My mom

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My mom

Post by thebigscott on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:12 pm

Well I just found out last night that my mom will likely have to have heart surgery soon. She's 70 and in reasonably good health. You'd never suspect a heart problem. But she's had a leaky valve for years. Lately she's had arrythmia and low energy. Turns out that her leaky valve is much worse and that she has enlargement of the heart (probably as a result of the medications she's on). She's really bummed because she had a good doctor that she liked, but the dr. was almost 2 hours away so she switched to a local dr. who should have been monitoring the valve and the potential complication of heart damage from her medication. Apparently the local dr. wasn't taking it seriously so now she has permanent damage and will have to have this surgery. She found it when she switched doctors yet again to a third dr. who was much more competant.

Anyhow my sis is freaking out and wanting me to research hospitals, etc. I'm nowhere near as worried. I know my mom well enough to know that she most likely won't go to a hospital that's more than an hour away, so there's not much point to the research. I also know that despite the current situation my mom is in good health, is thin, exercises, eats right, doesn't smoke, etc. She's a dream patient as far as taking care of herself goes.

The one thing I am worried about is that she has a tendancy to develop odd reactions to medications. I'm far more worried about an allergic reaction to the anesthesia than I am to her not doing recovering well from procedure.

I'm also a realist in all this. My mom would NEVER want to have a long steady decline in health. She would rather die during a surgery or from a complication than just about any other way. She's told me a million times that if someone ever tries to put her on life support she wants us to turn it off, poison her, or just shoot her. She hates being sick, feeling useless, or like a burden and she views life support as state sponsored torture.

Personally, I think she'll be just fine though. I just don't have the vibe that this is her time.

Oh, and in case you're wondering. We get along OK most of the time, but we aren't super close. She's a type A personality while I am the exact opposite. I see her about once a month and talk to her most weeks on the phone. Any more than that and she ends up driving me crazy.
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Re: My mom

Post by KellyM on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:18 pm

I hope that everything goes well and that there is no cause for concern. Given that she is currently in good health, her chances at coming out of surgery without any complications are much better than if she wasn't in good health.
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Re: My mom

Post by Rebecca1340 on Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:52 pm

It's scarey, but it's amazing how far heart surgery has come. I hope everything goes well and she has a smooth, speedy recovery.

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Re: My mom

Post by tara on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:10 pm

They haven't scheduled it yet? Does that mean there is hope that it wont be necessary? I hope she is back in tiptop shape in no time. Keep us posted.
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Re: My mom

Post by Lori on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:25 pm

thebigscott wrote: My mom would NEVER want to have a long steady decline in health. She would rather die during a surgery or from a complication than just about any other way. She's told me a million times that if someone ever tries to put her on life support she wants us to turn it off, poison her, or just shoot her.

I hope she has someone who understands exactly how she feels appointed as her Medical Power of Attorney. It sounds like that might be you, Karen.

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Re: My mom

Post by agaphmou on Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:32 pm

I wish the best for your mom,and I think she will be fine.Medical advances really HAVE come a long way.
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Re: My mom

Post by thebigscott on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:01 pm

Lori, the whole family knows and she has a living will, so that part should be OK.

Tara, nope they haven't scheduled it put it seems quite likely. They said the leaking was severe.

And Rebecca and everyone else... thanks. Much appreciated. And yes they have come quite a long way. If she didn't have such frequent bad reactions to medications I'd be almost relaxed about this all. We went through a lot of similar things with Scott's dad and I'm kind of used to the idea that you can have major medical problems and still live for years.

I'll keep you all up to date as I find out more. She has a test (TEE a trans esophageal echocardiogram) on Tuesday after which they'll know for sure what they want to do. She had other tests earlier in the week but I'm not sure which ones. For one of them she had to wear a halter and be monitored for 24 hours. The other was probably a regular echo or an ultrasound. My mom lets all tech terms go in one ear and out the other, LOL.
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Re: My mom

Post by trax on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:42 pm

the best 2 yr mom/you/and families
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Re: My mom

Post by edbson on Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:52 pm

She will be fine, sounds like she is healthy and happy. Keep us posted

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Re: My mom

Post by bizzeedee on Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:15 pm

I hardly know what to say... except hope all turns out alright.
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Re: My mom

Post by chelle on Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:25 pm

I hope everything goes smooth karen, I think that these types of surguries are almost common place now. Like you said, reactions are the biggest concerns.

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Re: My mom

Post by thebigscott on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:23 pm

Well we got back some preliminary results today. It turns out that the scan was today. Tues was just a Dr. visit. Anyhow they now think that she may not need the surgery and if she does, it will be valve repair, not replacement. The valves ARE leaking more they they used to and more than is acceptable, but it's not as bad as the earlier (less accurate) test showed. The Dr. is going to review the results again before making a decision. Either way it's good news. The repair is far less invasive than the replacement. Also her Dr. said that unless her symptoms were causing problems, there's no hurry to do the surgery even if she does need it. She can put it off until a more convienient time and has some time to research her options such as which hospital has the best care, etc. Mom is really happy (me, too).
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Re: My mom

Post by trax on Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:45 pm

I am happy for your good news.
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Re: My mom

Post by tara on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:15 pm

That is great Karen, I have my fingers crossed for her.
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Re: My mom

Post by agaphmou on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:22 pm

Awesome! I had a good feeling!
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Re: My mom

Post by Lori on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:56 pm

Great news! I'm glad that they're being conservative in her treatment.

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Re: My mom

Post by KellyM on Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:36 pm

Glad to hear it!
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Re: My mom

Post by chelle on Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:08 pm

great news karen!

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