Monday, June 13, 2011
Surgery just started. We woke before dawn and drove through the empty streets and beneath streaking, strikingly calm and mesmerizing soft blue skies to Johns Hopkins. David, Akilah and I picked up mom along the way and arrived to the hospital at 5.30am. Dad was there when we arrived.
Akilah went in for pre-op preparations -- getting suited up, IV'ed up, and the like. After some time, we spoke to the anesthesiologist Dr. Lee and his assistant Bryan, the nurse Sherry and a few others at some length, and most importantly, to Dr. Weingart. He put us all at ease -- not by anything he said per se, but by his demeanor and expertise. And his empathy. Though his team was delayed (it was not until about 8.00am that we spoke to him), he was patient and answered our last questions. He has performed this operation hundreds of times, as the number one physician specializing in this, and through trial and error discovered that some of the complications of which "Chiarans" [sounds like cousins to the Romulans or the Vulcans] have complained have been from an old method. He has since discovered a way to insert titanium mesh into the affected area in the dura, which strengthens the place of the operation and avoids the complications.
I think he is creating a superhero.
Akilah insisted on seeing X-Men yesterday [well worth seeing!]. It seems that her "mutation," manifested as Chiari "malformation," is one that has given her extraordinary powers to be super-smart, super-kind, super-sister/daughter/mother/friend. Super Akilah!
The surgery is scheduled to take three to four hours, and it will be another hour or two after that before she comes to. More updates later ...
Posted by Intisar at 10:41 AM