Archive for the ‘My Surgery’ Category

 

23rd July 2014

The morning came and I was first on list for 5hr surgery, I had a pre-op assessment and surprisingly the nurse said she has never seen someone so calm and blood pressure normal. Reason for this is as explained while scared of the operation, I had accepted I am a dead man walking (a bit dramatic I know)

Not long after I was dressed in my sexy gown and even sexier compression stockings (after a struggle to get them on, best way is to use the plastic bag they come in to help slide over your feet). I was wheeled of in a wheel chair and transferred to a bed and left in a waiting area while everything prepared (a final check I would imagine).

Not long after this I was wheeled off in to what I can explain as a prep area, I was made comfortable and given a mask with some sort of gas followed by an injection in wrist near the artery. Assuming what followed next general anesthetic straight in to the artery, I shouldn’t have watched but I remember a large needle going in and could see it moving upwards. Obviously no pain was felt and then my eyes were blinking really fast uncontrollably, and that was that.

Next I remember waking up staring at the ceiling strapped to a table with a team around me. My head was in a clamp but couldn’t move despite being able to move my body, at this point my skull was already cut open and surgeon was ready to start. I will stress that this is weird and uncomfortable but not painful. Your head is clamped in position to the operating table and I believe the clamp has pins that pierce the skin to hold skull in place, you don’t notice this until after surgery. In fact if you didn’t know you were having surgery it certainly doesn’t feel like you are.

When you think of a brain surgery you think of a lump growing on or in the brain, in this case it was soft and a sucking tool was to used remove it (a bit like the one used in the dentist) as well as I believe some sort of laser knife as he was cauterising areas at same time. All the while people were talking to you and electric probes were used to test reactions when probing the brain, the only sensation you will feel from this is the twitching of areas the brain controls; in my case it was left hand side of neck, arm and leg.

When they advise you it will be uncomfortable I think they meant the clamping of the head to the table and the inability to move head. This caused a lot of pressure on my neck and that was uncomfortable, bear in mind I was stuck in this position for around 5hrs.

Unfortunately they were unable to get it all out due to the effect it would have on my left hand side. The area affected was about the size of a 50 pence coin and they managed to get around 99% out. I did ask if he had some father beans and a nice chianti (if you don’t know what this means then watch Silence of the Lambs), I guess this is not the first time he has heard it.

The next step is putting humpty dumpty back together again, this was quite uncomfortable too. At first the bone flap is positioned with what I can only guess is the clamp that was used to take it off. Not sure if it is the same for everyone but in my case it felt like it was being rammed into place, there was a lot of pulling and shoving and sensation of bone against bone grinding. Once in place four small titanium plates were put in place and screwed in with titanium screws, this was slightly uncomfortable and you could feel the pressure increase on the neck with every down stroke twist. After it was screwed in, some sort of spray was used to seal the cracks where it was joined. The next step was to put the skin flap back, this is a weird sensation as there is no pain but a lot of tugging and pushing like trying to fit a cushion in a slightly smaller cushion cover. Once in place it is held with staples, staples are not like I was expecting; it was a slow process but gentle and you can’t feel anything but can hear a kind of squeezing noise. Once all done a plastic type spray was used to further seal it and instead of using a typical dressing.

Hope this wasn’t too gruesome for you!!

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Next is recovery in recovery post.

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