Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Have a Date

I have a date!
I finally got a surgery date!
I check into Kaiser in Hollywood on August 11 at 6:30am, and 8am they'll be going in to fix both the AVM and the aneurysm.

if you want the graphic (and i think cool) details here they are (if you don't want them skip down to the prayer requests):

They-and by they, I mean Dr. Lei Feng, Director of Interventional Neuroradiology at Kaiser-are (is) going to go up through my femoral artery, first to the aneurysm (which has not burst, but they found while looking at the AVM that did) and put what has been described to me both as a "clip" and a "coil" (that will not go off in metal detectors-i asked) into the blood vessel. Whichever description is more accurate, I think the general idea is to stop blood flow to prevent any bursting of weak wall of that vessel. It's great that they can go in through the artery, because he showed me where it was on the plastic brain, and if they had to go through my skull, they'd have to essentially shove aside a lobe to get to it. It's like dead center. Thank the Lord I live now when they can shove little poky things and cameras in my blood vessels to do things like that.

Once the aneurysm is fixed, they are going to make a U-turn and go back to the AVM and block the 2 vessels feeding into it. It makes a lot more sense when you've seen the angiogram, but try and track with me. Again, the goal is to stop the blood flow, so they are putting this glueish stuff in there to do that. All in all it's about a 4 hour surgery.

The risks are lower because they aren't hacking through the skull and removing a chunk of tangled blood vessel (which would immediately solve the problem, but they could grab some brain tissue in the process), but there are always risks when you're poking around up there, even when your getting to the blood vessels from inside the blood vessels and not getting at them through the skull and brain tissue. Should the Embolization (this type of procedure with glue stuff thru my leg) fail, it'll do little damage, which is great. Int hat situation they will just have to try another option (probably radiation before cutting my head open-but it's a longer process).

As was pointed out in an episode of Scrubs (a great resource for the most accurate medical information (c: ), statistics vary, and there have been cancer patients who according to the stats, should have died, but lived, and appendicitis patients who should have lived, but died. I don't remember what Dr. Cox attributed that to, but I happen to know the One who not only knows what's going to happen to each patient, but the One who controls who beats the stats and who doesn't, and why. That's pretty comforting, eh.

Prayer requests:
-the time up until the surgery: The doctors cleared me to do anything except drive and be in a remote place, but I'd really like to not rebleed before the surgery, not that that is likely, but you know.
-the success of the surgery itself: The Neurologist (Dr. Freidlich) was very optimistic about it, saying I was a great candidate for this type of surgery/cure because of the nature of the AVM. Dr. Feng was, while optimistic, cautious-i'm sure because he's the one actually doing the surgery, and doesn't want to say anything that might bite him in the legal butt later. So pray that there are no complications. There are always risks when you are dealing with brains.
-post-op and recovery: my mom starts school the day after the surgery. If everything goes as planned I should be in the hospital for only 2 days so it shouldn't really be a problem, but it'd be great if she didn't have to miss any school-especially the first week.
-you can also thank God that I got a date that lets me go to camp cause i'm really excited about that!

thanks again for all the prayer and support over the last month or so, it's been a real encouragement, and I know it's why everything has gone so smoothly.


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