Sequence of Events


Monday, we learned from a lung cancer screening that my mom had a 4.7cm thoracic aortic aneurysm to go with her 3cm abdominal aortic aneurysm. By 9:30 am on Tuesday the surgeon’s office had called and tried to schedule my mom for a contrast CT that very morning… but it had to be approved by insurance and it was scheduled for Wednesday. By 10am the surgeon’s office had called my mom 3 times and we were preparing for her to have surgery this week to fix said aneurysms. It’s terrifying when doctors move that fast. By noon Tuesday, I was feeling the gravity of the situation and texting my best friend.

By Tuesday night her and I both were stressed out about it. Furthermore for two or three days before this, she and I had become like crack addicts with COVID-19 news providing our next fix… as if reading about it on the news could prevent our loved ones from getting it if they were exposed.

I decided I was unplugging from social media and the news, because there was a knot in my chest… I was stressing myself into a panic attack at best (although the words heart attack had floated through my brain a few times). I already occasionally deal with angina and I’m not yet 40. Heart disease runs in my dad’s family and while I try to eat healthy, I don’t do a great job and I’m overweight. So, I was pretty sure I was going to drown in the stress of things.

Then came the CT scan on Wednesday. When the doctor is rushing tests during a pandemic, you know things are grim. The tests were done and it went from worst case scenario to best case… it can wait. It’s large, but not alarmingly so and it’s probably not fast growing. It’s also near her liver. She goes in for a recheck in September.

And possibly the best news, it can be done endovascular. They will put in a tube and reroute the blood from her aorta through the tube and into her femoral arteries, fixing both aneurysms at one time and recovery time is so much faster. She’ll have a 1 night stay in the hospital and the pandemic will probably have passed by then, which also makes me feel better about it all.

I think I’m going to continue my disconnect for a few more days (returning Friday or Saturday). I could still stand some isolation from the news and people. I now return you to the pandemic.

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