Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weird and wonderful

The week that I had been dreading has passed, and all is well.

My Dad is now at home, recovering nicely from Tuesday's prostate surgery. The Surgeon is confident that the cancer had not spread outside the (now removed) prostate. My Dad's pre-operative fitness level is undoubtedly playing a role in his swift recovery.

Nothing dramatic or definitive came out of Steve's consultation with the Neurologist at Walter Reed. Another MRI has been ordered, but we left Washington without any new insight or information about what could have been causing Steve's left-sided weakness, fatigue, or episodic confusion and mental fogginess.

On Wednesday, we took the scenic route home through central Pennsylvania. We stopped in at Carson Long Military Institute, where Steve attended boarding school from grades 8 through 12. It boosted Steve's spirits to visit his old stomping grounds and catch up on old times with his former teachers. We continued on the road less traveled, and drove through the Endless Mountains region of Pennsylvania. It's simply gorgeous!

On Friday, Steve had outpatient surgery to remove a bump from the left side of his forehead. This bump appeared a few years ago, and all along, the doctors have shrugged it off. From all appearances, it was a lipoma - a benign fatty tumour. The surgeon who removed it was confident that it was indeed a lipoma with some muscular involvement. The incised tissues have been sent off to the histology lab for further analysis, just to be certain. The entire staff of the Outpatient Procedures Unit of Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, NY, is to be commended for their professionalism. We are completely satisfied with the experience.

Now, here's the weird and wonderful part: Steve feels better than he has in years. He usually rated his joint pain as a 7 or 8 on the classic ten point scale, with some days being worse than others. Yesterday and today, he has reported a pain level of 2 or 3 - without the aid of Darvocet. More to the point, his mental clarity and sharpness have returned. We're not really sure why. The Surgeon called yesterday to check up on Steve. Yes, the Surgeon, himself! On a Saturday afternoon! He was quite certain that the surgery was not the reason for the improved mental clarity. From an anatomical and pathological standpoint, there doesn't seem to be any possible correlation. Yet, here we are, in a happy place.

Are there any medical sleuths out there? Is it possible that the lipoma was exerting backpressure on the blood vessels and nerves supplying the underlying facialis muscle? Could that cause episodic fatigue and confusion?

To those who have sent their prayers and kind thoughts, we thank you profusely. And now, we're off to enjoy this beautiful day.


Jeff Dem said...

Great good fortune is wished to the whole 'Rose' group from this political blogger.

Anonymous said...

It's great to hear Steve is feeling a lot better now. Sorry I have have been out of touch lately and didn't drop by to say goodbye before we split. We finally got settled in here in Leavenworth. I hope to see you all about this time next year!

Heidi says hello too,


Dana said...

I'm sure that it possible that the lipoma was exerting backpressure on the blood vessels and nerves supplying the underlying facialis muscle. Why couldn't that cause episodic fatigue and confusion?

It sounds absolutely reasonable. Obviously, it made some sense to you or you wouldn't have asked your readers about it. There has to be some correlation to what it is, we may never know...but even as a beginning nursing student, your theory makes complete sense.

Hmm...glad he's feeling better, regardless of the reason!!