High Marks for The Cleveland Clinic

I would have been online and posting sooner, but the Internet connection and router here at the Sight Center is spotty, so I’m seizing the moment.  (That is why this entry may not be spelled all correctly–the connection is a bit jerky, and I’m typing so fast that I’m like the skilled Linotypers of old–they often had to stop and let the machine catch up to them.)

We’ve completed the round of doctor visits and lab tests for today.  Steph and I meet with Dr. Lytle, the actual knife-wielder, tomorrow afternoon.  The physician we did meet, Dr. Brian Griffin,(pictured–sorry, too good to resist!), was a 60ish guy with an Irish accent, and he took all the time we needed to answer questions, compile medical history, etc.  It was much better than the doctors at Riverside who spoke with us for 5-10 minutes with their eyes on their watches the entire time.

The news is a mixed bag.  Steph’s heart situation is much more serious than the Riverside doctors led us to believe.  Dr. Griffin said that it is not realistic to think the valve can be salvaged.  (I came away from the April hospitalization pretty sure that the valve was toast, but the doctors held out hope that it was saveable.)  Aside from replacing the valve (either with a mechanical or human valve–they won’t even make the determination until they have Steph cut open!), there is muscle building up and hardening around the valve, and there will also be a membrane resection.

Paradoxically, even though there is much more wrong than we were led to believe, we feel much better about Steph’s chances of recovery because of the good feeling we have working with this surgical staff.  We were immediately at ease when we heard that we were the second of Dr. Griffin’s two appointments today, so he wasn’t in a rush-rush-rush mode.  We were ahead of schedule on all of her tests, and they decided one could be skipped.

Deja vu–If you go back to my blog at the time of Steph’s April hospitalization, I mentioned watching Rachael Ray’s show in the waiting room, where she went lingerie-shopping with two men who were buying for their wives.  That same one was running today!