When I was a toddler I had an aortic coarctation, it was treated with surgery.

I had annual check ups which involved ECGs and x-rays to ensure there was no further coarctation. As an adult the medicals are far less frequent and thankfully there is no sign of narrowing of the artery.

A common other defect for those who have or have had a coarctation is a bicuspid heart valve. This is when the three leaflets that usually make up your heart valve are fused into two.

bicuspid-aortic-valve-normal-tricuspid

If this is the case then there is usually no ill effect if you are fit and active but when in your 40s to 50s then surgery may be required. Especially if other symptoms present themselves.

I was at my medical recently and the consultant was unsure as to whether my valve is normal or bicuspid, the results were inconclusive.

My fitness is important to me for lots of reasons, to be able to participate in cycling and enjoy it to the best of my abilities without my fitness stopping me. But now more importantly than anything, to be there for my wee boy and wife.

If I do have a bicuspid valve and surgery is required as I move forward in life, I will not allow my fitness to inhibit my recovery or quality of life afterwards. For my wife and for my wee boy. The time in the pain cave is for more than myself its for them as well.


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