Ryan's Brain Surgery (November 8, 2007)

Update:  December 5, 2007: So it's been brought to my attention that I need to update everyone on how Ryan's doing. He's all better so I guess I just forgot people needed updating. He went back to work the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. He doesn't show any signs that he had major brain surgery. His scar sometimes itches him and for some reason the hair isn't growing on the scar and sometimes he feels the skin pulling at the scar and that bugs him but he's been off the pain pills for several weeks and he's not even fatigued like the doctor said he would be. We have truly been blessed and we owe a many many many thanks to all of you who prayed and fasted for our family. Those prayers were heard and felt by us and at least at my lowest moment when I was the most scared the Lord let me know that everything would be okay. We love you all and truly recognize the blessing of health that Ryan has been given. The Lord does love our family and even though he tried us almost to our breaking point we are all better for being humbled by this experience.

Not For the Squeamish

(click to embiggen each picture)

Update:  November 14, 2007: Ryan seems to be doing a little bit worse than the day he came home. I guess the Lortab is taking care of his head pain for the most part but he is extremely nauseated and can't get an appetite so he's hardly eaten anything which I think is making him feel worse. Hopefully the doc with give us something for that today.

Ryan's New Doo


Update:  November 12, 2007: Ryan came home today and is doing good. He's tired but is able to get some rest. The nurses at the hospital woke him up every hour or so so he never got good rest. He's only on Lortab for pain. He was able to eat dinner with me and Seth tonight. He's doing really good and we're just glad to have him home. The house was lonely without him.

Update:  November 11, 2007: Ryan is doing great. He may get to come home tomorrow, Tuesday at the latest. He's awake most of the day now and is able to get out of bed on his own. His head hurts pretty bad so he's on lots of pain medication. He's functioning normally so as far as we can tell there hasn't been any damage done because of the surgery. He's going to feel tired for several months so it will be a while before he is able to go back to work full time. The doctor said he's doing great. Thank you everyone who emailed, called, and showed your love and concern for us all. There is still lots of pain and recovery on Ryan's part but the scary part is over. The doctor said he is likely to be agitated easily so we're just going to take it easy this holiday season and spend our time at home. Thanks to everyone who helped me out with Seth Pie so I could be with Ryan as much as possible. Seth was the hit of the hospital. I can't even tell you how many people Seth brought a smile to. He was very popular with nurses, patients, and anyone else at the hospital.

Update:  4:00 PM: Ryan's been in ICU all afternoon. I've been in to see him three or four times. He's really really tired and just wants to sleep. He is able to talk to me a little bit but it hurts because he had a breathing tube in during surgery. He was even able to make a little joke. He told the nurse his pain level is only 2 out of 10 and that's without any medication since the operation. He should be out of ICU tomorrow afternoon. I can't take Seth to see him until he's out of ICU. Ryan's not really up for any visitors. I'll check on him once more then go home for a few hours. I think I'll come and see him later tonight to say goodnight.

Update:  12:20 PM: He's out and he's alive!!!! The doctor said everything went great, there was more blood in his brain than he had anticipated meaning when the hemangioma bled it bled out more than the doctor could tell on the MRI and it sounds like the doctor said he could tell it was likeley to bleed again. We made the right decision. Ryan's in recovery right now and in a few minutes they should take him up to ICU and I'll get to see him.

Update:  11:45 AM: Our leaison nurse doesn't really do much. She comes out once in a while to say Ryan's still in surgery. I guess she just peaks through the operating room window but doesn't have any contact with the doctors. Seth is doing great. He's been awake since 5:00 am and as long as I'm here he's happy. I appreciate all the offers of people to take him for me today. I think if I didn't have Sethie here to distract me I'd go crazy. (Oh, and he's still nursing and doesn't take a bottle so I can't leave him for more than a few hours anyway)

Update:  So me and Ryan and Seth got to the hospital this morning (Nov. 8) at 5:30 am. By the way, I didn't sleep a wink last night so if anything doesn't make sense I apologize. We got checked in and he immediately got an IV and they shaved his head right then too. I forgot my camera cable or else I would post a picture. He then went in for an MRI and then we waited for an hour or two and then the nurse came and said he needed another MRI. So they took him for the second MRI around 8:15 am and then since his surgery was scheduled for 9:00 am they took him straight to a holding room. I got to see him in there and talk to the anethesiologist who said Ryan is in good health and there are very minimal risks. So that's where we're at right now at 9:38 am. I'm sitting in the waiting room with Seth, Dee, Dale, and Nathan just waiting to hear an update. I was told that the first 45 minutes to an hour that he's in the operating room is mostly just prepping him so I'm sure the actual surgery hasn't started yet. I'll update this whenever I get an update.

Update:  Ryan's surgery is scheduled for Thursday Nov. 8 at Utah Valley. We don't really have any more details than that right now.

Cavernous Hemangioma

So on July 30 we found out that Ryan has a cavernous hemangioma which is basically a clump of blood vessels in the brain that shouldn't be there. Ryan's is in his left lobe deep down near the middle of his brain. The reason we found this is because Ryan had a pain in his head for about two weeks. This is apparently something he was born with. We went to the neurosurgeon and was told there is about a 50% chance that Ryan will need brain surgery to remove this. So it's been a few months and Ryan has explored a few options that wouldn't involve surgery and we've just been waiting to make a decision as to what he should do. After much research, pondering, and prayer we have both felt that surgery is the best thing to do. This will remove the hemangioma and we should never have to worry about this again. The downside is there are significant risks associated with the surgery, especially since it is so deep within his brain. Among the risks are stroke, heart attack, infection, and death. This is obviously a condensed version of our story and if you would like any more details we'd be happy to talk about it just let us know. Sorry for those of you who are reading about the surgery decision here on the website instead of us telling you. We just made the decision on Saturday night (Oct. 27) and we have spent today (Monday Oct. 29) getting a CT scan and talking to the doctor because Ryan thinks it has been bleeding again. We are a whirlwind of emotions right now and as soon as we have all of the details I'm sure we'll make some phone calls to let everyone know what's going on. Me, Ryan, and of course Seth could use all the prayers we can get right now because we're scared of the unknown and need reassurance and comfort that we have made the right decision.