Greetings and salutations from a comfortable perch at an undisclosed coffee shop in sunny Southern California!
Val and I just got the final report on the latest and greatest of my medical tests, and on the examination of the entire lot of these tests that have made a month and a half seem like a couple of years. I don’t know if I got an “A” or what on these tests, but I can guarantee you I earned at least a “present.”
At any rate, we do have good news. My cardiologist has now assured Val and I that upon examining all of the tests, including the most recent T.E.E. from two days ago, the hole in my heart is not of any immediate concern. It is minimal in size, and everything around it seems quite healthy and strong.
Most importantly, the aneurysm on my aorta is not as large as first thought. My cardiologist tells me that it is very easy to overestimate the size of these things, and errors usually fall on the side of thinking large. He explained to me why and I have no idea what in the heavens he either said or meant. But the original claim that it was 4.5 centimeters was not correct. It is “at the largest 4.0” and therefore not of any immediate concern. Sometimes folks can get excited over the size of the aneurysm, but it is not a “one size fits all situation” here. One has to take into account the size of the aorta as well, i.e., the size of the dude in question. A 4.0 would be really problematic for a baby, but not for me.
In a word, he is recommending we keep an eye on it to see if it “manifests” (grows) in the future, but just like the six aneurysms in my brain, these could theoretically remain as they are for 20 years… or not… but there is no reason for surgery now. I have even been given freedom to play basketball, tennis, etc. I could even run a marathon! That is, if I could run a marathon. Or, if I wanted to run a marathon. And I don’t.
The only restriction I have is a recommendation that I don’t make a habit out of lifting really heavy stuff where I have to hold my breath and push real hard. So having a baby or power lifting seem out of the question for me for the rest of my sojourn on terra firma. God would really have to do something special for me to have a baby and I didn’t plan on entering any power lifting contests in the near future. So I think this is really good news!
No, actually folks, these little findings are not “little” at all. This is really incredible news!
Val and I are convinced that this pattern of aneurysms measuring smaller than thought earlier are the results of a whole lot of prayer. For those who don’t recall, the same thing happened with my aneurysms on my brain. I can’t prove this to be so. The doc’s would say they just missed it on the earlier measurements. I am thinking Fulton J. Sheen and the grace of God just might have a little something to do with this! But Val and I are going to continue to ask folks to pray so that next year, when they take some more pictures, these aneurysms will be completely gone. So keep asking Fulton Sheen to intercede for my complete healing, but let me tell you, in the Staples’s household, we are celebrating! Friday night Val and I are going to be partying in a manner completely in keeping with good Catholic moral theology… well, it will be somewhere in the near vicinity, anyway. :)
But again, we thank you all for your prayers. The prospect of brain surgery, and then open-heart surgery definitely tended to ebb its way into a lot of Val and my brain activity over the last month and a half. This is an enormous relief for especially Val. And again, I attribute it to your prayers and the prayers of so many friends all over the world.
The best part of this is I am hoping, starting next week, that upon my return to as much “normalcy” as Tim Staples can muster, I will be able to return to as much “normalcy” as Tim Staples can muster!
I really like “normalcy.” No, I love “normalcy!”
Now, to the business at hand. As some of you know, a friend has opened a “you caring” page for Val and I so that we can see a number of doctors (naturopath, nutritionist, and more) out of the H.M.O. to get help that the H.M.O. does not offer. In fact, I did not mention above that the doctors did find some “plaquing” in my arteries and they want me to take “Lipitor” to deal with it. Unfortunately, the side effects of “Lipitor” can include memory loss, and perhaps, it can contribute to the onset of Alzheimers. That’s the same disease that led to the death of my father two years ago. We don’t want to go there, so we are going outside the H.M.O. to treat the plaquing with supplements and diet rather than drugs.
At any rate, we have already racked up, all totaled thus far, and this is a guestimation, around $1500 that we really don’t have handy. We have estimated we need about $12k (or probably more, but we are shooting for $12k) to do what we need to do to ensure we are doing all we can do to ensure I stay around a while to care for my beautiful wife and seven little monkeys, ages 13, 11, 9, 6, 5, 3, and 9 months. If you would like to help, it would be much appreciated. You can find the info here: