The day before surgery was odd for me. We arrived at Dr. Oldfield’s office for pre-testing and the final consult. I was filled with trepidation. I told my wife in the parking lot that we could always not do it and just have a nice little vacation here in Virginia. It would be fun. We could visit the local sites like Monticello and spend time in the pool and relax. We could then offer our friends and family some made up story about how the Dr. was sick and couldn’t do it and that we waited for him to get better and reschedule but he never got better. She didn’t think it was funny nor did she like the idea.
Dr. Oldfield was late that morning due to some traffic tie up and we spoke with his Nurse Practitioner, Becky Hand, about some things for about 30 minutes. When he arrived he was once again very personable and understanding. We didn’t’ tell him about our discussion in the car about skipping out though. LOL. He pulled up the MRI again and explained what he expected to do and talked about the risks and complications that could arise. CSF leaks were the biggest concern, of course, along with infection. Doc didn’t expect to take too much skull nor more than the back half of CI and wasn’t sure if a dura patch was going to be necessary. He uses a piece of the patient’s tissue for the patch. He said they would prep an area for the patch just in case. We then went to Becky’s office. She was great. She is funny and down to Earth and has a way of making things real. We signed the consent forms and headed to the lab and then to the hospital for pre-admission paperwork. They already had everything done through my insurance we just had to sign some more papers there also.
We were done in the matter of about 3 hours total and headed for some lunch. Still, I was in a daze. It didn’t feel real yet no matter how much we had done and discussed with the doc and Becky. I mean it was very real talking to Becky, but it was like I was watching it happen from someone else’s eyes and not my own. Yes, I was scared, nervous, awkward feeling. Trepiditious!!!! I didn’t want to do this. I knew that I needed it or else I was going to get worse. A syrnx would form and the sleep apnea would worsen along with everything else. All of my symptoms could and would most likely become permanent without surgery. I didn’t’ want that either. I wanted my life back and that is that. END OF STORY. But there is always that chance that surgery won’t relieve the symptoms. I had read about it so many times.
My wife was terrific. She worked so hard to make me feel comfortable in my own skin that day. She joked and flirted with me like we were newly weds; she comforted, consoled and generally babied me all at once. Wow, I want that part all over again. My best friend Dave came in that evening and we all sat down and had a drink and talked about old times. I forget to mention that my Mother-In-Law went with us to support my wife also. She has taken me in like I was a long lost son. She treats me with respect and caring. I couldn’t ask more of a nicer lady. It was a good evening. They did a great job of getting my mind off the coming morning.
We all met at the hospital that morning and waited patiently for my turn. Next up on the chopping block, Kyle’s brain. It felt like forever that morning. That feeling of not being me was gone though. It was all real and it was going to happen. When they gave me the sedative and wheeled me out and away from my family after I said my “see ya later’s and I love you’s” I was asking the Anesthetic if they would take pictures and that I wanted copies. I don’t really remember doing that though. Oh well!
More about this coming later. Thanks for reading.