The Starfish Project

The combined effort of our whole family.

Update on Mom’s Thumb

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I just spoke with Dad and he said the vascular surgery was a success.  The color has returned to her thumb (except for the very tip), but the doctor thinks that will heal up too.  They found one large blood clot and several smaller ones and removed them.  Her hand is a little swollen, but she’s doing so much better.  Dad said she’s resting comfortably and they’ve been giving her a little bit of morphine for the pain.

Man, we just never saw this one coming.  We noticed that her thumb was a little discolored yesterday and mentioned it to the nurse.  But, her nurse said it was just from poking her fingers to check her blood sugar.  The Decadron makes your blood sugar go up and she’s had to receive insulin a few times.  Her blood sugar was 240 on Monday night and they gave her six units of insulin.  And, it was 146 yesterday afternoon and they gave her 2 units of insulin.

But, when we thought about it, they never poked her thumb to take her blood sugar.  I’m just glad they were able to do the surgery right away and save her thumb.

Okay, I’m getting in the shower and getting ready to go back to the hospital and relieve Dad.  Our plan is for her to have a wonderful and restful nights sleep so she’ll be ready for the Gamma Knife surgery in the morning.  She’s on the schedule for 7:00 AM.  It takes a while because there are many different steps they have to complete for the procedure.  They have to bolt the frame onto her skull.  She will have four screws that go into her skull.  They say this doesn’t hurt – it just feels like pressure when they’re doing it.  Then she has to have an MRI done of her brain while the frame is attached to her head.  Then the doctors will look at the MRI and make a plan for the actual Gamma Knife procedure.  They have to have a scientists on the team who will determine the angles of the gamma rays.  Then, she will be put into the Gamma Knife machine and the frame will be attached to the machine.  The actual procedure takes about an hour – about the same amount of time as an MRI.  Then, they remove the frame from her head and she’ll be under observation for a few hours.  Then, she’ll be sent over to their rehab part of the hospital to work on some physical therapy.

So, that’s our day for tomorrow.  I hope and pray everything goes according to schedule.

I’m bringing my laptop with me to the hospital this time, so I can update you all much more quickly.



Written by Tracey

January 28, 2009 at 10:05 am

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