TALK TO A
Established April 15, 1995
University of West Georgia Disclaimer
I was born in 1917 near Ashland Ohio. Father and Mother were killed in 1928 in an auto train collision. I spent 5 years in a church orphanage. Drafted into Army in Mar 1941 and got transferred to Army Air Corp and became a bombardier. Flew 35 missions over Europe in a B-24 bomber. My last mission was over Innsbruck Germany on Christmas Day 1944 at dinner time (12 noon). Went to college on G.I. Bill and got a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 1950. Married Kathleen Bolyard in 1947 and have 3 children. Edward (a minister in Iowa), Robert BS in Eng. from USMA West Point and MBA from Columbia University (vice pres of a computer security corp.) and Nancy an RN who is clinical Mgr of a wound care clinic in Port Charlotte Florida. Moved to Florida in 1980 and retired in 1982. Celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on Dec 20,1997.
7 September 1998
I am an 80 year old male who discovered in 1984, in a physical exam at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, that I had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. I also found I had carotid arteries blockage in both Carotid arteries.
I had the left carotid artery cleaned out at Mayo Clinic in 1984. Each year I would have a CT scan to check the increase of the aneurysm. In December 1997 the aneurysm had grown to 5.8 cm and I decided it was time to do something about it. I went to a local vascular surgeon for an evaluation. (Recommended by my daughter who has been a nurse, much of time on medical surgical floors in all three local hospitals. (Don't think they don't know the good ones and the bad ones.) He said he wouldn't touch me until I had seen a cardiologist so off I go to a cardiologist.
He gave me a stress test and recommended a heart catheterization. He preformed the catheterization and said I needed a triple by-pass. What a shock!! I never had a chest pain in my life. He introduced me to a heart surgeon (who has preformed approximately 5000 by-passes) and I said lets get it over with. The heart surgeon, the cardiologist and the vascular surgeon decided I should have the bypass first, then the carotid surgery, to reduce the risk of a stroke, and then then the aneurysm repair.
I had the triple by-pass on Feb. 24,1998. A piece of cake. The greatest pain was in the three places on my leg were they removed the veins. No chest pain at all except when you cough or sneeze. I learned not to sneeze or cough very quickly. I was out of the hospital in 5 days.
Had my carotid surgery (by heart surgeon) an Mar 26,1998. I was out of the hospital in 1 day.
Had my aorta surgery on April 21,1998. They put a graft on my main Aorta and the two arteries going to my legs. I was out of the hospital in 5 days. The only bad part was I got diarrhea about two days before I got out of the hospital and had it for 9 or 10 days. That was worse than all three operations put together.
In the middle of June my 85 years old brother and I took an 8000 mile auto trip from Florida to the west coast and back in 16 days. No we weren't a hazard on the road. We both had cataracts removed in September, 97, and have 20/20 vision. Then in the last of July my wife and I took Amtrak to California to visit our son and his family. Wouldn't you agree "I'm well"?
In my opinion all you need to undergo aneurysm surgery is a good surgeon and the right attitude
Update 21 Apr 2000
Today I have an anniversary. Two years ago today I had my Aorta and Iliac arteries repaired with a Dacron graft. Fifty-two days before this surgery I had a triple by-pass and 25 days before this surgery I had right carotid surgery. Today I hardly know I had any surgery. If I work for a couple of hours my back gets very tired but at 82 I guess that's not too unusual. I found an easy solution for that go . . .sit down and take a rest.
In August my wife and I are planning on going to England with our son and his family and cruise the canals, on a rented narrow boat, for a week. I joking complain to my surgeon that he done such a good job I can hardly see the scar and some people doubt I had surgery.
Half the battle is attitude. I never doubted for a second that I wouldn't completely recover from any of the surgeries
Update 8 Sep 2000
Just thought I would update you on my recovery. I had my bypass surgery Feb. 1998. Carotid surgery Mar 98 and My AAA surgery April 1998. I never know I ever had any surgery and I act like it.
The first two weeks of August my wife and I flew to England and met our sons family. He had rented a longboat (65ft) and we cruised The Upton and Avon rivers from Upton on the Sevrin to Stratford on the Avon. We went through 17 hand operated locks (lifted 92 ft.) and I did my share of cranking and pushing the gates open. We tied up at Stratford and bussed to Warwick to visit the Warwick Castle. Against my families advice I climbed to the top of one of the towers. It took 352 carved stone steps but I made it. I had to stop and rest a couple of times but I guess that ought to be O.K. for an old codger who will be 83 in December.
Update: 31 Dec 2003
For the last year I have been having leg pains in my calf if I Walked in the mall etc. I would have to stop every hundred feet or so to rest and let the pain in my calf go away. About six weeks ago I was on my knees working in the yard and my legs started hurting. I kept on working and the pain got severe. After that every time I took 20 or 30 steps ouch, severe pains in my left calf.
I called my Doctor and he ordered an ultrasound. It showed an aneurysm in my left popliteal artery. Then to my vascular surgeon Dr M. Jarrah, the finest in the South. He ordered an angiogram. They took two pictures. One of my stomach area and one of my legs.
As I lay on the table and looked at that screen of my stomach I saw the most beautiful picture I ever saw. I saw a beautiful red Aorta maybe 2 cm wide and two red iliac arteries maybe 1 to 1.25 cm wide. To me that was more beautiful than anything Rembrandt ever painted. If I had a copy I would hang it in the living room. When I looked at the leg photos I really didn't have any idea what I was looking at. I did determine why my big toe has hurt for a year. There was only a trickle of red going there.
To make it short I had surgery on the 18th. The doctor by-passed the whole works with a vessel from an umbilical cord. It was tapped in as the artery comes out of my groin (Femoral or Iliac ???) and as a plumber would call trenched and bored down my leg to the middle of my calf. There the artery tri-furcated. He cleaned the McDonald grease out of those arteries and attached the by-pass just above the trifurcation. I had surgery on Thursday the 18th. Spent my 56th wedding anniversary on the 20th.
Something funny happened to me on 21st. At 2:30 Am Monday morning I had to use the urinal but some one had hung it way up on the rail sooooo I dropped my feet over the edge of the bed to reach it. Idea!!! It would be easier to use it standing so I stood up. Whoops my feet slipped forward against the wall and my back was against the bed...trapped... I tried to get hold of something to pull my self up and nothing so I just kind of twisted and went down flat on my back. There I lay. No room mate, couldn't reach the call light and senses was away. I gave a yell and no answer. I looked down and I still had the urinal in my hand. Then I remember my original mission and lay there and finished my mission. A couple more yells and an aide came and she called a janitor or someone and they helped me back in bed. Nothing hurt but my pride.
I was 86 on Dec. 3. I guess as I get older I'll have to be more careful.
Five days in the hospital, two days at home using a walker, two days with a cane and now all over the house with no aid. This morning I wanted to go to Wal Mart with my wife and she said NO get back in that chair!!! After 56 years I'll let you guess what I did.
Update: 27 July 2005
This old codger is still kicking.
Going on 8 years since I had my AAA repaired. I'm good as new. Can't even see the scar.
In the fall of 2003 I got an aneurysm in my popiteal artery ( behind the knee..). Excruciating pain in my calf. " Houston we have a problem"!!! I needed a femoral bypass but they had used the vein in my leg to by-pass my heart. S- o-o my surgeon by-passed my artery from my groin to my calf using a umbilical cord from a baby. Hurt like heck for a couple of weeks but no more than the pain in my calf which would have been permanent.
Everything turned out fine. I get tired if I walk too much but remember I'm almost 88.
In a couple of weeks my wife and I are going to fly to California (from Florida) to visit our son.
Anythings possible with a good surgeon and the proper attitude.
Update: 30 March 2007
Dear family, friends, colleagues,
I wanted to let you know that I have checked out of this world and moved on to the next. It's been a good run these 89 years but it was time to step up to the next level. The last few years were a little rough on the legs and feet, but believe me, I was cracking them up in intensive Care up to the last few hours. If you know me, you know what I mean.
My wife, Kay, of 59 wonderful years was loyal and loving to the last minutes. She sure put up with a lot of crap from me over the years, waiting on me hand and foot. I can't thank her enough for making my life complete. I also have to thank my little girl, Nancy, for living right next door and helping Mom and I the last several years. She really sacrificed to help the both of us. Also thanks to the boys, Bob and Ed for rounding out our lives and coming down to visit and help with the work around the house. We always had a full list of tasks for them to do.
This life got off to a rocky start when I lost both my parents at 11 years old and was raised in an orphanage. But my 3 older brothers helped me get through it. The experience made me sort of a "tootsie pop"; hard and crunchy on the outside, but soft and chewy inside. My big brother Harry will have to follow up the rear, but you should look for him on the Today Show's 100th birthday Smuckers report in a few years.
When I got out of high school, I worked on milk trucks and in a paper plant, and then along came the War. I wasn't happy sitting in an Infantry guard shack in Newfoundland, so I joined the Army Air Corp to get into the thick of it.
Hornyak, Walde, DeHart, Agee,
You are the only guys left in this world from our B-24 crew on the "Bottoms Up". Did you realize that she had one of the most impressive mission records of B-24's in the 450th Bomb Group flying out of Italy in 1944? She flew 8 of the 15 raids on Ploesti (and we flew her on 4 of those raids). She was riddled with flak and fighter bullet holes from every single raid including our missions. But she brought us all back before she was finally shot down over the Adriatic after we came home? Fellows, the rest of the crew will be lined up, standing tall and waiting for you when you come over to our side. When we all get together, let's buzz the Manduria Italy Airfield Control Tower one last time.
I worked in Waterloo, Iowa as an engineer for over 30 years, to keep food on the table. But we retired to Port Charlotte, Florida 27 years ago. I've been so busy since I retired, I don't see how I ever had time to work. It's amazing when you are retired almost as long as you worked professionally.
I had a real nice going away ceremony and will be resting at the Florida National Ceremony in Northern Florida. It's real pretty, here; I think it's nicer than Arlington. Kay insisted the Color Guard pass my flag to my youngest Grandson, Sam; we had a special "thing" together.
Well, I've got my fishing pole and boat, so I'll be taking a little nap, now. Wake me up when you get over on this side and we'll have a coffee. But I'm not paying $3.50 for a damn cup of Starbucks. I'll make a fresh pot. Cream and sugar?
© Copyright 1998 Everett Frank
All Rights Reserved - Fair Use acknowledged