Monday, December 17, 2007

20071217 POTD

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Friday, December 14, 2007

20071214 POTD

I just love those sweet little toes!!! Ansel's feet have grown more than I can believe in the past 12 weeks. Travis shot this photo and I enjoy it very much!

Friday, December 07, 2007

20071206 POTD

reflections of Ansel
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Sunday, December 02, 2007

20071201 POTD

ode to a belly button

20071130 POTD

room with a view

20071129 POTD

20071127 POTD

20071126 POTD

Ansel relaxing in the hotel room on Monday morning before my surgery. He is a tough little dude, put up with a lot this week. Praise God for an easy-going son!

20071125 POTD

signage for a son
Seen while travelling Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd in the University Circle area of Cleveland.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Back from Cleveland Clinic

Travis' kidney was successfully removed.

The trip went smoothly and we were blessed by the way our heavenly Father provided. The youth pastor from our church and our friend, Eric Napoli; his mom, Rosie Napoli; and the wife of another pastor at our church, Laura Gillette; came and waited with Michelle and Ansel while Travis underwent surgery. A couple from our church that we hardly knew came and supported us with prayer and their willingness to serve us for the next two days while Travis was hospitalized. They took care of Ansel so that Michelle could be attentive to Travis at his bedside.

We are truly blessed. Travis was able to come home last night, so he didn't have to spend his entire birthday in the hospital :) He will be at home recovering for the next 4-6 weeks.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

20071124 POTD

Thank you for letting us share in this beautiful wedding, Jamie & Jon!

20071123 POTD

Ever seen a redneck ride a running engine before? I can always count on a visit to the Stauffers' to bring me back to my roots. If Andrew's pantleg is any indication, it is running a little rich!

20071122 POTD

Very interesting shot from Monroeville, IN. Driving back after a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, it started to snow heavily and I turned around after driving past this monument to soldiers long gone.

20071121 POTD

Captured on the drive to Indiana for Thanksgiving. Light through the windows of the car at a rest stop. Aperture f/1.4, ISO 3200, 1/15s, handheld.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

laparascopic nephrectomy (possibly morcellated)

also known as a kidney removal...

We didn't end up having to return to Cleveland today. That was a relief, as Monday's trip had left me a little worn out.

My nephrectomy is scheduled for Monday, 11/26. I'll probably be in the hospital for 3 days, and then return to Buffalo to recuperate for 4-6 weeks before returning to work.

Before then we will be driving to IN to celebrate Thanksgiving, returning to Buffalo on Saturday for the Mangus/Dalbo wedding (happy pre-nuptials Jon & Jamie!!), and then return to Cleveland Sunday PM or Monday AM depending on the exact time of the surgery.

Thank you for all the prayers!

20071120 POTD

sparkling, huh?
I'm already dreading this 'lemony' beverage, and I don't have to take it until Sunday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

20071119 POTD

marathon, as in today was a marathon of a day. Six hours driving, six hours with the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic preparing for next week's kidney removal. And I may get to drive back and do it again tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

20071118 POTD

double-chinned dreamin'

Saturday, November 17, 2007

20071117 POTD


Friday, November 16, 2007

20071116 POTD


Monday, November 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007



I am a father.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Another jaunt to Cleveland...

Michelle and I spent the last couple of days in Cleveland visiting with the doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. They are trying to determine why a 26 year old would have a heart attack, even if the genes are stacked against him.

I visited a vascular medicine specialist, a hematologist/oncologist, and a urologist. Most of the tests are still being analyzed, but there are a couple possibilities for next steps in the process:

1. Perform a spinal tap to evaluate my bone marrow. It is possible that my blood is not being created with the right amount of white/red cells, and this led to my early-onset coronary artery disease.

2. Remove my right kidney. During the initial investigation at the ER, they determined that something was wrong with my right kidney. Subsequent tests have revealed that it is approximately twice the size of a normal kidney and completely non-functional. Urologist #1 in Buffalo said it definitely needed to come out, Urologist #2 in Buffalo said there was no reason for it to come out, and Urologist #3 in Cleveland said it needs to come out. Evidently the outlet of my kidney has plugged up and it has caused the kidney to swell at some time in the past.

We'll be juggling future trips to Cleveland around the REAL important date of September 24. Thanks to everyone for your continued prayer.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Photos are up...

Browse here for more:

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's been a while...

What has happened since April 23...

Angiogram #4 happened during our visit to Cleveland. The cardiologist found that the secondary blockage which was found following the initial stent placement was due to one of those stents being placed improperly. The blockage was not cleared, and I'm still living day-to-day with a 100% blockage of my left anterior descending artery. He recommended being seen by a vascular medicine specialist (a hematologist). We spent the month of May and most of June waiting for BlueCross/BlueShield to approve a new referral, and now have an appointment for July 3. There will probably be no more procedures, just a determination of the best drug and diet therapy for the future. I have been feeling good and cardiac rehab is going very well.

We are having a boy! A sonogram on May 1 revealed (in a rather obvious way) that we are indeed going to be blessed with a big brother for the remainder of the Slagle kids. I now have go-karts to build and hunting trips to plan!!

We spent a week of vacation in Nebraska at the beginning of June. It was relaxing, and a great time just hanging out with friends and family. We also camped in the Thousand Islands region of NY over Memorial Day weekend and spent a weekend in the Finger Lakes National Forest.

Michelle's stomach continues to grow at a prodigious rate. We'll take another pregnant pic for the series "Pregnant in B&W" soon, it will be posted to I'll also try to post more prego Michelle pictures to satisfy those whining of not enough photo coverage (Dana!!!)

For those of you in NV, you'll have the opportunity to see the belly in person, as Michelle will be visiting from July 17-31. I'll be joining her for the weekend of the 28 and 29 to attend Cassidy and Erin's wedding.

I think that about does it (congrats to you if you made it through this entire post!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Slagles: 1 BlueCross/BlueShield of WNY: 0


After some wrestling with our insurance provider, BlueCross/BlueShield, we are finally headed to Cleveland tomorrow to get an opinion from an expert cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

The doctor is not sure that he will perform an angiogram. During his initial review of my case, he said that I would be a good candidate for what I believe is the Frontrunner catheter. However, he reviewed my angiogram films today and was not as sure that he would be able to get through the blockage.

All the same, I will be glad to get advice from him. The Cleveland Clinic is reputed to be the #1 heart center in the nation, so if a doctor there tells me to go ahead and live my life with a 100% blockage, I'll feel a little bit better about it.

Our appointment is at 1 PM tomorrow (4/24) afternoon, and if they do go ahead with an angiogram, it will be scheduled for sometime on Wednesday.

Please pray for wisdom for the doctor, patience for us, and safe travel to Cleveland.

Thank you to everyone for their support throughout this process,

Travis & Michelle

Saturday, April 21, 2007

about that angiogram no. 4...

BlueCross/BlueShield of Western New York decided that they weren't so sure that I needed to go to Cleveland. I went for a second opinion on Thursday, and the cardiologist agreed with my initial cardiologist's determination. Hopefully that will be enough to change the mind of the insurance company, and we'll be heading to Cleveland on the 24th and 25th.

Please pray for patience, I know that this will happen (or not) in God's timing, but it is awfully hard to remember that sometimes.

Michelle's tummy continues to grow, we will find out if Jr. is a boy or a girl within the next couple of weeks!

12 week sonogram and Michelle+baby pics can be seen here:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Angiogram #4

Quick update:

I have returned to work (started March 21).

We will be traveling to the Cleveland Clinic (#1 heart Center in the nation) for my fourth angiogram on April 17. They will do some tests on the 17th, and the angiogram will be on the 18th. Please pray for safety for me and Michelle, as the Clinic isn't in a very safe neighborhood.

Michelle's tummy is getting bigger ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What today brings...the things I heard!

This morning. 8am. Listening to the heartbeat of our precious little baby (whom we can't wait to meet!) was incredible. Apparently the baby's position was perfect because it was loud and the nurse found it before she could finish preparing us not to freak out if it took a while or if she was unable to find it at all. Amazing! Hopefully the baby has a ticker that is just as strong as his/her father's, Travis has wonderful heart function despite his recent heart attack. Wow. I don't think I can ever forget that sound (Travis and I keep making the sound to each other)!

This afternoon. 4:15pm. Hearing my boss tell me that I am an unreliable employee. Having to sit there while she faulted me, in every category except for conduct with employees and interaction with the clients, for my absenteeism on account of my husband's health and that my behavior would not be tolerated. Unbelieveable! Perhaps God did for me what I could not do for myself. It will be hard to forget the harshness in her voice, when all I ever did was strive to work hard there as a nutritionist. I just wanted to make a difference with the clients and help them make changes that would impact their health for the better.

The events of today were far more surprising than I imagined. It was even nearly 60 degrees and sunny all day! The best part was heading to a funky, hip district in Buffalo for dinner with my husband to talk about today and how our time tomorrow might be spent. The prospect of hanging with Travis for the next few days makes it all a lot sweeter.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Angiogram #3

I had my third angiogram on Thursday, March 8. I ended up spending the night in the hospital, as the sheath that they used to insert the angiogram tools wasn't removed until early in the afternoon and they gave me a large amount of blood thinners (7k of Heparin).

Unfortunately the angiogram was unsuccessful, I still have a 100% blockage at the distal end of my left anterior descending artery. The blockage has hardened, and the doctor performing the procedure says that they probably cannot get through it. The cardiologist believes that it isn't necessary to clear the blockage, as my heart is functioning very well, collateral vessels have formed around the blockage, and I have no symptoms (chest pain, etc).

Since the thought of having one artery completely blocked isn't too appealing, I think we will get a second opinion at the Cleveland Clinic (#1 heart center in the nation, only a few hours drive away from here.)

I am feeling good, my leg isn't as sore as it was yesterday.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers,


Friday, March 02, 2007


My cool celebrity look-alike collage from Get one for yourself.

My Celebrity Look-alikes

Thanks Dave, you helped me spend 10 minutes of my VERY empty day.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prayer Request


Procedure has been rescheduled for March 8th. I guess the doctor needs some specialized tools and they were not in yet.


Tomorrow at 8:30 AM I will be having my 3rd angiogram. Please pray that the procedure goes smoothly, and if it is God's will, that they will be able to clear the blockage in my artery.

My heart is actually in really good condition, but they would like to get this artery cleaned out all the same. My ejection fraction, a measure of the heart muscle's performance, is 60-65%. (Normal is anything over 50%.) Immediately following the heart attack my EF was only 40-45%! The occlusion (blockage) is at the end of the artery, and collateral vessels (small vessels that carry blood around an occlusion) have formed to supply my heart muscle with blood.

Thank you

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Zcar Photos

Interested in fun pictures of the Zcar we used to own?

Before, during, and after pictures are here:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

the beauty of buffalo...

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Friday, February 16, 2007

the joy of buffalo

bitterly cold today, the wind picked up that 10 degree weather and stuffed it down our necks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

kidney update

I visited the urologist this morning, expecting to find out many wonderful things about my cystic and oversized right kidney. While in the hospital I had been told that three diagnoses were possible:

a) Congenital problem, was born with a kidney that was partially obstructed. Obstructed kidneys swell up like balloons.

b) I developed a partial blockage at some point in my life, and then the aforementioned swelling began.

c) The cystic tissue is cancer. Yeah!

According to the doctor I saw in the hospital almost 2 months ago, any of the three options would mean a removal of my kidney in the future. This was due to the possibility of the kidney rupturing during an auto accident, etc. They would wait until I had recovered from my heart problems before removing (probably a year or so.)

However, the doctor I saw this morning labeled it as option A and said there was no reason to remove it. He is a more senior physician that the doctor I saw in the hospital and said he is very sure that this is a congenital condition. Come back in six months for a checkup.

This should have made me feel better, but for some reason it did not.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

and the saga continues...

So I thought that I was returning to work yesterday. Rehab had been going smooth, I was exercising for an hour four times per week, life was grand. I was supposed to meet with the doctor on Wednesday and get back to some form of normalcy.

Then I had a stress test last Thursday. (During which I decided to faint while the nurses were installing the IV. Generated entirely too much commotion, I don't recommend it.)

I received a call from my cardiologist on Friday. The front of my heart was not receiving an adequate amount of blood flow, so he wanted another angiogram performed. It was scheduled for yesterday (so much for going back to work).

During the angiogram yesterday it was discovered that one of the arteries which had previously been opened and stented had closed back up. Unfortunately, the doctor was unable to open up the blockage. My heart function is good and it is stable, but I will have to have another angiogram in about a month. And no rehab or work until the next angiogram.

Thank you all for your prayers and concerns during this time. God is taking good care of Michelle and I, partially through the friends that he has placed around us to comfort us.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A saturday in Buffalo

An ice encapsulated bush.

One of my favorite buildings on the University campus.
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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tonawanda Island, NY

I can't tell if these are unfinished water towers, or some kind of grain/salt storage device.

Any ideas?
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changes and a question

I'm home on sick leave...

pro: reading

con: EXTREME laziness, guilt for not being productive

Black was depressing, a color change was in order.

Any idea what these are?

(Tonawanda Island, NY)