Friday, December 28, 2007

Patient investigates the right treatment, right physician

Adam Mosston has 20 years experience in the news and documentary business, has traveled all over the world, and has an Emmy for his coverage of the first Gulf War.

To say this 47-year-old video producer is accomplished is an understatement.

“I lead a very busy life, and I travel a lot. In hindsight I was starting to get tired, but thought it was just my schedule and the hours I put in,” says Mosston.

This New Hampshire-based journalist and producer has covered the United States invasion of Panama, terrorism in Peru, and the Ebola virus in Zaire. And in 1991 he produced the first reporting live broadcast from a battlefield. Over the last 8 years he has been working as a media consultant with a constant international itinerary. It was only natural for Mosston to attribute growing fatigue to his work schedule.

Unveiling the Truth

At a routine appointment in November of 2006, Mosston learned his fatigue was actually from a heart murmur and elevated blood pressure. So he did what any other journalist would do – took out his Rolodex and conducted a thorough investigation for a specialist.

“My sources all crossed right through Dr. Isselbacher’s office,” says Mosston.

Eric Isselbacher, MD, cardiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center, says Mosston’s valve was leaking severely, causing his heart to enlarge and weaken.

“If we did not operate he might go on to have irreversible damage to his heart. Fortunately for him, his valve was repairable,” says Isselbacher.

An Investigation

Mosston, a producer, admitted that he had done enough research to be a potentially difficult patient for Isselbacher and Patricia Riley, a nurse practitioner at the Heart Center. But Isselbacher and Riley were seasoned professionals and knew exactly how to handle Mosston’s anxiety.

“[Riley] spent something like 2 or 2 1/2 hours answering my questions at the initial visit, and she did so with patience, caring, and a focused presence,” says Mosston.

After learning more about his lifestyle, Isselbacher and Riley created a treatment plan that avoided lifelong use of blood-thinning medications. They tapped into the expertise of Cary Akins, MD, cardiac surgeon at Mass General Hospital, and advised a valve repair procedure that is done only a few times per year.

The valve repair procedure helped Mosston avoid many of the complications associated with blood-thinning medications. Other options, such as a mechanical valve replacement, would have limited Mosston’s ability to travel the world at a moment’s notice.

The Story Continues

“Because I was at Mass General Hospital, I was able to get a procedure that I otherwise would not have gotten. And over time, that has and is going to have a significant difference in my life,” continues Mosston, “Ya know, that’s a happy story.”

Just eight months after his valve repair, Mosston says he feels energetic again and is more alert. This summer he traveled to London, Poland, Paris and Germany, and produced 10 videos in October.

And he’s not stopping there. Armed with newfound energy and enthusiasm for his work, Mosston plans to keep traveling.

“I’m going to be traveling. I don’t know where yet, but it’ll be coming,” says Mosston.

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