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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Health News for those interested.

I took almost three days to write the last post. This one is just a copy of an Email that I wrote to friends because a number of the blogophiles here followed our adventures in Finland in 2006 rather closely, and I have grumbled, whined and complained about the lack of progress on Janet latest health adventures.

I probably included some folks(in the email) that don't care about this and I am sure that I have left off some that would, but we have finally heard from the doctor at the Medical College of Georgia. (For those to whom I haven't whined, she saw the chief of cardio-thoracic medicine early in April. After studying her CT scans and a 3D model of her aorta, he told her that he was going to try to do an endovascular repair of her new aneurysms --read, a full length aortal stent--that she should have her surgery within four to six weeks, and that he would call us in about a week to schedule the surgery. Since that time, getting any information has been like pulling teeth. We have called, emailed and written letters, not to mention prayed, but couldn't get anything clear. It has been a bit terrifying.)

The surgeon called today and told us that he had been sending her CT scans to colleagues all over the country and had been consulting about the surgery. Traditional surgery had been ruled out because of the degree of scar tissue etc., left over from her aortal surgery that took place in Finland in 2006 (brilliant surgery, they all assure us), but that the other problems seemed extremely serious. Dr. Landolfo, the surgeon at MSC said that their final conclusion was that, if an emergency arose he would do the surgery, but that he didn't feel comfortable with the chances of success. He, in company with our regular cardiologist, is referring her to a surgeon (whom he assures us does these sort of things all the time, and is about the only one in the country who does) in Houston, so it looks like we are going to make a trip to Houston as soon as it can be arranged. It may be interesting. When we went to Finland we went for a week and stayed three months (and survived, thanks to Ed and Jaana Rogers and Brother and Sister Stromberg who provided housing, and moral support for the whole time) It will be interesting to see when we go to Houston, where I will stay, and how long, but it is such a relief to have some concept of what has been going on and what will/might/may happen in the near future.

Thanks to those of you who have sent good thoughts, and who care.

Richard B. Johnson, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Actor, Director, Puppeteer, Playwright, Teacher,Writer, Thingmaker, Mormon, Person, Fool. I sometimes think that the last persona is the most important- and most valuable. Http://www.PuppenRich.com


At 10:03 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I've never heard of a full aortal stent so I will have to research it.

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Me neither. I confess that I might have misunderstood, but I am pretty sure that such was the original plan, and my be the current plan.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Richard, it seems that they've been used for nearly ten years and are called aortic stent grafts. They can work well but not usually for elderly folk or those in poor health. It's major invasive surgery and weak hearts cannot take being clamped off during the procedure.

Like all medical procedures, you have to weigh the odds. Aortic dissection can lead to sudden death by ruptured aneurysm but it can also lead to slow death as it over works the heart.

This article has a lot of scientific gobbledygook but it's the most thorough that I've found.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Thank you very much for the articles. They were, as you say, scientific language, but they helped both of us understand the process her doctor has been going through and the decision he made to refer her to Dr. Kelly in Houston. Thanks again.

At 8:31 PM, Anonymous Kathleen said...

Richard, I completely appreciate the lengths that Janet's doctor has gone to for giving her the best care possible.

While you are in Houston take care of yourself while the doctors take care of Janet. It is never easy being away from home and stress and the pace can take its toll. I hope you find folks and accommodations that are as wonderful as in Finland.

I have both you and Janet in my prayers.

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Gayle said...

I will also keep you and Janet in my prayers, Richard.

So you are coming to Texas. I wish it weren't going to be under such strenuous and anxiety-causing circumstances! I am going to add Janet to my daily prayers, Richard.

May God bless you and watch over you both!

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Thotman said...

Richard, I have a friend in Houston, who may be able to help you in your accomodations if the time there becomes longer than you expect... I will contact him and I am sure he will be happy to help in anyway possible. Let me know if you need anything concerning your trip.


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