Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Miracle of Neurosurgery

As I have talked about on here, as you can imagine, as I have shared with you, Vince's tumor totally caught us by surprise.  My husband and I went through an entire range of emotions, from the discovery to the surgery and recovery.

Neurosurgery sounds like a horrible prospect- cut into scalp, cut off a piece of skull, cut into brain, remove the golf ball and put it all back together again.  I was shuttering at the thought of it, and rightly so.  Neurosurgery should not be taken lightly.

I was praying for a miracle.  I even dappled into some alternative treatments, ones that even if they did nothing wouldn't harm.  Father came over and blessed Vince with a relic of the True Cross.  The Other Father also gave Vince more special blessings.  People prayed.  All people prayed.  Our family of course prayed.  Our friends and loved ones prayed.  Prayer warriors prayed.  Those who were not inclined to pray prayed.  Orders of nuns and monks prayed.  I'm sure St. Vincent de Paul, Uncle Vince and GreatGrandpa Vincenzo all  prayed, too.

I thought we could have a miracle. Of course, I planned for his medical treatment.  (We even took him 500 miles away for a second opinion.)

I was adamant about getting Vince a second MRI before surgery.  I feared they would get into his brain and not find a tumor.  I thought perhaps the alternative treatment had worked.  I thought the prayers had worked.  I thought maybe they made a mistake with the original MRI or they mixed it up.  In any case, I was not going to let them cut my baby's brain open without a second peak first.

The first doctor that we saw for a second opinion here in Colorado refused to do a second MRI.  The Kansas City doctor agreed to do the second MRI.  I would have walked there if I had to.  The actual neurosurgeon, Dr.Neurosurgeon, did order a "planning MRI".  It was a mapping MRI to hook into his computer and guide him during the operation.  We did it two days before surgery.  That's OK, it was still another peak into his brain before surgery.

When we had a consult with Dr.Neurosurgeon Ash Wednesday afternoon, two days before surgery, Vince had just had his MRI.  They had the preliminary results back right then.  The tumor was still there.  There wasn't a miracle.  The alternative stuff didn't work.  They hadn't mixed it up.  I was disappointed.  My heart was in my mouth.  I was sick. I was expecting a miracle.

We went through with the surgery, as planned.  For me, it almost seemed like I was going through the motions of it, a normal thing during stressful times.

They had told us that Vince would be in the hospital 5-7 days for recovery and perhaps a month for intensive therapy (kind of like rehab for old people).  They said Vince might have neurological speech issues.  They said Vince might have motor issues on his right side since the tumor was on the left.  They said they weren't sure if they'd get all of the tumor out.  They said they didn't think it was cancer, but they weren't sure what it was.

I wanted a miracle.  I didn't want to go through all that. I didn't want to put my baby through that.

Let me tell you this... Neurosurgery is a miracle!

Yes, neurosurgery is a miracle.  We were praying for a miracle, and we got it, just not the way I would have chosen. But that's OK.  We got a miracle.  Even discovering the brain tumor was a miracle, too.

Vince did excellently in his surgery.  He did excellently in his recovery.  Vince went home from the hospital on the third day.  He did not and does not have neurological issues.  He seems to be himself.  His speech seems about where it was before the surgery.  He has no motor issues.  They got all the tumor out.  It is not cancer.  Vince is the precious rascal two year old I know and love.

My wonderful brother-in-law stayed with us for the surgery.  He kept my sanity.  My wonderful priest came and gave Vince another special blessing immediately before surgery.   Everyone kept up their diligent prayers.  Dr.Neurosurgeon did an excellent job. This all is what I call a miracle.  God uses doctors and hospitals for miracles, too, and neurosurgery especially is a miracle. 

Thank you, Oh God, for this miraculous healing of my Vince.

(Linked to A Mama's Story.)

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