I've become confused about the connection between rheumatic fever and heart disease. Here's the deal: I had it as a small child, even though I don't remember anything about it except I used to have lots of leg aches. I was probably in my 30's when the issue came up on a new dentist's questionnaire. Ever since, I've been taking antibiotics before dental work. This was long before Jerry came up with his valve problems so I was just clueless about the reasons for them and never worried at all.
Last week I had a vocal cord polyp removed surgically and while pre-admitting I asked about whether I'd need antibiotics beforehand. The nurse asked me if I received antibiotics for the rheumatic fever when it happened and I said I assumed so. I was born in 1942 and my parents took me to the doctor when I needed to go. I believe penicillin was around. The nurse said that if I was treated for the RF then there was no risk of developing a valve problem down the road. Is that true? If so, why am I taking a handful of pills before every dental app't?