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Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

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Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by echoguy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:19 pm

Over Labor Day weekend of 2003 I ran the Mercy Metric 10k and found out that I have a broken heart. Specifically, I have a stenotic aortic valve that restricts the flow of blood from my heart. Near the end of the race I passed out and ended up in the hospital for a few days. While in the hospital I was told I would not be able to exercise again until I had the valve surgically fixed. Fortunately, my cardiac cath showed that the valve was actually ok to run again for a while. Over the next few years I was able to run faster than ever before and did not slow for about five years.

Finally in 2010 it became obvious that I needed surgery and I had my badly calcified valve replaced 6.5 years after the original diagnosis. I decided to go with a tissue valve. That decision means that I do not need to take blood thinners, but the valve only has a life expectancy of 12 years or so. Much like the first time, I know that my days are numbered with this valve.

So what have I learned from these two periods of running with a deteriorating valve? Carpe diem…..We never know what tomorrow brings. My plan is to run and play just as much as possible while I have the chance. I plan to have no regrets.
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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by Marc Thayer on Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:28 am

What he said.

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Aortic Valve repair, Ascending Aorta graft; 2012
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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by Rachel August on Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:38 pm

Brian you got that right – we don’t know. My younger brother was killed while cycling – tragic but that is life – we just don’t know.

What you say is true – live life now. Sometimes I have such a hard time with that concept and fear creeps in - so it’s good that you and all the others here remind me. Thanks for this! Between you and Marc I’m going to get it through my head one of these days!

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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by Dave Tuttle on Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:05 pm

NO REGRETS! A plan for life.

Congratulations on the last 10 Brian, you've spent them admirably and best wishes for many many more.


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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by Gary E on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:22 pm

May I also add my praise to your decision making. I think you've done a marvelous job with your running, diet, and attitude. Congratulations!!!
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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by mikenall on Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:14 pm

Brian,
I agree with you completely.

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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

Post by trishb on Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:39 pm

You are sure getting your money's worth out of this valve!
And when the time comes to replace it, I am pretty sure you'll be right back out there giving it a workout.

Excellent attitude, Brian! cheers 

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Re: Ten Years of Running with a Broken Heart - Carpe Diem

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