Friday, June 29, 2007

"Awaken, Sleeper!"

I just heard from Dr. Liau's office. The results of the functional MRI indicate that Dr. Liau WILL do the sleep/awake procedure. This involves being put to sleep for the first part of the surgery (when they open up my head and expose the tumor), and then being awakened. The neurologist I spoke with the other day said I'd be fully awake - as awake as I am now. However, Dr. Liau says many patients have only vague memories of being awake. During the awake time - which can be between 1-2 hours - they will ask me vocabulary-related questions while stimulating portions of my Broca's Area with a mild electric shock. If I can't come up with the right word, they'll know they're in a vital area. They literally mark the area with a sterile piece of paper (wonder if it's an Avery product?).

After the awake time, they'll put me back to sleep, remove the tumor, and close me up. I'll go to the ICU for the first night, then to my room for at least 2 more nights. If all goes well, I'll be home by Thursday.

My surgery will be at UCLA Medical Center Hospital. After Monday, you can try to reach me through Patient Location: 310/825-8611.

It's scheduled for 7:30AM (need to be at the hospital by 5:00AM that morning).

That's what I know at this point. I'm scheduled to talk to Dr. Liau in more detail Sunday afternoon. This is all coming together! It's becoming very 'real' to me, now - I'm a little nervous, but confident. I know Who's in charge!

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