Monday, April 20, 2009
Still counting, but this is surgery #9 for my mom. The first was entirely unrelated to the disease necessitating the eight since. Spine, two shoulders, two knees plus a refurbishment, one hip, and now her aortic valve. It took about 11 doctors to finally get a diagnosis 40 years ago of the Ochronosis - a very rare disease that the NIH has been kind enough to devote some resources to. It is not fatal, but at varying rates of speed and in varying degress it eats away at cartilage and connective tissue in the body. So, limb by limb, and joint by joint, replacements are done. Turns out that the aortic valve contains the same tissue, so it had to be replaced. Bless the bovine whose valve was kindly given up for my mom. Day 11 following open heart surgery, and she is breathing strong, walking upright and faithfully, eating healthy and solid foods, and as fiery as ever. She was back checking email yesterday. 70 years old is truly a state of mind, and not one with which my mom has chosen to become familiar. Bless her for that, and I hope I feel the same way in 21 years.