Good news is, I’m definitely getting my electric wheelchair (it’s just a matter of how soon).
Bad news is, I have the beginnings of an aneurysm in my descending thoracic aorta.
Of course, He comes like a thief in the night, just when you are saying “peace and security.” I just saw Dr. Stavrou, my cardiologist since 1989 (save 4 years in VA). Iroincally, I was going on and on about how, for the most part, I’ve felt better than ever (though, when I feel bad, it’s lousy).
Yesterday afternoon, I kind of overdid it. Started feeling really bad.
Finally, at 9 PM, I decided to go to the ER, mostly because our Medicaid ends on Saturday, and my last appointment for review for the electric wheelchair was this morning, so I figured that, if a valve was leaking (sometimes they leak; sometimes, they don’t), I could catch it in a test.
Ironically, for all the times I’ve gone to the ER *concerned* about my aorta, I *wasn’t* this time.
Of course, from an ER perspective, they just want to make sure you’re not dying, or bleeding, or whatever.
In terms of “bedside manner,” it was one the worst hospital visits I’ve ever had. At the triage review, I was trying to explain Marfan syndrome. They kept interrupting and asking questiosn about heart attack, which I answered “no” to. The one guy took my pulse and whispered, “his pulse is normal,” and they’re like laughing and casting looks at each other like I’m some hypochondriac.
Then I get back there, and everyone’s aloof at best, if not downright grumpy. The guy who took me to my CT Scan never said a word; no “hello”; didn’t even tell me where he was taking me. If they responded to my “standard hospital jokes” at all, they took them seriously.
So, I laid there alone till around 1:15 AM, when the doctor walked in and said, “Well, your CT was fine. You have a little dila. . . dilitation . .. dilation in your uh descending thoracic aorta.” He stumbled with the words and then tried to explain it to me. I said, “I know what it is. What size is it?” “3.5 cm” (last I’d heard, it was 2.9).
On his way out, he said, “Oh, would you like some Vicodin?” I said, “I have Tramadol at home. I don’t like the side effects of Vicodin.””OK.”
Then, from 1:15 to 4:15, when the cab finally came to pick me up, I got to contemplate my life and my situation. In one sense, grateful to God that, for all the pain I’m in, He’s given me something to show to Medicaid, etc. On the other hand, it’s the proverbial “shoe” I’ve been waiting to drop for the past 12 years, and, since the discoveries about Cozaar, I’d been seriously entertaining the thought that I might live to see my grandchildren, that I might able to do some of those wild and crazy things I’d always dreamt of doing, like teaching high school or moving to some third world country and being a missionary.
Life in this world never mattered much to me, except as an avenue to sainthood. It goes to figure that, once it started mattering, God would pull the rug out from under me.
In practice, it doesn’t mean much. The main thing is we’ll have to throw out any ideas of me working full-time, unless it’s online.
Thank God that He’d already provided a wonderful situation: great new FT job offer for Mary (with another possibly in the wings); I’ll be making $25000 a year online with Kaplan, and I already arranged with Midlands for the most stress-free schedule possible. We’ve been talking about hiring some kind of PT domestic help (my job at Midlands would pay for it), and now that’s a necessity.
I’m gonna need to get a car lift and an outside ramp for the wheelchair, but it looks like Providence and some good advanced planning have arranged that all is happening at the right time.
In related news, Allie had her first subluxed kneecap on Sunday, so we bought her a knee brace. I announced a massive living room cleaning earlier, and she said to Gigi and Joe, “You two will have to do most of the work, because Daddy and I can’t do as much with my knee and his aorta!”