|Carrie Running with Shadow and Stella|
Carrie in 2014
Carrie first shared her BAV journey with the world here, Carrie Mettler - A Wonderful Athlete with BAV . Beginning with her athletic high school days, through the implantation of a pacemaker in her late 20's, discovery of her BAV and aortic aneurysm, and then her brain aneurysm in late 2003, we read of her amazing triumphs. For the next 10 years after her brain aneurysm surgery in early 2004, Carrie faithfully kept her follow up appointments. And then it was 2014.
Time for a New Pacemaker
In 2014 Carrie needed to have her pacemaker replaced. It was decided at that time to upgrade from a single chamber device to a dual chamber model. They moved the pacemaker from the right side to the left side of her chest, then added two new leads, cutting and capping the old atrial lead.
|Carrie Proudly Displaying Ribbons at a Splash Dogs Event|
A bulging vein on the left side of her neck is clearly visible.
Carrie's Aortic Aneurysm
Then it was time for her next aortic checkup, a routine echocardiogram. The echo indicted that her aortic aneurysm had enlarged. Why now, after so many years of being stable? Changes in aortic aneurysms can be unpredictable, which is why it is so important to faithfully keep imaging appointments.
Could it be due to the increased blood flow after her SVC was repaired? The surgeon said that the thrombosis and scarring on the lead had been blocking blood flow for some time. Adding the additional leads caused near complete blockage, giving her the symptoms of Superior Vena Cava Syndrome. Once this was repaired the blood flow is likely more forceful.
After many years of low blood pressure, Carrie has also had bouts of high blood pressure that have been difficult to control with medication. Could this high pressure also be contributing to a dilating aorta?
Carrie has had some episodes of chest, back and neck discomfort with and without exertion. It is very important to understand what is happening inside.
Carrie in 2016
Carrie, outwardly glowing with health and vitality, is very complex inside. With the encouragement of doctors who have followed her through the years, she is now arranging review of her records by physicians at the Cleveland Clinic.