Staying the Course -- 04/24/2019

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Superbob

Steely Resolve!
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Apr 21, 2005
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Duffey's back, too! -- SUPER!

Okay, sorry for my tardiness in kicking off a new week, but I have an excuse. I've had a punch to the gut that I wasn't expecting from a phone call yesterday. My great surgeon from back in '05 -- who replaced my aortic valve and aortic root -- took a look at my recent chest CT I sent him, and concluded that I DO have an aneurysm of the ascending aorta and it appears to be growing rapidly. It's now 5.7 cm. I had expected that he would find this to be my cardios' mistaking my replacement device for an aneurysm, as he did 10 years ago with a previous CT I sent him -- but no. He wants me to come up to see him in Northern Virginia for an examination next week. And one of his NPs told me she thought surgery is likely in a month to six weeks, but of course I don't know the details yet.

Logistics are going to be tough to work out. My DW is in no condition to travel but she insists on going even just for the consultation. Anyway,we'll work all that out -- no need to fret here about it.

It would be so much more convenient to have surgery locally, but my surgeon is a renowned expert on the kind of surgeon I had -- a Bentall's Procedure -- and so who better than him to know how to deal with an aneurysm in that context? Coincidentally, my wife and I see our local cardio this afternoon, so we will seek ideas and perspective. Also I have dental work tomorrow -- I suppose it is better to try to have that done presurgery instead of post- but it's all scary right now.

So anyway Staying the Course has taken on more immediate meaning for me right now. I guess I will be suspending participation in my wonderful fitness class -- best I've ever had -- for now. A goal can be a return after surgery and cardiac rehab.

I do not mean this thread to be all about me though. Please check in and share what you have going on....I appreciate all of you.

All best,

Superbob
 

Superbob

Steely Resolve!
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
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Coastal Carolina
Sorry to be such a personal downer in the first inning....

For the next eight: The skies are blue; beaches, mountains, and other hiking venues beckon.

What are y'all doing? Got some adventures ahead? Good tidings on the course?

Let us know.

cheerio, superbob
 

Gordo60

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Apr 3, 2019
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Australia (Sunshine Coast)
Also sorry to hear that SB. I’m sure all will work out well.

Had a small op unrelated to the heart early in the week and itching to get back into exercise in a couple of days time.

To add some variety to resistance training whilst trying to stay safe both aneurysm and joint wise I’ve ordered this resistance band kit. Did lots of research and Bodylastics look to be best quality and safe with snap guard protection. Past bands I’ve owned have at times near taken an eye out when they snapped:

6FE29C36-F185-484C-B853-EB1411330E82.jpeg


This article suggests that resistance band training is a good option for those with aneurysms:

 

Duffey

Me and Granbon
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Far side of the moon
Good grief, Superbob! I must learn to adroitly shift my focus back and forth from you, SB, to darling husband, aka, Bob. He is facing some health issues that have caused me to be less vigilant about my friends’ health issues. Nevertheless I’m with it now ( !!! ) so we’ll take it one day at a time and keep each other company on this latest journey. Thank you, Gordo60 for the link to the resistance bands. I am interested in them too. I’m riding a stationary bike for exercise but need something for my arms and upper body. I’ve tried light weights but that’s a lost cause.
 

Paleowoman

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So sorry to hear your news from the surgeon, but he sounds like a good surgeon to be under since you know him and he knows you.
 

Gordo60

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Messages
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Australia (Sunshine Coast)
Thank you, Gordo60 for the link to the resistance bands. I am interested in them too. I’m riding a stationary bike for exercise but need something for my arms and upper body. I’ve tried light weights but that’s a lost cause.
Many think of resistance bands as something that are good for toning but don’t build serious muscle. That’s a fallacy. If one wants they could build decent muscle. A quick search of the web will provide many examples.

In my case having the aneurysm, with the bands as is the case with dumbbells I minimise risk by using higher reps, favouring isolation exercises, training one limb at a time, stopping short of straining and avoiding breath holding.

I’m a very tall, thin person so trying to gain some muscle whilst minimising aneurysm risk has been / is challenging.

Originally when first diagnosed with the aneurysm I followed the cardio’s advice of not to lift more than 20 pounds. But I found I got progressively weaker to the point where previous items (eg loaded shopping bag) that were no effort at all started to become heavier to lift. So I came to the conclusion that it’s important to continue to “sensibly” train to maintain some strength / muscle.

Plenty of resistance band exercises can be found here:

 
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ottagal

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Aug 8, 2008
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Can.
SuperBob, I am sure this was a punch in the gut. So sorry to hear this news. We will all be here rooting for you! Keep us posted. Wishing you all the best, Sounds like you will be in good hands.
 

dornole

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Minnesota, US
Oh geez Superbob. I'm sorry for that and for the extra stress with worries about your wife. Call in the troops! I wish you well, I really do. I hope the path clears for you.

Not to jinx anything but I think I am in a good groove health and fitness wise. Daily walks and dancing with a video game, Just Dance, that is hilarious and fun. Meditation and journaling to cope with emotions better. My husband just got dx with diabetes so redoubling the healthy eating too. We've both lost about 8 lbs in the last month. Staying the course will be the trick, the path is good, we must choose to sty on it.
 

Superbob

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Apr 21, 2005
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Coastal Carolina
Wow -- great to see all the activity and renewal of friendships with our fresh start here. Appreciate all the good wishes! Dornole, that does sound like a good groove with fun exercise and healthy eating. Gordo60 -- love the info about using exercise bands when you have an aneurysm to take into account. May well be useful to me while I am in the "waiting room" but want to remain active at a safe level.

Jim, you raise a good point. I am assuming my surgeon will discuss options next Friday. I don't know if the aneurysm is in my replacement aortic root or outside it. It's possible he'll say we just need to monitor every 3 months or so, or he can do a repair (maybe even minimally invasive -- I can hope!), or he has to replace the whole valve/root device from back in '05. Thanks for all the support here.

He is a great surgeon -- just wish we lived closer to him. Could ask if an aorta guy he greatly respects is available in the Carolinas or Georgia, but probably wisest to stick with the guy who "brung me to the dance" nearly 15 years ago now. : )

Cheers all....
 

MartinF

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Jul 11, 2016
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Southern California USA
SB, sorry to hear about your bad news. It sounds like you have very good doctors so hope that keeps your anxiety low.
Ran a 5K race today, the Run Thru the Vineyards. Tough race and I just returned Thursday night from a European Vacation (first time there). Can't blame Jetlag for running 1:03 slower than last year. I haven't been running much the past year and that's the reason. Still happy as I broke 40 minutes with a 39:32. Three years ago I ran 34 minutes so lots of room for improvement.
Walked a lot while on vacation and didn't gain any weight. Happy with that.
My yearly visit with the Cardiologist is this coming Friday. Should have my yearly Echo ordered.
Nothing else going on, looking forward to a relaxing spring.
Glad to see all the new posters here.
 

Warrick

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Dec 27, 2015
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406
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New Zealand
My condolances also SB, Im sure you will do well and be on the other side before you know it!!
When life gives you lemons make lemonade after all🤗😋
A very good friends grandson is having AVR this wednesday, his 4th OHS and he is only 13yrs old, although he’s only 13 he’s already 6ft tall so Im not sure if he is grown enough he can be fitted with a mechanical or is having another tissue valve and then will face a 5th later on.
 

mom2angel

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Sep 25, 2011
Messages
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Nebraska
So sorry super bob. Sounds like you have some unexpected things coming your way. Love that you are able to make adjustments.
As for me, I finally feel recovered from surgery. I feel like I’m finally myself again. So, I have been eating more fruits and veggies and less junk. Only eating when I’m hungry. I’ve started a little exercise. Have lost 9 lbs in 2 weeks. I still have 14 more to go, but it will come off soon. If feels great to fit in old clothes again and have energy. Wishing everyone a great, heart healthy week.
 

sylviayasgur

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Sep 1, 2001
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Westchester, NY
Hi Superbob,
Joey just had his second surgery in Jan. If you remember, he had a ross procedure with dr. Paul Stelzer in 2001right after 9/11. ( we actually watched the towers come down on 9/11- preop- with dr. Stelzer and his staff from his office.)
We opted to have dr.stelzer do the second surgery since he already knew the “ lay of the land” in there. We also have the utmost trust and confidence in him. He is as wonderful, calm, and gifted as ever. He set up a game plan for the future surgeries to come. All good.
I think when the time comes for reop, it is upsetting. Yet, Joeys attitude was so wonderful, his words: “ if you had told me back then that I would get 17 years out of this valve, I would have signed on the dotted line immediately”. I just think that valvers are hopeful and wish for more time no matter how long you/ we’ve gotten.
Trust your gut in selecting your surgeon. We felt trust and confidence was important to us.
Stay well,
Sylvia
 

epstns

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Dec 26, 2002
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Chicago area
Hey SB - I'm sorry for not looking in to see what's up. I was out East with the grandsons (and their parents) and didn't have the ability (mostly time) to look in.

I'm really sorry to see that you may be back to square one again. All of us, especially tissue valve recipients, live with the knowledge that we may be back for a re-do, but your situation is a bit beyond even that. My heart is with you as you take the next phase of your journey.
 

Bina

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Feb 22, 2007
Messages
12,684
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East Ontario, Canada
SuperBob, not a very good outcome from that suspicious blot on your scan. BUT, you won't let this get you down and you will get through this to become better and stronger than ever.
I'm not a ThrowDowner, but have been checking out the new VR Forums.
Big hugs to you and your lovely DW.
 

Marguerite53

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Joined
May 18, 2004
Messages
3,636
Location
Oregon
Hi SuperBob! Like Bina, I've been checking out the revamped VR Forums. For years my Apple computer kept the site's functionality so frustrating that I didn't venture in very often -- or at least only to talk about myself! 👱‍♀️😑🤦‍♀️

I'm sorry that this latest news makes another surgery sound imminent. Fortunately for you, you've been taking really good care of yourself!! And, during all those years medical science has learned so much more and improved how they do things. My guess is that you'll be amazed (as I was) by the smoothness of the whole event. At any rate -- you've got a huge cheering squad here so take advantage of us!

You have always presented yourself as a very gracious, loving man. I know you will follow your instincts and journey through this with the same grace you have shown us. I still believe that a lot of our success lies in our faith in those helping us (human and spiritual) and our willingness to show our gratefulness.

Good luck with your doctor appointment.
Hugs.
Marguerite
 
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