September is Aneurysm Awareness Month!

Summer 2016 marked the 35th anniversary of the year that Aneurysm issues hit home and changed our lives forever!   When suddenly widowed to the "Time Bomb In the Brain",  there was not much we could have done to prevent it.  NOTTANYMORE!  Share the message to any you know who may be at risk for it: Get the Tests!  They save lives.....and enjoy this post and comment as you like - find me as needed - I am here for this one.....elle.

TAAF is located near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco California USA, site of the latest  TAAF Walk May 2016

TAAF is located near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco California USA, site of the latest TAAF Walk May 2016

SITEWIDE EVENT !   held over for one more week!  Read the full story that follows here:

50/50 with TAAF to advance Aneurysm Awareness and Research.   TWO ways to do it, depending on who gets the tax deduction for the donation:

  1. Enjoy the Art     Use the TAAF code at checkout. When I receive your payment, I forward the donation to TAAF. You get:  a copy of the receipt, to show the money went to TAAF, and the Artwork to show and share and gift or donate - and the nice feeling of having helped.  I get the deduction.  ORRRR
  2. First donate to  , find your artwork, then send a copy of your donation receipt  and the name of the artwork you wish to purchase to the artist <> and you will receive a reply with YOUR unique promo code to apply when you checkout at your leisure.  You get the art, the deduction for your taxes and the nice feeling of having helped save lives. 

 - Contact the artist with your questions or comments.

September is Aneurysm Awareness Month!   Use the Code TAAF and Elle Fagan Art will forward half your purchase price to TAAF from September 25th to September 30th.  

MODERN, COMFORTABLE  IMAGING CAN FIND AND FIX AN ANEURYSM BEFORE IT FIXES YOU - GET THE TESTS!    If there is history or hint of it, in your family - DO get the tests!

TAAF is the The Aneurysm and Arteriovenous Malformation Foundation -

the group is new because, until modern imaging could find and help fix them, one often did not know that the aneurysm was there until the autopsy.   The miracle breakthrough is just a beginning, though. Funds are needed to continue research to repair and prevent aneurysms, and improve public awareness of this killer, and all the great ways to win over it.     We are doing wonderful "Art With Heart" things this for more! for more or contact me.

 "Why Elle Fagan Art for it? "

  I have sent these  California Poppies paintings - via my "Art With Heart" functions, to be auctioned at the events this May in San Francisco, and will do one here in Connecticut this fall and more.  A longtime dream to help these people who save my children, though saving their Dad was not possible!    Today we can ID and fix this killer - aneurysm. Please help.

  The story:
Aneurysm is a particularly insidious thing - a spot in a blood vessel that is thin or weak encourages the blood to create a bubble or sac in that vein and, as time passes, blood pressure can continue to worsen the sac until the right stress ruptures it.   Depending on its location it may be fixable or not.   Worse, the progress is good, but only possible since relatively-recent  imaging methods spot it and diagnose it accurately and allow intelligent repair. See the links at the foot of this entry for more.

But Aneurysm is particularly hideous because it is one of the sudden death causes  - and the collateral damage, to loved ones and normal life and powers is a thing to fear. 
I am telling my story to show what happens in the life and to provide impetus for money for  work for the prevention and treatment of aneurysm.

Read on - it's not too long.

"For the love of Peter?"  I'd seen him in my mind's eye at first blush of puberty. Like a vision his face - smiling eyes, almost-blonde hair and wonderful way, loving me - the face "just appeared"  outdoors on a sunny early summer day,  painting the bachelor's buttons, of all things!  Soon after, our son and daughter appeared as well, similarly ... the twinkle in their Father's eye made real?   I don't know but it WAS.  I had not read Tolkien yet...but it was not  much different from Arwen's vision of her own husband and son...but my Dad was jollier than her Elrond about it all.
I worked and studied and prayed for the right work and love and marriage and got to the dances with every detail correct, just in case HE was there.  And one night he WAS - my vision made real, in focus - asking me to dance -  and we were instantly a pair and unbreakably happy, with great work and love and our own two children made real, with doors open for all the rest.   "Nary a cross work spoken" , and old Irish myth? Not in our case - really blessed.

The children's  teen years had begun and so there were "Freaky Fridays" at home sometimes, and upgrades in everything in progress,  to make sure their universe unfolded as it should. They were wonderful children, gifted and yet fun and happy and lively.   Not once was there lack of good mornings or a kiss on the way out the door and home again was always a happy journey.

... until THAT morning.    
We laughed at his headache after too many trips on the roller coaster, on a vacation funday, visiting Grandma in Florida, but it got worse,  and,  reminding me that he could sleep through anything,  he promised to run over to the hospital for tests if it was not better by morning.
Morning was too late - ten steps to the bathroom after a kiss upon arising, and then the thud as he hit the floor.  That was it.  
I had my redcross things and could tell he was gone, but 911 did their best and life support and doctors did try, too.  But a week later his mighty heart quit, just as the famous "afternoon monsoon" of Florida summertime opened up the sky and poured rain, and our children and I hugged with Mother and Godmother in pathetic submission, to comfort one another the only thing.  

 Horrible rupture of a Sacular or Berry Aneurysm.  Why they call it a berry, I'll never know - much too lovely a name for such a nightmare thing. Details at the TAAF site click here.

The odd thing was that my late husband had the best medical care on earth and if he'd "lucked out" for a few more years, the great testing he got at annual physicals would have found the cause of "that headache" he'd suffered from time to time all his life;  and the great medical care we enjoyed would have fixed it.  

But,  at the time of my husband's death, the only tests to try to diagnose an intracranial issue stood a great chance of rupturing the thing and so were rarely administered.   

Our home was full of love, great with church, school, fitness and civic work and full of fine fun and laughter -  sun blessed - then, suddenly we were three patients!  No one dies at 39 and me 34 , and our children 13 and 11.  

Pathetic, indeed.  

I had curled hair and lost speech;

our daughter some worse reactions , also silence and white hair streaks,

our son found his Father's Army Jacket and went to war with an invisible enemy - his grief.  

It was sixty days before our basic physical functions were reliably normal.  

I had been gifted in school, and so were our children, but of course, their grades plummeted for a bit, but their behavior was grand!  

We had teamed for lots of fun projects before and now those projects seemed like a rehearsal for the real show we were developing now.     Rehearsals help:  we soon found lots of neat creative things that WON.  It is a fight, confronting with grief, and choosing the busyandhappy normal way, moment by moment for a bit. I will never be prouder of those two than I was then.... but then we had to individuate to clean it all up, or cripple ourselves.   It worked, too,  but with a very sharp pinch at the time. 

I needed to KNOW - always.   So I continued my research on the topic and when a pro was annoyed by questions, I simply found a different one.   The recession had hit our money and tht changed our powers a lot. Still we kept the eye on the prize and simply adjusted the path for it, as needed.   And my research continued with greater ease thanks to computers opening up  a world of links for it all!  

 The idea is to diagnose and treat an aneurysm BEFORE it can rupture...too late later, depending on its location in the body.  When my husband died from rupture there were almost no safe tests to diagnose and prevent rupture.   But his children fare better.  Today the testing is available almost everywhere and affordably.  

The day our children's tests came thru "asymptomatic" was the day indeed!   I thought I had "me" in hand on the topic, but the relief I experienced at that goodnews moment told me otherwise.  I got some of my own health back that day.

Do not make light of head things. Get the tests.  Thank you Dr. Gary Steinburg at Stanford University Med Center  HIs work was chronicled in a junk paper at the cash register and left on the kitchen table,  by my godfather, at our old family homestead. Visiting I was tidying up and found it by chance, after a LOT of futility in independent research on the subject.  God is NOT dead....I keep Him busy.

It was a lot of praying, jogging, getting educated, being patient for the places that only heal with the  tyrant, time.   

I am fine and busy and recouped from a second slam at my health from an accident,  and more or less wrinkle free - thanks to the Angels - real and otherwise, in my life who helped win the recovery.  

The healing done and strength regained, The children ar married and me next maybe.  Over twenty years to be off the grief-shock list, healed from the remaining sorrow and able and interested in remarriage.  From so close a marriage, I knew the healing path would be "long form" and not "short form" work.  FROM ONE MOMENT - one ruptured spot in one blood vessel.

And by the time I was done researching aneurysms and grief recovery for us,  I was chatting the gurus on the subject and articles like this from me appeared thanks to heroes like Peggy Sweeney who work with those lost on the path to the "great day in the morning" when grief finally quits and slithers off somewhere.

I am crazyproud of the children's way in it even today - 30 years later - with grades and health and success and weddings  and laughter recaptured, even over additional damage from the recession to our money and socially stable path.  We are not as casually chummy and I hope their happy marriages help fix that, but we are all well and thriving and ambitious to pass on the great good.  

I found fundraising and awareness-raising for Aneurysm Triumph, some years ago and so happy to be doing it with them now.    Please at least pass on the url, or give online or take advantage of my own gifting at my site. The banner at page top tells you the code to enter at checkout for it.   

 It all helps. I also donate throough Amazon Smile for it. It's easy - you can too...takes one minute to opt for your purchase to allow Amazon to give to your cause.  

Thanksomuch for reading this blog post and story. Do visit the event site and help if you can.  And if you want to help my September 50/50 Fundraiser in Hartford, do find me. Gathering a team.


11th Annual Aneurysm and AVM Awareness Walk  

- click here for details! - read on to learn.  

The images that follow are my artwork auctioned off at the event in California - its golden poppies.