So I haven't had another seizure since my first (and only) on September 4th. But yesterday I had surgery to take care of 1 part of the things plaguing my brain, embolizing the fistula (sounds like a band name!).
I got to the hospital at 7:30. They did preliminary checks, got me in a gown, and then took me to the anesthesia area. While there they placed IVs in my arms and the surgeon came and reminded me that they would be placing a catheter in an artery in my groin and then following that artery to the fistula in my brain. Once there, they would inject a gel-like substance that would expand and cut off the fistula from its blood source. This will then kill off the fistula. Then he reminded me of the risks and then I was put under.
I guess the surgery took about 3 hours. I was catheterized and had a breathing tube. I awoke with the catheter still in me but not the breathing tube. My lips were dry and my throat super sore and scratchy. My mouth was also dry and had a horrible taste to it. I felt like crap. My head hurt, I was groggy, I was hooked up to all kinds of tubes and monitors and every time I tried to fall asleep, an alarm would go off.
The doctor came in and told me that the surgery went well. They were able to completely cut off the fistula and it's now gone. (Not from my head I guess but it poses no threat any more.) He said they want to follow up with another angiogram in 3 months to make sure it's still cut off AND they want to do gamma radiation surgery on the AVM in the next month or so. Yikes!
I was then moved to ICU. I felt tired and queasy. They wanted me to make my breakfast and lunch choices for the coming day. I about hurled. I was brought dinner and rejected it. Instead I ate jello, pudding, and ice cream (and I usually hate jello and pudding). I drank as much water as they would let me and I began to feel better. I had a wonderful nurse who was chatty and friendly and sweet. They took my catheter out and I finally was able to try to stand. I did OK with that so I got to use the bathroom on my own.
My vitals were checked every 2 hours which made for a horrible night's sleep but at least the alarms stopped going off. I was told that my heart rate is REALLY slow when I sleep but since it remains steady and my blood pressure remains normal, they weren't worried. They called me a hibernator. Which is probably also why I'm not much of a morning person:-)
The doctors came and checked me out this morning. I have 2 tiny ports in my groin area, 1 on each side. I still don't know why. I assume they attempted to use the same artery as they used during the last exploratory angiogram and for some reason it didn't work so they went on the other side. I will find out more probably this week. The neuro nurse is going to call me to schedule my next appointments. I also have an appointment with a seizure specialist on the 13th.
For now I am restricted a bit. I am at home, on bedrest and should remain so for the next 3 to 4 days. I am not to lift anything over 10lbs for a week to 10 days. I can eat whatever I want:-) I am tired, my throat is still sore and scratchy, and I get headaches. But I am doing very well. The next surgery will be what they call gamma knife or radiation surgery and I don't think it will be as easy as this one was. I still find it amazing that I essentially had brain surgery yesterday and am home in my own bed today. Wild!
Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts. I am going to be home laying low for the next couple of days but I have a sort of command central set up with my phone and laptop next to my bed so be sure to keep in touch.