Below is the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
I obviously don’t recall any of the information from this day. This is what Dan and my family have told me.
The surgery started bright and early on Thursday, December 3, 2009. The surgeon needed a fresh team as this surgery was predicted to last anywhere from 6 to 24 hours.
First the prep work, shave the incision area, make the incision, peal back the skin, open the skull, and we’re ready to begin the surgery (too much detail??). I don’t recall the time when they actually were ready to begin to take it out, but it took a long time to prepare for that and an even longer time to take out the AVM. It was a very delicate procedure.
The AVM was even bigger than the surgeon had imagined. It was a big fella. The AVM was the size of an apricot but cone shaped like a banana pepper. The most difficult part was extracting the tip from deep down in the brain.
Dan and my parents waited at the hospital waiting room. Luke and Lacey held a prayer vigil at the church during the ENTIRE surgery. What a blessing! I can’t even tell you what a comfort and joy it is to think that so many people were lifting me up in prayer that day. It brings tears to my eyes right now to think of the prayer warriors at L&L’s church that didn’t even know me, but yet, they committed part of their day to bringing me before the ultimate Healer.
Can you imagine sitting in the waiting room?
I’m a worrier by nature. My mom says I get it from my dad. Gotta love a little passing the blame!
More Perfect Peace
Here is another part where I see God’s mighty hand at work. I was not worried. I did get anxious before surgery, but the night in between and after (and the weeks leading up to surgery), God had me wrapped in peace.
Back to the surgery, my family got updates every few hours. Oh the pins and needles they must have been sitting on during that time!
Around midnight, Dr. Rob, the physician’s assistant, is going home. Dr. F. is still finishing up, but he can handle the rest. Sometime after 1am, I’m all put back together and returned to my room in the ICU. To assist in the healing process, I was put into a medically induced coma.
Dan and my parents (I think L&L came too after the vigil) are allowed to see me in my room. My room is now a low stimulation room. They say you can hear what people say to you while you’re in a coma. I don’t know. I don’t remember. Those drugs are good you know?
Some 18 or 19 hours later, surgery is over. Now, the healing begins.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 16