Monday, April 21, 2008

Artificial or Live Bait?

During this time of the year I'm usually picking out new lures for my tackle box. Instead I'm trying to make the decision on whether to go with an artificial heart valve or one made from animal skin.

As with lures, do I go with artificial or live bait?
Kelly and I went to see my surgeon for the first time last Thursday. A couple of things came from that meeting:

1) Seems like I'm going to need the operation sooner rather than later. Already knew this, but the time frame is now 1 - 1 1/2 months.
2) I may not need as invasive of surgery as previously thought. Here is picture of what open heart surgery would have looked like:

Not pretty. That would have been revenge for all those fish I filleted over the years. Now, my Doc may be able to operate in a less than invasive procedure, which will hasten my recovery time and leave me with less pain. Instead of feeling like I've been run over by a locomotive, it will now feel like I've been run over by a Prius.

3)I can't eat sushi. Seriously. Well...I could eat sushi, but no soy sauce, not even the low sodium stuff which still has something like pound of salt in a teaspoon. When I asked my Doc about what type of diet I should be looking at, of all the foods he could have named, he said "No Sushi."

No Fishing sushi. I smell a conspiracy here.

Finally, back to choosing lures. Right now my only decision is choosing the right heart valve.

If I go with mechanical as seen here, It lasts upwards of 30 years, but I will have to be on Coumadin the rest of my life. Its an anti-coagulant that helps stop blood clots from forming. Blood clots lead to stroke. Plus, I would have to stop any physical activity that would lead to internal bleeding, so my days as a professional rugby player would be over.

If I go with a bovine valve, (the donor seen on the left), I won't need the Coumadin necessarily, but the valve is only good for 10 - 15 years max. Meaning I would have to undergo another operation to get that replaced.

I don't like going to the dentist so having to schedule an OHS every ten years will not make me a happy camper.

I am seeking two second opinions this week I've contacted the Cleveland Clinic and University of Michigan. We'll see if they get back to me; if not, then I will make the decision by Friday. Next step, actually setting the date for the operation.

Next Time: Justin's near-record steelhead: Hoax or Fish of a Lifetime?
BREAKING!: The Hippos Ass has obtained actual photos of the fishing trip and will post them soon. Stay tuned.

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