Thursday, April 23, 2009

2 down, 1 to go


Angela has been pretty busy and is quite tired at the moment, so you get me again. In short, both surgeries went well this week. Praise God! Thanks for your prayers!

If you want the long version, here you go:

Angela’s Gamma Knife surgery was on Monday. We went in at 6:30am. She and I were put into a pre-op room. There she was given a group of last minute questions, poked with a local anesthetic and an IV, and then I was whisked away so she could be fitted with the head frame. It sounds easier than it really was. Angela was given twilight anesthesia (which means that she would be easier to wake up) and they then proceeded to drill four holes in her head, which were used to lock the frame to her skull with some rather large screws. By the way, the anesthesiologist was about 6’5” tall and while Angela was in twilight, she asked him if he plays basketball. After that, she proceeded to ask him about volleyball. Must have been some good stuff that she was on! Anyway, after the frame was screwed on, they woke her up. She was fully awake by now and would remain awake for the remainder of the day. After a bit, she was taken away to get a high contrast MRI and I was able to watch. We were a little nervous about this MRI because we had been warned that since this was much more detailed than the regular MRI, it could reveal even more tumors. Fortunately, that was not the case. There was still only two, so in the words of her surgeon, “no surprises”. However, we feel VERY fortunate to have “discovered” this when we did because in just a couple of weeks, the one tumor had grown from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a dime. Who knows what would have happened if we had discovered this 1 month later. Thanks God!! After the MRI, Angela was taken into the Gamma knife room. That is where her head and the accompanying frame were locked down so tight that she couldn’t twitch even if she wanted to. Interestingly, she was able to move every other part of her body and was even told that it would be OK to scratch her face during the procedure if she would like. By this point, the computer had told them that the procedure would last 16 minutes. Still seems a little Sci-Fi if you ask me. As a courtesy, they showed me the Operating room, the Gamma knife machine, the camera monitors, and the computer control room before asking me to wait back in the waiting area. Sure enough, after about 20 minutes they led me back to the pre-op room, where Angela was already recovering. The doctor came through and told us that everything went well and the surgery was a success. Shortly thereafter, we were driving home. Angela will now go back for a post-op check up next week and then go back every couple of months for follow up MRI scans. So now she has 4 “very sore spots” on her head and is understandably tired - especially after getting up the next day to do it all over again with Benjamin.

Speaking of Benjamin – He had surgery on Tuesday. Benjamin also went into the doctor at 6:30am. Déjà vu?? After some paperwork, etc, he and we were led back to a pre-op area where Ben was given a gown and a bed. The nurses strung him up with monitors and explained a couple of things to him. Then the doctor cracked a couple of jokes and wrote on Ben’s shoulder with a magic marker. He was given a mild anesthesia (pre cursor to the heavier stuff) as Angela and I were asked to head back to the waiting room. About 90 minutes later, the doctor emerged announcing a successful surgery – everything according to plan! We soon were able to join him in the recovery room. By about 10:30 we were leaving the office. Ben was sent home with a really cool (no pun intended) cold therapy machine to keep his swelling down. He had a post-op appointment today and all is well. He will be in his sling for 6 weeks and will be out of sports for at least 6 months.

That’s about it. Thanks for hanging with me. Next up, Cambron on May 14th.

Talk with you soon,


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