Brain Surgery Begins!

We were allowed to accompany Natalie to the “kissing corner” – her bed went through one door and we turned and found our way back to the waiting room.  They asked that one parent remain, but we decided she would be fine in the beginning so we all left to grab some lunch.  Luckily we had smuggled in some fruit to eat while she had her MRI – she was none the wiser and we had a little breakfast…

Natalie and Jackie
Reenacted today at the Kissing Corner

I just received a call from the O.R. nurse letting us know that all is well and she is on schedule to be done around 2:00.  They took her at 11:30.  We also had a few more details from the surgeon.  He is pretty determined to shave a strip of hair… so the hoped for “braiding tightly” may not happen.  That is fine.  Battle wounds are cool.  He initially told her they would be needing to shave all of her hair, so the strip of hair sounded pretty good (he was kidding).   They will make a hole in her skull  about the size of a silver dollar – maybe 1.5 inches diameter. Dr. Selden explained to Natalie that this is where they would be placing the computer chip and that her parents would be given the remote control… kidding again.  Funny how confusion and amusement can come in such quick succession.   He will thread his micro-instruments into her brain following the instructions from the “virtual Natalie”.  He said it would take about 5 seconds in a wood shop, but 10-15 in a brain.  He is amazed and pleased that her tumor is located almost exactly in the spot that he goes to routinely in surgeries to treat epilepsy – about 2/3 of the route in to the hippocampus.  This makes everything easy for him and for her – knowing that helped me.
I do not remember the name of the part of the surgical bed that holds the head of craniotomy patients and had not mentioned it to Natalie, but he told her to expect some little spots of blood where it holds her.  That was one part of neurosurgery that used to turn my stomach a bit – she didn’t flinch.  He also explained that he was being serious this time – she still didn’t flinch. Brave girl.
My sweet sister just left.  When they realized Natalie would be coming home sooner than later she decided to bring a care package during surgery.  Now I am sitting next to a gift bag laden with Reeses Peanut Butter Goodies – and I am being a good mother and not snitching….
While I am awaiting further news I will record some of our other medical adventures lately…
Both girls recently went for their annual dermatology exam.  Jackie had one suspicious mole removed and it is benign.  There are three to remove on Natalie but we are waiting until after this surgery.  She will do that on her way to her post-op visit next week.  On Friday Jackie is having her wisdom teeth removed.  During her visit with the oral surgeon a couple weeks ago he had several questions about her recent surgery.  As that story unfolded we mentioned Natalie’s surgery.  He finally looked at us and said, “Well, this would all explain you both acting like your oral surgery is no big deal.”  We laughed, we hadn’t thought of it as a big deal at all.  We were just thinking that both sisters could have a recovery weekend together.  That’s it for June – more coming in July but we will think about that when it is time.
I just have to say that we are having a nice day.  It is a beautiful miracle that we can be sitting here and not have a worry in our minds.  This peace can only be the result of the prayers of our friends and family and we are so very grateful.  I do not know how it works, but I want it to be known that prayers are answered!  I know that if our little family here in the waiting room is being blessed with peace –  then down the hall, past the kissing corner and through the O.R. doors Dr. Selden and Natalie are also being watched over and blessed.  We have so much for which to be grateful!!
And now… I may have to have one of those Reeses…

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