Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's not as bad as it sounds..

Yup, Gamma Knife surgery sounds bad.. it isn't so bad, really.

There is a website if you are interested in getting into detail.

Gamma Knife® surgery is recognized worldwide as the preferred treatment for brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations and brain dysfunctions such as trigeminal neuralgia. the Gamma Knife® allows noninvasive cerebral surgery to be performed in one session and with extreme precision. Based on preoperative radiological examinations, such as CT scans, MR scans and angiography, the unit provides highly accurate irradiation of deep-seated targets, using a multitude of collimated beams of ionizing radiation with scalpel-like precision. The "blades" of the Gamma Knife® are the beams of gamma radiation programmed to target the lesion (in my case, the nerve and blood vessel) at the point where they intersect. In a single treatment session, 201 beams of gamma radiation focus precisely on the lesion.

That is probably more than you all wanted to know. I've had TN pains for about 14 years, before Brennan was born. Only in the last 5 or so years has it gotten much worse. I've been managing the pain lately with medication, so it's been good.

I went in for pre-op at *yawn * 5:30 am on Thurs. My veins were not very cooperative for giving blood or getting an IV started. When we went to the Gamma knife (also called cyberknife) area, we waited for the Dr's, one neurosurgeon, and the other deals with radiation. The anesthesiologist sedated me completely while I was sitting up, and then they put the frame on my head, yes, screwed into my skull. (yes, glad I was put out!!)

Don't I look really happy? Two points on the front, and two points on the back. Then I went for an MRI. When I came back from MRI, the point on my back left side was really starting to hurt, I felt the pressure. So Dr Ashman came and gave me three SHOTS!!! YOWWWEEE!!! in the back of my head.. OH>MY>LANTA! That was the worst part of the whole day!

We waited in the waiting room for an hour or so while the docs mapped out where they were going to aim/focus the gamma rays on my nerve. It was a quiet procedure - I actually fell asleep during the 39 minute procedure.

When I came out, they immediately unscrewed the frame- that was wierd... Then, you know how your lip feels after being numbed at the dentist? My whole top and back of my head was numb!! I was touching my head, but my head couldn't feel it! I came home with two tiny circle bandaids on my forehead. That's all the evidence. I've had evidence, I think, that it has worked. I go back to see the Doc in weeks, and should be able to start decreasing my medication. That is what it is all about now!

So.. i'm good... no after effects! It was outpatient, and other than the few sore spots where the screws were, I'm good. Thanks for being concerned, my great friends!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well, I did it.

I had the Gamma Knife procedure done yesterday for my Trigeminal Neuralgia.

All went well, but it will be a few weeks before we'll know if it took effect on my
silly nerve.

For those of you who don't know about it, I'll try to come back with some links
tomorrow, and maybe a fun picture of me in the hospital with a frame on my head!

(Loads of fun, that!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another First...

Kind of in the same as the first.. well it was in the same town , anyway.

Webster Elementary, Magna, Utah

This was my first school - it was straight down the street from the aforementioned house. My big brother (2yrs older) and I walked each day - passing plenty of bars , the firestation , and the Rexall drug store. The bar doors were open during our walk home, so when we peered in, all we saw was neon beer signs, and darkness, and the occasional bearded man sitting on a stool.

When I started Kindergarten with my teacher , Mrs. Hiatt, (if I really tried, I could find a class picture) there were portable buildings in front of the school on the blacktop (to the left of the picture. ) Mrs Hiatt was fairly old, with grey hair and glasses.

First grade was on the bottom floor, with Miss James, who was tall and young, with brown hair and a lovely smile.

2nd grade was on the 2nd floor, in the corner room on the right. She had an aide that taught us Spanish sometimes. (My kids learn some Spanish now, but just going to school, they have friends whose parents don't speak any English at all.) We had opportunity to earn "Webster money" or something like that. Miss Dobson would keep track of it, and occasionally we'd get to up to the 3rd floor to spend it. The 6th (and maybe 5th) graders built Websterville up there - complete with a store, a beauty shop, a post office, and other fun places. Our incentive in class was to do well to earn money to go spend it in Websterville. The money was actually washers with their currency printed on it - believe they were "cm's".

When we moved in the middle of 2nd grade to the other side of the state, I was sad to leave my teacher. She and I started corresponding - and I am happy to say I am still in touch with her now. My kids have met "Miss Kris" and she frequently sends them little gifts for the holidays, maybe m&m's or advent calendars for Christmas. She lives near my in-laws in Cache Valley, whom we visit yearly, so we try to put in a visit to her as well. She even has some of my schoolwork saved, and some letters I wrote her way back when.

Honestly, I enjoyed school.. I think Miss Kris had something to do with it also!

Tell me if YOU had a favorite teacher or remember your first school!

I've been away because our computer is being eaten by viruses... time to get a new one!!