Today at the Neurologist

I saw a hummingbird today! Beating his little wings to keep warm, no doubt. The sun is out but it’s still quite cold.

I saw my neurologist today, too. All of my tests looked great. My blood work was perfect – my cholesterol was a little high but lower than it’s been for several years and my iron levels were in the normal range, just barely. Metabolically, everything looked good. The trans-thoracic echocardiogram showed that my heart was perfect, too, but it inadvertently showed that I have an enlarged aorta…”Remember John Ritter?” my neurologist said. “Yes!” “Well, I’m not saying that you have exactly what he had but I think that we should check it out to make sure”. Great! Another CT scan. Fortunately I already have a CT scan planned on Monday so we can do both tests at once.

Found this while “Googling”.  My aorta measured 3.9 cm; normal is 2.0 – 2.5:

Dr. Donnica: It’s unlikely that your doctor would make the diagnosis of an enlarged aorta (the major artery that goes from the heart to the rest of the body) from a physical exam alone. If this is suspected, a chest x-ray is indicated. Ask your doctor about this, even if you don’t have other cardiac risk factors. If an aortic enlargement or “aneurysm” was confirmed, a cardiology consult would be indicated. If the enlargement is greater than 5 centimeters, surgical repair is indicated in order to prevent a rare but fatal condition called aortic dissection or rupture; this was the cause of death for actor John Ritter and 15,000 other Americans this past year.

Aortic enlargements can be hereditary or caused by injury, infection or a congenital weakness in the connective tissue of the artery wall. Cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, or clogging and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) can make the condition worse.

Here’s another link.


2 thoughts on “Today at the Neurologist

  1. Hi Carrie,

    Don’t stress too much about your enlarged aorta. My father had one that measured around the same size as yours. They monitored it every year at his physical exam and it remained the same for years. My Dad eventually died at age 85 with his aorta intact. Keep the faith. Many of us are always saying a prayer for you.

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