Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Mother had a Laser Lithotrisy to remove kidney stones on Monday. She had two stones , one on each side, that the Dr. thought he removed entirely. The one on the right side was somewhat lodged causing a high degree of irritation and some bleeding. The Dr opted for inserting two stints which will remain for about a month. There is a chance that the left side could come out in about a week. She is better this morning but she was having a hard time getting through the anesthesia aftermath. She is resting today but will probably not resume teaching this week. Love to all Dad

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I had a good meeting with Dr. Reichwien yesterday concerning my PFO and its closure. I entered the study back in December and I go trandomized to the medication arm of the study (not what I really wanted). That means I will be taking Coumodin for the foreseeable future. I explained to the doctor that I was putting on wieght and my blood pressure was going up because I am a little reluctant to do the types of activities that I would like to do and that if I had the impant device, that I could do the types of activities that I would like to do. He explained that the device is not the absolute fix either. He said that there is just as much risk with the 'experimental' implant device as there is for me being on the medication. He has hundereds of patients and stories on both sides, successes and failures. He went on to say that Hershey Medical Center would not put the device in even if I had the money to pay for it, and that goes for any Hospital running one of these studies. He did say that there are places that I can get a device put in if I wanted to, but he did not recommend that course. He also added that this device may be disproven and if I had been randomized to the device arm, that I would then be stuck with this device in my chest forever (unless it needed to be extracted via surgery). He reinforced that my defect is in the lowest range of the medium to high risk category and he siad that I should not be reluctant to go back to a certain level of physical fitness. He siad that I would have to judge for myself what that level is and what level makes me feel good with the least amount of risk (i.e. skiing at a really busy ski area, or playing very competitive soccer). I guess I could get hit by a golf ball on the golf course, so does that mean I should not play golf? I suppose the risk of getting in an accident driving to work in the morning is the greater risk vs. falling off of my bike.

I am going to continue on the Coumodin and keep tabs on my health and see how it goes. There is a chance that the device will be approved and I could get it inserted, but right now the recommendation is to wait and see. There is lots of reasearch going on relative to PFO's and tomorrow it may all change...Love, Michael.