To be honest, I stopped sleeping well about three nights before from my scheduled surgery.
All of the fascinating aspects of my diagnosis disappeared the more discussion and scheduling became reality. I dreaded going into the hospital and considered if I could chose not to have the procedure altogether. But alas, I had to get over my fears and just show up.
The night before my procedure, Mom and I stayed in The Inn at Longwood Medical in Boston. I was starving and ordered room service a couple hours before my midnight cut-off from eating and drinking. It wasn’t worth it, but at the time I was hungry. It was a long night of tossing and turning, and we were up to start the day at 5:30 AM.
Per hospitals guidelines, you shower with an antiseptic body wash the night before your procedure and the morning of. The soap has that sterile smell which, to me, is just a depressing way of reminding you what you will be experiencing for the next couple days. It’s a precursor of what is to come.
Mom and I walked to the hospital from our hotel. It’s right on Brookline Ave. so we took a five minute stroll in the early morning. We checked in at the front desk at 6:30 and we were escorted upstairs to pre-op. I spent about two hours in pre-op where I talked to my doctor, authorized forms for neurosurgery and the anesthesiologist and was hooked up to an IV.
We prayed before my surgery and I knew I would see Mom in a few hours.
Then I was off. The surgical room has that same sterile smell and it’s a little nauseating knowing what’s about to happen. My nurse anesthetist described the medication he gave me just before they rolled me downstairs as ‘feeling like you’ve had 4 margaritas,’ which I found amusing, but he was right. By the second round of happy drugs, I was sound asleep on the table.
Then, I woke up in recovery.
Every two or three hours, I have a neurological exam (even through all hours of the night) where the nurse asks me my name, where I am, today’s date and does a variety of motor skills tests. Recovery is nice because I can just sleep. The nursing staff makes sure I’m with them and then they let you dose off. I spent about 4 hours in total in recovery and then was brought to a room on the Neurological ICU floor.
I want to give an enormous thank you to my nurses. The first night I was ever hospitalized, on June 15th, I was originally told Erik could stay with me. At that time, we had no idea what was really wrong with me and I was scared to stay alone. When I was put in a room; however, there was a miscommunication and he could not stay the night. I cried for about an hour. My nurse promised to check in on me more and really strived to reassure me. They truly went above and beyond and really made me feel comfortable there.
So, this time I was hospitalized for my surgery, I had the same two girls again and it was really nice to see two familiar faces.
I was told after the angiogram of the brain with embolization I could have mild concussion symptoms like headaches, trouble concentrating and dizziness. But when I woke up from surgery and from that day on I have not experienced one single headache. No dizziness either and no trouble concentrating. THAT is God. His hand has been in every aspect of this journey and I am faithful that he will see me through.
I was released from the hospital the next day with an incision the size of a pea. My surgeon went in with a catheter and injected an onyx glue into the blood vessels in my brain and shrunk a little less than 20% off the mass.
I’m truly thankful for the support of my friends and family and a successful first procedure.
One down. Onto the next one.