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Fri, Jun 26 7:20am · Debating hip replacement in Joint Replacements

I am 66, I had my Right Hip replaced at the Mayo 5 years ago, before the surgery I was miserable, couldn't walk! I was overweight, I made sure prior to the planned surgery, to loose some substantial weight, so that after surgery my replaced hip will not suffer like my old hip from carrying all that weight.
The surgery itself and the quick recovery, was much easier than I had imagined. Walking was the only therapy I needed post surgery.
Pick a good Surgeon with plenty experience, and go for it.
Good Luck! P.S. the weight loss helped with not needing surgery on the other hip !

Thu, Apr 30 5:37am · VP's visit in COVID-19

Thank you Soliloquized for your post, I just wanted to express my opinion, that although 95% to 99.7% is not 100%, but even if someone sneezes in ones face directly, and in the unlikely case that maybe 0.3% to 5% of the particles manage to get through, it's well known by now, that the amount of these particles, are very relevant to the degree of infection, that's why I think that those masks are the safest you can get, specially those over 99%, and if the manufacture does not call it 100%, has more to do with liabilities, because no manufacturer is ready to guaranty an absolute total safety.

Tue, Apr 28 11:15am · We're told to wear masks. How do we do it safely and properly? in COVID-19

As a society here in the US we are not used to wear face masks, as many other nations mostly in the Far East have always been doing, when they have an upper respiratory issue, and they want to avoid spreading it to people around.

This Pandemic will teach us for now, and most probably in the future, the need to wear those masks when having symptoms, mostly as a social consideration.

For now, we have to realize that if we want to be able to reduce the risk of the viral spread, and to slowly plan an exit, wearing masks is absolutely necessary.

There are to kind of masks, masks that most people need to wear when in public, to protect others, and medical masks, that are meant to protect those in the frontline that have to protect themselves, and those they treat that might not have the virus.
The Medical providers should of course be in priority for using the Medical protective masks, but in my humble opinion as a care giver to a very vulnerable person, I would include in the group with the need of a Medical masks, also people with chronic health conditions, the elderly, and the most at risk, that while they should practice complete social distancing and staying home, but if they have no choice, and need to go out, medical masks will protect them as well.

Medical masks are masks that are considered N95 or N99, and that means that they can block 95% and more of the virus from getting into the respiratory system. All other masks either purchased or home made, while not completely protecting the person that wears it, is meant to protect people around us, and mainly stops the droplets coming out of our mouth and nose, while talking or coughing, and stops those droplets from getting into the breathing air of people around us.

We should also remember that our eyes, are not covered by the mask, and they are also a port of entry for the virus. Therefore those that need a Medical masks, need some sort of eyes cover like goggles or plastic shields, for more complete protection from others.

Tue, Apr 21 9:06pm · I'm high-risk. How to stay safe when things start opening again? in COVID-19

Thank you Colleen! We live in Larchmont in Westchester County, a Northern suburb 20 miles from Manhattan. It's a small town in the County that became the ground zero of the beginning of the spread of the virus in NY, that started a week after we enclosed ourselves at home. All the main Doctors of our son are and have always been at the Mayo. We visit the Clinic every 6 months for regular checkups and we were actually due for a visit 2 weeks ago. We have here his General Practitioner, but we don't do anything without the approval and directions of his Doctors at the Clinic. We spoke with his Cardiologist and Electrophysiologist at the Clinic, and we were satisfied with their approval of our plans, they monitor his Heart Rhythm electronically through his Defibrillator, he is doing well, we know to look and to determine if there is any changes in his wellbeing, and as long as he is stable as he has been since his last surgery, we are staying in place, and make the best of it. When there is going to be an absolute safe window of possibility for safe travel to Rochester, we will go for a checkup. His wellbeing's importance to us is such that if we notice that there is a change in his stability, we won't hesitate to fly him on a fixed wing Ambulance Jet. His Physicians at the clinic, know that we rely on them to see down the road, what safe vaccine for his immune system will be available that they could recommend.

Tue, Apr 21 1:06pm · I'm high-risk. How to stay safe when things start opening again? in COVID-19

What we are concerned about is the plans for exit, in what seems to us in our case probably at some point within the next 2 years!

Our 44 year old Son that lives with us, has a whole long list of Chronic Health issues, and if there was a list of High Risk people to the Covid-19, he would probably be somewhere on top of the list. He was born with a serious Congenital Heart problem, and throughout his life the Mayo Clinic Doctors and Staff, performed 7 open Heart procedures, managed his eventual acquired Ventricular Tachycardia successfully through a series of Ablations, and partially recovered from 3 strokes that caused some Neurological difficulties.

Thanks to the dedicated and compassionate care he receives at the Clinic for the last 44 years, he is stable and enjoys his life the best he can.
Knowing his vulnerability we voluntary Quarantined ourselves at home with our Son 2 months ago. In addition to our son of course, my wife and I never live the house, we let no one in, and are very careful and cautious, knowing that his chances from recovery from being exposed to the Virus are almost none.
In addition to that, we live in "New York", which is not exactly the open spaces of other communities.

We are comfortable, and all 3 of us are in high spirit, we do everything we can to stay safe, we constantly update ourselves on what is known to the Medical world, and what they are still trying to learn about this Pandemic.

We are by nature positive people, and we don't worry about things that are absolutely not in our control. We are confident that a solution will be eventually found, but until then, we are convinced that we cannot take any chance, before a tested and approved vaccine will be available.

Mon, Mar 30 12:14pm · COVID-19 and MAC: What are you doing differently to protect yourself? in MAC & Bronchiectasis

When it comes to how to stay safe, and what is the level of isolation you have to exercise, it depends on who you are trying to protect. The Health experts recommend, and at this point even requires, almost from all none essential people, and for understandable reasons, to stay home, even if you are healthy, young and fearless! Because as we all know, we are all part of an invisible link that attaches us all one to another, when it comes to the ability of this Viral infection to get to us.
In our family's case, we live in a suburb of New York, we are blessed with a 43 years old son, that has Chronic Cardiac issues since birth, and he is of course extremely vulnerable if he will be exposed to this contagious virus.
He is not part of any statistics, that calls for percentages of people that will survive from this age group or another. He has 0% chances to recover from such a viral infection, no matter where he is going to be treated, or how many respirators they will have available.
His only chance of survival, is what we decided to do 4 weeks ago, when we realized that this Pandemic, will be everywhere, and we went into complete isolation with him at home. We don't go out, we don't allow anyone to cross our door front, we have medications for months, and for his sake we will stay in this isolation for as long as it takes.
But these vulnerable and elderly people, need the help and cooperation of the young and healthy people around us, by staying home, practice social distancing, even if they feel it's difficult. Yes it is difficult, but as a healthy society that wants to have as little victims as possible, in a crisis like this we cannot behave in a egocentric way, and think only about ourselves. They say it's a War, that is true, and in this war the war zone is not in a faraway country, like we have known in the past. It's right here, and yes the soldiers are the caregivers in hospitals, and those that keep providing us with the daily needs, but in addition to these soldiers at the front, we are also part of this ongoing war, and we have to do our part, by acting with responsibility.
Stay Safe, and this Black Cloud will melt away eventually, and we will come out of it better in all aspects of Life.

Mon, Mar 30 10:46am · Congenital Heart Disease Care Model: Heart Rhythm in Congenital Heart Disease

Our 43 years old son was born with Transposition of the Great Arteries and had a complete anatomical repair in 1977 at the Mayo Clinic by the late
Dr. Dwight Mc.Goon in an innovative procedure of those years. Since then he had 6 additional open heart surgeries, the last of them to install at once
3 mechanical valves..
He is stable now, even though about 5 years ago, he started with sever Rhythm problems, initially as Ventricle Tachycardia, and later also Atrial Fibrillation. We live in New York, and when the first signs of the Tachycardia started, we rushed to a top Medical center in NY, and despite their efforts, they were not able to find the sources of the Rhythm issues, and were therefore not able to perform the necessary Ablations to eliminate those sources. A decision was made to fly with him with a fixed wing Air Ambulance to the Mayo Clinic, where his Adult Congenital Cardiologist Dr. Heidi Connolly, arranged for
Dr. Samuel Asirvatham, a top World recognized Electrophysiologist to take over. Our son had a lenghty Ablation procedure and Dr. Asirvatham and his team, did not gave up, and eventually managed after a series of Ablation procedures to stabilize his Rhythm, and place a Defibrillator/Pacer.
Dr. Asirvatham and Dr. Connolly, are not only Top Physicians in their fields, but exceptional Human Beings, with compassion, humility, and deep commitment to their patients well being! We call them our "Guardian Angels".
Our son is doing well, and we have no doubt, that his survival through all his life challenges, is thanks to the dedicated and experienced people working
at the Mayo Clinic.

Jun 30, 2018 · Don't Want To Be a Complainer in Chronic Pain

I am not what you might call genetically born strong, but I learn that if I have to survive the cards I was dealt. I needed to find the strength to deal with our son's 7 open heart surgery from congenital Heart defect, to deal with 3 strokes he had 2 of them during long procedures, deal with his neurological challenges up to this days that he lives with us at age 42. But I learned that I can only do the best I can, I cannot change realities that are not in my control, and therefore most important not to see myself as a victim,. I can feel what you say about going through some difficult time, specially that your beloved husband passed away, but you are an individual by yourself, if your husband can see you in your despair, I am sure he would want you to go on with your life, find happiness in what you have, and dont look constantly at how you wish your life was or could have been. Broken back of your son, or issues with your grandchildren, or even your daughter's stroke, all those are emotionally challenging, but not in your control, and you are not emotionally responsible for everything around you. At this stage of life you are responsible for your wellbeing, and the younger member of your Family should worry for your wellbeing. Using big words like Depression are not useful, unless you were diagnosed by a psychiatrist, and even then things can be kept in control with the right therapy and or medication. When you wake up tomorrow morning, take a deep breath, and think positively about what you can do about having a good day tomorrow, despite your "worries". Think about planning something to look forward to for next week, and for next month, forget the bad mood that you associate with depression, make friends, go on a cruise, fill your life with enough positive, so that the scale of the balance of your life will lift the positive side, to at least equal and with time to surpass the temporarily negative side of your life balance.