Frosted Window View
Distracted by all manner of things in the non-digital realm during this past week, from health to, well, health, I missed the deadline for Pure Haiku’s translucence theme.
My poem “Hold That Thought” (10 January 2020) was in regard to an incident I had a couple of months back, with minor symptoms that may have been a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or mini-stroke. In early January, I had an echocardiogram and a scan of my carotid arteries. The latter showed minor plaque buildup without any obstruction to blood flow, but my doctor now has me on 81mg aspirin as a precaution.
The echo showed that I have an atrial septal aneurysm (ASA). The incidence in the general adult population is about 2%. This aneurysm is not the same as the extreme circumstance of a weakened blood vessel. The wall between the upper chambers of my heart bulges to one side, a condition that I’ve likely had for all of my life. I just had to wait until my sixties to find out that it exists. Since it also has the potential to cause a stroke, my doctor referred me for an additional echocardiogram.
A transesophageal echocardiogram is just what it sounds like. Yesterday, I was sedated, and a device was placed down my esophagus to get a much closer echo of my heart. Rather than a technician, as with my first echo, this procedure was performed by a cardiologist. The results showed that, in addition to the ASA, I have an atrial septal defect, an opening in the septum separating the upper chambers of my heart. It’s a condition common to 30% of the population, often with no ill effect. There is no urgency to the situation, but I’ll receive more information from my primary in the next few days. I’ll be seeing a neurologist in September, so I suspect any decisions will be delayed until then. The cardiologist was less concerned by the results than my primary care physician was by the initial prospect. In fact, he didn’t see any issues with my level of activity. Time will tell.
Imagine how different life would be if our skin and tissue were translucent and medical diagnoses were as simple as peering into our bodies.
sparrow clings to perch
snow swirling around feeder
frosted window view