It's been that long since I've put anything in this blog thingy. I really don't do journal-type things very well, do I? However, there has been a lot going on in that time. Rather than recite ten months worth of updates that won't matter since no-one who reads this will know who I am anyway, I'll just give the basics and the latest.
I was out of work for close to four years. I never really had what I'd call a regular job - at least not one that went year 'round. I am a musician, so I used to do a lot of musical theater - playing shows or musically directing them. I often did jobs in churches, either singing or playing piano. About a year ago, I got a regular full-time position in a department store, selling shirts and ties. It pays minimum wage, but it's regular and there are benefits provided.
About a month or so ago, I mentioned to my doctor that I hav noticed what he refers to as Hematospermia. I actually noticed it about a year and a half ago, but I attributed it to the removal of a catheter after my surgery and the fact that I was on a buttload of blood thinners. The doctor ordered some blood work, and gave me a referral to a urologist. The urologist ordered (probably the same) bloodwork as well as a CT-scan (urogram.) I got the cat scan on my 50th birthday.
I should mention that about a year and a half ago my surgeon told me that in 2 or three years I would probably need to have a second mechanical valve put in my heart, this time on the right side (making two.)
When I got home from the cat scan, the urologist called. He said they hadn't gotten the results yet, but that he'd received a call from the technician who was reading my images, who'd seen something interesting, but unrelated. Then the doctor proceeded to explain to me what an aorta was, and a dissection. He told me I had an aortic dissection. He was surprised when I said, "What? Again !?!?!" I had to explain to him that I had an aortic dissection in January 2010, the helicopter ride to UPenn, the 9 hours of surgery and the mechanical valve. So... I need to bring all my old papers and an old cat-scan for him to compare. We aren't sure if the technician had seen the old dissection or a new one. I guess I'll find out on thursday.
In other news, my sister-in-law is in hospice dying of ovarian cancer. I doubt I'll be able to get to the funeral in Florida, but I will be able to visit my brother later in the year.