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Posts Tagged ‘surgeries’

Surgery, Birthdays, Etc.

Posted by Scott Holstad on September 17, 2014

I had another surgery on Monday. A little neurological thing (two actually) called a Gasserian Ganglion Block and a Radiofrequency Ablation. I’ve had them before, so no biggie, right? Wrong. They couldn’t knock me out! The anesthesia wouldn’t work. I laid there for 15 minutes with the anesthesiologist telling me to breathe deeply the whole time and nothing happened. Finally they said that I would have to go through this procedure awake. This procedure involves putting a hole in my face, inserting a long needle, finding a socket in my skull where a tendril of my trigeminal nerve (the biggest nerve in your brain) resides, and then burning the shit out of it. I’m not staying awake for that! Finally the surgeon came in and they asked him and he said under no circumstances was I to be awake — I was to be asleep for the duration. So, it took another five minutes, but I finally went under. And woke up awhile later, good as new. It always takes me a long time for the anesthesia to wear off, so I’m woozy for a few days and tired, but I’m glad to be done with it. I had another one done at the end of July. These are done because I have Trigeminal Neuralgia, an incredibly rare and very painful disease impacting the face. Not much can be done about it. You have to live on Percocets and hope for the best. It gets old. Hopefully these surgeries will help diminish the pain for awhile. How long? Who knows? I’ve had them last as little as 18 days and as long as several months. Someone asked me once why I don’t just get them done every month, but the easy answer to that is they’re not free. They cost thousands and even though insurance covers a good part of that, I still have to pay a chunk and I can’t afford unlimited procedures.

Meanwhile, this coming Friday is my birthday. Normally I’m a little depressed about it, but this year, I’m actually slightly excited — and I don’t know why! Maybe it’s cause it’s not a milestone birthday. My wife is making me a requested lasagna dinner and the next day, we’re going up to Knoxville to hang out with Mom. Apparently I’m getting a couple of presents too.

On a side note, we’ve been trying to sell our old house since February. The first buyer’s credit fell through. We got a second buyer though and things looked good. The house has been off the market the past two months as we headed towards closing — or so we thought. Closing was to have been last Thursday, but Wednesday night, the buyer’s lender said they had to delay it — they were still working through some things. Finally, today, they denied the buyer their preapproved loan. Why? Cause they’re foreigners and they don’t lend money to certain foreigners. WTF??? If that’s the case, why couldn’t they have figured this out in Week 1 and saved us all the hassle??? Why drag us all through this? Now, we’re back at square one and who knows when we’re going to sell this damn house. It’s a real nightmare. I had already turned off all the utilities, so today, I had to turn them back on again, and the gas company charged me a $225 nonrefundable deposit, even though I just terminated my account with them last week and was never late on a bill. Bastards. What a nightmare.

In the meantime, I’ve been sick and I’ve given it to my wife. Nothing too serious, hopefully, but enough to be aggravating. Speaking of the wife, she wants a new cat. The problem is, we don’t know how our current cat, Henry, would get along with one. He’s very territorial. I’d hate to get one and then have to return him a few weeks later. That wouldn’t be good. Not sure what to do. We do miss Toby though and the thought of getting a new cat is attractive….

I guess that’s all for today. Cheers!


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Sorry For My Absence

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 11, 2011

Hi there. I’m sorry for my extended absence since the last time I posted. I have not been feeling well at all, for the most part. At all. I won’t go into all of my various afflictions, but one that has played a prominent role in my life for the past year was just diagnosed in May as Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known unofficially as “The Suicide Disease” as it is commonly thought to be the most severely painful illness/condition known to mankind. Yeah, good times. Trust me when I state that I would not ever wish my last year on my worst enemy. Yep.

Thursday I had an appointment with my pain management specialist. Naturally, I had to wait for what seemed like hours before I got to see him, but he’s a good doctor and he cares, so I’ll cut him some slack. I’m being scheduled for another Stellate Ganglion Block surgical procedure quite soon. It’s just being used as an occasional temporary pain blocking procedure. The next step will be my having to undergo a Radiofrequency Thermal Rhizotomy surgery. All of this to avoid the one procedure all of the doctors, specialists and neurosurgeons go out of their way to avoid — the MVD brain surgery. Apparently, a few too many people die as a result of that surgery for medical professionals to feel really good about going in that direction. The irony is that is the only treatment option that actually is a cure for TN — the other options are just temporary pain blockers, and that’s all. It’s quite frustrating. If I ever have to go that route, I’ll be put on Big Boy medication that makes Morphine look flat out silly, Fentanyl being the first and foremost. Massively addictive and 100 times more potent that Morphine, allegedly. And, by all accounts, getting off of Fentanyl and others like it is much worse than getting off Heroin. Would really like to avoid this. Of course, I’ve been trying to avoid being put on Fentanyl just as I currently am, as I live today, prior to even thinking about MVD surgery. It would be completely disabling, although in truth, TN itself is largely disabling, so I guess it’s a trade off….

Well, enough whining about that. Actually, I’m not trying to whine, merely explain. This topic is on my mind for several reasons, but as it relates to this blog because I feel like I’m neglecting my editing duties at Ray’s Road Review, the online literary journal where I serve as poetry editor. My buddy and RRR founder, Chris Duncan, graciously cuts me slack on this, but I still feel not only an obligation but a desire to work on poetry submissions. It’s one of the few creative outlets I currently have.

Meanwhile, I’ve got some big stuff going on in my private life. Complications, frustrations, other health problems too, as I indicated, and this morning, yet another doctor appointment. It gets tiring, but we all have our own crosses to bear, do we not? So, I just wanted to write something, to touch base with those few of you who know I’m here in blogland, and who care. I do appreciate it. Cheers!

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