Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Still hanging out waiting for word from Cleveland Clinic.  I did however, go to the local heart surgeon the cardiologist referred to me.  It was strange because the surgeon's office called me for an appointment instead of the other way around.  Also, it was obvious when I got there that this was one of those offices where they try to push as many patients through as fast as possible. The waiting room was packed full and my appointment was 50 minutes late. After doing all this research on my condition, and talking to the surgeon, I was really disturbed by the repair technique the surgeon was going to use and his stated success rate.  He was going to use an approach with a lower success rate and a higher chance for re-operation. The fact that he even brought up the possibility of using a pig valve as a option convinced me to wait for a second opinion from Cleveland Clinic, no matter how long it takes.  

Almost no other prominent center does replacement over repair unless the valve is nearly totally gone.  Valve replacement is quick and easy for the surgeon, they make more money, but the results for the patient is not always the best.  Repairs take greater skill, a longer operation, but yields a great result.  Plus this surgeon's first option did not repair the valve, but only re-shaped it with a ring thus reducing the size of the valve with the hope that the valve will close better.  The underlying cause of the valve failure is not addressed and left to chance that it will not cause future problems.  For me, this is unacceptable because its my heart and I want it to be done right, the first time.

This experience has reinforced the belief by many to always get a second or third opinion when important medical decisions have to be made.  We often have an unquestionable belief in doctors who are only human and have their shortcomings and beliefs.  When it comes to your body and your life, getting all the information you can before deciding on a course of action is absolutely essential.  That is, if the situation permits as you can't always do that if you are in an emergency situation.

Ella - She is almost five months old already
So its been a month since I left the mango and I'm missing everyone back home a lot.  Talking to Marina on LINE everyday is not the same as being there in person.  Ella is going through an amazing time in her life where she is starting to smile and can roll over on her own.  These are the things a dad away from home should not miss.  Through all of this, I now truly appreciate the personal sacrifice workers and their families go through when they leave home to work.  Even more so for those in the military whose assignments keep them away with the possibility that they might never return home again.  While my situation is not nearly as dramatic, nevertheless I can see how much of what we want is dictated not by what we want, but what life deals to us.  We just have to play the cards we are given and make the best possible outcome with them.

Ella is a spitting image of Marina when she was the same age
On the positive side, I've been keeping busy setting up my Samsung Gear S3 Frontier and getting some exercise despite the rain.  January and February are not fun times to be in the Bay Area if you can't ski or have an indoor activity.  The other bad thing that is happening is that I am buying things online, which can be a very expensive activity.  

Perhaps the best thing is a trip out of the area.  A trip to Vegas? or the Islands? or a quick trip back to the mango?  It has to be someplace that I can get back from quickly when that call comes.....


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