On December 3rd, 2014, my younger brother Jay died of a heart attack less than 50 feet from the room where he was born. Jay's death rippled through our family beyond just grief that anyone would feel from the sudden and unexpected loss of a young relative. He was seemingly the pinnacle of health...How could he have had a heart attack? The medical examiner declared that Jay's heart attack was caused by a genetic connective tissue disorder. This made Jay's death not just a loss, but an alarm to us, his immediate relatives. We all began to have regular cardiologist appointments from then on. In 2015, I discovered that I had an aortic dilation. I was assured by my then cardiologist that it was nothing to worry about and we would just wait and see. The dilation could remain at the size it was, or it could grow incrementally eventually becoming an aneurysm that would be watched until possibly operable. Life went back to as it should be with the addition of another type of doctor's exam to add to the rotation. In 2018, my mother discovered that she had an ascending aortic aneurysm. Her doctors were monitoring it and keeping tabs on its growth. The goal was to wait and see until she was in the operable range. Beyond not being able to lift anything too heavy, life for her was as it should be. On December 30th, Lola and I called my mom. She was breathless and confused. She said she was laying on the floor and couldn't move. I immediately called 911 in DC. I stayed on the phone with her as EMTs arrived, broke the door down, and rushed her off to Washington Hospital Center where they were able to perform the aortic valve replacement surgery that saved my mommy's life. Her aneurysm rupturing before what is ordinarily an operable size means that waiting and seeing is no longer an option for me. I don't want to suddenly fall down one day when I am home alone with Lola. I don't want to cause my family any more worry. On Tuesday, May 18th, I will be having my ascending aorta replaced. Y'all know what a tough time I have being still, but I am going to do my hardheaded best to listen, rest, and recuperate. Having helped Nurse Lola get my mother back to on her feet, I know that even for a cook as dynamic as Rodney is, having to not worry about meal planning is a much underrated blessing. Should you wish to help with dog walking or housekeeping instead of meal planning, you can donate here: Ca$h App: $BLITZ Venmo: @LR_Blitzkrieg PayPal: Rodney Willie
As beautiful as they are, we all have SERIOUS pollen allergies, even Jameson, lol so please don't send any flowers.