Tuesday, October 2, 2007
THE BIG DAY
5:15 AM - Jenn and her entourage (as she calls us) arrive at the hospital.
5:35 AM - Jenn taken into the preop area.
7:15 AM - We meet with the surgery team to go over everything before the surgery.
7:25 AM - Jenn is given her "happy drugs", we hug her and she is wheeled off into the OR. (Jenn would later tells us that us hugging her was the last thing she recalled prior to the surgery).
8:15 AM - Call from Claude (RN) to inform us that the surgery is officially underway.
10:15 AM - No word from the OR since the call from Claude. He had told us that we would be updated every hour. We hope that this is a sign that everything is going well.
10:45 AM - Claude just called us. The surgery will take longer than expected. There is additional bone that needs to be removed, which the doctor told may be the case. However, the nurse said she is doing very well.
12:15 PM - Four hours in and Jenn is still in surgery. We have not heard anything since the last update. As far as we know, the surgery is still going well.
12:30 PM - Just heard from the OR again. They are closing up the wound and she should be sent to recovery in about 30 minutes or so. The surgery went really well. We should be meeting with the doctor shortly.
1:30 PM - Met with Dr. Oro. He said the surgery went well, and he was very satisfied with the results. The surgery took longer than expected because the brain herniated down to cervical 3, which is rare. Also, cervical 1 was fused to the skull bone (which the doctor had suspected). So, he cut away some of the skull and cut away cervical 1, and shaved down cervical 2 and 3, leaving plenty of room for the brain. He stated that the left tonsil of the cerebellum than the right, which is normal. Because of the herniation, there was a cyst on the left tonsil because of all of the pressure and rubbing that was going on in there. Also, they did end up installing a titanium plate. Now that we know Jenn is safe, the entourage is off to get some lunch while Jenn is in recovery. Hopefully we will get to see her in about an hour.
2:00 PM - We finished with lunch and decided to take some of our stuff back to the car. This is not a short trip. Jenn's mom and aunt had to go to the bathroom, and while Jenn's uncle and I were waiting, we ran into a gentleman from Texas whose wife had the same procedure done by Dr. Oro in March. He said he really liked Dr. Oro, and that a lot of the things that bothered her prior to the surgery went away. It was really nice to hear that, and quite a relief.
2:30 PM - We get to the waiting room of the ICU. We are told that Jenn will be in recovery for about 10 more minutes, then the nurse will need to spend about 15 minutes with her after that. So, we had a seat in the waiting room.
3:15 PM - The nurse came in to see us. She said it took longer to get her up there than she thought, but she was ready to see us. She was very groggy, but she was doing good. She said her shoulders hurt more than anything. All she wanted was ice chips and to be left alone. She did mention that technically her "tonsils" were removed, and wanted to make sure that made it in the blog. Yup, our Jenn is just fine. :) We decided to leave Jenn alone for awhile and let her rest.
4:40 PM - Margot arrived at the hospital and her and I hung out with Jenn for awhile. Jenn seemed to be doing better and she was a little more talkative. The first time we saw her she really didn't want to talk. She was allowed to lay on her side, which made her feel more comfortable. Also, she was given Sprite by the nurse. Margot and I decided to have fun to see what we could do to change her vital signs on the monitor. She was quite amused by our little game. Another sign that Jenn is already on the road to recovery. Jenn told us that she would rather us not come back after dinner, so we left her at about 5:20.
Hope you all enjoyed the update. I will let you know tomorrow how she is doing.
This is just my story of my experience with Chiari. Until I was diagnosed, I'd never heard of it, and I just want more people to be aware of it. I'm not a doctor, so don't quote me on any of this stuff - k? If you are looking for information about Chiari Malformation, a lot of the more informative posts are the older ones.