Friday, August 19, 2011

Medical Wonders

Sometimes I feel as if we are living in the future that was projected when we watched Star Trek as a kid. By that, I mean that my partner's surgery and subsequent recovery has been nothing short of amazing.

On Wednesday of this week, I brought my partner to one of the world's leading teaching hospitals and had his brain tumor "resolved" by an outstanding neurosurgeon.

Using a laser knife, the doctor cut and cauterized the blood vessels that fed the tumor, but did not actually remove it. Because it is not cancerous, it does not have to be removed. It will shrivel and be absorbed.

I brought my partner home on the same night as his surgery, as he didn't have any complications or need to be admitted to the hospital. And you know, that's amazing. Imagine -- having brain surgery in the morning and being released on the same day!

Yesterday, my partner awoke with a huge smile and tears of joy. He told me that it was the first night in over six months that he slept the entire night without the tinnitus caused by the brain tumor keeping him awake. Later in the day, he rose, got dressed, and read several chapters in a book. He ate well, and even watched some TV. He has no pain anywhere; in fact, my partner refused a prescription for a pain killer. He didn't need it.

The only down-side to all of this is that he has become deaf in his left ear, but each doctor consulted through this ordeal told us to expect that.

We anticipate that the neurosurgeon will clear my partner to return to regular function when we see him on Monday of next week when the follow-up appointment is scheduled.

Be thankful for employer-provided health insurance, and that you can get the correct care at a very highly-qualified place if you know what to ask for and how to advocate. I thank my lovely aunt who passed away in January for giving me the "advocacy skills" with insurance companies. It is possible to get what you want, but you have to know how to ask for it.

Life is short: get the best care you can.

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