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  • Gettin' Old Ain't For Wusses

    Well, here’s another exciting episode in the adventures of Getting Old Ain’t For Wusses! My cardiac docs found that my left side carotid artery was 60% blocked and had been tossing little tidbits of swarf into my brain resulting in my recent series of strokes on the right side of my body. Wed. morning they sliced in there & cleaned it out leaving me with a little scar, a numb face & a tongue that doesn’t work right. Both symptoms were explained in great detail before the surgery was done. They have to go through the nerves in that area to get to the artery.

    Oh yeah, I have 75% blockage on the right side so I get to do this all over again in a month or two.

    Double oh yeah, they spliced in a patch of cow artery to add some more OD to my carotid & reduce the restriction. Where does a feller get ahold of some cud? I’m just dying for chew. MOO!

    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...d%20sugery.jpg

    https://hosting.photobucket.com/imag...20Fittings.jpg

    Milton

    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

  • #2
    My BiL had this done and an almost immediate result was a significant improvement in his eyesight.
    Glad they found out you needed it and hope it all works well for you.
    Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
    9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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    • #3
      That's an ailment that is a tough call. The doctors don't like to clear it since the chance of complication is great. They actually have at least 3 different ways to clear it. Well, 3 that I recall. They all have some risks. My left one was in the "more than 90% blocked" when they finally cleared it. I was lucky, no problems**. Stents were considered experimental for this use when they did mine.

      All three techniques have the possibility of causing a chunk of plaque to break free which then has a super-highway straight to the brain.

      Techniques:
      1) Surgically open the artery and scrape (actually peel) off the plaque and then sew everything back together. Complications may include a) stroke from debris b) nerve damage c) burst artery d) artery to damaged to reattach.

      2) Run a stent up through the vascular system. When it gets to the blockage expand it and compress the plaque against the artery wall. Complications a) stroke from debris b) damaged artery

      3) Insert a small roto-rooter to grind out the plaque and catch the bits with a micro vacuum. Complications same as stent

      Dan
      ** There was a minor problem. I agreed to let medical students "observe" and "participate in my care". One of them was inserting the stent via the groin and missed the offramp. The stent ended up over near a kidney where they gave up and parked it. I no longer allow students to observe or participate in my health care. I would not mind the observation if I could be assured that everyone understood that meant "hands off".
      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by danlb View Post
        ** There was a minor problem. I agreed to let medical students "observe" and "participate in my care". One of them was inserting the stent via the groin and missed the offramp. The stent ended up over near a kidney where they gave up and parked it. I no longer allow students to observe or participate in my health care. I would not mind the observation if I could be assured that everyone understood that meant "hands off".
        That is a good point. I'll mention it to my wife. She is a full time service provider and she teaches both students and residents. Of course at some point they have to touch a patient or soon our aging population of docs will die out and there won't be anymore.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #5
          My surgeon said the method he used had the lowest odds of me having a stroke on the table (2%) whereas the stent method is 5%. I'm too old to do the roto-rooter process due to brittle arteries (I think). My blockage was low enough that he had good access to the artery and was able to split it open like a banana, scrape out the crud & stitch it up using a gore shaped piece of cow artery to replace the area lost by the stitching method.
          Milton

          "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

          "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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          • #6
            Happy to see you able to type this thread. Keep on kicking back! ! !

            And ya, this stuff ain't for the weak and sniveling.....
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              Wow! Your incision looks like it was done by a plumber. Mine was smaller and they had to spread the rib cage too.

              Welcome to the Bovine Club. I'm coming up on the 2nd anniversary of my new aortic valve. It even has a serial number. They gave me a card to carry in my wallet.

              They couldn't believe none of my arteries were closing up. They checked twice--Once with some kind of color ultrasound and another with a stint and dye. That wasn't fun at all.

              At least they told you that you might wake up after surgery. They told me I might not.

              Get well quick.

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              • #8
                Glad that you are re-plumbed and improving.
                Next time, don't be such a stickler for doing things the old way, have PEX installed.
                Nerves do regrow although slowly. I'm sure they told you that.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                  .....
                  Nerves do regrow although slowly. I'm sure they told you that.
                  For ones that will, a family member was told it is at a rate of 1mm/month. No confirmation of that, but it seemed to correlate with their experience.
                  CNC machines only go through the motions

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                  • #10
                    Glad you made it out ok. Kim Jong Un not so lucky!

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                    • #11
                      Glad you are with us .I would think its a bad time to be in hospital anywhere in the world at the moment.Thats quite some scar.

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                      • #12
                        Man O man, they slit your throat. And you gave them permission to do it. I have had a bypass operation and was not completely aware of the side effects, including numb areas in my legs. They had to go in my legs at two or three different places to find a good blood vesicle they could harvest and use.

                        Glad to hear that you are recovering. And you still have a sense of humor. Good luck with the next go-round. I will keep you in my prayers but I don't think I can offer any help with that bovine thing.
                        Paul A.
                        SE Texas

                        And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                        You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                        • #13
                          umm?
                          Click image for larger version

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                          Getting old is not for the faint of heart, so I'm told (no pun intended). Looks like you're past the point where living fast and dying young is an option?

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                          • #14
                            My mom had both of her carotid's done quite a few years ago. She recovered well. I went all in with a heart attack followed by emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery on April 1st of 2013. Yep, April Fools day! Doctors & nurses told me I was lucky to survive. 9 days in the hospital, I recovered fine, sore, but no real pain, never needed any pain med's of any kind. The surgeon was unable to repair one blockage he couldn't reach around the back side. After surgery the doctor told me I had abnormally small heart arteries. A year later my cardiologist didn't like the results of my stress test so they scoped me out and one of the bypasses was completely plugged beyond help but she found another small artery that was partially blocked and she put a stent in it to give me all the flow she could. I've now got about 3/5's of the blood flow as a normal heart and my cholesterol had never been above 140 before the heart attack, now runs about 100. Someday another open heart may be required. Oh well. Yeah, getting old is hell but it sure beats the alternative!
                            Glad you caught it in time.

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                            • #15
                              Quite the ordeal, DB. Did you get to choose the cattle breed for the tubing stock? I might have gone for Angus, myself - spent my youth around them.

                              May a rapid recovery soon be yours - and maybe some new shop toys to go with ...

                              Eugene

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