I have searched the web pages for something that could help me. I have viewed information on abdominal aortic aneurysms and I feel that I understand this medical condition. My mother is the subject of this matter. She was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm in 1995 when she was being treated for a myocardial infarction. She suffered damage to her lower ventricle which is functioning at about 10% capacity. (I am remembering information from her file, but it may not be 100% accurate - for example her damage may be 20%). She has been carefully monitored by her heart doctor (Dr. Jina), and also has been administered MIBI tests and CT scan tests by both Dr. Jina and Dr. Carmen Iannicello - a respected vascular surgeon. Here is our problem. Her aneurysm is now 6 cm in diameter.
I was allowed to view the CT Scan and I could see her condition. I have great respect for her doctors but my family is suffering a great deal. The reason being - for the second time my mother's surgery has been post-poned. Here in Windsor, Ontario Canada we have no beds in I.C.U. to accommodate my mother after her surgery! The second time her surgery was cancelled - she was already admitted. During the confusion of political problems, the did not succeed in getting in touch with us before we left the house. You see, we had left the house when my mom's bowels had quieted down - you see she had consumed the drink which empties her bowels prior to surgery. She had to take it at home because the short stay unit was "shut down" due to financial reasons and it wasn't opened up until 4:00 p.m. the day before her surgery. The Head of Admitting advised us in admitting that there was a problem. Needless to say she was quite upset, my family was upset and my mom was in shock. We immediately handled the situation the best way we could. I brought her home and we watched "As Good As It Gets". Ironically, it seemed appropriate.
The situation is only bearable because of our faith in God. I and my brothers and my father are suffering just knowing how valiant our mom is. She realizes she is living with a time bomb. She feels sorry for her surgeon who is being taxed to the limit. The vascular surgeon's office explained that my mom's surgery will take about 5 to 6 hours, and because the surgeon can, and will, only perform a surgery like my moms once or twice a day maximum - we have to accept this as final. Currently she is slated for June 24, 1998. Everyone around me has been very helpful. We know how invasive this surgery will be for her and maybe it is just God's will that she does not have to suffer through this. At the same time we want her to live. I have never experienced such a reality as what we have here in Ontario. My story is not new, but I cannot believe that I have to accept the fact that a city of 300,000 people has only 14 beds in an I.C.unit that accommodates this type of surgery. We have Detroit Michigan across the river and London, Ontario is a 2 hour drive, but no one has suggested to us - that we take her there for better care. I just feel lost.
Her aneurysm is just above her tummy. I read that surgery is very risky due to the fact that the spine is supplied with blood and that paralysis can occur? Her doctor has never explained that to us. I know that it is not at the ascending aorta or in the curve of it so I have concluded it must be the descending aorta. My mom is 78. She walks up stairs to bed and does her laundry in the basement at home. She rides her stationary bike for about 5 minutes a day - and walks here and there with no pain in her chest. In fact she has little pain with her heart attack. She is on list of medication. They are:
Cozaar 50 mg a tab per day (25 mg normally - upped for surgery)
Baby aspirin - 1 per day
Potassium APOK - 1 tab
Norvasc - 5 mg - 1 tab
Novosemide - 40 mg - 1 tab
Cytotec - 200 mg - 1 tab twice per day
Vitamin E - (400 units) twice a day
Kwai Garlic - 4 to 6 a day
Luvox - 100 mg. 1 tab a day
Zocor - 1 tab a day (for cholesterol)
Can anyone advise me how to deal with this situation? Should I press on and not pursue another surgeon's advise. The situation seems quite hopeless to me at best? I guess I would love to have someone call me and say, "Barb bring your mom in now, we're ready to make her better." Anyway thanks for listening.