I'm just checking in to let you good folk know I'm still with you and in good working order - just minor headache and neck pain, moderate, bearable and treatable with a couple of your fav paracetamol brand.
Jennifer & Helen,
I'm glad to hear the good Prof continues to impress with his real professionalism, sensitivity, tact, intellect and you can add good humour as well.
Yes, confirming that PwMS in Qld will hopefully soon be able to access similar services there but it might be a bit longer in NSW. Also the ballooning procedure itself is straightforward and safe but every individual may present with unique problems to address with regard to vessel structures and locations.
My procedure was 2.5 hrs long but Prof T is confident that it will be shorter for most people in forthcoming procedures @ the Alfred. The venography identified 4 areas of reduced blood flow, 3 of which were treatable by ballooning using gradual upsizing of sequentially larger diameter balloons.
My veins were very narrowed/stenosed at those 3 locations - bilaterally the valves were occluded and at a location midway up the Left IJV. The RIJV valve ballooned fairly well with minimal pain, but the LIJV valve and its midway stenosis were more difficult, the latter being the most painful.
I chose no sedation as it's better to be more alert to instructions of inspiring/hold (valsalva) and viewing the imaging on screen. It is a fact that some pain is associated with the balloon inflation but it lasts a minute or two if that, and if it is very painful then it is only an instant or so.
I had a few v.painful instances with the LIJV and it just did not cooperate today and I may very well need to return for a second ballooning. We'll see if today's widening is sufficient and a second attempt may be necessary down the track to keep the LIJV open.
On the Right IJV the location which could not be treated was very high up near the transverse sinus and consisted of a up to dozen small diameter collateral veins eventually joining to the upper RIJV. There may be a solution for this later on but I may have to accept that it is too risky at present to inflate such small veins and perhaps it may not be easily achievable.
Improvements so far are subjective of course and I'd like to wait a few more days before confirming. I will try to provide better clarification in the next few days or week or so depending on how I progress in recovery mode.
I want to thank everyone who included me in their thoughts today and I feel thereby contributed to a positive personal outcome and have collectively shown a way forward for all PwMS in Melbourne and farther afield.
All the best.