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Posts (63)

Fri, Jan 24 9:45pm · Renal - Infrarenal Aortic Aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

Consumer Reports has some information on choosing a top hospital that might be helpful in your research:

There’s also sites like HealthGrades or ZocDoc for physician reviews or even Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors. They are all free and reading reviews from others may help.

Fri, Jan 24 9:10pm · Ascending Aortic Dilation - Ascending Aortic Aneurysm in Aortic Aneurysms

Thanks for the tag @colleenyoung! @jend, it’s great to hear you are being proactive about things, and the shock is understandable – getting a diagnosis can trigger a range of emotions. It sounds like you’re doing a lot to educate yourself and prepare.

Mayo Clinic’s guide to preparing for a thoracic aortic aneurysm appointment may be a great place to start: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thoracic-aortic-aneurysm/diagnosis-treatment/preparing-for-appointment/ptc-20122088

They offer some basic questions to ask the doctor including:

What’s the most likely cause of my symptoms?
What kinds of tests will I need to confirm a thoracic aortic aneurysm?
What treatments are available, and which do you recommend for me?
What’s an appropriate level of physical activity?
Do I need to change my diet?
How often should I be screened for an aneurysm?
Should I tell other family members to be screened for an aneurysm?
I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing me?
Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting for more information?

It may also be helpful to check out these questions suggested by The Texas Heart Institute: http://www.texasheart.org/HIC/HeartDoctor/answer_1410.cfm
And the American Academy of Cardiology: https://www.cardiosmart.org/Heart-Conditions/Aortic-Aneurysm/Questions-to-Ask-Your-Doctor

Best of luck at your appointment…and please keep us all posted.


Nov 1, 2016 · Septal Ablation for HCM in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

One thought is that the local chapter of the American Heart Association maybe be able to suggest some resources on sepal ablation in the NY area or maybe even put you in touch with some peers who have gone through the procedure. I believe the American Heart Association also has a forum and perhaps posting there might be another way to get feedback and reach out to others. They may have forums for different geographic areas. If there a certain treatment center or hospital you are considering they might be able to do the same.

Oct 31, 2016 · Septal Ablation for HCM in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hi @mummy12 – a second opinion can be helpful when considering options. That is something to consider in making a decision.

Here are a few questions to ask your doctor that may aid in decision making also:

What are the risks and/or benefits of each procedure?
Is it possible to first get consultations from both a surgeon who could perform a septal myectomy and an interventional cardiologist who could perform alcohol septal ablation?
Do you recommend that I visit a HCM center of excellence?
Which procedure is ideal for my individual situation?
How can I find out if a physician and/or medical center is qualified to perform alcohol septal ablation?
What do I need to do prior to my procedure to prepare?
What can I expect following the procedure?
What everyday activities should I avoid following the procedure?
When will I be able to resume my normal lifestyle and return to work?

Oct 31, 2016 · Diminished kidney function in Kidney & Bladder

Hi @macarl, as others have mentioned, seeing a specialist is the best way to get an accurate diagnosis, rule out problems, and discuss treatment options. It can be stressful, but take comfort in the fact that you are being proactive about your health. That’s a great thing!

That said, here are some tips that may help with the upcoming appointment along with some sample questions to ask. They all may not apply to your situation but I wanted to pass them along perhaps as a starting point.

– Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there’s anything you need to do in advance, such as limiting your sodium or fluid intake.
– Write down any symptoms you’re experiencing. Include all symptoms whether you think they may be related or not
– Write down key personal information, including any major stresses, recent life changes and family history.
– Make a list of current medications, vitamins or supplements that you are taking
– Consider taking a family member or friend to your appointment. They can provide support and help you remember all the information discussed during the appointment.
– Gather any medical records required by your new doctor
– Write down questions to ask your doctor so you are prepared and can make the most of your time together.

Examples of questions to ask from Mayo Clinic

Is my kidney function worsening?
Do I need more tests?
What’s causing my condition?
Can the damage to my kidneys be reversed?
What are my treatment options?
What are the potential side effects of each treatment?
I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
Do I need to eat a special diet?
Can you refer me to a dietitian who can help me plan my meals?
Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing?
Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
How often do I need to have my kidney function tested?

Best of luck!!

Oct 31, 2016 · Need help with finding Otolanyingoloist! in Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT)

The American Academy of Otolaryngology website has a tool that might be useful for finding a new doctor: http://www.entnet.org/content/find-ent

Oct 24, 2016 · Reoccurrence of colon cancer in Colorectal Cancer

Hi @jww1, emotional support can really important when you’re going through something as stressful as a recurrence of cancer. There was many forms of support available.

For example, the local hospital may run support groups. Your local chapter of the American Cancer Society could be a great resource too. Sometimes being around others going through cancer can help, to talk things through, get advice. Share with your doctor about how you’re feeling emotionally — they may have some suggestions too.

Please don’t go this alone.

Oct 24, 2016 · Alzheimer's: Caregiver Advice Requested in Caregivers: Dementia

Hi @cmm740, and welcome. I feel for you. My grandfather, who I was extremely close to a lived with my entire life, fought a long battle with Alzheimer’s and it wasn’t until the very late stages of his disease that we understood it was dementia because he hid so much from us.

My best advice to you, as someone who witnessed it and wish I knew then what I know now, is to reach out to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter depending on where they end up with the move. Most chapters have a range of resources – everything from programs for those in early stages to lots of different types of support for caregivers (including online, phone, and in person, which could support your MIL).

With my grandfather, we found that he was more willing to listen to an authority figure such as his doctor or accountant, rather than any of us. He got in a few car accidents (that he hid from us), but often things would get a little bit better when the police would give him a good talking to about his dangerous behavior.

Hope this helps and best to you and your family,