Below is another part of My AVM Story: the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
Embolization – Wednesday, December 2
The anesthesia used for the embolization and surgery has an amnesic quality to it. So even though I was “awake” going into both procedures (the Embolization and Surgery), I don’t remember too much. The embolization procedure took place in the afternoon, and I couldn’t tell you anything about that morning.
As far as I know, the procedure went well. I think it took a little longer than they imagined, but they have to put the glue in REALLY slow. For those that don’t know, the purpose of this procedure is to block off all the arteries leading to the AVM to make the surgery that removes the AVM easier. For some people with a small AVM, this is the treatment. The risk of surgery is too great for small AVMs; ao they just cut off the blood flow, and the patient goes on with his/her life. In my case, the doctor thought I had a medium to large sized AVM so it needed the whole nine yards.
A Fitful Night Sleep
Here is what I remember the night between the embolization and surgery:
- Waking up. Waving my right arm to signal to Dan to roll me over. “Where do you want to face?” Point with my arm. Rolling and stuffing of pillows. Lather, rinse, repeat. This happened over and over and over. Dan says I asked to be turned over every 10-15 minutes all through the night. I just couldn’t get comfortable.
- While in the hospital, they put a monitor that measures your oxygen on your finger. It has a glowing red light on it. I waved this to get Dan’s attention throughout the night.
- Notice, I couldn’t turn myself over. This might seem odd to you, but for some reason, it did not seem odd to me. Dan says that the embolization had already ceased the functioning on my left side. We don’t know exactly what caused it, but it was one or a combination of the following: swelling from the procedure, medication, or brain damage.
- Dan did not get any sleep this night. He didn’t want to buzz the nurse every time I wanted to be turned. So he stayed up and turned me over time and time again all night long. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
It is now Thursday morning, I don’t remember anything except rolling in my bed to the elevator talking to the nurse about Christmas shopping.
Surgery proceedings began early, maybe 7am or so. That’s all I know for a few days.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 15