Fate had it that almost 5 months after Mama passed away, Abah's heart's (mitral) valve function is getting worst. He had bouts of dizziness, fatigue, difficult to catch his breath and he was unable to maintain his regular activity sometimes several days in a week.
His regular check up was set for early August at the IJN. Results from his echo-gram showed that the opening and closing of the valve is getting lesser that his usual 1.8 cm (He'd been living with this 'size' for the past 5 years or so). The doctors then suggested surgery or angioplasty, but he told them he would discuss it with the rest of us first. A couple of weeks later he was again feeling light-headed, by now somewhat regular that usual. So we rushed him to the emergency at IJN and the trauma Dr monitored him and suggested another appointment with the Consultant Cardiologist the following week along with a stress test.
On the day of the stress test, the Consultant again suggested surgery because based on Abah's report, an angioplasty will not help improve his situation. So eventually we agreed on doing an angiogram first as part of a pre-operation assessment and will go from there. An angiogram was set immediately on a Monday after Aidiladha. It was a public holiday due to the Sea Games 2017, but IJN still runs as usual for all his patients. We admitted Abah on Sunday 3 of September and the procedure was held at the Invasive Cardiovascular Lab a Level 1 in IJN the next morning.
The angiogram results showed that Abah's heart was in overall doing fine, no major blockage can be seen. But the angiogram also confirmed that a stent is not the best option to improve Abah's valve. So we then waited for the Cardio-thoracic Surgeon to asses his report and plan for surgery. The surgeon we chose Mr Rais (I was told a surgeon is always titled 'Mr' instead of the usual Dr - long history to elaborate) was a busy man of course. It was only the next night that he had managed to meet us to explain the available options and the risks involved for Abah, including the choice in the valve - either tissue based (bovine) or mechanical ones. The mechanical one although would last longer has strings attached in the form of a lifetime reliance on Warfarin (the infamous anticoagulant aka blood thinning medication). We were also told to choose a surgery date before being discharged the next day and the date chosen must allow sufficient time for Abah to ensure that he has a clean bill of health from a dentist in regards to his teeth in time for surgery. So the date was set for the first week of October - the 2nd.
In the few days that we had after being discharge from IJN after the angiogram, we had done some research, received information from past patients that we knew and of course Abah's own preference, and finally he decided he'd want to go with the tissue based valve instead of the mechanical one. So that is settled then.
We then had a tahlil function last week and invited all our relatives and neighbors, to join in prayers for Abah. May the outcome of his surgery be successful and his recovery be swift. Ameen.
Today - he will be admitted for his surgery on Monday. I will keep everyone posted through this blog from time to time. Please pray that everything goes as planned, Insya Allah.