The Lord guided the doctor's and nurses hands and together they were able to remove a very large portion of my tumor and we will find out the pathology report by the end of this week. I was discharged from the hospital around noon on Christmas Eve and have been slowly recovering at my parents' house ever since. The first few days were pretty rough because I couldn't keep any food down and I had some very painful headaches (both due to brain swelling). My blood pressure was very low the last couple of days in the hospital because of dehydration but the doctor wanted to get me home as soon as possible to recover. It was really nice to be home for Christmas, even though this year was very different--it wasn't bad. I was still surrounded by family and I have so much to be thankful for! I still seem to have the same peripheral vision that I did before the surgery (which was what we were hoping to achieve--catch the tumor before my vision got worse. I had two focal seizures (I am remain conscious but I see bright sparkly lights in my left eye and then I'm usually so tired that I fall asleep for one or two hours) while in the hospital and two since I've been home but not in the last couple of days. I have lessened sensitivity in my left foot which we are also keeping close track of. I get tired kind-of easily but the doctor said that should be expected.
While in Pre-op on the day of surgery, I met a young man who be my doctor's first surgery patient of the day. They had found a growth on his skull and it apparently was growing very rapidly. He was very nervous about his procedure and my mom actually talked to he and his mother for a good fifteen minutes (Always making friends! haha) and I guess she was able to comfort him a little bit by letting him know what I was facing. So much so, that before they rolled him into surgery he asked his mom and girlfriend to get "poor Maggie" something from the gift shop while he was in surgery. I was still sitting in pre-op when my mom brought a gift bag and card to me from Brandon. It was the cutest little bear named "Puddin." The anesthesiologist had just given me so anti-anxiety medication for the pre-surgery MRI, and I had just had a portion of my head shaved so...I was a little loopy. The bear was just what I needed. I took the bear with me into the OR and met my long lost sister Debra Ann from Oklahoma (an OR nurse that took a liking to my bear and I). I told her I was born in Memphis and my mom's whole side of the family is from Arkansas so we MUST be long lost sisters or something! She agreed and went to ask me about wedding colors and locations and at some point I fell asleep.
When I woke up in the ICU hours later, I barely recognized Puddin' in his bear-sized scrubs laying next to me in bed, but I recognized Debra Ann's southern drawl right away when the whole OR team came in to check on me. I later found out Debra Ann had painstakingly cut and resized the scrubs for Mr. Puddin' and I think the look suits him quite well. :) I also recognized my fiancee's voice right away. My uncles will never let him live it down because apparently I didn't even open my eyes, I just smiled and said "Hey baaaaaby" in his general direction.
As well as my new found sister, I met another interesting person while staying at the hospital. I was able to move out of the ICU after two days and moved into a smaller room on the fourth floor. During the wee hours of the morning, when I was just finally drifting off to sleep, I received a roommate. She was an elderly woman who had had a stroke that day at dialysis and had bronchitis on top of that. I didn't know any of this at the time, though. All I knew was that this poor woman couldn't stop coughing and kept saying she needed to go to the restroom. The nurses didn't think she was strong enough to make it all the way across the room to the toilet so just when I thought I could keep any of my dinner down, they made her use a movable toilet (or "potty chair") located just on the other side of the curtain from my bed. My brother was staying with me that night and was hoping to be able to give the woman some privacy but when he saw me heaving he grabbed the bucket and rubbed my back instead. Sometimes he's such a good big brother! :) He ended up staying in the hospital with me two nights in a row so that my parents could go home and try to get some sleep. He even let me watch an episode of Bones on his iPhone to lull me to sleep.
Ms. Knight, the elderly stroke patient, turned out to be a very good roommate to have because she was on the phone every morning calling housekeeping to get us fresh towels and sheets like it was four-star hotel! Come to find out she has undergone over twenty surgeries in her lifetime and knew how to work the system! I'm very glad I was able to meet her and I pray that she is continuing to recover, along with Brandon, the neuro-patient I met in pre-op.
I will post a couple of photos tomorrow of the incision (for those of you that are interested...) and also a couple happier photos of the day I came home. :) But for now, here are the classic hymn lyrics which have been running through my head the past few days:
- To God be the glory, great things He hath done,So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,And opened the life gate that all may go in.
- Refrain:Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear His voice!Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice!Oh, come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
- Oh, perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,To every believer the promise of God;The vilest offender who truely believes,That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
- Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;But purer, and higher, and greater will beOur wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.Frances Crosby, Pub. 1875