12 May 2015
In July of 2013 I had a Type A dissection and an aneurysm in my ascending aorta (the primary vessel feeding blood to the entire body) and had emergency surgery to replace that section of my aorta. Then in September of 2013 I had something called a Type B dissection of my descending aorta (the same vessel, but the part that runs from the top of the chest through the abdomen and splits off into each leg).
Now in February of 2015 I had one of the most major surgeries a person can have, where they replaced my descending aorta with a synthetic. The incision runs from my left shoulder blade (in the back) around under my ribs to the front and down through my abdomen. They literally removed my aorta and replaced it – detaching and reattaching the connections that feed every major organ, including the spine, with blood. This took around 14 hours from start to end of the surgery, and of course I’m still recovering at this point in time.
So now I have perhaps 3-4 cm of natural aorta left, right at the very top between the replaced ascending and descending aortas, otherwise I’ve (hopefully) been rebuilt stronger, faster, and better than before. For those who catch that reference, no this didn’t quite cost $6 million, but I can tell you that without health insurance no normal person could ever pay off the resulting debt. (to be fair, without health insurance a person wouldn’t have had access to the specialists and tests to determine the need for the surgery, so they’d just have died when one of the aneurysms burst)
Between 2013 and this latest surgery they were treating the dissection medically, which meant I was taking around 14 medications every day to control my blood pressure and heart rate. The upside to this latest surgery is that I’m now on just a couple meds, so my mind is much clearer and more active than it has been in a long time – and I’m no longer super-sensitive to cold and warm temperatures, which is a constant relief!
Last week I started easing back into work, coming into Magenic and starting to actually do stuff online beyond entertainment. After binge watching untold hours of television on Netflix it is a genuine pleasure to interact with other people – especially talking tech and software development – lots of exciting stuff going on to keep anyone in our industry engaged right now!
With continued good fortune you should see me continue to become more active on twitter, blogging, and Facebook. I expect to be able to travel again this fall, so hopefully I’ll be at Visual Studio Live! Orlando and perhaps the MVP Summit in Redmond.
I want to offer my sincere thanks to so many people who’ve provided support over the past few months and years. My wife, my kids, the rest of my family, my amazing friends (many of whom are like family), colleagues at Magenic and in the speaker/author community, The Eden Prairie Optimist Club, the CSLA .NET contributors (especially Jonny, Jason, and Kevin), the CSLA .NET community at large, and many others ranging from people I knew in high school to people around the world that I’ve never met in person.
I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom. I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.
- William Shakespeare
Your support for my family and myself has been invaluable.