Dale Blocher

First post: Sep 14, 2017 Latest post: Sep 18, 2017
Dale had his aortic valve replaced January 2012.  He did real well after that. Then is 2016 he started experiencing shortness of breath. We go to the cardiologist who determines that his mitral valve is not working well. His mitral valve has been prolapsed for many years and did not give any problems.  Now it is becoming problematic.  His cardiologist talked about placing a mitral clip versus replacing the valve.  After months of back and forth we decided to try placing a mitral clip which was done in January 2017.  It was difficult but successful.  At the post op visit, Dale tells the cardiologist that he still is experiencing shortness of breath.  Again after a number of studies and discussions, we find out that the clip came off of one side of his valve.  The cardiologist - who is our neighbor - came to the house, sat down and talked with us.  He said that he has put more clips on than any other doctor in the state of PA and this is the first clip to come off.  He is not happy about it.  So now Dale's option is to have the valve replaced.  However York Hospital has one cardiac surgeon and his expertise is in by pass surgery.  The cardiologist tells us that he knows a surgeon who is leaving Johns Hopkins and going to Hershey - but he is not sure of the time frame.  This is a surgeon who he would have operate on himself, his father, his child.  We may have to wait a number of months for him to get to Hershey.  He told us that as long as Dale was having equal amounts of bad days and good days, it was okay to wait.  But if he started having more bad days than good, then we would have to go to plan B.  I could tell that in the last couple of weeks, Dale was progressively getting more short of breath so I called the cardiologist to tell him.  Amazing - he was planning to call me that day.  The surgeon is at Hershey and seeing patients.  So we had an appointment yesterday, September 8. The surgeon talks with us - then tells us that he will try to repair the valve.  He will not do open heart - he will do it via a thoracotomy.    The surgeon gave Dale a 50/50 chance of being able to repair the valve, if not, then he will replace the valve. Surgery is scheduled for September 14.   We are very pleased with the surgeon and with this plan.  For all of the months of waiting and Dale not feeling well, it has been worth the wait to have this surgeon.  Dale came in the house this evening - real out of breath - and tells me "I am tired. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of not feeling well.  I just want to feel better."  It is very difficult for him to get any type of strenuous work done.  It is time to get this valve repaired and working.  We are thankful for all of your prayers - concerns - helping us - the support we received from all of you.  God bless you for being there for us as we take the next step on this journey of Dale getting better health.

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