Heather's Epilepsy Journey - Day 12
What a day to remember...I think I'll call it the HALO day.
Heather had her awake brain surgery today. The morning started out very well..she slept soundly through the night and we had a nice morning together before she was rolled into pre-op. Her mood was outstanding. She was excited, giddy and intypical Heather fashion full of dry humor. At 9:30am they let me kiss her goodbye and off she went..ready for the journey she has been wanted for over 5 years.
As I tweeted about her..the outpouring of prayers, texts and emails was inspiring. I apologize for not getting back to each of you personally..but I lost count somewhere around 100 messages. God has blessed us and we cannot begin to express what your friendship means to our family. Each of you are a true gift from heaven.
After a 3:30 surgery I was summoned by the nurses to meet with Dr. Zimmerman. Dr. Z was optimistic as to the potential outcome. He explained the procedure and in my non-technical terms..and to the best of my understanding..this is what happened.
They first put Heather under with a light sedative. Once she was asleep they positioned her on her back and turned her head all the way to the right to expose the left side of her head. Once in this postion they shaved a few portions of her head, drilled a few holes and secured a "Halo" on her head. This halo was then secured to the table so she could not move. Once this was complete they opened her skull and removed the grids that had been inserted in her brain last week. At this point they woke Heather up. There was a drape over her face and a neurologist began to test Heather's ability to function, read, hear, see, understand etc. as Dr. Z began to identify exactly what portions could be removed. He told me he cuts the blood vessels in the Hot Spot Zones then carefully tests how much addtional brain can be removed around the Hot spots. When an activity caused Heather to stop functioning..they went no further and sucked the brain matter out that had been identified. I am sure this is WAY OFF..but like I said...this is what I got out of our 5 minute conversation. Dr. Z was concerned about her periphical vision...but other than that he thought she can through everything very well. She was joking all throughout the procedure with the Dr's and nurses...she was a model patient. He had warned her that once she was awaken..if she "freaked out" due to the halo securing her Head in place and her inability to move..the procedure would have to be terminated. Not a chance with my girl! ;)
I got to see her a few hours later and what I discovered completely amazed me. I walked into the ICU and she was sitting up, in some pain..but NOTHING like last week. She was smiling, talking, hungry...had had not vomited one time. In all reality..she looked the same as before the surgery! We had a wonderful time together and i just was in awe. As one of our friends put it..she is Wonder Woman! I got her some food and we began to settle into the evening. We took pictures, and she even started calling and testing people...:) you can't keep a good woman down. She was SO excited about the procedure. We did notice that she has some issues with her upper right peripheral vision..but the Dr's seem to think that may come back in time.
Everything was perfect..until out of the blue she looked at me and started saying things that didn't make sense..she grabbed my hand and started to have a seizure. She was "gone" for about 20 seconds..just starring and smaking her lips. This is one of her typical seizures. It made my heart sink...but then again, her body has been tramatized, she does not have any seizure meds in her system and the hospital was trying a new type of pain med she had never had before. These, combined with the fact that we knew they could not get all the Hot Spots..made it bearable.
I know we are praying for a complete seizure free life...but the goal is for her to reduce the medications and have a better quality of life so she can enjoy each day to it's fullest and not be confined to our home. We are encouraged by what the Dr's WERE able to remove today...we will just wait, pray and see what God has in store.
The reason why I'm calling this a HALO day is that it started with her being confined and secured to the bed...not being able to move because of her Halo. However, I know as Heather moves forward...no matter what the outcome of today..Heather will NOT be confined in this life..she is going to follow hard after God and do His plans to the best of her ability. She is going to continue to strive to by Holy for Him. The symbol for Holy is a Halo...
Heather..my hope, dream and prayer for you is that you always have a Halo over your head. You amaze me...I am so proud of you. Never give up, Always have faith and continue to be my Wonder Woman.
The journey continues...