Questions about aortic aneurysms

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mominpain2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/6/2014 11:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My mom has had a aortic aneurysm for many many years. At least 15 years. She also has a leaky valve. Not exactly sure what that means. She said she had rheumatic fever when she was a child. Not sure if it is related.
I have read a lot about this condition and have tried to research it the best I can with the info she gives me and everything I have read including on this forum is that most people continue to live a fairly normal life.
My mom has seen numerous heart drs and cardiac surgeons and has I can't even tell you how many ct scans and heart caths and mris to evaluate and monitor her condition. The last tests were done just last month and the aneurysm is at 4.6 and has been right at that for years. The surgeons have told her she doesn't need surgery yet and that they are going to continue to monitor it and to come back in Dec. She gets really upset that they won't do the surgery and switches drs but now she is seeing some of the best at University of Kentucky and knows she won't find no better close to her area.
I do not go with her to her appts but my dad does and he goes in with her and they both tell me that the surgeons and the heart drs tell her not to do ANYTHING and I mean anything. She does have hbp and is on meds for that. Also her bp drops sometimes but I think that is due to the fact she doesn't do anything and when she gets up it drops. Not sure.
Anyway, after reading everything I can about this I have a really hard time believing they are telling not to do anything. She says they told her not to cough, sneeze, strain, bend over or walk. Just to sit on couch and rest. I tell her that there has to be a misunderstanding somewhere because her heart is a muscle and if she doesn't use it it will die and that walking would help bring her bp down and help keep it regulated. She gets mad at me but I am only trying to help her.
Also, I exercise 4-5 times a week. Walk, elliptical, some yoga, etc. My point is she says good for me but that it won't do me any good because this is hereditary and that I will get it anyway. I pray that's not true but my question is: Does what shes saying make sense. It just sounds off to me.
Basic info: she just turned 70; not overweight; 5ft5in. and has refused to do anything for years because of the aneurysm. I want her to get better and I don't want to go through what she is.
Any advice is much appreciated. Sorry so long. Thank you

jdiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 9/6/2014 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Can't advice but can share.

I'm 39, aortic aneurysm and prosthetic aortic valve. I exercise 5 days a week. I can't imagine my docs telling me not to. I don't lift over 20 pounds, but do resistance training for strength. I run, walk, bike, yoga, pilates, TRX. My AA is only 3.9.

Exercise is good for you! That's not to say that it may have to be modified, but doing nothing is bad for the body and the mind.

mominpain2
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/6/2014 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
That's what I keep telling her but she won't even walk a little. Just to the bathroom and back. If she has to go anywhere even across the street my dad drives her. I just don't see how that can be good for her but she won't listen to me.
She keeps saying that the drs are just gonna wait around and let her die from a ruptured aneurysm and she really wants the surgery. I don't know what else to do to help her and thank you for your opinion.
After her telling me that I'm gonna have ths too I will admit I do worry everytime I have back pain or even a chest twinge when running or walking but I'm pretty sure mine is muscle related even though she think otherwise

jdiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1157
   Posted 9/7/2014 12:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Again, only my opinion.... while AA can be genetic, that still isn't a 100% that you will have it too. That's a little unfair to saddle you with that weight. However, being prepared is always a good thing. And having an AA isn't a death sentence, it's about understanding the condition and being monitored. For women in non child barring years, 5.0 is the typical measurement for surgery. If there is a possibility for pregnancy, they usually recommend surgery at 4.5. Or at least in my congenital clinic, that's the case.

I am the main caregiver to my father. He's a type II diabetic, has had a major stroke and heart attack, with a CABG x 5. He won't listen to a darn thing I say. I took the time to make sure he had the tools he needed and educated him the best I could on his conditions and what he can do to get and stay healthy. Arranged nutritionists and social workers to help me talk to him. I ask his doctors to talk to him at every appt and I sit there and make sure they talk about diet and exercise. But other than that, he has to make his own choices and he WILL NOT listen to me. And he still eats hot dogs and drinks sodas all the time :)

Sometimes you just have to let it go...... I don't think parents like listening to their children.

IBDNewbie
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 9/9/2014 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
As a 62yo mom with an AAA, I agree with jdiane that exercise is a very important aspect of physical and mental well-being. My cardiologist said the only thing I should not do is lift weights. So I do Pilates 2x/week, walk 10 miles/week and do yoga or some stretching one day/week. I also have a venous angioma in my brain and my neurologist insists that I continue to exercise. (He just says don't go skydiving or scuba diving). In fact, there isn't a doctor in my world that says otherwise. As to the genetic issue, I have two sons. I was worried about them and had the genetic testing (for all types of aneurysm diseases -- FAAD, Marfan, etc) and that was negative. So just because your mom has an aneurysm, it certainly doesn't mean you're going to have one as well. I do have a genetic heart abnormality (structural) that one of my sons has (he also has IBD -- hence my screen name) but it has nothing to do with aneurysms. Again, I agree with jdiane that an AA isn't even close to being a death sentence. A little bit of knowledge, preparation and perhaps a new doctor for your mom might go a long way. Wish you both the best.
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