We just came out of a meeting with Dr. Meyer, the neurosurgeon who will be operating on me in three days. Let me tell you this: It is an emotional moment for someone to look into your eyes and tell you that there is a high probability you will not be able to move your right leg after surgery.
He also expects me to have only slight movement in my right arm following surgery. Third in the order of expected deficits is the speech area. And so, if I have any movement in my right leg after surgery that would be a very positive sign. If my right arm has decent movement that too would be a great sign. No way to tell much about these realities until days, months, and up to a full year from now. But I guarantee you all that I will fight to get everything back in such a way that Rocky looks like a wussie.
Speech is also a fairly important part of my life so of course I am hoping this comes back as well. As I have been reading about these kinds of surgery I have read that sometimes after surgery patients develop different speech patterns and even the sound of their voices.
If this were to happen I hope that it would be in the form of a Scottish brogue accent. I’m sure I could be moved to tears listening to a man read Humpty Dumpty with such a voice.
When Dr. Meyer asked if we had any further questions I asked him the one that most of you have asked or wanted to ask: So….what fills up that empty space once the AVM is out? Spinal fluid. Weird huh?
I then told him how glad we were to have him performing our surgery and told him with tears that there were probably 150,000 people praying for him and for me and our family. He said, “Wow! Is your parish that big?” I said “No, that’s just my guess from the scores of people who have informed me of their churches and networks of people that are praying.”
I wish I had said, “No, my parish is not nearly that big…more like 150, but my family, and our God is big and powerful and that hundreds of them are fasting, praying, and going to battle for us in these days. If, as James said, the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and accomplish much… just imagine how powerful the prayers of thousands of men, women, and children! That’s what I wish I would have said.
Tomorrow morning I go in for the angiogram. After they get the wire into my noggin they will hopefully be able to block off some of the arteries that feed this hungry monster. Dr. Meyer said they might do another embolization treatment on Wednesday as well. The more of these arteries they can block off the lesser are the risks of a brain bleed on Thursday. Sounds good to me.
This morning Karla and I met with Dr. Wass, a neuroanesthesiologist. In spite of a slight cold he gave me the ok for surgery, which I suppose made me as happy as a man can be under these circumstances. I told Karla that I’m not going home until this thing is fixed. Dr. Wass told me that I was a strong and healthy man. But the thing that really made my day was that he called me young.