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11 February 2007
February 8th marks the 5 anniversary of my father Lloyd Bjorklund death from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He had been feeling ill for a week, he had periodic severe chills whereby he would hunch over with a blanket wrapped around him and shake so hard. He saw three doctors during this time. Two different GPs and one kidney specialist who was going to treat kidney stones. Each were told of the chills.
On the morning of his death, he went to the third GP. She ordered a chest xray and the results reported "an age related flattening of the aortic arch". He had been to Los Angeles 3 month earlier for a full body CT scan and no mention had been made of problems with the aortic arch except calcium buildup.
So that morning he had a xray and was sent home with the diagnosis of flu. At 6pm he got up from the sofa to eat dinner. His daughter and grandchildren were there at the table. His wife of 50 years (my mother) had left on an errand. He started eating, said "I think I took too much to eat, you don't mind if I don't eat all of this"; he stood up and turned to the kitchen counter and promptly fell backwards, unconscious.
The ambulance attendants said that he was in tachycardia when they got there. My sister said you could hear fluid slushing around in him as they worked on him. The top of his body stayed normal color for some time but from waist down he was blue. They did not do an autopsy but the cause of death was listed as ruptured aneurysm of the abdominal aorta. He was 74, still brown hair with only hints of grey. All the doctors thought he was in his 60's yet.
He had been diagnosed with high blood pressure 4 months prior 200/110. The CT scan had found a large kidney stone for which they were going to operate to remove because "he looked so young, and had years left". He did have a kidney stent inserted a week before in preparation for the upcoming surgery. Did the insertion of the stent nick the aorta I wonder?
Discussion, comments, or questions: Alvy Newman
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