Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Off to the Neurosurgeon I Go!

Well, it's here! June 5th.  The date that has long marked my calendar.

Today Jerry will join me as I head to Dr. Mickey's office so he can give us the official results of my post surgical MRI.

That MRI was an experience! It was the first one I have had in a hospital setting and it was interesting. During my December MRI, I was able to just keep my normal clothes on (all they needed was my head, right!?!), they put the contrast dye in with a quick in and out butterfly needle, and it only lasted 30 minutes. AND I remembered to take a Xanax (or two!) to combat my claustrophobia and other anxieties surrounding the situation.

The one I had at UTSW 3 weeks ago required me to don the lovely hospital gown, matching non-slip booties (they are serious about the fall risk!), and get a full on IV in my arm. So there I sat, feeling vulnerable as the nurse prepped the IV (I HATE needles, but who doesn't?!?) and I REALLY wished I had remembered to take a Xanax. She could tell I was panicking and asked if it was about the needle or the tube enclosure and I said, "Both!"  I asked if they could give me anything, but sadly that answer was no. I even questioned her about why an IV was necessary.  Something about having a port of entry in case I had a which I promptly replied that I had just had this done in December with no reaction at all! No luck.

I prayed and prayed and was so thankful it was a good stick and I was on my way to the tube. The tech got me loaded and asked for my radio preference.  I said Christian and he proceeding to pipe in the cheesiest 1970s type music I had ever heard.  I actually asked him to turn it off, but he forgot! He asked if I wanted to test the panic button and I actually did. It worked!

He said it would be 35 minutes of scans, but it ended up being closer to an hour in the machine because of long pauses between the segments. However, even with the wacky music, loud banging, IV and the not fun hospital gown, I was startled when they slid me out to put the dye in.  That is the power of prayer, folks! Not only was I not experiencing any anxiety or claustrophobia issues, but I had fallen asleep!

Thank you to those of you who had prayed.  Your prayers were very evident.

Unlike in December, I didn't get any calls with results.  I have learned that this is a good thing! When a doctor calls you personally and sooner than expected after a test, the news isn't good. ;)  I did get a notification a few days later, though, letting me know the results had been posted to my electronic chart.  I debated about even looking at them, but curiosity got the best of me. Due to my limited "doctor speak" knowledge, I was left with more questions than answers, but overall---according to a doctor friend and my nurse relatives, it was a good report.

It doesn't take any medical knowledge though to know that the meningioma has grown. The measurements showed it has increased in size by 1.5 mm in 3 directions. It just did what it should have done I guess.  It would have been a miracle for it to not have grown.  That just seems to be a lot of growth in a short amount of time. Knowing that caused a bit of anxiety as I really would prefer to not have anything growing in my brain! And I even felt sorry for myself for a short time too.  Asking questions like--Isn't one brain tumor enough? Isn't one craniotomy plenty (or craniectomy--that is technically what I had)? Just being honest! But the Lord, in His kindness, has once again restored peace. 

Isaiah 26:3-4
3 He will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
When experiencing this anxiety and desire to wish the remaining tumor away, my mom wisely told me to relax and not worry, until someone in authority tells me otherwise. Love her!

We see that "authority" today. I can already envision the appointment. Dr. Mickey will come in, make eye contact and ask a few questions...maybe even give me a portion of a neurological exam. Then his back will be turned to me as he looks at different views of my MRI on the screen and makes measurement after measurement after measurement...kind of like the 20 week sonogram when you are pregnant.  Then he will turn around. That is when in a caring, yet monotone and direct, voice he will give us some news.

I just pray that whatever the news is, that we will be able to receive it with peace and maintain our composure. During my initial appointment with him I was a mess and he commented that his nurses take off points for making a patient cry! ;) Hopefully no points taken off today!

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