Hi again all! For any of you that are fairly new to my blog and not familiar w/what an avm (arterio venous malformation) is - it is not a good thing to have! It's basically an abnormality that a very small percentage of our population has or is familiar with. A doctor can go his whole practice and not see a patient w/an avm! This thing has a mind of it's own and Dr. Yakes and I have to keep ahead of it and not let it get ahead of us! There is profuse spontaneous bleeding @ times. It is a very slow process having these embolizations every 7 to 8 weeks in Denver @ the Swedish Hospital where Dr. Yakes practices medicine! I probably won't look very different until all the procdures are done and once I get a clean bill of health (in other words, got all the avm) then there will be reconstructive surgery to put me back together hopefully what I used to look like! If you get a chance, please do visit another blog that belongs to a fellow avm-er, Shalon Whitgob! Her blog is really informative and she has completed all her treatments and inspires so many of us avmers out here still waiting to be done w/our treatments!!!
I was looking forward to this trip to CO because I wanted Dr. Yakes to work on the area inside my mouth where I had some bleeds recently. When Celia made the plane reservations, she got what was available and that got us into CO about 3:30 p.m. The weather was fantastic - in the 70's, yay! We were hoping not to have to deal with any snow on this trip!
The ladies in Admitting @ Swedish Hospital leave @ 3pm, so we were told to go straight to Dr. Yakes office, where one of his P.A's. Mandy went over my medical history and had me sign consent papers. She then walked us to ER where I got my hospital bracelet. By the time I got in a room, it was already 7:30 p.m.! See the towels on the shelf in my room? Last time I was @ Swedish, I got some fancy soap, shampoo and lotion from Aveda I think! Celia went across the street to eat dinner @ a restaurant called the Copper Pot (comfort food) and took several photos of the menu with her phone to send me! Unfortunately, the chicken pot pie I ordered never got tasted, as I was feeling nauseous.
Had the best nurse name Kurt that got me settled in. The lab tech came by to get a blood sample, but now w/my mediport, they can draw it from there and I don't get poked w/a needle! A couple of respiratory techs came by to check my trache and to see if I needed any supplies.
I asked for Saba and heard she was still out on maternity leave for a couple more weeks! Everyone @ Swedish is super friendly, so I always feel very comfortable there! Every person from every department that came into my room was very welcoming - it is amazing how much better you feel just knowing that someone really cares! Kurt even mentioned that although he knew there was no way Dr. Yakes could have hand picked his patients, he says all Dr. Yakes patients are the best, so they really enjoy taking care of us! I told him it was probably because we are so grateful to have found someone to help us medically when no other doctor seemed to know how to handle this! Mine especially, because it is facial and very complicated and extensive! Another of my favorite nurses came by to say hello, Dave LaBadie! He is always so enthusiastic and is excellent @ his job! I finally got in bed and tried to get some rest. Celia went back to the hotel and showed up again early in the morning! Meanwhile, by that time I had already been visted by the doctor for disease and control a couple of times and was told to stay on the IV antibiotics until the 24th of this month! He also mentioned that my electrolites were all over the place, so they worked on getting me all balanced out as far as my potassium, calcium and iron too!
Actually, Celia was in the room when that doctor came in the second time and she was writing down the instructions that this doctor wanted me to have done here w/my local doctor. He noticed Celia writing on a NASA notebook and that really got the doctors attention! Apparently, his first career choice had been to be an astronaut and not a doctor, so he enjoyed seeing all the photos Celia had on her I-pad of her brother-in-law, Astronaut Mike Fossum!
I was finally taken to surgery about 11:30 a.m. I told them to hurry as I needed to be out of recovery in time to watch American Idol, ha, ha!
The OR staff is fantastic, although I wasn't too familiar w/the anesthesiologist. I usually get Quinn or Wendy! Speaking of Wendy, I had just missed one of Dr. Yakes patients w/the same name that comes for treatment from Canada, as her avm is in her upper pallet! Celia mentioned that the cleaning lady had told her stories of other patients that were even worse off than I was (one patient had the avm on her tongue!) and they were helped and healed completely with Dr. Yakes help! Hearing stories like that encourages me in knowing this experience will all be over with someday!
I saw Dr. Yakes for a few minutes in OR, before I was put under. Next thing I know I woke up in recovery and barely remember how much time I spent there before I was taken back to my room. I did have to stay in bed a bit longer due to the angiogram (groin stick) before I was allowed to get up and walk around on my own.
Kurt had asked if I had my flu or pneumonia shot yet and since I hadn't, we took advantage of getting that done while I was there! We normally get these @ work, but I don't think the budget allowed for it this year and I just hadn't gotten around to it!
Celia was thinking we needed to stay an extra day, since I had been taken to surgery so late, she wanted me to have plenty recover time before having to board the plane by noon the next day! A couple hours after being put in the room, I was feeling a lot better, so we kept our original plans to fly home Thursday and arrive about 7pm that evening!
Dr. Yakes used 21 cc's of alcohol and I can tell he worked on the inside of my mouth on the left. My left eye is swollen shut and of course the rest of the left side of my face is swollen.
I feel pretty good considering just having an embolization, so life goes on as usual! Thanks again for all your love and prayer!
I may add a photo or two when I can. I think Celia took some w/her camera!