We recently found out that my mom has two aortic aneurysms. One is abdominal and one is descending thoracic. My mom has never had high blood pressure or hardening of the arteries, but her mother had an aortic aneurysm so there is a genetic predisposition. It is probably something I will have to talk to my doctor about.
My mom's thoracic aneurysm is large and would normally be taken care of with surgery. However, she is 91 years old and although she is in really good health otherwise, major surgery at her age is extremely risky. So yesterday, she and I sat down and talked to a surgeon. We knew we had some decisions to make.
It was a half full or half empty kind of discussion and it was difficult. Mom is still very much enjoying life. She is sharp as a tack, still drives, plays bridge often during a month, and loves to dress up and look pretty. I recently reorganized her closets for the colder months and noted that she has 39 pairs of pants. (I'm not sure Macy's has that many different pairs)
I asked the doctor what he would advise if it was his mom. He said he would advise her to just keep on living. To keep doing the things she loves. He said my mom probably had several good years left and that although he would do the surgery if she wanted he believed that it would be very risky. He advised her to stop getting scans, which would just worry her and to try and put it out of her mind.
So, after asking questions and discussing it, that is what we decided to do. No matter how old we are, or how old our parents are, we don't want to lose them. We want to do something to help them, but sometimes all we can do is be supportive and offer love.
None of us get out of this life alive, and as my mom said she has had a very long life. I hope the doctor is right and she has a few good years left. We are choosing to see the glass as half full.
You can find more information on aortic aneurysms here.