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January 13, 2010 - Appointment with cardiothoracic surgeon

Hi everyone!

We met with Greg's surgeon today. He told us that he was 95% certain that Greg needed surgery to remove his pericardium (due to constriction) and that there was no other test that could possibly be done to make him 100% sure (b/c nothing is ever 100% in medicine). Therefore, he decided to skip the mediastinoscopy and go right for the pericardectomy (stripping of the pericardium).

The surgery is scheduled for next week, although we don't have a specific date yet b/c they were experiencing computer problems with the scheduling computer. The surgery will take between 4-6 hours and Greg will then spend 24 hours in the ICU and then hopefully no more than a week in the hospital. This is a more complicated, rare, and difficult surgery than bypass surgeries and others of that type, so the surgery and the recovery time will all be longer.

After the surgery, he won't be able to lift anything heavier than a pen for 6 weeks while his sternum is fusing back together, and then up until 3 months later he'll be able to hold normal house-hold items like a gallon of milk.

At some point in his recovery, he will likely need to go to cardiac rehab at the hospital 3 times a week.

So that's what we're looking at for the near future. We are very thankful to be moving forward with this - it's been such a long process trying to figure out what's wrong and what to do about it. We continue to be grateful for your prayers and emotional support. God is faithful and good to us, and one of the ways we experience His love is through all of you.

Love, Elise

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