Mended Hearts Open Forum

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  • 1.  AAA diagnosis

    Posted 02-08-2023 08:30
    Hello, I am very happy to find this forum, trying to navigate and figure out where to post my concerns. I was recently diagnosed with a 4.6 cm AAA, found on a CT scan for back pain I was having. I am 58 years old, have good blood pressure, but do you have genetically high cholesterol, but also high good cholesterol, so my ratio is in the middle. I don't have any stenosis or hardening of the arteries. They believe this happened because I have lupus and Sjogren's and I've been on long-term steroids. I believe it's called the IAAA. I have three grandchildren and feel very stressed about dying and just fearful about even picking my granddaughter of who's 18 pounds. I am small 5 6, 120 pounds, and I can feel the aneurysm pulsing to the left of my abdominal by my belly button. It obviously has gotten larger. I did not know what it was before but now it's very distinct and bothersome. Are there others that have this symptom? My doctor wants me to have endovascular repair either now electively or when it gets to 5.0 but because I'm on steroids, I believe the risk of rupture is higher. I see a vascular surgeon who is highly regarded here in Oregon at Oregon Health Science University, Dr. Abrams, on the 22nd of this month. I am basically pretty scared and hopeless and have a sense of doom. I think I'm still in shock a bit. I've been doing well with my autoimmune diseases and work out ~fairly active and just obviously was not expecting this news. I went back on my MRIs for 2014 2018 and 2023 where they see it. I took them into my Doctor Who said he feels like he sees changes in 2014 that are not normal but for sure in 2018 the shape of the aneurysm is the same shape it is now ~it is just larger now. He said that's good news in a way that it's been there for a while. My son thought I got this from falling down the stairs but I told him I don't believe that's possible. I also have a cerebral aneurysm they've been watching for nine years that has not grown found on an incidental MRI for a headache about 13 years ago. I have read people with autoimmune disease, have an increased risk of developing aneurysms due to the collagen and inflammatory effects of the disease. Just wondering if anyone else has any kind of autoimmune disease. And how many opinions people sought before having surgery? Has anyone elected to have surgery before 5 cm? That is a woman? Again, I am so grateful for finding this community, reading the stories of people and the postings I read, has given me hope, obviously that I'm not alone, and that this can be overcome. I am just the beginning stages for me trying to figure out what this will do to my life in general. Thank you for any advice or feedback you can offer and thank you again for sharing. Your stories in this community is valuable resource for people like me.

    Mollie Carey