Staying the Course -- 03/25/2019

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Superbob

Steely Resolve!
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
8,223
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Greetings all.

Busy medical week for me and my wife.

She gets discharged from home PT and health services today, more than 3 months after her terrible fall in mid-December. She's making progress.

Tomorrow afternoon I have my Chest CT with contrast for a possible "thoracic aortic aneurysm" that was indicated on an echocardiogram. Obviously nervous about it. Still hoping false alarm, or something that just needs to be monitored instead of surgery very soon.

Thursday we both have dental appointments -- ack! Just forging ahead with it, knowing that if I did have another heart surgery I would want this dental stuff out of the way first.

Finally in Friday DW has appointment with a renowned expert on edema....which she's had a chronic problem with that no doctor of any kind has had an answer for. Hoping this time, this expert (who has a doctorate in physical therapy) will be able to help.

I've suspended exercise class (though continuing the walking) until we know about any aneurysm.

Well, that's not a very cheery start for the week, but it's how we are saying our course.

Hope to hear from all of y'all.

Cheers,

Superbob
 

jwinter

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
320
Location
US
I also wish you the best SB as it sometimes seems when it rains it DOES pour! Try to remain optimistic if at all possible. Better to know what lies ahead when you can do something about it. Take it from me, the ER trips and medical plane flights are not a good life :)

I will also be curious to hear what the edema specialist has to say as I deal with that quite often.

My course is getting laid out as we speak. Our snow has melted and puddles are drying up. Sat outside last evening and pondered the spring and summer ahead. Cannot wait to get out and soak up some sun! Yep, more sun and less treats for me and Molly(dawg)

Have a good rest of the week you coursers!
 

Superbob

Steely Resolve!
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
8,223
Location
Coastal Carolina
Thanks very much Leadville and jwinter -- hoping spring conditions soon are optimum for dawgwalking, jwinter.

The edema PT is very much into alternative medicine, which may be just what is needed, Uses wraps and natural oils like olive, coconut, and such. DW saw improvement after just one session. Got two per week for April coming up. Medicare doesn't cover the wraps but hopefully covers the basic OT 'cause now we've got big dental bills, uninsured, coming up with her dentists discovering her fall fractured one of her dental fixtures and replacing it will be complicated. I have some more dental work upcoming too. Had some done the day after my CT -- choosing not to use Novacaine....wasn't bad.

Oh yes the CT --- came back as 5.3 cm for the suspected aneurysm in the ascending aorta, as compared with 5.6 the echo indicated. My cardio suggested a consultation with a local surgeon -- not necessarily for immediate surgery but to get his take. Instead, I told her for now I will be contacting my surgeon who did my replacement in 2005 back in Northern Virginia/DC -- a truly great surgeon -- and seeing if he will review the CT vid and report if I express ship it to him, (We live in South Carolina.) Back in 2011 I had a similar scare from imaging done down here and my surgeon reviewed and said all was fine. One of his top surgical nurses called back and said she would ask him Tuesday when he gets back in town if he can do a review for me again. She took the initiative of looking back at the 2011 documents, and noted the scare was over a 5.0 measurement back then -- so 0.3 increase in eight years is not necssarily huge. As I recall, he thought back then the folks here were misled because they were unaware of the dimensions of the replacement aortic root from 2005 as well as my larger than the norm heart measurements. (I've been told since my 20s and 30s that I have a "large heart." -- so ....

So anyway just as I was thinking bout the logistics of a repeat surgery, I have a ray of hope. Hope my great surgeon from '05 will look over the evidence again. If need be, I will fly up there for an exam -- or for surgery if need be. Want him to do it if anyone must. But have hope that we can keep staying the course as is,,,,

STAY THE COURSE!!!

Cheers,

Superbob

Stop on by, and let us know how life is along your courses when y'all can!
 

leadville

Premium Level User
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
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Location
Greater Manchester, England
That is an interesting history, hopefully your old surgeon confirms it's like the previous scare you had.

it's Still a worry but like you say ; there is a ray of hope

Best of luck SB
 

Paleowoman

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Jun 14, 2010
Messages
2,632
Location
Surrey, UK
Wishing your surgeon says the CT will be all okay SB. You have a 'large heart' metaphorically too !

Hope the dental work is okay too - why are the most horrible things so expensive too ? I've never understood why dentistry is not covered in the same way as medical things, I mean dentistry is medical only it's in our mouths, and can have a definite effect on the rest of anyone's health.
 

jwinter

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2016
Messages
320
Location
US
Oh SB, I cannot read this and not leave a little wish of luck to you also I know these readings seem small but in comparison to what really? I mean if you were dealing with something huge I would understand but with all the heart and vein things some reading can be quite high. Pardon my comparison expression as I am just not sure how wide of range constitutes normal or within the boundaries Regardless, I hope they do not just look it over and pass it off without a very good explanation. Hindsight is always 20/20 right? and I hope you get the answers you need.. I guess I am kind of a worrier............

Now on those treatments for your dear wife, I like what you said they did. When I had swollen abdomen I had a Native American lady locally tell me about castor oil packs and I went home and googled. I made my own from old hand towels, some plastic, and a heating pad. I had so many other issues at that time I did not get a chance at doing more than a couple. I had not thought of it for my legs etc. but will definitely try it! i am also a believer in taking as many "natural" steps as possible. I still think all the Ibuprofen I took when I was younger has caused much of my liver problems. Pleased to say that besides my Warfarin, all I take now is vitamin, iron, and probiotics. If people only knew...............

The dentist is more bad news. i am so sorry you have to go through so much. i would try to find a medical advocate, liaison or whatever to see if you cant get your wife's plate covered......somehow linking it to her fall and medical care. I am big on appeals. Lost some and won the largest one I had.
Be aware though, everywhere I ask for a patient advocate I get those"deer in headlights" look, scrunched up faces and "I don't think so" .....all the while staring at the screens of their thousand dollar I Phones! ,Only thing worse is medical accounts receivable. Yes, the ones who take our money. WTH goes on with all of this........ok step down from soapbox.

Now that i probably gave you a little laugh about my boring life do take care of yours. Will be waiting to hear from you.
 

Superbob

Steely Resolve!
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
8,223
Location
Coastal Carolina
Thanks all! This afternoon, I was going through some old papers here at home and I found a copy of the CT report from 10 years ago, and its stats are virtually the same as this week's CT. So that makes me pretty confident that my original surgeon will point out that this is not an aneurysm needing surgery but just part of the valve/root replacement he installed back in 2005. Just as he pointed out 10 years ago. That is my hope.

As to dental, thanks jwinter, I will ask if our medical insurance might help cover repairs since it was an accident, and treatment will be in some sense surgical. I kinda doubt it but it is worth trying, We do use Care Credit which has helped a lot -- up to 2 years to pay off with monthly payments -- interest free if you make all payments on schedule.

Appreciate all the good thoughts. We just keep moving forward, staying our course....
 

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