Monday, November 8, 2010

Easing Into New Orleans

Alberto & Valorie in the hospital in Canada


Alberto and I are home in New Orleans. Back in the USA.

We got here last night, after a very long day of travel from Calgary, Canada, with a medical escort (Flying Nurses International).

It cost $10,000, and the money was raised by all of you bloggers, our tango students, mutual tango friends and dancers, and tango promoters all over the world.

We went directly from the airport by ambulance to Ochsner Baptist Hospital on Napoleon Avenue.

We decided to not tell too many people about the trip home. The pressure of communicating during this dangerous trip home was too much for us. Alberto asked that he be sequestered.
A handful of people were told, family members, and friends in New Orleans who helped expedite things for us. We wanted to ease in gently under the radar, and get Alberto safely tucked in.

Alberto is in good condition considering all that has happened. He memory is 99% back; he can talk, read, write, walk, eat and feed himself. He can dance a few steps. He seems so normal. But his artery disease is a ticking time bomb, and right now, right this very minute, he is back on the operating table for another angioplasty "surgery". So now more waiting and praying, because the blockage is in a tricky place, and the risks are high.

We are so happy to be back home and we hope to be out of the hospital and back in our house with Cholo very very soon.

Waiting and praying is something I have become expert at. Please join me.

I will be writing another post about this whole experience later - falling ill in a foreign country has been an experience I will never forget, and I have alot to say about it. It's been our "come to Jesus" moment and has changed our family's life forever.

Please keep donations coming. There is no socialized medicine in Canada for visitors, eh? And though Alberto has Medicare, it did not cross the border. The country of Canada is sending moi a whopping bill, and we racked up huge expenses just with day to to day things while caring for Alberto in Canada. Please give to: boutique@planet-tango.com

For all of you who have contributed, I will get to proper thank you notes sometime in the future.
In the meantime, let this suffice as a preliminary thank you note from the bottom of my heart, and from Alberto's healing heart.

Thank you from Alberto and Valorie
photo in the hospital in Canada taken by Alberto's daughter Gina



Update:
Alberto Paz is out of surgery in NEW ORLEANS! His doctor, Dr. Bhansali is brilliant! He did the stent in record time, and saved Alberto from having the dangerous open heart surgery the Canadian doctors were holding us hostage for. Thank you everyone for your donations and prayers to get us home! We hope to leave the hospital tomorrow or Wednesday! More later...xo xo

58 comments:

  1. Prayers continuing and solicitation of donations ongoing! xoxo

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  2. so so so happy you are home. i know what that alone can do for the level of stress and how that can so very positively affect your health.
    all my love to you both!
    give alberto a big squeeze from me.
    love you.
    jenny

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  3. So grateful for your update, Valorie. Abrazos to you both.

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  4. Welcome home. Prayers are with you both.

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  5. Oh Praise God, Valorie, y'all are back home! Prayers are going up for you and your hubby! Can't imagine the terror of what you've been through. Thank you for letting us hear from you. Laura at Decor to Adore is hosting an auction for y'all. It's been a wonderful thing.
    Loves and hugs and prayers,
    Shelia ;)

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  6. Thinking of you both and praying for you both. This is good news, kisses to you both and Cholo too.

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  7. I am SO happy to hear that you are home! The prayers continue...

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  8. So glad to hear you are home and he is on the road to recovery!

    Keeping you in my prayers.

    xo,
    cristin

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  9. Although it is different for everyone, I am smiling and shouting "Praise Jesus!"

    I will continue to pray and the auction has been so well received that it has been extended for another week.

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  10. welcome home and praying for you

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  11. I'm so happy for you even though he's not out of the woods! Bloggers are some of the nicest people for the most part. Please, please google mcdougal and dean ornish when the surgery is behind you. It so works!

    Best of wishes,
    t

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  12. dearest valorie...
    i am soooo happy you and alberto are home safely and loads of prayers are coming your way... God is so good... truly this is His amazing work... and will pray for surgery to go well.

    xoxo

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  13. All prayers and good thoughts for you from Kansas City. I second the comment about looking up Dean Ornish when you are ready. He has the best recipes for food for your heart and for living. Abrazos, Susan

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  14. i am not a blogger, more of a blog lurker (blurker?)and yours is one of my faves...i've sent you a donation via paypal today and also sending you and alberto all the positive vibes and good thoughts as the two of you work thru this life crisis....soooo glad you are both back home in NOLA so she can wrap her loving arms around you and get him back in his dancing shoes...i'll keep you in my thoughts every day until he's healed...and will continue to be one of your fans..all the best during these trying times, kat in NOLA xo

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  15. Oh Valorie,
    I have tears in my eyes, the Lord is great and greatly to be praised. You both have been continually in my prayers and thoughts. Hugs to Alberto and you too....try to get some rest sweet friend.
    love you....
    xo

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  16. I'm so sorry to hear what happened but happy to hear that you are both back, and he is doing better! I cannot imagine what you are going through, but our prayers are with you:-)

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  17. Allelulia!! Shine those dancing shoes! I have the bottle of bubbly waiting! We all need to celebrate to you and Alberto -
    Sending heartfelt wishes to you both!!
    pve

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  18. Oh, I'm so glad you're home safe and sound and that Alberto is recovering nicely. There's nothing worse than being away from home and being sick. I hope my fellow Canadians weren't too awful to deal with!

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  19. I came late to this news, but you both have been in my thoughts, and prayers, since I learned what happened. I'm so glad to know you are back home and that Alberto is out of surgery now. Hang in there, Valorie. You are much loved.

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  20. Such wonderful news- thinking of you every day and praying for a speedy recovery xo

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  21. This is such great news. I know you are breathing a lot easier now that you are back in your own home and surroundings. Best wishes going forward. BTW, in doing some research there is a Medicare supplement which all of the insurance companies seem to provide which pays for medical expenses incurred out of the country. It may be worth looking into when your life settles down. Until then, all the best to you both.

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  22. wonderful news! donations sent your way a few moments ago.

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  23. Thank God for this beautiful news. Love to you both Alberto and Valorie. -Carey

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  24. I burst into tears of joy after reading this...thank you so much for updating us. My heart goes out to you both and am so happy that you're home...I'm sure Cholo is happy too.

    Continued blessings...God has his arms around you both, as does his son.
    Much love,
    Jessica

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  25. Valorie that's wonderful news all around!! Don't even think about sending a separate thank you to me, you have enough on your plate...I'm sure I speak for others too...Alberto being back in NO is thanks enough!

    much love

    Kit

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  26. Hill House RamblingsNovember 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM

    Such good news and so wonderful to see you both smiling in that photo! May Alberto recover quickly from the surgery. More prayers and hugs...

    H.H.

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  27. Valorie- My own heart is warmed by this news. May Alberto recover quickly from the surgery.

    Loretta

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  28. Oh...what brilliant news! When you hadn't posted...I was worrying that things were going badly. Love seeing the photos and can't wait to hear how he progresses.

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  29. Welcome home and love seeing your smiling faces. Wishing Alberto a
    complete recovery.
    BarbaraG

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  30. Heartfelt wishes to you both!! You must be absolutely exhausted. Get lots of rest while the healing thoughts keep pouring your way. So good to hear that you are home and that all is going well!!! ox Barbara

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  31. Adding my best wishes, hope you both recover from it all soon!
    You must be so relieved to be home! I bid on Patricia's drawing to benefit you guys!
    Much love! Victoria

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  32. Adding my best wishes, hope you both recover from it all soon!
    You must be so relieved to be home! I bid on Patricia's drawing to benefit you guys!
    Much love! Victoria

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  33. Dear Valorie,
    I am so very happy that you are both back in New Orleans and that the surgery has been successful....Home is where you should be....Much love and thinking of you...xxv

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  34. Valorie,

    We're both so relieved for the baby steps towards recovery! Alberto is such a sweet soul and you two are the most perfect tango there is! We're sendings our prayers and hugs from New York!

    xo
    Eddie + Jaithan

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  35. dearest val

    great news for you and your darling alberto!

    just take care and try not to stress, your blogger buddies are continuing to work it. more to come your way
    loving you
    debra

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  36. Glad you are back at home; prayers for a speedy recovery.

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  37. Such HAPPY news Valerie... theres no place like home.. theres no place like home. I am smiling for you and alberto. xo

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  38. Sweet Valorie, you both have been through so much. I'm joining in with all in saying I have tears in my eyes reading your news. I must say in the last few years I feel like my prayers don't get answered but I've prayed non-stop for you & Alberto and each moment was well worth it. The miracle has resulted in you two being home & Alberto's procedure today being a success. God is good!!

    Wish I were closer to bring you goodies and help ease the load of cooking and cleaning. Just know the prayers will continue and you both are in my heart.

    With love,
    Deb

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  39. hi, valorie,

    while nothing in the world is worth the tsouris you put up with in the last weeks, that photo of alberto in the hospital corridor in his tango fedora with you, is a classic!

    now is not the time, but after alberto is completely well again, those bills from canada should go to your congressional delegation and the state department. there has to be a reciprocal arrangement of some sort.
    canadians are running around down here all winter long, and surely need medical assistance as alberto and you did. and with the least possible extra stress!

    just see that alberto gets well at the best rate, not the fastest, so that he gets maximum benefit from the surgery he had today. because they didn't have to make a big cut and take veins from his legs, alberto will be dancing again soon enough!

    love and stuff,

    michael

    michael/bagelbrookefarm

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  40. LOVE hearing good news... praying that it continues!!!!

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  41. Hurrah! Being back in NOLA is what the doctor ordered, no? Keeping you in my thoughts, please give Alberto a hug from us.

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  42. Valorie

    Such great news that you're back home and that Alberto was able to receive a stent, as opposed to a more complicated surgery. I'm sure your inner strength has enabled you to be his rock -- and that you've been able to lean on all of us.

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  43. Dear Valorie,

    SO glad to hear that you're home! It's wonderful news that the procedure went well. You've both been very much in my thoughts. It's been all I could do not to dial your cell number (but knew it might be an awkward time, thought of roaming charges, etc. etc!).

    Thank you for the update. Sending lots of caring thoughts ...

    Fondly,
    Bill

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  44. As I said before, you and Alberto are in our prayers, but prayers only go so far.
    Off to your paypal acct. to help with the rest.

    xo xo
    Brooke and Steve

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  45. He looks good. Always smiling! Praying for your both tonight.

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  46. Thank God. Will continue to pray for his healing and your strength.

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  47. Valorie and Alberto -
    I am so happy that you are back in New Orleans. I will have to plan a trip down the river to make sure everything is going well - after all the excitement has worn down and things are back to normal.
    Everyone was and is still thinking of you daily and you are always in our prayers.
    Love from Baton Rouge,
    Karen

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  48. What an ordeal for both of you! Loving thoughts and many prayers being sent your way!

    xo Elizabeth

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  49. So glad to hear things are looking positive!

    Ellen

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  50. valorie, lots of prayers coming your way. I'm so moved at this community we are a part of. We are all so lucky to have such a wonderful group of people that we can lean on in times like this.

    All my love and good thoughts

    Megan
    bb8

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  51. Travel insurance?

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  52. Anon Nov 10 7:56 AM
    Are you being an asshole?
    FYI Travel insurance is denied to anyone with a pre-existing condition, which Alberto has.

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  53. Dear Valorie: You are a strong woman, God bless you!...Glad to hear Alberto is doing better and that you are home with him. Such an ordeal. Take care.
    Much love to both of you.
    Lydia

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  54. Valorie, I have been thinking of you and Alberto so much! I bid on several items and hope that you are both on the road to recovery.
    I have been through this, so I truly do understand.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  55. I am so glad to hear you are both back home safely - praying for his continued recovery!

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  56. Glad things are getting back to normal. yvonne

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  57. I am happy that your Alberto Paz survived his cardiac arrest in Calgary and that the physicians there did their best with the situation. As a Canadian who pays high taxes to support our healthcare system I was angry to read "There is no socialized medicine in Canada for visitors, eh?" You knew the risks when you travelled outside your country after being refused travel insurance. Visitors to your country are routinely refused medical care unless payment is made UPFRONT! We expect visitors to pay for the expensive medical treatments they may require. Medical training, equipment and supplies are expensive, we don't have the huge insurance companies to fund fancy, pretty hospitals, sorry. I can't even finish writing this as I am so angry at your attitude. Best wishes with your recovery and kindly pay your bill. Melissa in Canada

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