Thursday, April 13, 2006
[The bright light that brings me strength every day: Mr. Baxter Newland Young. Photos by the very talented Victoria Dufresne]
Today's surgery went well (i'll get to that in a minute). But first, I would like to say thank you to everyone. Every single friend, acquaintance, colleague and family member. Yes, even you, Kevin. We could never get through this without this giant safety net that you provide for us. People who write a little note of support on this blog - know that each one makes me feel that we are part of a community and that makes me stronger. The stronger I am the better advocate I am for Michael and the better mother I am to Baxter. So each one of you is helping us beat this stupid tumor.
Today Mike had surgery # 9 to implant a permanent shunt that drains into his belly. They also replaced the plate of skull that they had removed. Dr. Evans placed a connector between the left and right ventricles. The shunt drains from both of them and goes into one valve that is programmable. They set it to maintain pressure at 11 I.C.P. (Intracranial Pressure). He was taken down to the O.R. at 2 pm. Surgery didn't start until 4:45 today and we got to see him at 8:30 pm. He looked G.R.E.A.T.! Yes, he thought we were in a garage and yes he thought that the tight bandage was a hat that was too small and yes he asked like 15 times if we could take off the too-tight-hat, but he spoke quickly and clearly and he was still coming out of anesthesia when we saw him, so I'm taking all the weirdness with a grain of salt.
Couple of funny things that we'll mock Mike about later...
On the way to roll Mike down to the O.R. today at 2 pm, his nurse and I were talking about Mike’s I.C.P. (Intracranial Pressure). Mike overheard us saying “I.C.P.” and rapped:
“You down with I.C.P.? Yeah you know me!”
I asked, “Mike, what does I.C.P. stand for?”
Mike replied, “International Clown Posse."
Then, post-surgery, Mike was confused as to his whereabouts. Garage? Trunk of Harvey (the name of our old Saturn)? Trunk of Harvey INSIDE the hospital?
Then he started processing the whole experience as though it was a computer application:
"Where's the 'done' button?" he asked. With his right hand he was trying to navigate a mouse.
He continued, "If you press F1 followed by F2, you exit."
I asked, "Exit what? What application are you in, Mike?"
He looked at me like I was a total idiot, "What application? This." [He looks around and waves his hand a little] "This whole thing."
"Yeah... no....I wish it was that simple, Mike. If all it took was F1 followed by F2 to exit this situation, we definitely would have done it a long time ago."