Thursday, March 10, 2016


When we left off in April, I was about to get the lower half of my aorta stented to reinforce its damaged lower end from a little below the diaphragm all the way down to the branch that leads to the femoral arteries and other piping below the navel.

No complications from that, other than losing all the improvements I'd made since the upper half was lined. Everything--the improved circulation in my lower legs that saw me lose a few pounds' worth of water weight, saw the swelling in my left shin and calf almost vanish in a matter of a few weeks (MASSIVE difference), had me walking better and feeling better for the first time in years.


I was assured by the vascular doc's nurse that there wasn't a vascular problem.

Except that...there WAS. How else to explain a sudden reversal that immediately followed the second surgery?

Jet forward to this morning, when my new vascular doc (old doc moved to Texas) asked some questions about medical tests I'd had, the symptoms I'm having, and his answer was basically "We need to get you tested; this sounds like a vascular problem."

Imagine that.

He figures that one or both of the two big veins coming up from my legs and joining the Big Vein headed up to the heart might be pinched where the aorta branches to the legs. Makes sense to me: both of  the iliac branches are stented now, which stiffened them up and could be pressing against--and pinching--the veins against my spine, inhibiting return blood flow.

That is vascular.

So now I'm waiting to get scheduled for an internal ultrasound; a needle goes into a convenient vessel headed in a convenient direction. Needle's got a little ultrasound transducer. Doc can basically scan the length of both of the veins at that possible pinch point. If there's a pinch, he can throw a stent in to open the restricted area and get my tired-ass blood flowing again.

Tomorrow, dammit, I want it tomorrow. I'd settle for NOW.

This shit's old. Very old. I've gone almost a year with so little energy that I basically sit up on the edge of my bed and surf the Web on my old laptop because moving over to the desktop computer is too much. The laptop's so out of date (running Ubuntu Linux Heron from '08; can't even upgrade the copy of Firefox that's on it, can't install another browser) that in the course of the last 6 months it stopped being able to load Facebook, Twitter and Blogger. I end up reading a few political and news blogs and a few Reddit pages (AskReddit is usually entertaining), wear myself out, and go back to sleep for another couple of hours. I get over to the desktop every few days to handle email and all that. Today's one of those days.

I haven't had a solid 8 hours' sleep since the night before my aorta crapped itself in July of 2010. It's usually somewhere from 2 to 4 hours, wake up for several, and repeat. I'm getting REM sleep, but I don't know how the interruptions are affecting things.

The one thing I DID accomplish was eliminating my migraines. This is almost worth all the other crap and all it took was one of the meds I was already using. I stopped it for a few months to see if it would help with all the swollen leg and fluid-retention stuff. Nope, no effect there--but the gawdawful weekly migraines I'd been tormented by before Aorta Day came back with a vengeance. I was back to having my room utterly blacked out, no sound, no TV, no moving, no lying down. I was practically mainlining BC Powders, the only thing that would touch those headaches from hell.

Then I saw or read something about blood flow along the under side of the brain having something to do with migraines. I went back on those meds to see if there might be a connection. Three months along, the headaches are gone. I'd dance, but I'm too tired.


I don't really have an ending, here, other than being hopeful that I can finally get my legs back in order. I haven't been to a fort since 2011. I'm not counting Fort Point in San Francisco, since it was CLOSED. Not counting Fort Pike in Louisiana, either, since it was not only CLOSED but fenced the hell in to protect it from generating any tourism money for the state.

Taking my grumpy ass to bed. :p