Two and one-half hours later...

Trip Start Jul 25, 2010
Trip End Aug 03, 2010

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Flag of Bulgaria  ,
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Doc's back.  After just a few sips of water...I am going to type... while Doc dictates....


Doc says...

"I was met by a serious Bulgarian hospital orderly (somehow parts of that statement is redundant - you choose the redundancy).  He asked me what area I was from. When I replied Canada he said he had friends in Montreal and Toronto.  I immediately thought if there was a possibility that I could get him to Canada to visit his friends, I would  - - as i would bestow any favor at that moment.

Down the elevator to the operating theater where I was met by different Inga and Ingas - with slightly better dispositions than other Ingas.  The Ingas helped me onto the operating table in the theater and they explained to me the purpose of the x-ray machines.  They hooked me up to pulse and blood pressure monitors and the surgeon showed up a minute later.

After introducing himself, the Dr. took a serious stance and asked me the question, "Do you have a heart problem?"  I wasn't sure how to answer because I've never had a heart issue but I also didn't want the procedure to be jeopardized by my answer.  So I said "No, why do you ask?"  He pointed toward the monitor and said "you're on an operating table and your pulse rate is 50.  That is not normal".

I told him I've been swimming an awful lot .  He produced a broad grin, patted me on the head and said, "We're going to be just fine".  Then they froze my groin and then but a dilutent into the IV line and then made an incision in my groin and started work on my left jugular.

The severe stenosis that was discovered earlier in the day was further explained to be almost 100% narrowed and he confirmed that my right jugular was also completely narrowed as well.  This verified that I have, for the last decade, only had trace levels of blood flowing through.

The Dr. stated that because of the severe stenosis, he was going to apply aggressive treatment.  I told him I was OK with that.  He then asked "how tough are you, and how much pain can you withstand?"  I told him I'm pretty tough... lol.  He relayed that in terms of balloon angioplasty (sp),  he was going to as high as 8 atmospheres (sp).  I said OK.

He "ballooned" me 10 (ten) times on the left jugular.,  It took concentration not to black out.  So I  found my 'Happy' place' and when the nurse asked if i needed any pain meds and I didn't respond till the third time she asked the question, I heard the Dr. say "I don't' know if he's conscious".  

But I was... lol.

After that, he duplicated the procedure to the right jugular and ballooned it 10 times as well.   But, I accepted their offer of pain medication at this point.  He check my azygous (sp?) vein located in the chest and found it to be 70% narrowed.  He ballooned it 6 or 7 times and then thanked me for 'doing my job' which meant listening and responding to everything he asked me to do. 

This ended the procedure and he asked me if I noticed any changes right then.  I told him that the fingertips in my right hand -- there was feeling in my fingertips for the first time in a decade.  As far as measuring success - that's the only appendage that is either NOT bandaged up solidly or immobilized, so that is the only thing I can measure right now.  But I can feel sensation in my fingertips that hasn't been there for 10 years!

The nurses disconnected me from all machines, and the Dr. helped bandaged me (in Bulgaria, the surgeon is part of the team from beginning to end - helping with all aspects of the procedure including bandaging - - - because you are 'their' patient).  He kept asking about any changes in sensation - he was very interested in any physical changes I was experiencing.

He followed along with me from the operating theater to my room".

Kim here again now...

Doc just took a few sips of water and fell asleep soundly.  Guess he is not ready for the coke, souvlaki and salad that nurse Inga put there BEFORE his procedure - remember - he hasn't eaten since last night (so I'm thinking this is some sort of weird torture).

Doc's hooked up to a bag of blood thinner and has his right leg strapped immobile.  He was instructed to not move at all - until tomorrow.  I heard him tell the orderly that he's really good with bedpans - so it won't be any problem. 

It's 11:00 p.m. here now.  I think he's out for the night.

Special thanks to everyone for reading and responding to the blog responses - helps break up a sort of long day and connects me/us closer to home!

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Colin & Karen on

Yippee!!! So glad to hear, it's hard waiting!! Sounds very encouraging so far. Wonderful sense of humour through it all, both of you! I think it will only get get better from here on ... have a good rest both of you. Love, family in Regina

karen on

Thanks for the update....lots of good energy to both of you, can only imagine what next days hold.... Sleep well and enjoy the vino...sounds like the Ing's need some of that!!!!
Take care!!!!

Valerie Kae on

Okay... I am not sure I am doing this correctly....(sadly, I have NEVER ever responded - or even READ a blog before!!)... so bear with me....
Your news and account of what has happened so far is really encouraging - good luck during the recovery phase and hope to hear more about it all! My thoughts are with you.

Lynsey on

I cried tears of joy.. (still pouring). and kinda speechless.(which is odd for me)
Want to wish you a speedy recovery from my little familia, cant wait to hear more.

mama doc on

thinking of you my son for having the courage,the fight and will power all these years. love mama doc

john Graham on


Keep up the spirit my friend. You are going to back into top shape soon.

Stephen Hall on

Wow. This is a fantastic account. It sounds like you were a text-book candidate for the procedure. Hope you recover quickly and that the results are amazing. Looking forward to seeing you back on Canadian soil.

Kim -- thanks for being there for all of us and taking care of Doc. You rock.

Lots of love from me, Laurie, Amelia and Penelope.

aeroman on

This is absolutely fantastic Doc I hope that this works for you. Our thoughts have been with you . Thanks Kim for taking care of that old bastard. I am glad it is over and await anxiously the positive results I know are coming

Roz & Coach on

Big article in Globe about Liberation Research in Sask.. Good on B.Wall!!
We are so excited for you Mark!! You are a stellar athlete and we know you will do exactly as ur 'trainers' advise .. Pushing yourself further than you ever anticipated possible!
The coach and I are wearing our Red Doc shirts in support ... Love from Hamilton!!
Roz, Ben & Joe
Christine, Chuck, Moira & Patrick

megan gray on

ctv chanel 6 @ 10:55 p.m. has a segment on MS and new treatments.

Brian Neeson (Doc's cuz in Buffalo) on

Awesome news...just awesome!!! so so so happy to hear

Lynn and Guy on

Great news that the procedure has gone well. We are thinking of you both. Doc is lucky, as are all of us, to have a friend like you Kim.

Dust on

This is amazing and exciting!!!

Cathy Zhao on

It sounded like the surgery went well, which is great! I hope you have more and more sensation back and recover soon. I just heard on CBC tonight that Brad Wall says the province is ready to help pay for clinical trials of the so-called liberation treatment for multiple sclerosis sufferers - the procedure you've just had. For more information, go to

Erin Laing on

Wow. Wow. Wow. When i read the previous entry stating that you were a good candidate for the treatment my eyes filled with so many happy tears! No other news was fathomable but i was amazed at how relieved i was to hear it!!! Your journey to healing is an inspiration, especially the way that you have made so many deeply convicted decisions to stay well and now to let your body heal and not just accepting the common doctrine and filling the pockets of greedy pharmaceutical companies. It is such a gift to ignore the word "no"!!!!
Good medicine is all around. enjoy the sensation in your finger tips, and more good sure to follow!
Now will send our Love to your healing, instead of hoping for the "right disease"!

doc's brother on

our family would like thank everyone for there kindness and support for Mark it is quite overwhelming.Special thanks to Kim for looking after Doc. Your both warriors. Take care little doc

Stacey Cattell on are nothing short of amazing!!! To laugh in the face of fear is an incredible gift and we all can learn something from your outlook on life. Cheers to a great recovery and many live accounts of your adventure when you get home. Kim, we all need friends like you, thank you for everything you are doing. PS get pictures of the Ingas!

DMarsh on

Rock on , Doc . You a strong and brave man , man .

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