Saturday, May 11, 2013

Flashback #2 - Surgery


          So, I left off after we had met with the Surgeon on Monday morning, after coming home from the hospital on Friday. While David was in the hospital, they had put him on Decadron, a steroid that  reduces swelling. It's a wonderful and horrible drug. It totally does the job of reducing swelling...after getting on it, David's headaches went away. But the side effects are awful; it makes it really difficult to sleep, anxious, etc...David explains about the side effects on him in his video. When he placed David on the medication, Dr Schwartz also told him not to make any money decisions...apparently it can also mess with your judgement and cause extravagant thought patterns...we found that one funny. Our surgeon is funny, says the wildest things...One of his quotes that stayed with us..."You're never the same once air hits the brain." Imagine hearing that from your doctor...before your brain surgery...hahaha

          While we were at our appointment, surgery was decided for that Wednesday, and we were given the instructions, etc to prep for surgery. Like I mentioned before, David went ahead and shaved his head to give the girls a chance to get used to it. I had to go buy this special stuff called Hibiclens, which is an antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleanser possessing bactericidal activities, to quote Amazon. David had to wash with it really well the night before and I believe the morning of as well. Of course, we had to get there super early, think our show up time was either 5:30 or 6:00. On the way, I was driving and one of the turns has this island right in the middle, really not much room to turn, and I'm looking at it and thinking to myself "Don't hit it, give yourself room" and what do I do but hit it! David was making so much fun of me...but it helped lighten the mood....and can I tell you, I've never hit it before or since! lol

          Anyways, we get to the hospital, go wherever we were supposed to, meet with the junior neuro dude who preps David. He comes in and marks his head with a Sharpie, basically to see where they are going to screw his head down during surgery, literally! Then sent David off for a final CT scan that is used to line up the marks with the interior, basically a mapping tool.  David actually has little tiny scars where no hair grows from the screws! 

  • Waiting for ct scan, then to the OR

         My father-in-law was there at the hospital with me all day, while my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were at our house with the kids. So after the CT scan, David was wheeled to the pre-op room...basically a big room with curtains for privacy. We had one last meeting with Dr Schwartz, who told me surgery would probably be about 5 hours. David was assigned a number, and in the waiting room there are monitors where you can check the status of your patient. Dad and I said good bye to David and headed to the waiting room. 

  • they just wheeled David away...now for the waiting...

          I knew it would be a while, but you're still scared to leave the room. I kept checking his number on the board...Pre-op, then Op....for hours! I did finally have lunch, but just couldn't leave for too long...Thank goodness I wasn't there alone...so thankful Dad was with me!

  • Still waiting, hopefully will hear something soon...

          Four hours in, no updates. I gave my cell number to the doctors, they were supposed to call with updates, let me know when he was moved etc...He was supposed to be transported to the NeuroICU, then they would call me when he woke up. Surgery wound up taking 7 hours, so of course I was crazy nervous since the estimate had been only 5...then on the board I could see that he had been transported to the ICU, but no one called me...supposedly after he was there 30 min then they would call me...but nothing. I finally called up and they said "Oh, no one called you?" and told me to come right up. 

          When we got up there, David was pissed! He said he woke up alone, didn't know what was going on, nobody was helping him, he was so upset! It turns out, that they thought he had woken up, he passed all the neurological tests, answered all their questions, etc, so they thought he was awake...but he wasn't! He does this to me all the time, still! He'll be sleeping, I'll wake him up to tell him something, like I'll be right back, blah blah blah, he answers me, he's totally coherent, and then later on, he has no idea that the conversation occurred. I know he does that and I still think he's heard me! So I really can't blame the nurses...but boy was he upset! And really, that's a horrible way to wake up from brain surgery, alone and helpless. I was upset that no one had called me to let me know I could be there. 

          We saw the surgeon...he told us he thought he had gotten the majority out...we wouldn't know what it was till the pathology report came back, but he had a good guess, and he turned out to be right. Not the best, but not the worst either...still, hard to hear cancer and think anything good. 

  • David is in the icu now, lucid and coherent but exhausted. The dr said he got most but not all out, he'll prob need chemotherapy and radiation to kill the rest of it. Still won't know type of tumor (benign or malignant) for at least a week or two. Thank u so much for all the prayers. Keep em coming!
         It was hard for me to see my husband like this...helpless, yet really for just having had brain surgery, remarkably with it. Dr Schwartz had decided to use staples to close the incision...seriously, I wish we had thought to have a camera for a lot of this...but how can anything but Frankenstein go through your head. Of course, at that point, I managed to keep my thoughts to myself...don't think David would have appreciated it quite so soon after surgery...but seriously, it was so weird!!!! The incision basically went ear to ear...he followed the hair line, set just behind it, so when his hair isn't too short, you can't even see the scar.

This is one of the few pics we have that you can see the faded black eye and staples from surgery....in fact, you may see this pic a couple times...need something to be able to pin to Pinterest. This is after having been home at least a week or two.


Well, it's getting late, I'll finish the rest of the hospital stay next Flashback post.