Tom’s brain surgery

Greetings to all.

I think it was about the night of the 18th that Tom had a bad headache and vomited his supper. We did not go to church the next day. Tom slept all day and then again that night. The days following he had severe headaches and more vomiting. He seemed to be a bit better but on the 23rd we tried to see our primary doctor. He had just returned from vacation and was all booked up. We were told to call the next day to see if there was a cancellation.. There was the next afternoon. The doctor checked Tom over pretty well, had a sample of blood taken and gave him containers for a stool specimen. He said he would probably get the results on Monday, the 27th. We called him before 5 since he had not called us. He said the results had come but he had not had time to look them over. He said he would that night. The next day the nurse said they wanted to redo those 2 tests. It showed his iron was slightly low and to go buy some supplement that had iron in it. He was to come get another container for another stool test. However, Dad’s headaches were not improving and our nurse neighbor wanted to ask some other questions and went with me to pick up the container. Tom was going to go but he just kept falling asleep in his chair and was not washed or dressed, so we went without him. The nurse went with me to the doctor’s when I went for the container. I said I wanted to speak with the nurse so I could ask some questions. She finally said, “Just take him to the ER.” So we went home, threw a few things for Tom in a bag, took him in his bathrobe and slippers to the ER about 5:30 that evening. That was Wed. the 29th.

Tests they did at the ER all seemed quite normal and they probably wondered why we had brought him. I said that Tom’s main complaint was his severe headaches, and we wanted to know what was causing them. Then they did a cat scan and called the neurosurgeon. He explained to me that the scan showed much blood on one side of the brain and a small amount on the other side. Then they wanted to do an MRI before deciding which procedure to use to remove the blood and pressure on the brain. It was quite late when I returned home. They said they would do the MRI in the morning, but they did it later that evening.

Today I was there all day, signed the papers for the craniotomy. They gave him nothing to eat as they were waiting on word as to whether he would be having surgery. The doctor saw that Tom looked even worse than when he first saw him the night before and felt the surgery was urgent and was prepared to do it as soon as the operating room was available. So he went for surgery at 3:30 and was out about 5:30. The doctor told me that the surgery went well and Tom was doing fine. He removed a large clot and cleared out the area, left a small drainage tube and replaced the bone. He said he would do another scan of the other side of his brain later this evening to make sure it did not start to bleed more when the pressure is gone and the brain may move back to its former position. They let me see him for a few minutes before they sent him back to his room in the ICU to recover. Tom looked ever so much better even right after surgery. He looked alive! Before he was half asleep and out of it. Then later I was able to go to his room and see him for a short time. He was watching the Special Olympics on TV!

The doctor wants to keep Tom there for a few days to closely monitor him. Then he may send him to rehab for a bit before allowing him to return home. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for him. Please continue to pray. Pray re what happens on the other side of his brain, when they should remove the drainage tube, and when they should allow him to return home. After two major surgeries so close he needs to regain strength and some weight.

It is nearly 11 o’clock, so good night and love to you all.

Corinne Palmer