It’s always easier to face tough situations when one has a plan. We now know how to get from A to B to C, and once we get to C we pray.
When my husband and I heard what had happened to my dad and reviewed the initial test, we both suspected he had suffered a chordae tendineae rupture.
The heart is a four-chambered pump – the right atria, the right ventricle, the left atria and the left ventricle. These chambers are further bisected by valves which control the flow of blood in and out. The aortic valve, the tricuspid valve, the pulmonic valve, and the mitral valve.
To put it simply, the mitral valve opens and closes via the chordae tendinaea, tiny tendons attached to muscles in the heart wall. Rarely one of these tendons will spontaneously rupture causing incomplete closure of the valve, leakage, and regurgitation. In other words, the blood runs backwards, increasing pressures in the rest of the heart, causing the other valves to leak, and worse, causing dilation of the left ventricle~ the heart’s workhorse~ and resulting in cardiac failure sooner rather than later. My father has 4+ regurgitation which is about as bad as it can be.
In other words, this has to be fixed if it can be fixed, ASAP.
In my father’s case, the onset of symptoms was sudden – shortness of breath with exertion, chest tightness and extreme weakness, all of which were relieved when he stopped moving. Classic.
Fortunately my father is in incredible shape. He’s been a race-walker all his life. His normal pace is 4 mph. Even as a teenager I had to jog to keep up with him. Because his heart is so healthy he’s bought himself the time he needs to complete certain tests before he has open heart surgery to repair the ruptured tendon.
When I was a kid my father told me he didn’t believe in God, but he believed in prayer.
I believe in both. So… off on a plan and a prayer we go. Thank you all so much for your support and your patience.