Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Good Day

The basics of Kenny's surgery and positive outcome are that the pituitary tumor AND cyst were removed and it seems without harm to the optic nerve or pituitary gland. There was a small portion of the tumor left on the pituitary stalk that will be closely monitored and if required some day can be removed safely with a radiation treatment. The neurosurgeon believes that the tumor was benign, but that will be confirmed in the coming days. The cyst was what was causing the fluid build up on his brain that required the VP shunt to be put in on Monday, buying him time to get to this surgery to remove the problems.

Due to some complications with the surgery, they ended up leaving Kenny on the breathing tube overnight. So this morning when I got back to the hospital, he had recently had the breathing tube removed and was coming off of all of the drugs given to him the day before. Those effects can make a person have a very foul mouth and Kenny was no exception. Many times, it's fairly comical, as it was today, but he also had a very strong attachment to me today and I seemed to be the only one he wanted there to calm him down. Waking up with a tube in your throat and not being able to ask how your surgery went was very scary for him, as it would be for anyone and it took me a few hours to calm him. Add to that not remembering large chunks of time in the last week....well, you get the idea.

I spent my day tending to his every need, happily doing many things most would rely on a nurse to help with, watching his monitors to make sure he was breathing well without the aid of oxygen so he wouldn't have to sleep with an awful mask on tonight and generally, brining him up to speed on the last week of his life. In the quiet moments when he was comfortable and resting, it was so amazing to look across the room at him sleeping peacefully and knowing that he will be walking out of Northwestern in a few days a healthy man on the road to recovery.

We spoke about looking at life much differently now and how much we appreciate just being able to see each other. We looked at pictures of our sweet Charlie and his amazing smile and we can't wait to get home to hold him tight.

Kenny is such a strong guy...he found that the typical IV painkiller makes him sick to his stomach when we were at the hospital in McHenry so he is only controlling the pain with regular old Tylenol. They really don't want him throwing up because of the trauma to his brain in the last 6 days, as you can imagine and he is willing to just take the Tylenol and an ice pack to the neck to avoid further pain. I can't imagine the pain he is in...two surgeries to the brain in 6 days and you are just taking Tylenol???!!! I can't explain how proud I am of him.


Mr. Frank said...

That was an upllifting update !! We will be looking at your blog everyday to see how Ken is doing.. Tell him we said 'thumbs-up' and stay strong !!

You take care Michelle and if there is anything we can do, PLEASE let us know !

Frank and Cindi Burton.

anita nd richard said...


Such a beautiful ending to a horrific ordeal Ken had to endure. Out thoughts and prayers continue to Ken, and your whole family.

Richard and Anita

Mary & Jeremy said...

Michelle, Kenny, & Charlie,

We're so glad the surgery turned out well! You are a strong family. We love you!

Mary, Jeremy, & Baby Deram