Friday, October 24, 2008

Two for the Day....



It's sobering when my mom calls me to fill me in on what's going on. I supremely appreciate it compared to walking into work and having people tell me things I should know, but don't.

Kara, Craig and Harry left for Boston yesterday after Kara got off work. They talked to the doctors today and here is what I know after my mom heard it from my aunt who heard it from Kara:

-Harry's heart is still enlarged, but I am assuming it's not as large as it was right after he was born. The cardiologist is optimisic for the surgery and says that his heart is strong enough. There might be some problems after surgery because the amount of blood being pumped through it will be diminished. I have no idea what that will do to him, if anything serious at all.

-The surgery is going to last for at least 14 hours. During which they are going to remove 2/3 of the left hemisphere of his brain and the AVM mass. The bad news is that the mass has rooted on the right, healthy side of his brain and they are going to have to remove the roots as well. If they don't get the roots, it will grow back. They told them to not be surprised if after surgery the right side of his body is paralyzed. It could last six months.

-The AVM is a mass of bloodvessels and arteries and there is one major one I believe on the back of his head they are worried about bleeding out. Despite that, they say the risk of death is 5%. I love how they can whittle everything down to a percent.

-He will have a massive scar from the surgery, which is a given and rather minor. He's a boy and if anything like his brother, dad, uncles, cousins .... the scar will be tuff as hell.

-There is risk for bleeding and swelling after the surgery. In that case, they will insert a shunt to drain the excess fluids, but there is a possibility they will have to go back in to stop the bleeding.

-They say that even with a little over half a brain that he will continue to develop normally. He might be slowed if he is paralyzed for a few months, but like my mom said, he'll walk at two instead of one.

-The doctors speculate that he could be home as early as next weekend. If it was my child, I would not be bringing him home so soon after brain surgery. They would be so far away from the doctors back home, but they say if the stuff that could happen would happen in that span of time.

That is all the info I have right now. The surgery is Monday and I would assume early because it is going to take so long. And God willing, it will take all of 14 hours to do it.


Dr. Oz...
Dr. Taylor: I had an AVM in July 2005 and I found the show and your book on strokes very informative, insightful, and just great! I have many deficits but health, exercise, and nutrition is very important. I learned allot from the show and your book. First, to mourn who you were before your "event ." I seem to spend time thinking about who that person was and trying to get to that place. Second, that recovery is ongoing and could take many years. I thought I would lose my ability to do math. or to multi-task, or to walk or skip without looking down. I may still lose those abilities but I know there is hope! I was struck by the woman who called in at the end who had an AVM a year and a half ago and was crying. As you know, this event can be very emotional. I cried allot too in the beginning but the crying has lessened. It hasn't gone away. I still get sad, but I'm moving forward now. I hope with time this woman will also. I write Tim Johnson in SD because he had an AVM and is still in the Senate. I've been writing him for almost two years now because I wanted him to have hope from a survivor. It's so important. Many people with disabilities deal with the lack of eye contact and people talking over and around them. Your plea that your not stupid just wounded should be taught at a very early age. As a matter of fact, I got more practical advice from toddlers than anybody! Thank you for bringing these and your many other issues to TV.dr oz

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