Monday, November 12, 2007

Health Update

1. Heather (of Anthony):
Heather had her tumor removed today and according to the surgeon, she did great. I left the hospital at 7 o'clock (after being there for about 7 hours) and she was in recovery, soon to be in ICU. It was a long day but such a relief to know she made it through and came out okay. The doctor doesn't think it's cancerous but will know more within a week. The tumor was piercing something and then touching her brain, which was causing the tremors and seizures. Hopefully the removal of it will bring an end to those problems. The doctor had to remove a bone, scrape the tumor (bigger than a quarter but smaller than a jaw breaker), and then put the bone back in her head. Amazing.

2. Ava (of Heather & Gerry):
Ava is not doing so well. She is unable to keep her body temperature up and therefore is still in the NICU in an incubator. She also will not eat so she is being fed intravenously. She is jaundiced and has to spend a lot of time under that special lamp and probably won't be able to go home for quite a while. That could be one week, it could be four. Nobody knows. Today her heart rate dropped substantially twice and had to have several procedures to bring it back up. My sister is very tired and sore and doing a wonderful job with the amount of stress but I can't even imagine what she's going through. My mom is headed back up to Omaha, which means that we might not be going to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving after all. I'm not complaining, believe me. I think the important thing is just that my sister has the support she needs and wants.

3. Me:
I got my sleep study results today. Guess what? I don't have insomnia, probably never did. I have severe sleep apnea and stop breathing several hundred times a night. Since I am awakened each time I stop breathing I only get a few hours of sleep. The apnea only occurs during my REM cycle and is neurological not physical. The doctor apologized for all medical personnel and said the misdiagnoses could have eventually really harmed me - heart attack, stroke, and aneurysm are things I haven't experienced yet; memory loss, lack of concentration, and weight gain are a few of the symptoms and side effects that I have experienced. I go back in for another sleep study and then I get one of those handy mask thingys to wear indefinitely. She said it would be for a long time, although she didn't know if it would be for the rest of my life. She said it's really not normal for a person to go without proper sleep for 14 years and when I finally start getting the rest I require my quality of life will change dramatically. She said in the past she has had patients call her after several weeks of treatment weeping because they feel so much better. I wonder what that feels like? I've gone without sleep for so long I don't even remember what it feels like to be rested. (Maybe this oxygen deprivation is one reason I have such odd dreams...)


Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky said...

Christ on crutches! I'm glad someone was finally able to diagnose your LIFE-THREATENING CONDITION! WTF?!
Glad Heather (of Anthony)is doing well. Good vibes to her and your family.
Hey--that handy mask doesn't come with nipple clamps and a ball gag, does it?

(btw, the deleted comment was mine. stupid thing wouldn't let me edit to add in the smart-assness)

SerenitySprings said...

You scare me. A lot.

-S- said...

sleep apnea: I sometimes worry that the Duckling has that.