The SpoCar waiting room. I got there early so
the magazines were still all neat and tidy.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my cardiologist,
Dr. Goldberg. I got there early and surfed a bit on
the Blackberry, and drank some of the excellent cold
water they have in the water dispenser there. After
a bit Zoran, the Guidant tech, came out and we went
back to the examination room and he got an upload
from my pacemaker and ran a few standard tests. The
nurse came in and like always checked every little
piece of information they had on the computer about
my medications etc. And then another brief wait.

Dr. Goldberg came in and after the shaking of hands
and hellos — pretty much of a ritual with him, the
personal touch — he got down to business. He men-
tioned the two doctors that I had seen since my last
appointment with him, Dr. Icenogle and Dr. Garabedian.
To my surprise and relief he skipped right over Dr.
Icenogle. I had fully expected a lecture about deciding
against the heart transplant, which would have left
me fumbling to provide my reasons. But that didn't
happen. My guess is that Dr. Fuhs, another member
of Spokane Cardiology who I had talked with about
the tranplant issue back in May when he did my trans-
esophageal echocardiogram, had already discussed it
with him and made my feelings known. I was greatly
relieved. It would have been tough explaining to a
physician, whose passion it is to save life, exactly
why I had decided on a course of action that would
not extend it. Not having to go through all that,
I was able to relax.

Dr. Goldberg told me that I was in about as good of
shape as he had ever seen me. Then we talked about
what was going on with Dr. Garabedian, the pediatric
heart surgeon that we had consulted with regard to
the pulmonary artery/valve issue. Basically the news
from Dr. Goldberg was that there still is no news, but
that news might be coming next week with regard to the
procedure to fix the valve. If something is wrong you
can usually just go in and fix it. But where multiple
things are wrong you have to be careful. So Garabedian
and Goldberg et al. are still weighing things. One
thing I was able to get confirmed though was that the
procedure, as I had suspected, will make use of the new
Medtronic Melody stent/valve system. The procedure is still
under clinical trial, but so far at least has shown some
really positive results. So if all goes well I will soon
be getting a new pulmonary valve from a cow. You know,
I already have a craving for grass.

I came out of my visit with Dr. Goldberg with a very
strange feeling. A feeling of lightness, as if every-
thing was going to be all right. After thinking about
it a few minutes I decided that the feeling I was
experiencing must be that "optimism" thing I keep
hearing about.

Well, we'll see.