On a personal note I would like to thank everyone for the kind words and well wishes while I am still recovering from open-heart surgery. 2020 was rough on everyone, and I added a few personal complications to my own story. In June, I had a full left shoulder replacement. I had previous surgeries on that shoulder, and it finally got to the point where I just went for it and had it replaced. Then I spent most of the summer recuperating and rehabbing from that.
In early October I went to a routine Cardiologist visit because he monitors me for a heart murmur I have had my whole life. I get a routine echo-cardiogram and my doctor comes back to me and says that things are a “bit fuzzy” and sends me for a CAT scan. The next day I get a call, and I am told to see a surgeon. The CAT scan shows an aneurysm on the aortic artery, and they want to fix it as soon as possible. This thing is 3 times the diameter it’s supposed to be! I was being hit hard with my own mortality.
I had to go for multiple Covid-19 testing before all the procedures leading up to the surgery, and then I needed to have an out-patient procedure done called an angiogram where they stick a camera in an artery, typically in your hand, with alternate spots starting in the groin, to thread it up to your heart for a “look-see”. This is to show the surgeon exactly what and where to go. Of course, for me, they had to go in via the hand, and the groin.
A week later I am being admitted to the hospital and surgery is scheduled. They performed what is known as a “Bentall” procedure [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bentall_procedure] that, in essence, replaces a portion of my aortic artery with a plastic hose and replaced the valve with a mechanical valve. Oh, and as long as they were in there, they corrected the heart murmur as well. My chest is opened up, and they go through the breastbone to perform the procedure, like a scene from the movie “Aliens”. Afterwards, my chest is glued and taped together, with just a few stitches