How I Advise People With Ascending Aortic Aneurysms, While I'm Just An AAA Guy.Hi folks,
My life was changed, dramatically, in 2010, at age 67. I self-diagnosed an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), as a direct result of odd things happening in the Lake Placid Ironman race. I went, from Ironman-distance triathlete, scientist, to aortic cripple - in my mind. Seemingly over night. I found great surgeons, had a Cook Zenith stent inserted, and returned to Ironman training. I was the first person in the world, that I know of, that completed a full Ironman with an AAA stent graft.
However, I couldn't find anyone to talk to about my situation, so I started blogging; see AthleteWithStent.Com.
This led, eventually, to the people who made my stent, creating a short video about my life. (https://youtu.be/zHDzIzQmnFQ)
What has this to do with heart disease?
As I started blogging, I found that people with ascending aortic aneurysms, often with aortic valve involvement, and having survived open heart repair, would write to me for advice. They wanted to know how to return to safe exercise, even wishing to return to sports.
The real trick, once you survive the surgery, is to get your life back on track. In spite of great surgeons at UNC and Cleveland, I still had to work most of this out for myself.
I provide encouragement and guidance, whilst promoting the balance needed to incorporate the input of medical professionals, family, friends, and one's own need to exercise within the constraints of your personal level of 'risk averseness.' An interesting equation.
This old post of mine might interest anyone wanting to decide how, or whether, to return to sports:
Sending everyone good vibes. Remember to thank your surgeons, stay in contact with them, and work out how to take charge of your life again.
Here is what my last surgeon, at the Cleveland Clinic had to say about this: https://youtu.be/3SrAOReTMog
Wishing everyone well,
Kevin aka FitOldDog
PS there are some really inspiring people out there, such as Benjamin Carey, who finished the NYC Marathon, with his surgeon, one year after open heart surgery for an ascending aortic aneurysm. All this stuff is linked on my blog, in addition to links to supportive Facebook groups.