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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Neurosurgeons and NASCAR

Crazy title? Fitting for a crazy day. Not only was the day crazed, but it was also really, really long. So, you all know what that means: no novels today. (Lucky you!)

We met with the local neurosurgeon today. We made the appointment in order to discuss the SDR surgery that, if you're a regular follower of this blog, you've become oh-so-familiar with. The appointment kinda snuck up on me this time, which meant that I was robbed of the opportunity to spend the week worrying about it in the middle of the accordingly sleepless night. I also didn't think to pray for Mr. Neurosurgeon-dude (or, at least I assumed that someone with the first name of Patrick was a DUDE) until we were pulling out of the driveway this morning.

The butterflies and puking-in-my-mouth hit when the last carseat buckle was clicked, and we started driving to Children's Hospital. That's when I prayed.

Please please please make this doctor nice. Please please please make him soft-worded. Please please please give him extra wisdom today. Please please please help me not to cry in his office.

It could NOT have gone better. Well, okay, had he walked into the office with a sparkling bottle of Cerebral Palsy Cure Serum, that would have been better. But, every one of my nervous prayers were answered. Plus, Mr. Neurosurgeon was very, very pleasing to the eyes. Always a plus.

Dr. Doogie, unbenownst to me, has actually performed SDR surgeries before, while working in Toronto. I could feel my trust in him growing as he answered each question.

He prefaced his answers and recommendations by admitting that he was very conservative when it came to surgery. He would only consider surgery as a last resort, and even then, wasn't convinced that the benefits of SDR (for any patient, not specifically Ellie) would outweigh the risks and recovery regime.

After saying that, however, Dr. Hotchops continued by telling us that Ellie would be a good candidate for the surgery, if that's the route we decide to take. With tenderness in his strikingly blue eyes, he said, "I know you'd love for me to guide you better, but essentially YOU'RE the ones who have to make this decision. There is no right or wrong answer."

He agreed with our Shriner's Hospital doctor in that, no matter what, we need to give Ellie a bit more time to hone her walking skills and gain strength in order to improve her readiness for intensive post-op therapy. Richard and I feel really peaceful about our decision to hold off any surgery for another year or two.

The hottie doc also said that he would refer us to a pediatric neurosurgeon at Vancouver Children's Hospital. That's where the best Canadian SDR surgeons are. And guess what? They perform the same type of less-invasive surgery in Vancouver as in St. Louis! This is especially awesome because if we stay in Canada for this medical treatment, it'll be completely covered by our insurance! So, essentially, cost is no longer a factor. That is SUCH a huge reason to break out in a happy-happy-joy-joy dance!

So, our current plan is to go down to Minneapolis in January and talk more SDR specifics with them. Then, depending on how we feel about their answers, we'll bust our butts out to the west coast and see what Doc Vancouver has to say. I like that plan. It makes my heart calm. I've always felt that God speaks to me via a calm heart, so I'm gonna take that as a good sign.

Oooh, and today's doc also used phrases like, "Ellie's very high-functioning...", "Ellie's CP isn't severe enough to warrant...", "Her hands look great..."

My Mama heart was a-smilin'.

As an adieu, I will leave you with the NASCAR portion of my post:


S-Grandma said...

Gosh, the email I got from Richard didn't say a thing about what a good looking hunk the doctor was. How did he miss that? (big grin)

It is sooooo great to hear these new options. More time to prepare, less $$$ needed. Ellie "high functioning." Yes!

And I'll have to pass that NASCAR pic on to S-Grandpa. He'll totally love it.

Richard said...

Hmm, next time I bring the "make the Dr. ugly" glasses for C, apparently... hurumph.

Jane said...

Now I'm wondering about Dillon's glowing opinion of Oscar's pediatric urologist...

I'm glad that doc was hot, and I'm even more glad that your prayers were answered!

Bill said...

Encouraging news! Thanks for the update!
How happy and cute is Ell in that picture? Check out that arm too. Girl's got guns!

* ~ *Jessica* ~ * said...

I wanted to say hi! Good luck with all of your studying. And, I've always 'known' by looking at pictures that Ellie would take up the hobby of walking eventually. You know, Logen was 3 before he was up and going and at 5- it's certainly not perfect- he falls frequently- but he's up. And, we were told he may not ever do it. SO, let's join a 'shove-it' doctor's party (and I want to be one of them...)! And, on Bama beating us this year- well... ya know, we are a young team. With a new coach. We lost our good players/seniors. We suck so far this year. We have game tickets for the Ole Miss game (we are playing our previous coach) and I'm like, oh- gee, we are going to get murdered out there! Have a great week!!!!!

Sunny said...

I am so sorry I am just getting here. NKOTB made my week crazy. I am SO excited. I love the plan. I love your doctor. He is cute for sure. I love the wisdom. I am excited! You know you can stay with my inlaws or sil in Vancouver. Well they are like 45 min. outside of big V.


Sheila said...

Oh Chrystie! What great news! Doesn't it feel good to have your Mama heart happy? AND a hottie doc....what more could you ask for! I just know that Ellie's gonna go places! Love the Nascar pic too!