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A day of waiting... - The Rancho Commons — LiveJournal
Note to self: no whining, no slacking
A day of waiting...
I went with my parents today to Dad's appointment with the neurosurgeon. His appointment was at noon, and I had to work tonight, but I figured I would be home by 2pm and be able to get plenty of sleep before my 12 hour night. Hahahahaha! Stupid. Actually, we saw a PA who did a thorough exam and was finished by 12:30. That's when the wait started. The surgeon was in emergency surgery all morning, and thus was unavailable at the scheduled time.

At 1:15pm, they came and told us we could go eat, so we did. It was after 3pm before we actually saw the neurosurgeon to discuss options. After about 20 or 30 minutes, he left having recommended Dad undergo a coiling procedure. That's when the wait began to see the "coil doctor," who is a radiologist. We didnt' have to wait more than a half hour or so before he came in and asked all of the same questions the PA had asked. I never have understood why these guys don't share info better than that. When was this surgery? What medicines do you take? How much do you weigh, etc., etc.

So anyway, it was nearly 4:30 pm when we left the hospital. Then we had to pick up Allie and the boys, get some supper, and talk about all this "stuff." I called in to work because I had gotten zero sleep, and I can't afford to be up all night taking care of critically ill patients without sleep. Some folks can do it, but for me it isn't safe. It is akin to working drunk.

The coil doctor is going to place a coil of platinum in the aneurysm so that it clogs up with blood cells and stops blood from flowing through it. Due to the size of the aneurysm, they will also place a stent in the artery to bypass it and the coil and to hold the coil in place so it doesn't slip out into the artery and cause an occlusion. The main risks are that Dad will stroke out or have other complications from the stress of the procedure or the recovery thereafter. Of course, death is always a risk whenever you enter a hospital as a patient.

This procedure is preferable because the other options are no intervention, which means Dad is carrying a grenade in his head with the pin pulled out; and surgery to put a metal clip on the aneurysm that closes it off from the artery. This means opening the skull and performing VERY delicate surgery VERY close to the spinal cord and several of the cranial nerves in an area where the skull is cupped around the cerebellum and very much in the way. Yeah, uh, what were the details of that coil option again?

Relevant links:

Wikipedia images of the Posterior Inferior Cerebellar Artery (commonly referred to as the PICA), which is where his aneurysm is. It is at the bifurcation of the PICA and the vertebral artery.

Illustrations, photos and descriptions of several procedures. Scroll down for images of a clipped aneurysm, and an explanation with images of the coiling procedure.

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7 aspirations -{}- aspire with me
gillian16 From: gillian16 Date: May 27th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had the perfect thing to say, filled with all the right answers. But this is all so scary, so I think I'll just tell you that I'm here for you if you need to talk, shout, cry, stomp your feet, etc. And my talks with "The Big Guy" will include some good wishes for your Dad. xo
aspiring2live From: aspiring2live Date: May 27th, 2006 02:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks, Geri! I know how hard it is to "say the right thing" when someone is struggling, and I think you did very well. I appreciate the support. Fortunately, I'm dealing pretty well, and Dad seems to be as well. To be honest (brutally, as is my way most often) Dad is 65 and has already had some other health challenges, ya know? I mean, if this was one of my sons, I'd be useless right now.
acey From: acey Date: May 27th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I will be sending good positive thoughts your way. One step at a time. I wish you all strength.
brknconfidents From: brknconfidents Date: May 27th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sheesh, is it any wonder we humans can live at all!?! Did you see all those little complicated branches off of that vessel? Goodness gracious! I feel like I was created to break...

This is just bad.
mygyzmom From: mygyzmom Date: May 27th, 2006 11:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess that is what is meant by "we are fearfully and wonderfully made"-you reckon? I know that it must be extremely hard to be so far away right now, not knowing what is going to happen. I would send you the money to get home if I had it. We will do everything we can to let you know as soon as possible if things start looking bad. Take care...

brknconfidents From: brknconfidents Date: May 27th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, no doubt. I have only myself to blame for being so far away without funds to get home. I would hate for anyone else to have to fund my way home when it is something that I am responsible for, but thanks for the sentiment. It is much appreciated. Should things take a turn for the worst, I will be coming home to stay.
caramaea From: caramaea Date: May 28th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is your dad having surgery at Baptist? I used to work with the neurosurgeons there, they are all great and coil surgery usually goes very well. I am so glad for him that he can have the coil as opposed to a crani with clips (assuming they are going to thread the coil from the femoral artery). Good luck to your dad.

Oh, and I totally agree with you for calling in. :D
7 aspirations -{}- aspire with me