My father had just turned 86 in October 2000. He had been to the doctor with problems with his bowels and genital area (his testicles and penis were turning a dark color). He was very uncomfortable and tried to get several different jockey straps to relieve his discomfort.
He went to see his gastroenterologist and was sent for a CT scan on his chest in June 9, 2000, because he said that he had discomfort when lying on his side. This radiology said that he had an "enlarged cardiac silhouette and pleural calcifications consistent with asbestos exposure, prominent azygos region and differential engorged azygos vein, adenopathy or mass. Suggest CT scan of the chest with contrast for further evaluation."
The gastroenterologist then sent him to get an additional CT scan on June 23rd, 2000, and that radiologist said that "an 8 mm precarinal lymph node, moderate coronary artery calcification, moderate amount of pleural plaque involving the right medial posterior hemidiaphragm. Pleural calcifications posteriorly on the left. Simple cysts are associated with right kidney. The lungs demonstrate patch fibrosis especially in the bases. An infiltrate or nodule is not seen. Significant pleural thickening is not seen. The aorta is atherosclerotic and on the most inferior cut, begins to increase in caliber. It may simple be tortuous but this raises the question of a potential infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. On the lower most cuts the diameter of the aorta is 4.5 cm. If there is clinical concern for this, then a repeat CT study of the abdomen should be performed to better delineate the aortic aneurysm and its extent."
In July 2000, I called the gastroenterologist and asked how my father was and they told me that his asbestosis had not changed since 1996 (we never knew about that either, the doctor did not think that it was necessary to inform my father). We found out all of the radiology information after my father had died on November 17, 2000, of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. The gastroenterologist had never told my father that he had an aneurysm and now claims that my father was not a candidate for surgery.
This has been a very sad journey that my family has experienced since my father passed away. I hope that someone out there can benefit from our experience and definitely have a better outcome. We miss him terribly. My mother watched him die suddenly in front her when she was helping him get into the bathtub to relieve his lower pain. She has since had two strokes and is not doing well.
Thanks for listening,
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