I only slept from 2:45 am – 5:45 am this morning/last night although I went to bed at 10:45 pm. So…you ask…what does Elizabeth do from 10:45 pm – 2:45 am when her family is sound asleep, it’s dark outside and she has insomnia? I “cleaned up” the contacts on my iPhone deleting contacts I no longer needed and merging information for duplicate contacts. I also spent time in the office on the computer paying bills on-line and sending some emails.
This morning I attended my brain tumor surgery pre-op appointment at Zale Lipshy Hospital from 9 am – noon. Our daughter, Sarah, and my Godmother, Mary Jane King, went with me to obtain information and for moral support.
I visited with a surgical nurse, anestheiologist, business office and lab.
Receiving answers to my questions gave me more peace as the surgery date is only 6 days away.
Below are answers to several of my questions.
Length of surgery – the “textbook” answer is 270 minutes (4.5 hrs); however, the surgeon said my surgery should be fairly “straight forward” based on the tumor’s location and probably take only 3 hrs. John, our 15 year-old son, told me this afternoon, “Mom’s surgery is so easy…it’s almost mindless!” Haha!
Time in ICU – 24 hrs after surgery
Days in a regular room – 2-3 days
Incision location – “half circle” in my hair from above my right ear to the middle of the top of my head above my forehead
Incision length – about 8″
Incision hair loss – 1/2 – 1″ strip along incision
Incision closed with stitches or staples – staples
Will the titanium screws used to replace the removed section of skull (to access and remove the tumor) set off the airport security – no
Anti-seizure Rx – I won’t be prescribed any unless I have a seizure after surgery, which I’m not planning on having.
Brain Anti-swelling Rx – take for a week beginning 2 days prior to surgery. (There is swelling around the tumor currently and the brain will likely swell some during and after the surgery from being “messed with”)
Nerve damage/numbness at incision site – not expected
Turn around time for tumor pathology report – 1 week
Post-op facial bruising & swelling – yes beginning the day after surgery for several days. This will not be the best time for a self-portrait!
The tumor is located over and behind my right eye. Will my right eye vision be affected with the surgery? No
Post-op dr. appt – most likely Wednesday, June 12 to remove staples and observe incision healing
Post-op activity – Per Dr. Mickey, “Your first activities will be resting and eating.” Sounds good to me, how ’bout to you?!
Shampoo – 2 days after surgery! WOW…that’s faster than I expected 🙂
Post-op seizures – possible, but not expected
Post-op headache/pain – Yes, especially at my right temple based on the tumor location, incision and a muscle being “moved” to the side during surgery
Resume driving – 2 weeks
CT scan follow-up – morning after surgery to ensure all of the tumor was removed
MRI follow-up – 3 months after surgery; then 6 months after surgery for 1 year
I am very blessed to be covered under Russell’s employer, Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, Aetna insurance plan. Our out-of-pocket estimated cost for the surgeon, anesthesoloist, and hospital is a mere fraction of the actual cost. Thank you Lord!
Since I’ll be a little “out of it” (so what’s new?!) and not my “normal” (my Mom used to say, “Define normal”) self, Russell or my sister, Nancy, will publish a post-surgery update blog on this site. As I regain consciousness and can think clearly (makes me think of the song…”I can see clearly now the rain is gone”…or my version…”I can THINK clearly now the mengioma is gone…”), I’ll send updates. If my updates are a little hazy at first, please forgive me and know the “post-surgery fog” has not lifted yet!
I’m overwhelmed and forever grateful for the outpouring of love and concern I’ve received from so many family and friends through prayers, calls, emails, texts and cards over the past several months.
I will probably post another update Sunday prior to the surgery on Monday, June 3.
Blessings to each of you,