Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dad is home

Whew! The big brain surgery is over and my dad is now back home and resting comfortably (well...comfortably is a relative term when you've just spent half a day having a hole the size of a dime drilled in your head and had electrodes poked around in there). We were so excited to get the word from the doctor after the surgery ended saying that dad had "sailed through" and he felt that his prognosis for relief from his Parkinson's symptoms of heavy shaking and rigidity in his hands was in the higher end of what they'd hoped for.

Dad stayed in recovery for about 2.5 hours and then we met him in his room after that. The scary and yucky part happened just after he got to his room and the local anesthetic they used for the surgery wore off. In a matter of minutes, he went from talking with us and looking pretty good to barely being able to move, grunt or anything as the pain gripped him. He said on a scale of 1-10, his pain was an 11. And...the nurse wouldn't get him any pain meds until she spent f-o-r-e-v-e-r asking him about a zillion medical history questions that he had answered that morning when he was admitted. Somehow, those records didn't make it to the floor and the nurse was just "doing her job" in asking all the questions, etc. OK... I get it that she has to "do her job". But, what I don't get is how a man has just undergone brain surgery and the nurse asks him "why are you here?"!!!!????!!! Is this a philosophical question? Duh! HE JUST HAD BRAIN SURGERY!!!! I thought my sister and I were going to whale on the woman trying to get her to give him something for the pain that was getting worse by the second. By the time she did give him something it was so bad that it took 2 shots of morpheine before he felt any relief at all. And....it took about 8 more hours and 4 more morpheine shots to get him to the point where he qualified his pain as a 4 on a 1-10 scale!

Needless to say, we were not happy with how all that came down, but by the time the doc came to check on him this morning, he was managing his "4" pain with aplomb and was just ready to go home! We had them give him one last pain med and then made the 3 hour drive home. He's now resting in his favorite chair in the den.

There's something in this whole process that I noticed. When my dad is well I call him dad or pops when I talk to him. But, when he's sick or in the hospital, I always call him daddy. I think it's the little girl in me that thinks of her daddy as the strongest, biggest and bestest man on the planet and is ready to yell out to the world that "my daddy can do anything"! All in the same moment, I feel the sense of wanting to care for and protect him and at the very same time, wanting to curl up in my daddy's arms and just be his little girl once again. I'm just so very grateful that he is home and this phase of the process is over!

Just to give you an idea of what they're doing to my sweet pops, here's a picture that shows a bit about Deep Brain Stimulation.

There are still two more steps before he'll be able to experience the full benefits. He has to go back on Monday to have the "battery pack" inserted (this is the control unit where all the electrodes in his brain are connected and controlled) and then a final appointment to actually turn on the unit and get the juice flowing so that he gets the relief from his symptoms on a permanent basis. The whole thing won't be over until mid-January. But...for now, we've made it through the toughest part and are very hopeful about having him dancing a jig within another month!

Thanks again to everyone for your thoughts and prayers!

- Karen
[20w,3d]

3 comments:

revrose said...

I know how you felt about your dad in the hospital. I am just a deranged tiger and every nurses nightmare when my parents don't get the care I feel they need in the hospital or from physicians. Just a warning if i am there when Wendy delivers!

Anonymous said...

I know the experience is tough and I totally relate to the "daddy" term when you need to use it.
While it wasn't the most comfortable time, I'm sure everyone (especially him) is happy that he is home in his own chair.

Anonymous said...

I know the experience is tough and I totally relate to the "daddy" term when you need to use it.
While it wasn't the most comfortable time, I'm sure everyone (especially him) is happy that he is home in his own chair.