October 29 10

When your dad says I’M SCARED, it’s as if your world is flipped turned upside down (and not in a funny Fresh Prince of Bel Air sort of way either). Parents aren’t allowed to get scared. And don’t even get me started on what happens when your dad CRIES. That’s like end of the world shit right there. And so he went in for his cath and all was okay…until Doctor Eisenberg (no relation to Jesse. I asked. Also, he was wearing scrubs and not a hoodie) said that your dad has an aortic bulb that was way too big and he was going to need open-heart surgery to try to fix this verysoon because hello, ticking time bomb that could burst at any time. Oh. My. Well, that’s fun news to hear while you are sitting in the waiting room playing angry birds and watching your #blissdomcanada column on tweetdeck. So, we were balls of total wreckedness. BUT THEN. He woke up. And after his first words, ps, “I’m alive,” Dr. Eisenberg came back and said that the bulb has been ballooned for the past eight years and instead of open-heart surgery, he just needs to be watched…to make sure it doesn’t balloon more.


My dad is certainly not out of the woods. He has a shit heart. He is half-bionic now. He has lots of scars. He can’t hold a cell phone on his left ear ever again. He is diabetic.

And it’s altogether possible that I have a shit heart too. My dad’s dad died suddenly of a heart aneurysm. They think that it’s possible that he died of the exact same thing that my dad has going on. Which, GENETICS. I effing hate genetics right now. I am now feeling a little bit thankful that I have chubby thighs. I’ll take my chubby thighs and tiny pea head and knobby knees any day over a shit heart and type II diabetes.

So, now, I am going home on Monday.

And I am going to find myself a family doctor. YES, I have lived in Canada for 13 years and I do not have a family doctor. I have a lady doctor and a bff who is a doctor and a father who is a doctor, so between the three of them, most of my questions are answered. I once test drove a doctor, but he looked too much like Steve from Blue’s Clues and when I asked him a question about blood pressure, he actually pulled out a medical textbook. He pulled it out and looked it up. He looked that shit up right there in front of me…which was when I went home and never went back to Dr. Blues Clues.

Now I need to find me a doctor. I need a physical. I need some blood tests. I need a cholesterol test. I need a CT scan to look for calcium.

I need to exercise. Not for my weight; for my heart.

I need to watch my sugars, my carbs, my salt. Not for my weight; for my heart.

I need to fight this. I can fight this. I will fight this.

Just watch me. Because the thought of Emily, Josh and Isabella sitting in a waiting room playing angry birds and hearing me say that I’m scared is enough motivation to do my damnedest to fight the stupid genetics.

  1. We are always here for you. Let’s stay healthy so we can always continue to be here for each other. Love to you and good thoughts and prayers for your Dad, Ali.


    Comment by Secret Agent Mama on October 29, 2010
  2. You can fight it! And I am right there with you. My mom and both of her parents died of different cancers, and my other grandfather now has skin cancer. So it’s never been a matter of if, but when, for me. I’m going to do what I can to lower my odds though!

    And I am glad your dad’s procedure went well today. I hope he has a speedy recovery.


    Comment by midgetinvasion on October 29, 2010
  3. I remember my father standing in the doorway of my bed room when I was 14 and sobbing. He had just had a hernia operation and the anasthsia had left his emotions in a jumble. It was the first time I saw his mortality. Scary stuff.


    Comment by Bryan on October 29, 2010
  4. You can do it. You can! Love to you and your dad. And praying for no more scary stuff.


    Comment by mrschicken on October 30, 2010
  5. Hope your dad is ok.

    It’s hard to find a doctor you like. I just got done with my physical (cholesterol 304, whoa! thanks to my mom) and it’s good to have a place to start from. I hadn’t had a regular physical aside from well-woman in many years.

    Found you from my Twitter stream, btw. :)


    Comment by Kathryn (@Kat1124) on October 30, 2010
  6. You and your dad will be in my thoughts… I can’t imagine how hard it is to hear your dad say he is scared. I was 14 when my dad passed away, and he didn’t express his fear when he was in the hospital, but I saw it in his eyes….It is really important that you find a dr. I totally put it off too. I didn’t see the sense, until my husband dragged me one day…. Then, I realized my fear was silly. If there is anything there, it will be there if you know about it or not. And if there is something, you are better off dealing with it sooner rather than later.


    Comment by Hilary on October 30, 2010
  7. I’m glad that they are watching him closely, and all seems as if it will be fine. Nothing like our parents to get sick to scare the crap out of us, believe me, I get it. It’s awesome that you were able to be there for your dad with your family. You have a great hubby!!
    take care and all the best for your dads speedy recovery.


    Comment by Sarah on October 30, 2010
  8. I’m with you on getting healthier. Lord knows it’s in my genes, too. When I was sitting in that waiting room and pre-op room. I kept thinking about how I need to take better care of myself. Before something like this scares me (and my family) into a healthier lifestyle. It was very scary.

    You know I feel you on the heartbreak, too. Although my patient is tough (on the outside) and stubborn all the way.

    One thing you said in this post was very very wrong, though. You don’t have a shit heart. You have a very beautiful heart. You do. Hugs.


    Comment by Haley-O (Cheaty) on October 31, 2010
  9. Both of my grandfathers had diabetes, so I know where you are coming from.

    We’re praying for your dad to make a full recovery.


    Comment by Noah Roth on October 31, 2010
  10. I hope your dad continues to get better. Glad you are taking this wake up call seriously. I switched doctors when I went with a rash and the doctor said “let’s google it” which is by far worse than looking it up in a medical book!


    Comment by Arica Saltzman on October 31, 2010
  11. Praying for your dad, Ali. And please take care of yourself. xo


    Comment by Nenette on October 31, 2010
  12. It’s really too bad that hearts couldn’t be judged on how amazing your figuratively speaking heart is, and how loving you are with people, because you would win at that. We all missed you this weekend and that was said like eleventy billion times. Also I’m sending all my love to you and your family right now. Smooches on both your cheeks, peahead.


    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on October 31, 2010
  13. I had some random Blues Clues mail call and birds shooting at pigs comment association to make here, but instead I’m just going to give you a big ol’ virtual hug. Love.


    Comment by Avitable on October 31, 2010
  14. I know how scary it can be to face the shit-hand that you’ve been dealt for your health (melanoma’s the big one in my world – blech). But you’re doing the absolute best thing possible! I work in health care PR (and if you want to come see a doctor in Nebraska, give me a ring!!) – so I hear stories like this all the time.

    Unfortunately most people just continue to live their lives as if they’re invincible — even AFTER they learn their risks!

    Good luck with your health and prayers for your dad & the rest of your family!


    Comment by Jen on November 1, 2010
  15. I have no doubt you’ll do it. Because your kids mean the world to you.

    Praying Steve continues to get better and hugs to you and your family! xoxoxo


    Comment by Kristabella on November 1, 2010
  16. My dad’s dad had a heart attack and died at the age of 52 (my dad was 15). My dad’s brother had a heart attack and an angioplasty, at the age of 52. MY DAD had a heart attack and a quadruple by-pass AT 52!
    I too exercise, eat right, and visit the doc on a regular basis for the exact same reason – so my children won’t have to sit in that room.
    Damn genetics.


    Comment by Aeron on November 1, 2010
  17. You’ll do it. I know you will.

    So sorry that you had to go through this weekend with your Dad.

    (So sorry I didn’t get to see you either. Miss you, lady.)


    Comment by Angella on November 1, 2010
  18. I’m so glad your dad doesn’t need surgery and is getting the care he needs.

    My dad died of a heart attack at age 48 on my 20th birthday (talk about a fun birthday), so I am on the same page as you with the genetics & exercise. We can do it!


    Comment by Corey on November 1, 2010
  19. Knocked my socks off with knlwoegde!


    Comment by Loren on July 13, 2011

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