Friday, May 30, 2008

Helluv A Surgery

Before the Dr. scared the sh** out of us.

I have tongue envy!
Thank you, thank you to Ann-Marie for going to my pre-op appointment with me! I couldn't have survived it without you!
I thought I was meeting with Dr. M to go over my surgery scheduled for June 12th, but when Dr. A appeared I was confused. I soon learned that Dr. A was the main surgeon who will do the vascular and reconstructive portion of my surgery (basically all the work). I liked him from the start, confident, honest, forthcoming, compassionate and patient. He spent at least 30 minutes telling Ann-Marie and I all the nitty-gritty involved with this surgery...
Here is what will happen in a nutshell. I'll go in June 12th, surgery will take 6-7 hours. Dr. M will remove about half of my remaining tongue, Dr. A will take skin from the underside of my wrist (to become my new tongue surface), make an incision from my wrist to my elbow and remove tissue and vessels that will make up the rest of my tongue, open my neck, attach one end of the vessel in my neck and the other(s) to my tongue, take a skin graft from my upper/outer hip to replace the skin taken from my wrist. I'll spend the next 24 hours unconscious and if I wake up combative (fight or flight) they will knock me out for another 24 hours. It will take 3 days before the vessels have healed enough for me to move my neck. The first 48-72 hours will be spent in ICU. I will have a feeding tube in my nose for around 15 days. I may have a trach (to breath) for 5 days. I won't be able to talk for awhile (not sure how long). My arm will be in a cast and I'll receive physical therapy and speech therapy to help me get back full function of my arm and speech. (Ann-Marie, did I get it right?)
As you can guess, I got a little teary and overwhelmed to hear all of this. I just told myself, "I can do this". Oh God, let me be able to do this.
After all of this, Ann-Marie and I were able to laugh at the fact that one of the physician assistants thought she was my mom (she really didn't look at Ann-Marie and when she did, corrected herself with "sister?" and Dr. A (according to Ann-Marie, it wasn't in my view) had a booger hanging out his nose!


AnnMarie said...

"HOLLY" cow look at my big head in those pics! scary :)

you got it right and yes folks, the dr was discussing the most serious things to us and a boogie was all i could look at.

i tried to be more entertainment for hope than jake typically is on these appts...not sure if i pulled it off. i know how he really wanted to be there.

Myrtle's Mayhem said...

Leave it to Ann-Marie to point out a booger!! Now he will forever be Dr. Booger to you two!

Our thoughts are with you Hope. Everytime I talk about you I say what a strong woman you are remarkable.

On the 12th you give C the middle finger and tell it to F___ Off.

xoxo Mere

Life is beautiful... Mostly said...

I have to say that in a crisis or a time that is tough Ann-Marie is always there to point out all the funny things to help you deal with the situation. I will be thinking of you on the 12th and after! God Bless You all! Meredith is right, you are so strong and brave. I thank you for reminding us how lucky we all are to know you!


Mom Tu-Tu said...

I haven't been in the blog world for a long time, and I was sorry to see when I came back that you were having trouble again! I hope things look up for you real soon and that your surgery goes smoothly.