Brain Surgery

Marty in ICU following brain surgery

Brain Surgery

I arrived to the care of anesthiology after four days of waiting, imaging and fact-finding. Another hour of waiting and the tempo suddenly shifted. A gurney ride ended in a cluttered room with four attendants and machines all around. All four people went to work on different areas of my body, inserting catheters and attaching electrodes. A soothing woman gave me an oxygen mask, with cool odorless air. She rubbed my chest and shoulders while speaking in a hypnotic voice, “Breathe deeply, Breathe.” I felt no trace of fear as another said, “I am giving you anesthetic now,” and the effect was immediate.

Suddenly, I awakened in a different room. A handsome man with a well-groomed beard said, “Your surgery is complete and it went well. Can you tell me your name? Do you know where you are? Do you know why you are here?” Apparently I answered to his satisfaction as he responded, “We are now transporting you to ICU.”

I was thinking, this is so surreal. Hours have passed while I missed the entire procedure: clipping hair, incising skin, sawing bone, slicing through dura, locating the tumor, probing its boundaries and separating it from surrounding brain structures, closing the wound and fastening with titanium hardware and dissolving sutures.

In the ICU, a headache and feeling of pressure in my head overtook all reflective observation. An angel of mercy asked, “Are you willing to take dilaudid? It will help with the pain in about 45 seconds.”

“Yes, oh yes” I said as the compound was infused in my vein and the pressure in my head abated.

The next morning, a group of doctors gathered with the chief surgeon in my room. I recognized Jacob from the emergency room, and Eric the night resident. The chief surgeon, Dr. Dogan, gave a crisp upbeat report. “Your surgery went very well and your post-operative MRI images look very good. It looks as though we removed the entire tumor and we will know more after we see reports from the pathology lab.” The assistant surgeon, Priscilla Pang, stayed to help us understand more about the surgery and the effects of incising jaw muscles near my ear on the right side of my face. In short, it hurts when I chew, and it will get better soon.

Writing two days afterward, my pain is manageable with Tylenol, I’m up and walking with someone by my side, and everyone says I’m doing great. I wonder about the slight tremor in my left hand, tendency to fall asleep often without warning, difficulties with typing. I am hopeful that these signs will pass too.



18 thoughts on “Brain Surgery”

  1. It was great to see you in meeting today. Hope you’re feeling half as well as you look. It’s probably a good thing you missed a lot of those details of your surgery. I can’t imagine bone crunching noises would be fun 🙁 Keep up your good spirits and we look forward to seeing your progress.


    Lew & Lori

  2. Dear Marty,
    The picture is wonderful – speaks a thousand words. So thrilled about the news so far. Your journal continues to be amazing! Such clear thoughts, at least on computer.
    We lovingly held both you and Eddy in our prayer circle during the surgery. Everyone shared how happy we were that we were asked to do this.
    Continuing to hold you both in my prayers.
    Kepper Petzing

  3. It is good to to see you looking so well, Marty. Some people can make just about anything look easy…
    Margaret from Macon

  4. Marty,
    SO wonderful to see your smiling face!!! So grateful for the brilliant teams that are supporting you in the continuing miracle of life. It is a joy to know that the surgery was a success!! Sending joyful blessings and healing prayers, picturing you in further full healing and vibrant wellness.

    Hugs and love to you, Eddy and your family.

  5. That is TOTALLY AWESOME news, Marty! Jan and I were so worried for you. Wow, you sailed through that like Captain Blackbeard on a Caribbean booty hunt — excellent! And how it is that you go through all this brain surgery and you STILL have more hair than me?!?

    So happy to know that you are up and walking around. Keep up that million-watt smile of yours, my friend, and hopefully we will both get to write again together! And soon!

  6. Oh, Marty! So good to see your photo and smiling face. And it looks you still have all your hair! So good that that they didn’t need to shave your head.

    I was part of the prayer circle during your surgery. It was a wonderful example of your loving community coming together, as we held you and Eddy in the Light.

    Sending Love & Blessing to the two of you, dear Friends.

    In friendship,

  7. Wow! You are amazing! Thanks for the update and detailed account! Continue to improve. Linda and I send you lots of healing energy. Wheeler and the kayaks await this spring! Love to you and Eddy.

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