Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's not as bad as it sounds..

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

http://www.irsa.org/gamma_knife.html

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!!

13 comments:

Cygnus said...

All I can think of is The Mom in the Iron Mask, or . . .

"We have the technology to make the world's first bionic mom . . ."

I hope that takes care of the pain once and for all! Glad you're OK!

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

You know, after looking at it, I shoulda waited a week, for Halloween!

Laura said...

Wow, I've heard of the gamma knife, but didn't know much about it. Hope it does the trick!

Sassy said...

I hope it helps put you out of your misery....pretty scary contraption...yep it would have been a pretty good costume for Halloween for sure =0]

Harris Family said...

That is a photo that speaks a thousand words. Thank goodness for modern med.

Heather said...

Yikes! I didn't realize that they screwed it into your head. Hope this does the trick for you though!

~aileen & jaron said...

this is so crazy super futureistic sounding. I am SO glad you are doing well. I had no idea on Sunday you were even under the GamaKnife :)! Best of luck for this helping! Your one awesome Lady who i love!

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Good gracious. Is that scary or what? I am praying for you complete recoverey--as in BEFORE you had a tumor in your noggin. Hats off to you and your bravery and your managing the pain all this time.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

PS I must say, you look really pretty in your iron mask.

Kristy said...

I'm so glad that it went so well. And you did look great on Sunday. Thanks for all of your help too; I certainly needed it!

Puffy said...

Wow, I had no idea. And it was outpatient? Amazing. I hope it worked and you're problem free in the future.

The Chapmans said...

Wow, you did it. I know you have been thinking about doing this for awhile. I am really glad it went well... I think I would have wimped out on doing it knowing they were going to put screws in my head.. yikes!

Lori Taylor said...

Wow! I hope it works for you. Modern Medicine is amazing. Take care of yourself!