Personal Stories: Bill Holopoff


Hello everyone and Happy New Year to all. My name is Billy and I live in Florence Oregon. I am 68 years old, soon to turn 69.

It was June 15th 2004, my wife and I had taken our youngest grand daughter to Gold Beach Oregon for a jet boat ride up the Rogue River. We stopped in Agnus for lunch and after the return trip to Gold Beach we got ready to go to dinner.

I was surprised at the pain I was having in my lower back and right groin.
I thought it was from an old baseball injury from high school days or the way I was sitting in the boat getting bounced around. I didn't think too much about it until a few days later when it didn't get any better.


I made an appointment to see the doctor and related what was going on with me. After a few moments of getting twisted around I was sent to the Imaging Department and had x-rays taken of my lower back and groin area. This was June 24th, 2004.


I got a call from the doctor who said that I had a good case of osteo-arthritis and "by the way, you also have and abdominal aortic aneurysm". Was I shocked? Your da*n right I was.


For more than 20 years I have been a cardiac risk patient. I have been through the stress tests, tread mill, nuclear stress test, EKG, CT, MRI and what ever else they can think of. Not ever a clue to the aneurysm.


(The pain in my back was found to be caused from a herniated disc, L5).
I have been on high blood pressure meds for this length of time along with cholesterol meds and thyroid. I had been a heavy drinker and smoked cigarettes, cigars and pipes. I quit drinking in 1986 and cut back on smoking to when I felt I wanted one.


I have been active for most of my life, baseball and basketball being my passions. I fished, hiked, remodeled our home and just couldn't sit still.
I am a Type A kind of guy. My doctor and I sat down and talked about the aneurysm and what I might expect.


I was sent to a vascular surgeon in Eugene Oregon and was told pretty much the same thing my doctor had related to me. Don't smoke, be carefull with the alcohol, keep the blood pressure and cholesterol under control. Eat healthy, get some exercise.


Since then I have painted our home, cut down a few trees and dug up the roots and stumps, re-placed the walkways around the house and worked on my model railroad in the spare time.


I walk 3 - 5 miles a day and work out on my son's exercise machine every other day. Leg lifts, curls, vertical presses using only 25 pounds.
Not for strength, but for tone.
Today, December 28th, I had my first follow up ultrasound scan and I am happy to say that the results were good according to the tech. I am waiting for the final results from the doctor.


At this time the aneurysm has not shown any sign of growing, but I am not going to take it for granted that it will stay this way. ( it is at 4.1 CM).
I continue to control and monitor my blood pressure and cholesterol and am happy with the way things are going.
I am not afraid to say that I pray a lot and take time to put my trust and feelings in a God of my choice.
It works for me and that keeps me happy.
I read the stories here and pray for those who are going through tough times.
I am grateful that the aneurysm was found when it was and know that something can be done to prevent a catastrophe.
God bless each and everyone.
Billy Holopoff
Florence, Oregon

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