Tuesday, May 08, 2007

DBS Operation Update

These are the before and after photos of me getting a mohawk before my first surgery. Naomi has thought she might want to be a hairdresser someday, so I gave her an opportunity to cut my hair before it was buzzed off. When the girls started playing around with a mohawk, I told them to just leave it like that, since they would shave the middle in the OR anyway. The surgery personnel got a kick out of it, too. The girls who helped were Naomi, Anna, Irina, and Kathryn.
Sorry I have not posted an update regarding the surgeries and recovery. The second surgery went pretty much the same as the first, although I did insist on more anesthesia when they placed the frame on my head that time! They also thought they got a good electrode placement that time, and the test stimulation in the OR went well.

The third surgery was the placement of the battery packs and it was an outpatient procedure. Like I thought, it has been quite a bit more painful than the first two surgeries, though. Two new incisions were made on my head so they could get to the wires (and they shaved more of my newly grown fuzzy hair!) and it looks like they kind of poked holes down the sides of my head as they guided the wires down to the battery packs.

The batteries were placed in my chest, just below my collarbones. I ended up with a large bruise on one side for some unknown reason, and that side is also a bit more uncomfortable to date. The incision sites are sore and I also have a hard time turning my head due to the wires leading down to the batteries. I am hoping that is something that will resolve itself as time goes on.

I have an appointment next Tuesday, May 15, to have the stitches and staples removed. They will also turn the batteries on that day and begin the programming of the stimulators. It will take a while (possibly weeks to months) to reach the optimum settings, but I hope to at least have some indication of how well it will work that day.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. We have been overwhelmed with all of the help we received from our local church family. What a blessing they are to us!
And, in conclusion, I will share the wisdom we have gained from this experience:
It is not really a good idea to have a wedding and three surgeries within a time span of less than three weeks. (By God's grace we have managed quite well, but given the choice, we would have spread things out a bit more!).