The last few days at Mayo

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Hello to the fourm and thanks for the kind and useful responses to my origional message. All were appreciated. For those of you that might be interested, I am going to use the email text I sent my family and friends to update you on the recient events. I invite your comments and suggestions.

Tuesday Jan 8
Hello to All,
Today I was admitted to St. Mary?s Hospital to take Coronary Angiogram in preparation to having my aortic valve replaced tomorrow. While the nurse was taking some history I noticed something unusual about my vision. I thought at first it was a smear on my glasses but as it turned out, a gray splotchy area had formed in a portion in the lower left area of the vision in my right eye. I could not see anything within the gray area. When I told the attending nurse about it she felt it was something they should not ignore. The situation only lasted about five minutes as the gray splotch got smaller and disappeared. Since that time I have been seen by a series of other doctors including neurologists and cardiologists and had several tests to make sure there were no blood clots or obstructions that might cause a stroke. So far, nobody had come up with any conclusive cause of the incident. The Coronary Angiogram has been rescheduled for tomorrow. After a discussion with my surgeon this afternoon it, is doubtful that I will have the surgery tomorrow, a small chance of doing it Thursday, but more likely wait until about January 23.
Just one more point to mention. One of my caregivers is a shockingly beautiful gal from Russia. Just thought I would mention it so you would know this whole thing does not have me in a depression. Now how do you say, ?Would you give me a sponge bath please? in Russian?

Wednesday Jan 9
Hello again to All,
Another day at St. Mary's Hospital, and as it turns out, another night tonight. Today was spent waiting for the angiogram that I was scheduled for yesterday before I saw the splotch in my eye. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men and all Mayo?s technicians and all Mayo?s doctors have not been able to tell me why I saw the splotches. Ok, all the horses, men technicians and doctors have not been involved in the problem I admit. Still they satisfied themselves that I could proceed with the angiogram which showed that the two graphs I had done in 1991 were still in good condition. They did find one minor (I assume) artery was blocked 100% and another, ?obtuse marginal? artery blocked 90%. It is not clear to me if they will attempt to repair any of this when the valve work is done.
I have been corresponding with some folks on am Internet forum on valve replacement with the hope of shedding some light on the question of mechanical vs. tissue valve. It is drinking from a fire hose, plus there are of course fringe people for and against every mainstream and new procedure and product. I did come across a message by a gal who has been talking to some Mayo Clinic doctors about a new device called the Cryovalve. She says it has been approved, holds promise of much longer life than existing tissue valves, does not require a lifetime on anti-rejection medication, and has or is going to be distributed initially to only two institutions, one of them Mayo Clinic. She gave me the name of the Mayo surgeon whois involved and I have an appointment with him tomorrow. I hope to find out if the new valve would be right for me and when it will be available.
So the situation is that I did not have surgery today and will not have it tomorrow. Depending on the outcome of my visit with the doctor tomorrow, I suppose I could be having the work done as early as next week, or perhaps not for several weeks if the Cryovalve indeed is the best way to go.
OK, I have to go now. Pair a stroika or glossnose or whatever!

Thursday Jan 10
Hello to All a third time,
Greetings from home! The third day of the saga of getting my heart repaired ended with a dinner at home instead for the first day of recuperation as planned. Tests and consultation with doctors, including the guy that I thought might put the new technology Cryovalve in me, leaves me as follows. The two graphs from the bypass in 1991 are in "excellent" shape. I think the guy said "remarkable" and "exceptional." So that is the good news.
It is still unclear what caused the vision situation, but the decision has been made to go forward with the repair of the heart valve. While they are doing that another bypass will be done on the artery that was found to be about 90% blocked. Since this is the second procedure and it is somewhat more complex than the first one the risks are greater. But not having it done is really not an option and since the risks will increase as time goes by, now seems as good a time as any.
So tomorrow I will call Mayo with the intention of setting a time probably between January 21 and 25. When a firm date is set I will let you know.
And because I know you are all interested, last night I had a back rub by my Russian friend. Before you get the wrong idea let me tell you she was borderline brutal! Nonetheless, it did feel so good!
More when there is some significant news to report.
Pete - Of course we are all interested. But I had to read through all that trivia to find out what happened next with the Russian gal or shall I call her the shockingly beautiful Russian gal. Of course, all diversions are welcome when we are going to have surgery. Make sure that vision gets fixed so we can have the proper write-up during your recovery. Good luck and keep that proper attitude.
Hey Peter-

Sounds as if you're in good hands. Perhaps your eyeball popped out of your head too far! LOL. Take care with that gorgeous gal.
Ditto on Bill Hall's post! Now that we have a little side issue going, you gotta keep us posted on that - think she will be around when you go back????

We will expect to hear when your surgery is, as soon as you know. Sounds like you have good drs, since they put things on hold because of the eye thing.
Peter, there is much info on Cryovalve, started by Jim. Click on 'view new posts' and you will find it as someone posted there today. You might find things you need to know.

Your vision problem sounds like something that happens to me once in awhile. Vision in one eye is blocked by fields of grey. I always thought of it a someone pulling a shade down, although I do see areas as if the shade is torn. It's been suggested by some eye doc's that I have "occular migranes". This only happens once every couple of months for less than 5 minutes at a time.

I've never thought of it as being heart related, it doesn't seem to have gotten any worse as my aortic valve narrows. Will certainly be interesting to see if this happens after my surgery in April.


My husband had the same thing you spoke about pre surgery.

The Dr. ordered an MRI of the brain, which ended up two MRI's, PLUS, one of the neck area.

He has had two TIA's, and they think one of them was the time he had vision problems. Showed up on the MRI.

They really checked out the blood flow to the brain, so that he would not "stroke out" during the surgery.

So....get it checked!

hi pete!
in addition to the thread hensylee mentioned, mara has a cryolife sg valve in her pulmonary position (ross procedure). also, if i remember correctly, srwieland in florida may also have one (check back in july/august 2001 for his threads). and, there's always peter easton's thread entitled "making the choice", also back in july/aug 2001, in which i think he discussed the cryolife sg. you might want to peek in on a new thread that discusses the cryolife sg quite extensively in the "new advancement" forum. what timing!!
when my husband joey was having his rp, i asked about it and was told that we had to reserve one ahead of time and that very few were available here at our hospital. (they did not use the cryolife on joey).
the good side of this little wait is that you can buy a russian-eng. dictionary and go into the surgery prepared to chit chat with your russian nurse!lol!
please keep us posted and good luck.
be well,
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