Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In the Hospital

The Dawg is in the hospital -- and so glad to be!

He had a doctor's appointment this morning at MUSC (see previous post.) Dr. Steinberg scheduled for Thursday a procedure that he anticipates will resolve Carroll's breathing problems. It's the shortness of breath that has kept him weak and unable to get around much.

Carroll was originally scheduled for open heart surgery to replace the aortic valve on May 19th but couldn't have it because he was hospitalized for pneumonia. While he was in the hospital then, one liter of fluid was removed from his lungs.

Now there is more fluid, which was expected. Part of that is because of the problem with the aortic valve.

Dr. Steinberg is not replacing the valve on Thursday but is doing what is called a valvoplasty (or something like that.) He described this as a simple procedure to open up the valve's passageway, using a catheter and a balloon. He also said Carroll will improve immediately. Steinberg said the downside of the surgery (other than the usual risks with surgery) is that this is not a permanent procedure. It lasts about 6 to 12 months typically but can be done again.

When Carroll explained how short of breath he was, Dr. Steinberg admitted him to the hospital. There is a slight - very slight - chance that he will be able to do the surgery tomorrow instead of Thursday, but probably not.

Here are some of the people we've met this afternoon - all by 4:30 pm.

Tony Singleton transported Carroll from the doctor's office to the hospital room. Tony lives on James Island.

Courtney Norris lives in Summerville. She was the first person we met in his hospital room. She's been in and out several times already and is always smiling.

Sam Wilkins is from New Jersey. She and The Dawg hit it off immediately because they've both lived in England.

This is Dr. Schreiner came in and took more history and explained more about the procedure Carroll will have.

Alexys brought The Dawg's food tray. Look at that bright smile!

Nat took Carroll for a quick x-ray. Nat is the youngest of 31 children!!!!

More later tonight.

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