Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Recently saw the movie "Charley Wilson's War".

The L. A. Times gave it a mediocre rating. I don't know if the reviewer and I saw the same movie.

The problem is that it is just too real as to the way congress works as well as the CIA, etc.

But let's talk about a different Charley Wilson or DR. Charles Wilson, professor of neurosurgery at Moffet Hospital in San Francisco. The hospital is staffed by the University of California Medical School(UCSF).

To backstep a moment Jeannie was beginning to have balance problems. On our 1984 trip to Washington, D. C. she was still walking on her own but was already noticing that looking up at the cherrie blossoms was difficult.

Most of the places we went we requested a wheel chair. At the White House we were taken up a freight elevator and wheeled through areas normally off limits to tourists to join a tour group.
Tom Foley assigned an intern to take us through the capitol building and we sat in the balcony at both houses of congress in the spaces usually reserved for the First Lady to observe democracy in action.

My old friend Tom Lantos took us to lunch in the congressional dining room, a special treat and even more special arranged for us to attend a rare joint house/senate committee meeting where
in the course of the CNN coverage we were seen on national TV.

As Jeannie's condition deteriorated we returned to U of W Medical School. The diagnosis this time was a blockage in the spine. The remedy for this was a threadlike tube inserted down the spine.

This was a breakthrough technique. Dr. Kelly explained that the night before the surgery he had met with the local neuralogical society to explain the surgery and that it would be broadcast live on a dedicated TV network for physicians to observe.

One problem- he couldn't get the tube through, there was too much scar tissue.

He kept mentioning the name, Charley, who had invented the technique. On a follow up visit I asked him if he thought Charley, himself, might be able to do the job.

Late in June we received a call from U of W Hospital advising
Jeannie to get a preop physical and to report on July 1 to Dr. Wilson at Moffet Hospital for further examination.

As a sidelight, Moffet Hospital is located on Twin Peaks, the heights overlooking San Francisco and one of the most expensive sections of ther city.

We booked a room in a refurbished hotel at the edge of Haight-Ashbury and across from Kesar Stadium where in my days in San Francisco the 49ers played football.

We had a brief meeting with the doctor. At the end of the meeting I asked if he would consider doing the surgery. He reponded that we were to report to the hospital the next day to prep for the operation the following day.

To be continued


Blogger Danny Barer said...

I was sorry to hear today on the news of Tom Lantos's health problems.

12:04 PM  
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