Sep 18, 2012

It's Brain Surgery

I've posted a few updates on Facebook so excuse my repeats. Scott's surgery was on Thursday. I'm not exactly a neuro-genius but it seems that it was a successful procedure. The one surprise was how deep the neurosurgeon had to go to lift out the hemangioma. He came out after the surgery and Scott was recovering for a few minutes before being transferred to I.C.U. I don't remember a lot of what he said beyond it went well. He did say that as Scott came out of the general anesthesia, the doctor asked him to say, "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers." I think he was kidding but also he was checking Scott's speech since the hemangioma was located on the speech center of the brain. Scott answered, "Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?" He passed the test, serious or not.

I followed Scott as he was wheeled up to I.C.U. and spent the day listening to Scott express all the ways his head hurt. He didn't curse but it hurt. It hurt more than words could express but he tried to tell me. Yet no amount of pain medication could make a dent in the pain in his head. Although sleeping was out of the question, there were different levels of consciousness. I got a lot of texts and calls. I answered most of them even when I didn't know who they were.

"Hello? (whisper/talked)"

"Hi! This is Bri'ney from Pe'Smart? (those were all glottal stops. An irritating Utah accent that must be cured and eliminated. Also, the rise at the end of each sentence would have irritated me had I cared.) We need to schedule obedience school for your dog, Sunday? We have an opening for her beginning on Tuesday night?"

"This really isn't a good time. I'm in I.C.U."

"Oh. I'll call some other time."

Although her elocution needed work, her customer service skills were spot on. There is a time to back off. She did.

Scott stayed in I.C.U. for one more day then transferred to a different unit and floor. He still hurt. His brain swelled a little. He fell asleep sitting up while eating his dinner. I watched him in fascination as he slipped into R.E.M. for all of about 90 seconds before waking up again. "Did you just fall asleep?" "Kind of." Apparently, this is common for brain surgery patients.

Today, after four nights at the hospital, I brought Scott home. The 35 minute drive home was excruciating. We got home and I carefully moved him around to see the posters, crepe paper and balloons the kids had hung up around the house to welcome him home. One image drawn by one of the children was a depiction of a doctor holding a brain. Disturbing. Other signs read, "Welcome Home, Baldilocks!" Scott made the appropriate sounds of gratitude and went to bed.

At long last, I felt I could finally "sit down." Naturally, the laws of the universe dictate that whenever a person "sits down," someone either calls or comes over. The phone rang. My 12 year old son answered it. I heard him calling me. He told me through the door that it was someone on the telephone that wanted to talk to Dad. She said she was from the Spine Institute and should he tell her I'm in the bathroom? Yeah, not so much. I decided against my "sitting down" activity and answered.


"Hi. I need to talk to Scott, please."

"He's not available. May I ask what this is regarding?"

"This is Julie from the Spine Institute (chiropractor). We haven't seen Scott for awhile so I am calling to schedule him. We have some amazing programs right now where he can save money!"

"He had brain surgery on Thursday. He won't be coming in for awhile."

"All right. I will make a note to call him next week then."

I realized I was talking to an idiot.

"Maybe call him in two months."

"Two months? Is it serious?"

I had two choices. Be speechless or have some fun. My life has been lacking humor lately. What the heck?

"Well, he had a cavernous malformation. They removed his left temporoparietal lobe. He is currently receiving neuro stimulation on the brain stem in order to naturally manufacture the neurons to grow a new temporoparietal lobe."

"Ohhhhhh," Julie intoned. "I've heard about that. So in two months it will be all grown in?"

"Almost," I replied. "The neurotransmitters also have to grow a myelin sheath so the electrons and protons can grow synapses." Oh my gosh! This was good stuff! I'm stunned I remembered so many words from college biology. Although I feared I may have pushed it a little too far with the last sentence.

"'Mmkay! Glad it's nothing too serious! Tell Scott he can save 25% if he schedules an appointment by the end of September for any day Monday thru Friday!"

All rightie then. I assured her I would pass on the information and made a mental note to make certain Scott never goes to the Spine Institute. Disconcerting as that was, I am happy to note that my sense of humor is still intact.


Kristina P. said...

And this is why I judge people.

CountessLaurie said...

I can't understand why NO ONE can find the pickled peppers. I mean, seriously!

Glad to hear he is home. Praying for a speedy recovery. And the location of the pickled peppers.


Elaine Shandra said...

Love your sense of humor! I'm glad the surgery went well and will keep you all in my prayers.

Kim said...

Glad to hear that he's on the mend, and that free enterprise is alive and well in Utah.

Becki said...

I've been wondering how things went but didn't want to call and bother you when you are probably getting plenty of that - along with obnoxious people. your ability to find humor in this is amazing. Wasn't it Sister Hinckley who said we could either laugh or cry and she preferred to laugh because crying gave her a headache? it's okay to cry too but laughter makes burdens lighter. hang in there Nanc. Sunday's coming - and going to the vet too! many thoughts and prayers being sent your way!

Klin said...

Give Scott my best.

You are a champion. My BFF had brain surgery to remove a benign tumor last December. It's why I am just reading your blog. I might have a bit of trauma related to her MRI and surgery happening within 3 days.

I am a bit concerned about the chiropractic care thing. Could I give you a couple of referrals? It does make for for good blog fodder though and I did laugh. I appreciate that you seized the opportunity to create some fun and humor :)