Good Morning to All!
Home again - it does feel good to be home again. I was discharged from the hospital yesterday morning - went back to the hotel and rested in the afternoon and then took a flight home to Denver. I did not get home until midnight, --so it was a LONG day.
Here are a few of my first thoughts for those who will be travelling to Stanford:
Plan on spending a night in the hospital. My orignal plans were to travel back home the day of the surgery - I am telling you - I would have been a disaster - do not try it. Staying in the hospital is just a good decision - the nurses will moniter you on a regulary scheduled basis. I received an IV for hydration and antibiotics (as a precaution - I did not have an infection) - I also had an IV for Heparin. Dr. Dake wanted to jump start the blood thinning process with the Heparin - I guess it takes three days for Coumadin to become effective. Also, the nurses can moniter your little incision in the groin area to make sure that it is not bleeding. Mine was "leaking" according to the nurse - in my opinion it was bleeding so I needed to be calmed down a bit. The nurses will moniter your pain and will be able to adjust the medication as needed - YOU WILL HAVE SOME PAIN! I might also suggest to stay an extra day at your hotel like Marie did.
Upon arriving at Stanford, familiarize yourself with the layout of the hospital. My tests were not confined to the hospital - I had to go to Blake Wilbur clinic for the MRI/MRV. Be sure to check out the parking situation. We found it was worth the $8 a day for valet parking. I did take note of the handicap parking - I think the HC parking is closer at the Emergency Room entrance than it is at the Main Entrance. Also, Dr. Dakes office is closer to the Emergency Room entrance. I will find my Stanford hospital map and get it posted on TIMS for you to see.
I was in the "tube" for a long time - at one point they pulled me out and told me to stretch for a minute and then I would finish up in about a half hour. They asked how I was doing? My mistake---- I said "FINE" --the technician then told me that I could have been out sooner, but I was doing such a good job that all the doctors wanted more and more images. Remember this is a research hospital, so I guess they think more data is a good thing. Like Marie mentioned, there will be other doctors and students who are "looking in" on you. So, if you have a problem in the tube, be proactive and tell the technician at the beginning. Practice your breathing - you will be asked to "breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, hold your breath". I did not have any problems (thanks to Pilates and Yoga) but evidently some people do.
Start a journal and write everything down that you think might be a symptom of MS - then write down anything that bothers you, but do not attribute to MS. Dr. Dake is making a very large spreadsheet with this information for all his patients. He is looking for correlations, improvements in symptoms, etc.
Towards the end of the procedure, the OR nurse will give you some drugs. Marie and Jeff noted that they had nausea and Dr. Dake had confirmed it. He could not figure out why the procedure would cause nausea - so he warned me. Well, I did not have nausea - why? Maybe because when I got to the recovery room I asked for graham crackers. I had not eaten anything since the evening before and I knew that I would probably have an upset stomach with the drugs the OR nurse gave to me. It hurt to swallow and eat the crackers but I was more concerned about the nausea. So, that evening when Dr. Dake came in to see me - he asked "how is the nausea" - I told him that I did not have any. His next statement was, " what did you do differently?". I said I didn't know except that I ate graham crackers 'cause I knew the pills would make me sick. He kind of laughed and said "that's too simple". So, now the question to Marie and Jeff -----did you eat any graham crackers after the procedure?
This is getting way too long of a post, and the Percocet is doing its job. Please excuse any mistypes -