Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 08-27-2021 09:25

    I posted earlier but not sure if it went through. I apologize if there are two. A dialation was found back in June of 4.2 as an incidental finding on a calcium CT.  THE calcium score was zero which is great but the dilation has me very shook up. A cardiologist has referred me to a cardio-thoracic surgeon so they can follow me going forward. There are no other heart problems, no high BP that has ever been noted, no family history, no connective tissue disease. I am overweight but not obese and do have high triglycerides. 

    I am so sad and frankly in a bit of shock. I really don't take any meds although the cardiologist put me on a low dose beta blocker now. I feel like a sickly person. I am 63. 

    any words of encouragement or advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm terrified of dropping dead. I see a surgeon in September so that I can be put on the follow up schedule. 

    Cindy M

  • 2.  RE: Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 08-28-2021 09:58
    Hi Cindy,

    I didn't have your issue, but I did have a heart attack and emergency quintuple bypass surgery 3 1/2 years ago at the age of 67.  I was and still am a lifelong gym rat and I'm here to tell you that you are not going to drop dead.  Well, okay, eventually you will as will we all, but this little mechanical problem you have isn't changing anything as long as you follow your doctor's instructions.

    By the way, there are tons of people on this site that have the same medical problem as you, and I am sure that they will be coming out of the woodwork in response to one or the other of your 2 posts, sharing their experiences with you.

    One last thing.  I'm doing absolutely everything now that I did before I heart attack and open heart surgery.  The only differences in my lifestyle have to do with getting old and have nothing to do with my heart.  I don't lift as much weight as I used to lift, 10, 20, 40 years ago but that's only because I'm not 30 or even 50 anymore.  I retired from the full-time practice of law 10 months ago, but that was because I didn't want to work full-time past the age of 70.  I have more important things to do now, like smell the roses.  I still love to eat and do eat, healthy foods, but I always ate healthy foods.  And, as I think William Powell once said, or maybe it was Myrna Loy, I still like to "slip out of those wet clothes and into a dry martini."

    Good luck, keep laughing at life, and please keep us posted.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 3.  RE: Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 08-30-2021 09:48
    Dear Cindy: Its very scary, hearing about your heart being sick.   the others have given you great advice. You can also get a second opinion.  Please do not trust all the internet information; you must see doctors who can examine you, and advise you specifically.  Tell them the truth about all your medical  history and family history as you know it.   
    myself, i was at age 55 diagnosed with mitrovalve prolapse that would need surgery "some time in the future." The  doctor told me to lose weight and exercise.  Surgery doesn't scare me ( I have had several for  other conditions) and I did NOT take the advice seriously.  This was not wise.  ( Even so, now I am 9 years post open heart surgery with complications  and all is well these days … 3 more grandchildren later )  
    Count all your blessings and do what you can to help others.   Do healthy activities and when/if you need surgery, you will be in good condition for recovery!!

    Marilyn Rosenhouse
    Dallas Tx

  • 4.  RE: Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 08-31-2021 07:45

    Hello Cindy. 

    I was diagnosed in February with a bicuspid valve, moderate stenosis and a 4.8 cm aneurysm of the ascending aorta! I was stunned and terrified and so incredibly sad! I was referred to a cardiologist and he did an CT and they said it was really at 4.6.  Still didn't make me feel any better and I am not to thrilled with my cardiologist either. I have my 6 month follow up today and another scan to see if it has grown or not. I have become so much more relaxed about it. You will find as time goes on that you will too. I haven't even been referred to a surgeon. I hope once you talk with them you will understand more and be able to relax a bit. Take the meds, ask every question you want even if it sounds silly!!! And if for any reason you are not happy with your team then by all means find another. Today will be my 2nd meeting with my cardiologist and if I am not happy with him I will be looking for a new one. I pray you can relax a bit as it's important for your health an mental health as well. Take care, keep us posted and ask anything of us you wish!!

    Erin Feaker

  • 5.  RE: Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 08-31-2021 16:03
    goid advice .  I suggest writtout all your questions in advance.  ( we get so excited in the doctors offices, we forgee we t the questions.  Also : important TIP: Write down the answers!!!!  Also i recommend bringing someone you trust to come with along:  . 2 pairs of ears are better that than one pair 

    Marilyn B. Rosenhouse
    Mobile: (214)850-0655

  • 6.  RE: Ascending Aortic dilation new diagnosis, very frightened

    Posted 09-16-2021 16:21
    I'm right there with you. Just found out the same news earlier this week and am waiting to talk to the Dr.. I have a CT scheduled a month from now (soooo  long to wait!) so I'm trying to remain hopeful and calm. I'm so sorry others are going through this but it's comforting to know I'm not alone. Also feeling grateful I found this site!

    Lisa Malmar
    Marketing Director