My name is Loren Ridinger and I was diagnosed with and underwent brain surgery for a brain aneurysm, all within a couple months. I am so grateful to Mount Sinai and Dr. Aman Patel for saving my life; over 30,000 people die each year from ruptured aneurysms and I could have been one of them if it wasn’t for this hospital and its amazing doctors.
Don’t settle for less than the best when it comes to your health. You have to be your biggest advocate – there is nothing more important! Be persistent! I had learned to live with vertigo for years because every doctor I went to said there was “nothing wrong” with me. Remember that they are practitioners, not perfect, and only you know what’s happening to your body. After demanding an MRI and then an MRA (similar to an MRI except it focuses on your arteries) and learning that I had an 8.5 mm aneurysm of my internal carotid artery behind my left eye, I went from doctor to doctor and different hospitals trying to figure out what came next.
Everyone has something that will change his or her outlook on a difficult situation and for me personally, having a plan is key. The first thing you ask yourself when diagnosed with a brain aneurysm is, “What do I do now?” You kind of scramble and you need a team to help you put together a plan of action.
I was referred to Mount Sinai’s Dr. Joshua Bederson and Dr. Aman Patel by my best friends Carmelo and La La Anthony. In my almost 20 years of being an adult, I have never had the experience of having doctors communicate with each other in order to do what was best for me. Unfortunately, this was something I was used to while being shuffled from doctor to doctor. But with Mount Sinai’s Drs. Patel and Bederson, it was different. Right in front of me, I watched them build a team of doctors around me, which of course led me to Dr. Aman Patel, the man who changed my life and gave me the confidence and a plan of how we were going to tackle this aneurysm. This is what health care should truly be about.
Dr. Patel was able to take a catheter through the femoral artery through a needle puncture at my groin into my brain where he inserted six coils and a stent to occlude the aneurysm and thereby, prevent the aneurysm from bleeding. Because of this, I can live a normal life and not worry about my aneurysm rupturing. Isn’t that amazing? To think that brain surgery has become so non-invasive is absolutely incredible. Modern day medicine gave me life.
So few people have symptoms of a brain aneurysm or mistake them for something else that many times is fatal when they do find out when presenting with a hemorrhage. My goal is to create awareness and for people to do screenings when they have symptoms. Most people know someone who has died of an aneurysm or is debilitated because of one. Now you know someone who didn’t die and isn’t debilitated.
The doctors at Mount Sinai and myself realize that it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you are interested in more information, my husband JR, Dr. Patel and myself created a Road to Recovery YouTube series that chronicled everything from my diagnosis to surgery to post-op updates. I hope the videos, plus my in depth interview with Dr. Patel, can help someone in a similar situation.
Mount Sinai and Dr. Patel was with me every step of the way and gave me the opportunity to triumph over something potentially life threatening. They truly are the best.
Visit the Department of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai
Connect with me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lorenridinger
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Loren Ridinger, Co-founder of Market America and Sr. VP of Shop.com