Monthly Archives: July 2013

One week surgery follow-up

Today I went to visit Dr. Anderson for my one-week surgery follow-up.  Crazy to think just one week ago at this time I was being operated on!  I get nervous before these appointments because the pessimist in me always thinks something is going to be wrong.   However, Dr. Anderson said I am doing really great considering my surgery was just one week ago.  I really do not remember much of what happened on Monday with the seizure, but again, I really appreciate all of you and your continued support for my family and me.  I have taken it easy the past few days with limited distractions.  This has helped me feel better and get the rest that I need.  I still not feel 100% ready for visitors, but I look forward to seeing everyone as soon as I’m up for it!

My doctor is encouraging me to get up and move around a bit more even though I get dizzy pretty easily.  It still feels really good to stretch my muscles and not be so confined to my bed.  I was able to walk a little on my own today both at home and at the hospital.  I also went downstairs to eat lunch today and sat at the kitchen table—big deal!!  All these normal things are going to take some time getting used to again, slowly but surely!

Dr. Anderson said all my incisions are healing really well too.  He checked out the incision on my head as well as my two incisions on my tummy- from the shunt and the skin graft.  I don’t think I ever explained this, but a skin graft had to be taken from my stomach for the head incision.  The doctors took a strip of fat from my tum to fill in the hole from the head incision.  He said eventually it should heal into a barely noticeable line.

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In two months I am going back for another MRI with Dr. Anderson.  He just wants to take a peek at that last 1% of the tumor that was left behind.  He reiterated again today he is not worried about it and how but we obviously cannot ignore it.  He just wants to be sure it is not growing.

All of your flowers and gifts have completely lifted my spirits more than you know!  This orchid was a gift from my friend Alex out in California and it is just so peaceful to be around.  Waking up to a room full of flowers truly starts my days positively.  Thank you all so much.  I cannot thank you enough 🙂

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Little hiccup in recovery

We had a hiccup in recovery today.  Kelly had a seizure around noon and had to be rushed to the emergency room.  She had another CT scan which Dr. Anderson, the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery, reviewed and said there was nothing unusual considering her surgery.  

For now, we are going back to no visitors or phone so she can focus on recovery.  If you need anything, reach out to one of us.  

New feelings and sensations

Hi Everyone!  First of all, wow.  You guys certainly know how to make a girl feel loved!  To wake up on Wednesday to all your supportive messages and posts was unbelievable especially after a pretty horrific Tuesday, so thank you!  I pray all of you never have to go through a 14 hour surgery like that.  It was pretty much the worst day of my life.  Good news though– the doctors were able to remove 99% of the tumor!  My neurosurgeon, Dr. Anderson, said he is not too, too concerned with that last 1% of tumor.  We are going to keep an eye on it and do another MRI in about a month.  He said often times the last of the tumor has nothing to thrive on so it just kind of shrivels up and dies on its own.  I am hoping that happens.

As I sit here blogging after a 14 hour surgery and a few days into recovery, I have a lot of different feelings and sensations that will definitely take some getting used to.  First, the hearing in my left ear is completely gone.  I know many of you were wondering what would happen with that.  It’s very odd.  I touch my left ear and have feeling, but I cannot hear one little bit.  Everything I hear goes through my right ear now.  My ENT doctor, Dr. Leonetti, said this was expected with how large Trudy was.  She ended up being 4.9 cm as compared to 4.3 cm as we previously thought.  I did ask for a picture of Trudes, but I’m not sure if I’ll get one.  Loyola is a teaching hospital so I know they have video footage, but I would probably NEVER EVER want to see that, so….we’ll see.  However. I did dream of Trudy last night and she was a light pink color in a little plastic container.  We all know she was not that small!  Mind games….

One other change I am dealing with is my facial nerve on the left side is quite weak.  This was also expected.  Both doctors said I should regain the strength over the next few months.  For now, it is quite hard to give a full-teeth smile, so bear with me as I do one of my “no teeth” smiles like I used to when I was a kid.  Overall, my face feels very swollen and I think this is just going to take time (like everything else to get back to normal).

The last change I would like to mention is my scar and head.  Going into surgery I thought I would have a fairly small “C” shaped incision behind my left ear.  Boy was I wrong!  This incision is probably 5 times larger and because of that my doctors really had to give me a Skrillex haircut.  For those of you “old” people, Skrillex is a DJ with an interesting shaved haircut.  View the picture at your own risk.  It’s pretty disturbing.  I’m thinking I might just be Skrillex for Halloween this year!

skrillex

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She’s Home!!

We received fantastic news today – Kelly is good enough to come home. The doctors actually said that the progress she is making is phenomenal.  They ultimately left the decision up to her and she chose to continue recovering in the comfort of her own home.

While she is home and would love to see everyone, please know that she is not yet ready for visitors.  For now, she really just needs to sleep.  We will let everyone know once she’s ready for visitors.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers, we appreciate it more than you know.  

48 hours post surgery

Kelly is making great progress!  She was really hot last night, but the ice packs helped cool her down.  Her body temperature is more normal today, so she is much more comfortable.  She was also able to eat breakfast and take a few laps around the ICU this morning.  

As the day progresses, she gets extremely tired, but she was able to sleep last night and is looking forward to another great night of rest. 

 

24 hours post surgery

Sorry for not posting again yesterday, here’s the newest update.

Yesterday was pretty rough for Kelly.  She’s very uncomfortable, nauseous and in lots of pain.  She’s hooked up to several vital machines and has an IV in each hand, so it’s hard for her to do much on her own.  Her head is also bandaged up, so it’s hard for her to move her head around, which is probably a good thing, but makes eating/drinking a little difficult.  Thankfully she had lots of helpers between my parents and Ryan.  (I think Ryan missed his calling, he’s been a great nurse, must run in the family :))

She wasn’t able to get up and walk around yesterday, but they are planning to get her up and moving today.  

I haven’t talked to Kelly today, but hopefully she was able to get some sleep last night as she didn’t sleep the night before.  I will post more later today. 

 

Post-surgery update

Ryan and my parents were able to see Kelly around midnight.  They got to the hospital at 5:30am yesterday, so it was definitely a long day, but all of your comments and well wishes helped us get through the day.  Also, thanks for bringing us lunch, Mr. Lischett! 

Kelly was in good spirits and actually rather chatty considering she had just undergone a 14 hour brain surgery.  She had a fear about what she would say coming out of anesthesia, needless to say, she did manage to say some pretty funny/witty stuff. 

I’ll leave it up to her to share 🙂 but while she was laying there with her eyes closed, she asks the group ‘so, how was your day?’  

She will remain in the ICU for a few days, family is heading back down today, so we’ll update the blog again when we have more info.

Thanks again, everyone! 

 

(not) nice knowing ya, Trudy!

The neurosurgeon just came down to confirm that he is done with the surgery, they were wrapping her head around 10pm and then Kelly is headed to recovery. She’ll be in recovery for a couple hours as she comes out of anesthesia and then my parents/Ryan can go see her. 

The surgery took longer than we expected, apparently Trudy made herself pretty comfortable. These doctors are truly amazing, we cannot thank them enough. 

We will provide more details tomorrow, but wanted to let everyone know that all is well and we are finally on our way to recovery!!

Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers, we really have the most amazing family and friends!