Imagine the shock. Master's cell phone rings just after sunrise. His mother only 45 years old is about to go in for heart surgery. She could die if they don't get her opened up soon but the operation could kill her. If she lets them open her up she has a 40% chance of survival; if she doesn't she dies. Her aorta is about to burst. she has signed the papers and they need to prep her now for the surgery. She just wants to say "goodbye" in case she doesn't make it.

We go to the hospital. My usually coldly rational Master unable to even form a complete sentence. "Why does a 45 year old woman need heart surgery?" we ask a nurse in the ER. Two words Marfan Syndrome.

Heart surgery takes hours. there's nothing to do but wait. The hospital tries to make the waiting room not so bad but it is the worst place you have ever been. When the surgery is eventually finished and the surgeon has cleaned up and put on fresh scrubs, he comes to the wating room, flanked by a resident and two interns.You have to wonder how long the doctor has been awake before he even started the six hour surgery because he looks exausted but his hands are steady and his voice is soothing. "she made it through the surgery. You can go see her for a few minutes now but she's not awake. She's on a ventalator and her body is still warming up but don't be afraid. She is alive. If all goes well we can pull out the ventalator tomorrow morning."

He explains what was done. The heart-lung machine. The aortic repair and the aortic valve replacement. All the tests they ran. Gives us a a few warnings: she has Mitral Valve Prolapse and may need that valve replaced too in a few years. The next 48 hours are critical. Master should be checked out by a specialist as soon as possible because Marfan Syndrome can be inheirited.

I take Master home, give him a mild sedative, call a friend to stay with him, and then i came to work because I was not allowed to call off. He didn't want me to stay with him. I can't concentrate...can't make myself care that people have sinus infections. My injections are a bit rougher than they need to be...I missed two blood draws in a row without even an appology already this morning. They sent me to do billing but the numbers swim. I do what I'm told because to disobey would only add to Master's stress more than my presence might lessen it but I hurt for him.