Every Scar Tells a Story - Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day

Reader Story

Every Scar Tells a Story

Hello, I am Philip Warlow from Llanelli in Wales, reaching 2020 was an achievement in itself because of the journey through 2018 and 2019 had been fraught with obstacles that I thought I would never overcome but I have arrived at my destination and I am lucky to able to write about it.

Life has been slowly getting back to some sort of normality in the 6 months since the operation, but the definition of normality probably is very different to what it would mean to everyone else.  I have good days, when I can move freely and I can enjoy the physical attributes of walking, cooking, completing all the household duties I have been able to perform over the last 40 or so years and I have days when I have aches on my pains and pains on my aches: chest, back, and hips.

Lying awake at night I think of the new valve inside of my heart imagining it at work, asking it kindly to keep working for me. I am so lucky that I had something that could be fixed; there are so many thousands of individuals out there that have health issues, I was one of the lucky ones that got diagnosed and operated on before the heart deteriorated too far, a second chance at the gift of life.

The one thing that open heart surgery has taught me is just how much work our hearts do. Immediately after surgery, during which my heart had been switched off and put on by pass, repaired and restarted it began to serve me well. Initially everything, even breathing, walking up a flight of stairs and showering took effort. Sitting up was an endeavour, for quite a while. This is how I knew my heart was still recovering. I now just see what the day brings and I continue to keep that thought. Monday is never like Tuesday, and every day teaches me something different about this heart disease journey. To learn more about my journey you can visit my website https://avrthejourney.org.

From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I survived…