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The Final Procedure

January 29, 2016

Today CJ is having a final procedure to remove the aneurysm from his brain. Two weeks ago, before he was discharged from the hospital to recover from previous procedures, an angiogram revealed that the coils inserted into his aneurysm weren’t sufficient, leaving CJ at risk for future bleeding. The solution is open brain surgery to clip the aneurysm—a procedure that sounds terrifying yet is considered routine and has proven highly successful. CJ has shown remarkable poise throughout this ordeal; I doubt I would have been so even tempered while facing brain surgery.


Today’s operation is scheduled to take four to six hours. He will recover in the neurological ICU for a day or two and then spend three to four days in a regular hospital room before returning home with us so we can keep an eye on him for a few days. If all goes well, we’ll soon be looking at this trauma through a rear view mirror. We have tremendous confidence in CJ’s doctors and expect a complete recovery for our son.


By way of a public service announcement, it’s easy criticizing everything about our country. Lately, loud voices have been telling us how terrible everything is, but in most corners of the world people die from aneurysms. Because Mrs. Chatterbox and I live in such a remarkable country, we’re spared the agony of burying our son.


We are truly blessed.



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Saying a prayer for CJ, and for his doctors.
By: cranky on January 29, 2016
I'm glad this ordeal will be over for you all soon and I totally agree with you on living in a remarkable country. People who whine about how bad things are have never been to places where things really are bad. R
By: Rick Watson on January 29, 2016
Life changers have a way of refocusing our attention on what matters... most. Continued positive thoughts and prayers for CJ.
By: Daniel LaFrance on January 29, 2016
best wishes for a speedy surgery and recovery. while I'm not one of those who think that this is the best country in the world, too far down on too many quality of life lists for that, it is still a first world country and so we live much better lives than many others. it would behoove us to remember that.
By: ellen abbott on January 29, 2016
Our thoughts are with you all, best of luck in this procedure, and I completely agree about counting our blessings for living in a first world country
By: Jenny on January 29, 2016
Sorry I haven't been commenting much lately - life! Also, sorry to learn of all you and your son have been going through. I wish him all that is possible for a speedy recovery. And you are right, of course - we are so lucky to live in countries which are largely without fear and where most of us wake up warm and safe. My heart goes out to the ordinary people of Syria at the moment, whose ordinary lives have been torn apart by evil. And I was watching a programme about the Kindertransports the other night that almost made me weep.
By: Mike@A Bit About Britain on January 29, 2016
I hope all goes well - best wishes and hopes
By: Don\'t Feed The Pixies on January 29, 2016
I will be saying a prayer throughout the day. It's great you have confidence in his docs.
By: Uncle Skip on January 29, 2016
The last year of Bush's service we were in a horrible state, war, economic depression, fear, e tc. I do not see that now at all.
By: Tabor on January 29, 2016
Indeed there are blessings in good medical care. Lana and I are part of a wide community of those who send prayers and good thoughts for CJ, and Mrs. C and you.
By: Tom Cochrun on January 29, 2016
Prayers this is the last thing and he's well on the road to recovery!
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on January 29, 2016
My heart is with you 3 today- especially with CJ. He's so brave- I would be a mess. And you are so right- about our wonderful medical care here. We truly are blessed.
By: Kathe W. on January 29, 2016
He is still in my prayers, as are you and Mrs. Chatterbox.
By: messymimi on January 29, 2016
Thinking of you guys today!
By: The Bug on January 29, 2016
Best of luck to CJ and his surgeons.
By: Catalyst on January 29, 2016
I am happy to hear that this next surgery is a fairly common procedure as there is some comfort knowing that doctors are well trained. While I grouse about the $1100 buck my insurance costs each month, I do agree that if someone is ill in this country there is access to the best medical care in the world. Getting better is a higher priority than anything dealing with money. I wish CJ the best and pray that all goes well.
By: Cheryl P. on January 29, 2016
Thanks for posting this so your friends can send good thoughts and prayers to your son during his operation. Big hugs from me to you and your wife. I hope everything goes great! You're right about criticism. I've always felt that a Peace Corps-like stint in 3rd world countries should be mandatory for US youth so they learn just how good everyone has it in America and stop being such whiny brats.
By: Lexa Cain on January 29, 2016
Continuing to send prayers for you & CJ!!
By: fishducky on January 29, 2016
I'm keeping good thoughts and prayers for CJ, you and Sue and all your family.
By: Susan Genovese on January 29, 2016
I hope by now this is all behind you and CJ is resting comfortably. You are so right. We gripe about the cost of medical care but we do have the best available. Keeping him in my prayers.
By: Arkansas Patti on January 29, 2016
Prayers! It is always scary when the surgery is on the brain.
By: Sage on January 29, 2016
Prayers going up for CJ and I absolutely love your final comment.
By: Cherdo on January 29, 2016
I am glad it has went so well. Be thankful that you did not live here. Of course, since you-all have money, CJ would have probably received good care even here. Yes, my dear Virginia, there really is a big difference between the way it is for the haves and have-nots. I did not realize this until I became a have-not. Speaking of such, the hospital system I went to when I had my heart attack last September keeps sending us a bill for the ambulance ride. The hospital care itself was completely covered by Medicaid, but we were told at first that Medicaid had rejected the claim for the ambulance ride because one of the emergency room doctors put down on the paperwork that my case was a non-emergency (despite being kept in ICU for almost four days afterward) which made us liable for the ambulance bill. We have recently learned from Medicaid itself that the hospital never turned in the ambulance bill to them for payment. Since we have no resources to really fight it, we are stuck for the time being.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on January 29, 2016
Great news. Here's to a speedy recovery for CJ and I'm glad he has wonderful group of people to get him through the process. And of course you and Mrs. Chatterbox take care of yourselves as well.
By: Mr. Shife on January 29, 2016
Hope all goes well. Wishing CJ a nice steady recovery. Take care of him and each other.
By: jenny_o on January 29, 2016
I hope the surgery went well and CJ is recovering nicely. It blows my mind that people can go home four days after brain surgery! But that is what modern medicine is - something like this is a routine procedure. Good luck to CJ and you. Keep us posted.
By: Pixel Peeper on January 29, 2016
Best wishes for CJ's continued recovery. Hope the surgery did its job, and he's on the mend.
By: Val on January 29, 2016
I hope the surgery goes well and that CJ makes a speedy recovery.
By: red on January 29, 2016
Thank you Stephan for keeping us updated, you and your family have been in my thoughts for the duration. My spirit guide will be shared with Colin for a quick and complete recovery. Warm wishes and love to you, Mrs. C. and Colin. Thinking of you, Hilde
By: Hilde on January 29, 2016
I hope and pray all went better than could have been expected.
By: John on January 29, 2016
Sending love and all good thoughts to you, Mrs. C, and especially CJ! Wishing you only good news and happiness from now on!
By: Mitchell Is Moving on January 30, 2016
Hugs to all of you. And yes, while "brain surgery" brings up all kinds of scary thoughts, we had a family member who went through surgery for a tumor, and came out right as rain, as it were. May CJ have all the best, and be right as rain, too!
By: Cat on January 30, 2016
Keeping you all in my very best thoughts. I hope it went well for CJ, yesterday.
By: Hilary on January 30, 2016
I am writing this on Sunday so I hope all is well and I am certain it is. Your son is brave and so are the both of you. One can squabble all about health care but this is not about's about your son and how well everything has been going. He is alive and will be getting better every day. Prayers always sent your way
By: Birgit on January 31, 2016
Sounds like everything is under control and proceeding smoothly. Great news!
By: Al Penwasser on January 31, 2016
We ARE truly blessed. Hopefully, too, you're now enjoying the blessings of a smooth, promising recovery for CJ.
By: Robyn Engel on January 31, 2016
Blessed indeed! So happy this ordeal for CJ is about to be history!
By: Bouncin Barb on February 2, 2016

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