Why the Rush?
After hearing that I did in fact need surgery I told the Dr that I would like to wait till mid or end of December. You know meet my deductible and all that. But that wasnt going to fly. My surgeon felt that if we left the Syrinx for too much longer the chance of it growing and doing more permanent damage or even paralysis was high. So we agreed on November 16, 2016 as my surgery date.
At this point we Briefly went over what the surgery would entail. It was a small incision at the nape of the neck, then carefully dissect the spinal cord and place the shunt. I was only going to have to be in the hospital 3-5 days and he said recovery could be as quick as 2 weeks! I left the appointment feeling both relieved and apprehensive. Relieved that there was in fact treatment for my Syrinx but apprehensive because surgery no matter how big or small is a scary thing. This would be my first real surgery, besides having my wisdom teeth pulled. I realized that this thing in my spine that I had been telling myself was no big deal now seemed pretty serious.
The Real Story.
Over the next few weeks I prepared my children, family, and friends for what was to come. We all were nervous, but hopefully that I would find some relief after the shunt was placed. 1 week before the surgery I went in for my official pre-op appointment, with my surgeon and his PA. This is when I discovered there was a lot more to my surgery than I was originally led to believe.
First they informed me that this particular surgery had not been preformed at our hospital in almost 10 year. That should have been a red flag but I brushed it off. Second they told me it is one of the more painful neck surgeries because they they have to cut through 3 large muscles that overlap the back of the neck. They also would be removing the back, or the Spinous Process, of my C6 or C7 vertebrae. As for recovery the first 24 hours after surgery I would have to be completely flat on my back. O and side note there is a 1% chance of paralysis.
I was so shocked and scared. This wasn’t at all what I had been told at my last appointment. I was so thankful to have mom with me! She held back her own tears knowing that I was already scared enough. It was with a heavy heart and a whirling mind that I left that appointment. Why hadn’t I been informed about the severity of my surgery before now? Should I go through with the surgery? What if I do become paralyzed? These questions and many more were running through my mind. After a long talk with my husband it was decided that I would go through with the surgery.
The Big Day.
The night before my surgery I kissed my kids and sent them to spend the night with their Mema and Gpa. My best friend, Julrie, drove in from out of town as emotional support. Julrie, Michael, and I went to dinner had a few drinks and stayed up way to late. The morning of my surgery I felt like I was going to jump right out of my skin. I checked in and said goodbye to my family and friends. I gave an extra squeezy hug to Jasper and Evey.
The assistant walked Micahel and I back to the pre-op room, gave me a wonderful gown, and a stack of chlorhexidine wipes. She then instructed me to give my full body a wipe down. And burr those wipes didn’t stay warm long enough! I also got to brush my teeth and swab my nose with chlorhexidine. They really wanted to make sure I was disinfected!
As they tried to get my IV started, Michael and I joked about the little things. Just trying to keep the mood light and our nerves at bay. Suddenly the OR Charge Nurse pops in and asks which floor I was going to after my surgery. I had no idea, but had always assumed that I would be going to the Neuro floor. Well you know what they say about those who assume… When the Charge Nurse came back in she told us that I have a bed waiting for me in the ICU after surgery.If I wasn’t freaking out before I definitely was now! I looked at Michael with tears in my eyes. He just smiled at me and gave my hand a squeeze. When the anesthesiologist came in to take me back it was a tearful moment. Michael gave me a kiss and we said I Love You, for the last time before my life changed forever.