Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Angiogram continued

Does anyone know what an angiogram is? Yeah, me neither. I had to sign a release in case I had an allergic reaction to the dye and went into a coma or died. They told Brian to wait in the waiting room that it would be about 45 minutes. I told him to go get coffee or some food but he never listens to me.

I was rolled into a big serious room and prepped by the nurse. That meant some kind of sedative IV and peeking at my groin area to see if I needed shaving (that's where the needle goes in, hence the no undies). The doc came in and commented further on the lack of necessity for shaving and as the sedative kicked in my modesty and any possible mortification faded quickly. After that all I remember is that they occasionally reminded me to hold still and asked me why I kept curling up my toes. I do it all the time. I am not sure if it is habit or side effect of the brain tumor but if I do not concentrate on not doing it, it just keeps happening. I guess dye or something (a wire? a catheter?) was fed up to my brain so they could see the extent of the bleed. I kind of feel dumb that I don't really know what was going on except it was hard to focus on anything other than somehow from my groin area they were getting up to my brain area. They said they were going to try to put a stitch in at the entry point but if that failed I woulld have to stay supine and still for nine hours. They got the stitch in so I only had to stay down for two hours. Woohoo!

Then it was over and they wheeled me out. Brian was a little freaked because he had not gone for coffee since he did not want to miss me getting out of there and I had been in there for two hours.
They put me in a recovery room to wait for transport and I figured that would be forever so I convinced Brian to go eat and bring me a Starbucks. Bad idea. Head of neurosurgery chooses that time to fill me in on what is going on. He told me nothing I had not heard before except that it began with a lesson on how the circulatory system works. I wanted to tell him I took Bio in college and even remembered that it was arteries that go away from the heart because they both start with a but I let him ramble on. Very slow talker. So usually it is capillaries that spread out with their thin walls to make it easy for oxygen to reach the surrounding tissue before bring the deoxygenated blood back to the heart and then lungs to pick up more oxygen. By the way pulmonary vein and artery (from heart to lungs and back) are exceptions to the letter a rule since they are reverse in oxygen content. He did not tell me this I just thought it might be informative to my readers. Instead of capillaries my body made this weird raspberry-shaped bubble thing and one of the bubbles bled mostly into the rest of the cavernome but 20% into the brain.

They did not fix the problem with the angiogram as was mentioned as a possibility. They did not put in a shunt. I would need surgery, I could go home today, and I was to come back and see him next week. I am amazed I remember this much because I was seriously coming off some strong sedative that starts with an F or maybe Ph. Transport came while he was talking but that did not alter his speaking pace and I could understand why they get so backed up. I heard Brian searcihing for me in the hall. And we went back up to my room. We were both a little annoyed that he missed the big important lecture. But I got my latte.

After lying still for two hours, they released me from the hospital. My groin was in so much pain, I could hardly walk but the nurse told me no more blood thinners ie. Advil, Motrin, etc. I told the doctor that Tylenol did not work for me. Her response: "It does not work for anyone." Okay great. She said if I take it with caffeine it could be more effective. Dr. Casey came back to and he did not think it would be likely that I could go on vacation but the other doctors did not concur and I left the hospital confused but happy.

1 comment:

Kris said...

Aly,

I am your partner for the Cotton Swap thru Swapbot.

I just read your blog and wanted to let you know what a courageous woman you are. I will be stopping by your blog to read any updates that you are able to post.

Here's wishing you a speedy recovery!!
Kris