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This time last week we were just returning from our trip to Havana. Given that President Trump is supposed to tighten restrictions on Cuba again, I feel lucky to have been able to visit.

We went on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise that gave us two full days and a night in Havana. The experience was amazing and impacted me in ways I couldn’t imagine. The people are incredible — friendly and well-educated. But it was a strange sensation to visit a truly communist country. While the populace may be leaning toward freedom and capital endeavors, the effects of the revolution (recent in terms of global history) are still very much apparent.

In other news, this week after our return from Havana I went in for corrective surgery for my esophageal stricture. This is a narrowing of the esophagus that makes it difficult to swallow and where food can get stuck, sometimes requiring emergency surgical intervention. Basically, I was under anesthesia and the doctor put a tube down my throat with a camera and a type of balloon that inflated and stretched out the narrowing. The camera also allowed the doctor to do a visual exam of my esophagus and stomach. The procedure went well, but there were some surprises. (I’m not much for surprises anyway, but I’m really against them when it relates to surgery.)

My esophagus was so constricted that my doctor couldn’t dilate it fully. In these instances, there’s a risk of rupture or perforation if you try to stretch it too much. This would require major surgery to correct. So he dilated it as much as he could safely and sometime after three weeks, I will go back in for a repeat procedure to finish things up. But in the process of the exam, he found some erosion of the stomach (probably caused by all the medication I take) as well as some indication of celiac disease. I have to take MORE medication now to protect my stomach. Biopsies will tell us if there are any infections or more serious issues like celiac disease or cancer. Sigh.

But other than being a bit sore and hung over from the anesthesia, I’m doing well. No pizza or crunchy chips and hot salsa for a few days but other than that, I expect a good recovery.

I hope you all recover well from any adventures in your life and, for those of you who celebrate the holiday, a happy Father’s Day this weekend.

 

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