This year has been a rough one for me health-wise. January ended with me in the hospital, after an ultrasound scan revealed a 9-cm-wide aneurysm to the aorta in my lower abdomen. A young doctor by the name of Giovanni Della Casa noticed the problem while checking my lymph nodes for traces of a recent melanoma. My lymph nodes were clean but Doctor Della Casa of the FKT Outpatient Clinic in Carpi (MO) saw something that would see me run with Dr. Della Casa’s diagnosis and ultrasound disc straight to the Emergency Room of Modena’s super hospital at Baggiovara on the outskirts of Modena, Italy, where I would be immediately hospitalized for emergency surgery the following day by the renowned vascular surgeon, Dr. Roberto Silingardi.
Everything went well, and after three days of intensive care, I was moved to the vascular department where they nursed me back to good health and discharged me after about a fortnight.
It is now mid-June, and a few months have passed since I stopped wearing the girdle that for three long months protected the stitches running the length of my torso from sternum to groin.
Over the years, I would sometimes complain about never getting one break or make some real money in Italy’s “Yankee” north. With my Italian nephews and nieces running around in Land Rovers and Porches, I felt anything but the rich American Uncle that everyone would like to have. Well, believe me, after what happened in January, I now bite my tongue every time I feel the urge to complain about my luck!
Hell, I now realize the good Lord saved all the luck for when I would need it most. I will always be grateful to Him, and the good Doctors of Baggiovara Hospital in Modena, Italy, starting with my next-door neighbor Dr. Elisabetta Bertellini Head Anesthisyologist at that great Hospital, where I was cared for egregiously by an incredible staff and by Dr. Silingardi and his Equipe of bright, young surgeons. My thanks go to all who conspired to save my life. I can never thank you all enough.