Thursday, February 6, 2014

Spending the day with screws in my head

Yesterday was Radiosurgery day, and it was definitely a new experience. Overall the day went very smoothly, and I have very little pain today.

The day started around 9:30 when I got checked into my hospital room. After getting an IV running, I was brought to the basement of the hospital to have a frame installed onto my head. I was not sure what to expect with all of this, but it was simple and rather painless process.

They loaded me up with Valium and other fun things. Then, after explaining the procedure to me, the doctor came in, put some numbing agent on four spots on my head, and literally screwed this metal frame to my head. A couple times they had to stop and add more numbing agent, but it only took about 10 minutes. Below are a few pictures of how it turned out.

After the frame was put on I was then hauled in to have CT done of my head. The hardest part of this process was lying down and getting up again. The frame, while not that heavy, changed my balance and I needed support getting up and down.

I have to say that there was a nurse and an intern with me at this time who were amazing. The nurse had been doing this for quite awhile and was great at her job. The intern wanted to see how it was all done, and she demonstrated a great bedside manner. I appreciated them both a lot.

After the CT, I was brought upstairs and allowed to eat. Jennifer and her parents had come to spend the day with me, so we sat in my little room, talking and passing the time. I was given a few pain meds for a headache that appeared, but overall there was very little pain.

But eating lunch was a little funny.

First I had to find out how to order lunch. That involved calling the cafeteria and placing an order.

Putting a phone to my ear. With a frame on. That didn't really happen to well. Luckily my father-in-law was in the room so I just pointed at what I wanted and he called  it in.

The nurse also warned me not to get an apple. That made a lot of sense since there was no way I could get the apple to my mouth.

For the next three hours I just sat in the room, talking, Facebook posting, and listening to those around me. A little after 3:00 I was brought down to the radiation machine, again in the basement of the hospital.

I thought the next part would take over an hour. Turns out it only took about 15 minutes.

They loaded me into the machine, bolted me to the table, and then I have 5 arcs of radiation shot into my brain. each arc only took about 2 minutes. Between arcs they came in and readjusted me so they could come at a different angle.

Then I was done. The got me off of the table, brought me back to the first room and the nurses unscrewed the frame. Then Jennifer and her parents came in, and off we went.

I had enough Valium that I was feeling pretty good at the time, but a little later I started to get a bit of a headache. We were home by 5:30, the girls came home a little after 7:00 from Kid's Club. We put them to bed and not much later I was in bed too.

This morning I am feeling fine. I had a little headache and little tenderness on my head, but that is mostly gone now. I go back in a few weeks to see what is going on, but there isn't anything pressing right now.

Overall I feel good about the procedure. They knew what there were doing and there was very little doubt that they could destroy this tumor. And I look forward to the confirmation that it has been blown up.

We are still dealing with the eye issue. I see an eye doctor on Monday, and hopefully something will come from that that.

Thank you for all you prayers. More to come later.


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