Well, I have been gone for awhile again. I have been in the hospital. It turns out, what I had was not pneumonia or bronchitis, but endocarditis, an infection of the heart valve. THAT'S why I've been sick for so long!
I have had a mitral valve prolapse for many years, as I'm sure a few of you might. It never caused me any problems so I didn't think too much about it. When I had a simple outpatient operation back in February, it didn't occur to me to notify the doctor that I had it. BIG MISTAKE!
Please, if you have a mitral valve prolapse, take the following points into consideration, even if you've never had any symptoms.
1 - ALWAYS notify your dentist before a teeth cleaning, or any other dental procedure.
2 - ALWAYS notify your doctor before any surgery or outpatient procedure.
3 - Have a doctor who is familiar with your mitral valve prolapse check you every now and then for any changes, such as increased blood leakage, or swelling of the heart. These signs may indicate valve replacement surgery is necessary.
4 - If you have a prolonged illness that involves fever, and doesn't respond to oral antibiotics, consider that you may have endocarditis, and see a doctor immediately.
Endocarditis is NOT fun. I was very ill with fever for 6 weeks not knowing the cause. Then I was finally diagnosed with endocarditis, and was put in the hospital for 9 days, receiving round-the-clock intravenous antibiotics and 24 hour heart monitoring. Now I'm home, but I have to give myself 6 intravenous antibiotics a day through a tube in my arm, and have daily visits by a home care nurse. I will have to do this for 3 weeks.
So, please, if you have a mitral valve prolapse, take it seriously so you don't end up in my situation!
Tomorrow I promise it's back to the pretty pictures and normal blog activity.