This note is to the most kind person who responded to my aneurysm repair question for those over the age of 68. Thank you!
After questioning an increasing number on my echo two years ago, I was told that it was an ascending aortic aneurysm. My cardiologist here told me I would be OK "as long as it didn't burst like John Ritter". I felt numb and confused when I left his office with no information as to what happens next. After arriving home that day, I phoned a retired cardiac nurse acquaintance (75 yrs. old) who told me that she would not have the surgery and to just get my "life affairs in order". Maybe you can imagine how I felt at that point in time. I was only 66.
After the whole encounter settled down a bit in my mind, I went on a quest to learn and find help if possible which lead me to a doc at Mayo with whom I have opened correspondence and sent records. This process took months of research at different hospitals across the country as medical institutions do not readily identify their best surgeons or post outcome stats. The docs here said to forget about going to a large hospital because they would only put me through a lot of tests. I did not agree and have since seen some of the local stats. Consequently, I feel that I am on the right course by turning to Mayo.
My husband (75 yrs. old) has been a great support to me and in that I am very lucky. We have no children or close family members, but do have many good friends who are scattered across the US and Europe. There is no great local support regarding this medical issue, not even a local Mended Hearts Society. Thinking about possible medical complications after such a surgery, we are contemplating moving closer to Mayo. So, next week we will make our first visit to Rochester just to become acquainted a bit with the surroundings and people. I have been reading a lot about Mayo's history on their website as there are some lovely movies, videos, and books to be found. But what impressed me most was their values. I only wish that it would be possible to connect with someone in Rochester or even a Mended Hearts Society member to feel more at home this coming week and in the future.
Thank you for listening.