Sunday, March 30, 2014

Catching up on the past three weeks...

Continuing from the last post...
(The last copied e-mail on this post wouldn't let me correct or add, so I will start a new post.
Most of you have already had these e-mails about the details leading up to Walt's open heart surgery...
so you can skip what you've already read.
    The last photo is of Walt watching our 9-y-o grandson Ben practice his cello in Rochester, MN.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Walt and Jerry grilled steaks for dinner. This was the Brewers first full day in San Salvador with us.

   We did our regular shift on Saturday, March 1. Walt opened the temple at 4:00 a.m. and we finished at 11:30 a.m.  Walt then had the echocardiogram done at the cardiologist's office at noon.

The echo showed an enlargement of the aortic root.  His San Salvador cardiologist, Dr. L√≥pez Winter, said it could possibly involve surgery.

March 1- 10, 2014 
Our temple was closed for its two-week semi-annual maintenance March 4 through March 17.
   After  we finished the week with Jen & Jerry and family (see previous posts on our blog), it was determined that we would fly to Rochester, Minnesota, on Monday, March 10, where Jerry is head of the Dermatology Surgery Department.
Tuesday, March 12, 2014
    He arranged for Walt to see Cardiologist, Dr. Sabrina Phillips, who scheduled several exams to determine if surgery was needed.
 Walt had an echocardiogram done, a PET/CT* scan done, blood work, 
*"PET SCAN" = positron emission tomograpy) scans are created
by injecting a small dose of radioactive glucose into your
body.  The radioactive glucose helps visualize body processes. 
CT (computed tomography) uses X-rays to make cross-sectional
images (slices) of the body.

"The two types of scans are combined to form a precise image
that records living tissues with body processes in detail."

Now you know more than you ever wanted to about a
PET/CT scan.

Thursday, March 13 e-mail of day at Mayo Clinic
Dr. Sabrina Phillips and her fellow Dr. Enzeddine
advised Walt that the indications are that
open heart surgery is needed.

The aortic valve insufficiency that Walt has had for
several years is beginning to affect his ventricle.  The blood leakage
back through the valve that isn't closing properly is making the
ventricle enlarge.  

The safety limit size is 70mm.
The tests have shown that Walt's is now 70mm.

Several other things are needed to be done to the heart.
The success rate is 98% to increase his life for 10 to 15 more years.

Without any intervention, the aneurysm could rupture at any time.

Now, before the symptoms have caused heart failure is the time to
do the surgery.

So now Walt is faced with the decision:
1) If he does the heart surgery, will he do it at Mayo Clinic.
    As he told Dr. Phillips this morning, and also Jen this afternoon,
    "My affiliations are with the medical community in Salt Lake City."

2) For valve replacement, he has to decide if he wants a
    mechanical one that lasts indefinitely, or
    a biological one (pig, calf, or horse)
     which lasts 10 to 15 years.

     With the mechanical valve, blood thinners can never be
stopped because of the high incident of blood clots immediately forming.

Oh, also with Walt's hx of afibrillation, blood clots form in a small side pocket
appendage on the heart.  The most recent procedures have been to laser this
part off which prevents blood clots from forming.

So many decisions.

Walt has a GI (Gastroenterology) workup tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow (Fri, Mar 14) afternoon Walt has a consultation with
Dr. Alberto Pochettino, the heart surgeon.

We will keep you posted.

Thank you for your love and prayers.

Walt told Dr. Phillips this morning:
"I'm afraid."

"Yes, we should be concerned about surgery.
We never take it lightly," Dr. Phillips said.

Con amor, Mom&Dad/Mom&DadPetersen/ 

Friday, March 14, 2014 e-mail

Walt talked with the  Cardiovascular Surgeon this afternoon
at 5:00 p.m.  Walt was very impressed with him.
He did not have an opening for 2-3 weeks...into April.

When we got back to Jen & Jerry's home at 6:00 p.m.
Walt called Dr. Don Doty, Retired Cardiovascular Surgeon in
Salt Lake City.  He had been the partner with Elder Russell
M. Nelson.

Dr. Doty was head of the Missionary Medical Department with whom
Walt worked during the two medical advisor missions we served.

He explained the situation to him and all the details.
When Walt told him that his lower ventricle now measured 70mm (7.0cm),
Dr. Doty replied: "Wow, that's big!"

The hope is that with the surgery, this can recover back down
to a normal size after the stress of the extra blood seeping
though the insufficient aortic valve is stopped by replacing the valve,
along with other repairs that I do not fully understand.

Walt will have to clarify the exact situation which involves
more than just one issue.

Dr. Don Doty has recommended his son, Dr. John Doty, Cardiovascular Surgeon.
Dr. John Doty called Walt this evening.
He has an opening next Wednesday.
He needs Walt to bring the disk from Mayo Clinic with
the Echocardiogram and PET/CT scans done this week.

In order to get these Monday morning to bring with us,
we will aim to fly out Monday afternoon with these records.

Then Walt would check into the hospital on Tuesday, and the
surgery would be done on Wednesday, March 19.

Walt said a great peace came over him when Dr. John Doty was recommended
to do the surgery.

Mayo Clinic has made it possible with all the tests this week to understand,
diagnose, and clarify the exact problems with Walt's heart and what needs
to be done.

Mayo Clinic is a phenomenal medical facility and it has been a tender
mercy of the Lord for Walt to have all this done here this week.

Now it is a tender mercy of the Lord to have the open heart surgery
done in Salt Lake City by Dr. John Doty in 5 days. (This is the exact
number of days that Walt needed to be off his blood thinner before
surgery could be done.  Dr. Phillips here at Mayo Clinic had him go off 
it Thursday night, March 13.)

We are thankful for Jen and Jerry's hospitality this week.
Jerry quickly arranged to have Dr. Sabrina Phillips, Cardiologist with
speciality in aortic problems, to coordinate everything that needed
to be done to have the correct diagnosis.

Jen drove us to and from each day's appointments.

We love them and their family and have been blessed to
be with them one week in El Salvador and now one week here
in Rochester, Minnesota.

We thank each of you for your support, love, and prayers.

Photo below -- Walt discussing with Jerry and Jen Thursday  night (March 13)
the pros and cons of what should be done next.  It was a very
good discussion with agreement that Walt needed to do what
he felt best for him.

Con amor, Mom&Dad/Mom&DadPetersen/Grama'nGrampaMission-Temple/

Saturday, March 15, 2014 - Rochester
Walt listening to Ben practice his cello.
We had a great dinner at the historic Hubble House.


Joseph said...

You both are amazing. You are both so valiant and faithful--that the miracles and tender mercies fill you lives. Thank you for your examples!! We love you. So glad President is doing so well. Keep it up and you will be back to your El Salvador very soon. love you---los clarks

Lon and Nancy Thompson said...

We are so thankful for your tender mercies and miracles that have preserved your lives. Your Heavenly Father has such great love for you. And so do we. May God bless you with continued strength to be able to finish the work that he has called you to do. We look forward to visiting you in El Salvador in July and being able to visit our precious temple again. We love you Lon and Nancy