I’m writing to you on Sunday June 26, 2011, my 12th day after craniotomy surgery. I have had a swift recovery from surgery of a 2.5 cm vestibular schwannoma (acoustic neuroma) on June14, 2011. The healing process has been miraculous; the events I would love to share with you.
Tuesday June 14, 2011(Surgery Day):
The surgery date time was scheduled for 8:15AM in the morning. My Aunt, Dad and I arrived two and half-hours before surgery. At 6:00AM, I was called to my waiting room to get prepared. After discussing information with nurses my family was called in around 6:45AM. My family had around 30 to 45 minutes to see me before they took me to the OR waiting. I arrived at the OR waiting room at 7:30AM and was greeted soon by the neuro-anesthesiologists. We went over my past anesthesia history. My neurotologist/otolaryngologist, the main doctor performing the surgery, Dr. Chen came in and talked with me. He marked my area of the head behind and above the right ear and said; “I will see you in the OR Room.” At 8:10AM, I was rolled over to the OR room. When I came in side there must have been a dozen of medical people. In my palm of my hand was a “Prayer Before Surgery” note given to me from a good friend. I didn’t memorize it, so the plan was to read it just before I go under. One of the medical persons saw and asked me what was in my hand. I told him what I was going to do and if he could throw out after I’m done. When I was done making the prayer, I gave him the note and told him you can now discard. He took it and placed it under my surgery net cap behind my left ear. Minutes later I was knocked out from the anesthesia. The time was 8:25AM.
The “Prayer Before Surgery” note said:
“Loving Father, I entrust myself to your care this day; guide with wisdom and skill the minds and hands of the medical people who minister in your Name, and grant that every cause of illness be removed, I may be restored to soundness of health and learn to live in a more perfect harmony with you and with those around me. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Into your hands, I commend my body and my soul. Amen.”
My eyes opened up. I looked to the right and then to the left and saw my Dad and Aunt Marlyn standing over me. I was so happy to see them. I made it! My Aunt Marlyn said I was very giddy and laughing, “Give me a big hug.” and “Stay, and there is an extra room.” The time was 1:45PM in the ICU Room. My aunt told me later (when moved to my hospital room) that the actual surgery was only three (3) hours long from 9:00AM to noon. I was in the Recovery Room from noon to 1:30PM.
When doctors entered through the Mastoid Bone flap (translabyrinthine) and got to the tumor, there was scar tissue all around the tumor. Doctors were concerned that the surgery now could be an 8+-hour procedure. Fortunately, when they started coring the tumor from the scar tissue, it was encapsulated with a clear plane of all blood vessels. The tumor debunked and popped out quite easily for the this recurrent procedure.
Wednesday June 15, 2011:
The day of the surgery I stayed in the ICU to the next morning Wednesday at 10:00AM. Only 20 hours total in the ICU. Doctors decided to move me to a regular hospital bed because of my amazing improvement. The ICU nurse was packing my glasses and my other personal materials that Aunt Marlyn brought me the day before. She pulled up a small paper from my bed table and said do you want this? It was my “Prayer Before Surgery” note!!! Doctors and medical staff must have kept it for me after the surgery. I was so happy to see the prayer note and it being in my travels. It was my strength. That afternoon and evening I was walking with the PT with assistance. My Dad and Aunt told me that evening while I was eating my dinner that Dr. Chen said I might be released as early as Friday June 17, 2011. This gave me more incentive to get well soon. I never can sleep well in the hospital!
Thursday June 16, 2011:
Early in the morning my Intern for Dr. Chen, Dr Hill took off my protective helmet and my JP drain plug. This is the plug that drains the mastoid cavity of any build up blood fluids. After breakfast, I decided to walk on my own with a walker. I took of my compression stockings and walked with and without the walker very gingerly. After lunch, I was scheduled for PT work. For an hour, I practiced steps (up and down), walking side ways, backwards, and focus techniques with the eyes. After dinner, that evening I walked with my family twice down the hospital corridors. I was concerned that I did have some drainage of blood from that JP plug area. The staff nurses told me this was normal. That night when my family left they told me I would be released on Friday and would be in the morning.
Friday June 17.2011 (Discharge Day):
That morning around 8:00AM, Dr Chen came to see me again and told me I could leave anytime after 11:00AM and the discharge nurse would take care of me with my leaving. I was so happy. I was released at noon to stay and rest with my Aunt Marlyn at her Pittsburgh house and my Dad for the next several weeks!
Post-Op Home (June 17, 2011 to Present):
As you know it is now my 12th day of recovery. I’m feeling good overall. Still tired, but this is to be expected. My headache has diminished immensely, but at times my head still feels strange. Last Thursday, I had my sutures removed. I was having leakage in my scar area profusely. Dr Chen prescribed me a heavy antibiotic to fight any infection that may incur from the normal leakage in the Mastoid cavity. I’m scheduled to see him on Thursday July 7, 2011. I’m also off of the Vicodin and just taking lots of Tylenol.
I’m very happy for medical staff keeping the prayer note for me. This was very unexpected. A blessing and so neat! I’m very fortunate that I have such wonderful friends and support from family/friends through this event. Positive thought and prayers I believe is the key to a miraculous outcome. Positively visualizing the good is what has happened. Fear is our enemy and negativity only leads to destruction. This did not happen!
I thank you all for your love and support. Please pray that I continue to get strong and no infection occurs anywhere. See you soon!
Love and Blessings,