the surgery) However, after looking at the echocardiogram, he feels that the leak is worse than they even initially thought. That means the next time my heart needs intervention, I won't be a "candidate" for another valvuplasty surgery, but instead will have to have the valve completely replaced. (open heart surgery)

For those curious about the actual condition of my valve and the numbers and that sort of thing...the cardiologist said the valvuplasty surgery opened my valve from 1.1cm to 1.8cm. It is wonderful to have that improvement. For reference,  a "normal" persons heart has an opening of 4.5cm or better. 

A huge blessing is that the surgery helped me gain about 60% improvement in the opening, and that I am feeling much better when exercising/etc. And it really is a big difference. I literally felt like I was going to pass out so many times before in my life, when exercising/walking. Whereas now, the first time I went on a walk after my surgery, and the first time I did a workout, I felt out of shape, yes, but I felt good when I was done! I am starting to realize what people mean when they say, after a workout, "wow that felt good." I never felt that way before now!

Although the leak/future open heart surgery isn't what we would have chosen, we know Jesus will continue to take care of me. He saved my life by Madeline arriving early. I am so sure of that. (As a side note, John read the other night that a number of moms with this condition, die within 30 mins of giving birth, due to the change in fluids and exertion) The fact that I am even here to tell this story is still such a miracle to me! And we are thankful for the very first cardiologist at the hospital where I delivered Madeline, who insisted on an echo to get to the root of the issue. If it wasn’t for all that and the ensuing surgery that followed, I likely would not have survived another pregnancy. 

God is good all the time, even when the future is uncertain, and I am just really really thankful for the knowledge and belief of that. 

Thankyou all for caring and praying. We are so thankful!



  1. Happy to hear an update! Will continue to pray.

  2. Alex and Krystal MillerMay 22, 2022 at 8:27 AM

    We are praying for you Chelsy! Your positivity and trust in God’s faithfulness through this journey are inspiring 🙏

  3. You are in our prayers.
    Joan,Marilyn and Marion

  4. Praying for you Chelsy! Thank you for the update, and the Christlike joy and peace you exhibit through it all. You are a beautiful example to me.

  5. Wow, Chelsy. I'm so glad it was checked out. To think of what might have happened...I'm thankful you're doing better! But I hope you'll be okay. Praying for you all, and thank you for keeping us posted!

    Love, Rebecca

  6. My mom is substantially older than you, but she did have a valve replaced. While it was certainly an invasive surgery, she rebounded quite quickly. Hopefully, you don't need to have that surgery for a very long time but I just wanted to share that it's not always so terribly awful.
    Glad to hear that you are doing well.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement!
      It is more my stage of life that makes the surgery feel big! I've known from the beginning that I would have to have the valve replaced; we were just thinking it would be able to happen a little further down the road.

  7. Thank you for the update! I pray for continued health and more healing. Glory be to God!

  8. Praise the Lord! I haven’t been on your blog for months now, and just read all the posts. Praising the Lord with you! Hey, 2 things:
    1. Are you on any social media? Which one(s)?
    2. What show(s) have you seen in person and on dvd from Sight & Sound? Are the boys aloud to watch them?

    With much love,

    1. Hi Jessica!
      I am on instagram but I have a private account and only allow very select followers. I don't post there much; mainly just to link to it when I do a new blog post.
      This is the main space to keep up with me!

      I've seen Joseph at the PA Sight and Sound Theatre and it was amazing! I'm sure my kids will love to see them too when they are older; I think the action would be a bit beyond their level right now! =)

    2. I’ve seen all of their productions except for Samson and David. I love all the rest! I can’t help but agree with you at how wonderful their shows are. That was the same thing with my kids. I didn’t let them see them until they finished their first school year. That way they could get a little foundation of the Bible to understand what the movie was portraying. On the last day of their first year of school in the evening after dinner and chores were done, my husband and I sat down and watched it with whoever that child was. It was a mixture of like celebrating the last day of school while watching a true Biblical story that they can learn from. And then after each school year, my husband and I decided a new one to watch with them. We’ve done that ever since, minus one year when my mom had surgery at the end of the school year. We went and helped her while she recovered. Anyways. We’ve also surprised our kids and went to see a live show in person in PA! They were so shocked and excited when we pulled into the parking lot! One more quick question before I end this off. Which year did you see Joseph in?


  9. Thank you for continuing to post about your sweet family. I am so sorry to hear of your health problems, but you are right. God is good. You are a blessing to me and many others, too. Praying for you. Hugs to those sweet little ones.


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