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6/10/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
I managed to somehow delete everything I and everyone else had written, as mentioned below, so let me quickly give a review of my situation.
Jane and I had planned to travel to England on June 6 and had the tickets and more or less schedule all fixed. But I had been bothered by a continuing and annoying cough, and more importantly, by a definite shortness of breath on walks, which I didn't much care to do anyway. This is not me and not a good sign. So Jane insisted I go to my doctor, an old friend, and he saw me, and felt I should see a cardiologist. Which I did, and the news was not great. I had known, four or five years ago, that I had what is called Mitral Valve Regurgitation. I won't bore you with long explanations, but suffice it to say that an important valve in the heart was not functioning correctly and made me liable to have a stroke. So the cardiologist said it was not a good idea for us to go to England, but that I should have a couple of serious tests, one an echocardiogram which would make it possible to see the valve at least fairly well (which I had done years ago, but in the meantime, since last October, I have lost about 50 pounds, and thus they could better see the results than before) and two, a catheterization with a little camera to see into my heart. Once those were done, about a couple of weeks ago (I'm writing this on June 11), it was pretty certain I needed a heart operation. But the good news, considering, is that, instead of the normal open heart surgery, what I call the "Cracked Crab" approach, I am able to have the Port Access approach, where they come in on the side, do not break bones and hospitalization and recuperation time are considerably faster. So that's where I am now. My arteries are clean (all that good living) and the surgeon is quite confident everything will go well. The surgery is scheduled for July 5 very early in the morning. I should be in the hospital for 3-5 days (the short one is my obvious hope) and then I get to come home. I should be up and around, if a little weak, within a week or so and total recovery will take, God knows, anywhere from 2-6 months or longer. The hospital is in Santa Clara and I know that Jane will need some kind of help. You can always contact her. Until about July 2 or so, I am easy to contact and will be working to some degree, more or less normally. Thanks for all your support. Bill