What an adventure!! My "bucket list" (you know the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman), did not have this adventure listed on it, but it does have "fight the MS with everything positive". Even though I feel pretty crappy right now, I think I can put a check mark alongside that entry.
THE TESTS The tests are basically the same thing we have all been through before except for the breathing exercise in the "tube" (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. ) Get a good nights rest before you start out - the anxiety level builds as you go through the day - by the time you speak with Dr. Dake you will probably be "wrung out".
THE CONSULTATION Start your list of questions now - review it as time goes by. You may find some answers here on TIMS so you can cross them off - the rest you will be able to ask Dr. Dake. Dr. Dake was very gracious - he wants you to feel confident in him and the procedure and realizes the importance of that. He will spend as much time as needed. Throughout this whole process you need to take control - be proactive.
THE PROCEDURE You will be awake during the procedure -conscious sedation. Dr. Dake will be asking you to do the breathing exercise again. I was amazed at the operating room - there were big screen control panels everywhere. I may have been in a different OR than Jeff and Marie - I was not in the one on the 2nd floor - it was busy, so they took me on a five minute ride through hallways and lobbies to another OR. I did not feel anything as far as the probe going into my groin or it going through the veins. When the stents were being placed it was a bit uncomfortable - it felt like he was tightening something -there was also a low volume noise associated with the tightening "thing". Oh, I must have started coming out of the sedation too soon - Dr. Dake told the nurse to give me some more - he assured me that everything was just fine but he knew that I was not sedated enough because I was keeping my eyes open too much. I think I was trying to concentrate on what the doctors were saying - they are just talking away, discussing what they are seeing on the big screens - making adjustments -I found this to be fascinating (even though I did not understand most of what was going on). At the end of the procedure you will be given some pills to start the blood thinning.
POST OP RECOVERY Again, let me suggest that you ask for something to eat - it may or may not help with the nausea - you will know within a few minutes. Ask for the pain medication - don't be a hero and try to tough it out. Be honest with the nurses when you are rating your pain - BE IN CONTROL.
OBSERVATIONS BY DR. DAKE I did not have the immediate relief that Jeff had because my symptoms did not present the same as Jeff's. I did not suffer from fatigue, nor the brain fog. My cognitive symptoms would be related to not being able to "find a word" - --- having difficulty in organizing my thoughts - not finishing a sentence. I think I need to get off the Percocet before I start trying to see if any of that has changed (I am kind of loopy right now). Marie had the immediate relief with her internal thermostat. I have a problem with cold air - during the winter, if my left leg got cold it would stiffen up on me. Well, obviously I haven't been able to test that out because we are now into the warm weather. Dr. Dake does not know what is reversible - he is as curious as we are.
AT HOME RECOVERY So, far so good. I will see my GP on Monday for a follow-up blood test. Marie's tip of getting your GP onboard before leaving for the surgery was excellent. Dr. Dake has contacted her directly. My medications right now are the Percocet for pain, Plavix twice a day, Coumadin once a day, and a baby aspirin per day. I am to continue taking my Actonel for osteoporsis - Dake took me off the LDN until I see him in August. He really wants to see how I do without any MS medication. I am okay with the decision.
How do I feel three days from the procedure? I still have pain in my throat when I swallow - I did not have the headache that Jeff experienced. The pain when I swallow is sort of like strep throat, but worse. The Percocet helps the pain but it also keeps me tired. I needed to lay down and take a nap yesterday (this is unsual for me). I am spacing the Percocet further out, so things are getting better. Like Jeff and Marie, I need to be careful with turning my neck - the neck, head, and shoulders need to turn together. I was concerned about my golf - Dake said not to worry - I would be good to go in about 10-14 days. I will be able to tell by the tenderness in my neck.
Now about any physical changes - again, this is hard to tell because of the Percocet. The tightness in my left calf muscle is gone - WHY? I have not been wearing my WalkAide since the surgery and I realy have not been walking that much ---so, maybe it is because I have not been active. We should know next week. My left leg does not feel heavy - again is this because of less activity? I do not know, but it should be answered next week. I did notice that when I took my shower yesterday morning it seemed to be easier to lift my left foot up to place it on the shower bench.
I am going to take a break for now - I guess this is Chapter One.
Take care all,