On Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 I went in for a routine CT-scan of my aorta. Three days later I went and got the results. There were complications: the stent they placed two years ago was not quite doing its job, resulting in a increased diameter of my aorta a little further down, and a remainder of the previous dissection all the way down from there. So they were sending the scans through to the team of cardio-vascular and thorax surgeons for further examination.
Without them saying as much, it was pretty clear to me how this was going to end.
For six weeks, nothing much happened but waiting for the appointment where they would tell us what they found. And then, as not much of a surprise, they confirmed that surgery (of the crack-your-chest-open, put-you-on-ice, put-in-some-medical-grade-garden-hose and start-you-back-up-again kind) was indeed the only viable option. So, in two weeks’ time, I’m scheduled for a round of tests so they can plan the whole operation, and set a date for it.
To say I’m not looking forward to doing this whole song and dance again would be a bit of an understatement.
But do I have a choice? Not really.
As you can imagine, this news has left us a bit preoccupied and, to be honest, quite worried. Looking back, I don’t think that I’ve ever fully recovered from the last round. But fixing the upper-most complication should allow the others to either improve on their own, or at least make them harmless enough until I’m up for another round in a couple of years time, it should improve my quality of life significantly. Or that’s the theory.
Now, people ask me how I’m doing, considering all this. All I can do, is say that I don’t actually feel any of this — it doesn’t, like, hurt or anything; that this is a major disappointment that I could very well have done without for another twenty-something years; that I am not looking forward to this, but that we’re gonna do this anyway. People don’t often ask The Missus how she’s doing in all this, but for her it’s no walk in the park either.
This whole thing put a serious damper on the last two and a half months, and once again we’re held hostage by it. You probably wouldn’t believe how things have a habit of circling back to it. You have to talk and think about things you don’t even want to be thinking about, and man, that’s such a downer when you’re as emotionally stable as I am. And then there’s all the stuff you don’t even want to have to think about, because, well, they’re gonna crack me open and cut out a piece of my aorta and let me first worry about that and survive that for a bit over that before I can even start to care about your fuckin first-world-champagne-problems.
But what’d-ya-gonna do?
You just keep going, because what else can you do but show up on time and lay down and let it all happen? And yes, I know that’s the completely rational approach that ignores most of the other stuff, but it’s all I got right now that keeps me from degenerating into a messy puddle of complete uselessness.
So, yeah. That’s about it for my plans for 2019, and I sincerely hope you have better ones.