Dear Mr. Blue

Our intrepid advice columnist prepares for open-heart surgery.

Published July 31, 2001 7:00PM (EDT)

Mr. Blue is not filing today, due to a medical adventure that came up suddenly last week. He paid a visit to a cardiologist and learned more about the heart than he was hoping to know and the upshot is a heart operation to repair a leaky mitral valve problem. Forty years ago, a man would've been sent home to endure the problem for the few years until nature mercifully killed him off -- the breathlessness and fatigue and pounding heart and the alarming feeling in the middle of the night that one is about to suffocate. Now, thanks to generations of enterprising research and the bravery of cutting-edge patients, the open-heart operation is performed with great confidence of success. I will return when I return. Have a lovely August.

By Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor is the author of the Lake Wobegon novel "Liberty" (Viking) and the creator and host of the nationally syndicated radio show "A Prairie Home Companion," broadcast on more than 500 public radio stations nationwide. For more columns by Keillor, visit his column archive.

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