Two Surgeries At Once — Done!

Well, yesterday morning I showed up at 7 AM for my scheduled surgery. After I was there and had changed and they had put the IV in, the surgeon showed up and told me he was actually going to do another one in addition to the first one! I tried not to panic. He told me what it was — radiation treatments designed to burn the largest nerve in my brain in an effort to eliminate (temporarily) the intense and frequent pain I experience due to trigeminal neuralgia. As I had already talked with my pain management specialist about a similar procedure to do in the future if the scheduled one didn’t work, this was fine with me. So, he did two — a nerve block and the radiation treatment. He had to insert long needles through my cheek up into a cavity in my skull where part of the trigeminal nerve is located in an effort to get to them. When I woke up from the anesthesia, I felt fairly woozy. My face is a little swollen today and my head felt a little weird yesterday, but all in all, I’d have to say I’m pleased and hopeful that this will help — for awhile. How long? No one knows. The trigeminal nerve grows back when it’s been burned down, so it’s inevitable that this will reappear. It’s just a question of time. Three months? Six months? Nine months? There’s only one cure available, and it’s a very dangerous and occasionally lethal brain surgery called MVD. Most neurosurgeons try to steer you away from that til it’s a last resort, even though it’s got a great success record. It’s just too dangerous to try. So … temporary pain blocking surgical procedures indefinitely. I guess I can live with that. At least I’m alive, right?