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Milligan45 karma

While you're in apheresis, ask them if you can look in the centrifuge at the extraction process. (There's a microscope built into the machine). It's pretty interesting to see, and you probably won't get another chance.

Milligan30 karma

One of the rules is no dental procedures for at least six months afterwards (I had the same procedure 5 months ago). But since she was born with aortic stenosis, and has had it diagnosed all her life, she is probably already under that restriction and will be for the rest of her life. Source: I was diagnosed with aortic stenosis about 50 years ago.

Milligan24 karma

I just want to point out that bone marrow donations don't usually involve even this minor surgery - it's only used for certain types of cancers. Most donations are done using apheresis, where blood is taken out in an IV tube, centrifuged to remove the bone marrow stem cells and returned to you in another tube. It's pretty much painless and takes a few hours.

So don't be afraid to sign up.

Milligan17 karma

Who stops to get their taxes done on the spur of the moment.

Nobody does. But when they do decide to get them done, and are trying to decide where, what do you think they remember first?

Milligan15 karma

I had aortic insufficiency (from rheumatic fever when I was 12). The cardiologists told me that some day the valve would need to be replaced, but that I should wait since the technology kept getting better. I lived with it until about age 60, the only effect it had was that I wasn't very good at some sports, I got out of breath sooner than most people.

At age 60 I developed a constant dry cough and shortness of breath which was caused by congestive heart failure (CHF). So, they replaced the valve. Because I was low-risk for the operation they did a full open heart and replaced the valve with a bovine valve. After months of recovery and cardiac rehab I got back to feeling normal.

Unfortunately, the valve experienced a mechanical failure after one year and the CHF came back suddenly and with a vengance. During that year, though, the rules had changed and they were allowed to replace it with a TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), where the put a catheter in your leg through the blood vessels to the heart and place a new valve inside the old one. Then just inflate it with a balloon and you have a new valve. It took 45 minutes and I was home the next day before noon. I still had to re-do the cardiac rehab again, but it was much easier this time.

So, have your cardiologist monitor it, but don't be in any hurry to replace it, the TAVR will be the standard of care for most people before too long. And who knows what technologies they may have in 50 years.