A Hole In Her Head

Today Kirsten underwent her third operation in the fight against her pituitary tumor.

Supra-Orbital Craniotomy
Kirsten Uhler, Cogitations, August 23, 2009

Instead of going in through her nose like the previous two times they went straight through her forehead skull. Her neurosurgeon, Dr. Florman, doesn’t shave. Instead, he parts the hair, cuts between the hairs, folds the face down, drills a hole in the skull, removes as much tumor mass as possible, patches the skull hole with a metal plate and screws, and sews the skin back in place. I know. I don’t like it more than you.

Kirsten is a tough girl. She rarely mentioned her surgery and said she wasn’t much nervous.

They called to tell her they were ahead of schedule and were moving her surgery up to 14:30 from 15:30. That cut down our picnic time, but we didn’t mind. We ate in the grass in the shade of a tree just outside the hospital on Portland’s Western Promenade. It was a fantastic morning.

Surgery prep was fairly routine. She got an IV and signed her life away (literally). Dr. Florman came in to review the procedure, and then the anesthesiologists did the same. Then they wheeled her away.

The girls and I went home to wait. At around 17:00 Dr. Florman called to say the surgery went well and that Kirsten was heading to recovery. He said the tumor tissue was more tough than expected but that they successfully removed a significant portion and pulled the rest away to facilitate radiation therapy. He said I wouldn’t be able to see her for several hours.

I decided to pass the time by attending the New Member Orientation at the Scarborough Fish & Game Association. I’m in the process of becoming a member of the club and attending orientation is a requirement. I had canceled because of the surgery but decided at the last minute that I might as well go.

After the meeting I visited Kirsten in recovery (Post Anesthesia Care Unit – PACU). She was unusually talkative and in good spirits. Her nurse, Kelly, was very kind and helpful. Kirsten has a drain coming out of her head that was a bit unnerving, but looked fantastic otherwise, considering. She didn’t look like she got hit by a bus, but more like she got in a brawl and lost. The swelling and bruising should set in over the next couple of days. She was obviously effected by the narcotics. She said she had a headache but didn’t show any outward signs of it.

I’ve been tweeting updates, so if you’re interested and aren’t following me, do. Otherwise, you can just visit http://twitter.com/brentdanley.

We thank you for the many expressions of caring and offers of help. It makes a big difference. We love you all back, very much!

The girls are doing well. Dr. Florman advised me not to bring the girls to visit Kirsten after tomorrow morning, as her condition might frighten them. I think that’s a good idea. They didn’t like seeing her in pre-op with an IV in her arm.

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I’ll respond when I can. Emails are okay, too, but, please, only if it’s personal. I’d rather type the answer only once.

I could use a hug and a glass of ice-cold blueberry vodka. Besides that, we are doing well. Thank you.

4 Comment

  1. Damien Hunting says: Reply

    Glad it went well. Hope the recovery does too.

  2. buried in King says: Reply

    Wow, glad everything is going well. I wish you the best. Such an event will take a long time to recover from, even under the best of conditions! I know from experience…I underwent quadruple bypass surgery in April and still am a long way from complete recovery.

    Our thoughts are with you…I know there is not much we can do from this distance but keep us posted. Wichita and Learjet still have kind memories of you.

  3. Damien and Buried – Thank you so much. She is at home and doing well, considering.

  4. Brent. Sorry to hear Kristen stillhas this issue. I am glad to hear she is recovering well.

    Always enjoy your writing!

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