Read About Our Personal Journey with Blood Thinners and WATCHMAN

Just How Resilient Are You?

Blood thinners have a very specific purpose, but sometimes their side effects can be daunting. Are you between that rock and a hard place?

Regardless of the reason, if you’re on blood thinners chances are you’re feeling like my BoomerGuy did.  Fatigued, lacking energy and with the potential risk of  excessive bleeding and bruising.

If you have followed our story, he suffered a major heart attack 7 ½ years ago.  Fortunately, he rebounded and is now living a full life with me, his wife of 38 years and friends and family.  Having lived with Afib (atrial fibrillation) most of his life, he was considered “high risk” for stroke, so his cardiologist placed him on two different blood thinners immediately following his cardiac incident.  There is no question those blood thinners helped to prolong his life and reduced his risk of having a stroke.  The question is:  at what cost?

I am so thankful to have my BoomerGuy by my side. Yep, that’s me, 71, happy and enjoying life.

I am so thankful not to be a widow.   Rather I’m quite enjoying sitting here with the opportunity to write this blog.  Whenever possible I’m always sending along special thanks and accolades to his cardiologist and the team who intervened to save his life.

It was about six years after being introduced to blood thinners that we noticed him having considerably less energy.  He has always been very active, even after the heart attack.  He exercises routinely, rides his bike with fervor and maintains a highly positive outlook during the day.  Until…

It was painful for me to watch a Type A personality go from being super active to sitting around a lot and napping several times during the day.  This behavior was more like what he experienced immediately following his release from the hospital.  I started him off with a walker, he threw that into the bushes on his first stroll.  Then he would walk and hang onto me.  Once he got up to speed on his own, there was no holding him back.

So, what was happening to my BoomerGuy?  He just wasn’t his same vibrant self.

He underwent an angioplasty to determine if there was new blockage, which would most definitely slow him down.  The results came back negative, everything was completely clear and his stent placement was clean and perfect.

The only other variable had to be the blood thinners.  After consulting with his cardiologist, they determined it was time to eliminate the blood thinners, or at least one of them.  The one they felt was causing the most harm.

But you can’t just take a patient off blood thinners without having a contingency, replacement plan.  His cardiologist brought to our attention a new and well-proven treatment called Left Atrial Appendage Closure (LAAC), or more commonly known as the WATCHMAN by Boston Scientific.  

Just updated from Boston Scientific, these are the numbers of patients who have successfully received the WATCHMAN implant.

It is a minimally invasive procedure where an FDA approved device is implanted into the left atrium of the heart.  Once in place, the heart tissue grows over the device essentially closing off the area where the majority of blood clots form creating the highest risk of stroke.  If successful, the patient then can eliminate blood thinners from their daily medicine routine.

I am not going to delve into all that goes along with this procedure, rather I would point you in the direction of the website, and this helpful link explaining how the WATCHMAN works  Both will provide a very clear understanding of what to expect along with a full risk assessment, in addition to several testimonials that you will find most helpful. 

It is only with extensive consultation with your cardiologist that you should consider the WATCHMAN.  If you are a candidate, then you have the good fortune to look forward to a life without blood thinners and all the side effects they bring along with them.  

My BoomerGuy is coming up on his first anniversary of having gone through the WATCHMAN.  It was an immense success, “text book” actually according to his cardiologist, and he has been “blood thinner” free as a result.  He has his energy back and is not susceptible to all the fatigue, bruising and excessive bleeding risk that went along with the blood thinners.

My BoomerGuy, Bill, enjoying a tour of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena post WATCHMAN. He looks terrific and his energy is back full time.

As a result of his experience, he has been an active supporter of the WATCHMAN and serves as an ambassador not only for Boston Scientific but also for one of the local hospitals here in southern California excelling in this procedure.  You can read his incredible story at this link.

The hospital where he had the WATCHMAN performed. A truly outstanding institution.

What a joy it is to have my BoomerGuy back to his old rambunctious self.  Every day is a blessing for us, so we choose to live life to the fullest.  I hope you found this message inspiring and if so, please pass it along to anyone who might be interested in this remarkable technology.  

We remain relevant in all that we do, and I trust you do the same.  This is your life and that of your friends and family, so live it to the MAX each and every day.  

Your Number One BoomerGal, Connie.  

DISCLAIMER.  I am not a medical professional nor profess to be.  The intent of this blog is to share information related to a personal experience with a medical procedure which is currently available for people suffering from specific health conditions.  With all medical procedures there are risks associated with this implant procedure and the use of this device.  Every experience with the WATCHMAN Implant is unique, so it is important to discuss with your doctor whether the WATCHMAN Implant is right for you. Do not make changes to your treatment plan unless instructed by your doctor.  Be sure to talk with your doctor so that you thoroughly understand all of the risks and benefits associated with the implantation of this device.

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