Fresno, CA

Why I haven’t posted reviews for the past four months

Mark-John Clifford

I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why I've been absent for the past few months.

First, though, I want you to know I'm back, I've posted my first review, and all is well.

It wasn't because we didn't go out to eat and not write reviews, but it was due to health situations.

My last post was on November 8th, 2022, and I went off the grid. It wasn't planned or something like that. I stopped writing. I couldn't think of the words I wanted to write about places we had dined at. The not-so-funny thing was I didn't think about not writing.

I had an artery blockage to the right vertebral artery in the intracranium part of the artery. We didn't find out until a little after November 8th, when I was rushed to the hospital for a TIA.

We were told by the Doctors here in Fresno and at Stanford Stroke Center that the blockage was inoperable due to the risk. The doctors said waiting until it was life and death would be better, and maybe something could be done, such as stenting.

So, throughout November and December, I had roughly around 5-7 TIAs. 

New Doctor and Decision

Then, on December 31st, after being referred to a Neurointerventialist at Community Hospital by the head of the Neuroscience Dept.

The Doctor also stated that there was a risk to any surgery such as stenting, but in the case of a life or death situation, she would be willing to operate and insert a stent. She also asked if she could perform an angiogram of my artery which no Doctor had done. The Doctors who examined me had diagnosed a 99 percent blockage based on Cat Scan and MRI images. This Doctor wanted to see more.

In February, I had the angiogram, with the results being bad but not as bad. I had a severe blockage, but 99 percent. 

After the angiogram, I was given orders by the Doctor on how I could extend my life following specific protocols for now until things changed.

I would live, but she wasn't sure how long I could survive with the blockage as it was.
Before the surgeryPhoto byCommunity Hospital
After surgeryPhoto byCommunity Hospital

The Risk

The biggest concern of all the Doctors was that I didn't have a backup artery. Most people have two vertebral arteries, one on the left and the other on the right. After a few MRIs and Cat Scans, it was determined that my left artery had never developed. So I had nothing to back up if the right one shut down at some point or while being operated on. Hence the risk to all who diagnosed me.


A few more TIAs, and then this last one sealed the decision to go in. This TIA was different in how it affected me. I felt weird two days before the episode, and after surgery and seeing the pictures she took before saving my life, we found out why.

The blockage had grown. The artery was just about completely cut off. It looked like any day, the artery would split in half. 

The surgery was risky, and Patti and I knew it, but things were getting worse.

While in my brain, the Doctor tried a new procedure in stenting my artery, which worked with flying colors. The details I'll tell them in another post sometime.

I'm back and getting back my sea logs to write more reviews. Things are back to normal for me. I can think, write, and write down on paper my thoughts when I sit to type a review. 

Thanks to everyone who has followed me in the past and to new followers. I hope you keep following me and letting me know what you think.

Mark & Patti

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA

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