Surgery Cancelled

June 1, 2012

We had finally scheduled a date to have Meaghan’s missing bone flap replaced.  Her surgery was scheduled for June 11.  However,  when Tracy, Meg and I met with Dr. Gurtner yesterday, Meg’s neurosurgeon, she warned us that having the operation could potentially cause more harm than good.  Basically, the surgery to replace her missing bone was unnecessary.  Her argument was  that since Meg has made so much progress during the past year the surgery itself could cause her to regress.  She said she would do the surgery if we were insistent, but if Meg was her daughter she wouldn’t want her to have the surgery.  I didn’t know how to argue with that.

She said the hole is small, about an inch and half, and the muscle and membrane covering the opening is thick enough that Meg could withstand a punch or even a kick to that spot without injuring her brain (I’m not sure I quite believe her and certainly don’t want to test it).  She did say a baseball bat or golf club is another story (which is probably true even if there was skull covering the opening).  She also said lifting the skull where it had partially sunk in after the surgery was out of the question as it would almost assuredly re-damage her brain.  However, she did give the OK for Meg to play softball next year, that is, once I explained that she wears a helmet when at bat and when running the bases (probably the only time when she could possibly get hit on the noggin’).  We do plan to get a second opinion at some point, but for now no surgery.

Beyond that Meg continues to improve.  Aside from one seeming false alarm last month, there have been no more seizures. Even looking back just a few months I can see considerable improvement.  Emotionally her responses are much fuller and in many respects she is nearly back to normal.  A few weeks ago she was upset and crying about something and I said she was acting like a normal 16 year old girl. She smiled and said “Really? I’m acting like a normal 16 year old?”  I admit I didn’t think at the time I was paying her a compliment.  I guess given all that she’s been through acting like an irrational 16 year old girl is something to celebrate.  She has started conditioning in the hope to return as a Salem High School cheerleader next fall.  Go Salem!  Also, Dr. Gurtner recommended we ask her neurologist to lower the dose of her anti-seizure medication Keppra.  That’s next on the list. While Keppra is evidently a good anti-seizure med for someone Meg’s age with few side effects, it does slow her brain processing down, makes her constantly tired, and has contributed to some weight gain.

So, for the hardy few that still check this site from time to time, please pray that Meg can have her Keppra dose cut without any problems (and eventually one day get off it entirely), can find a good summer job near our home, and, sometime this summer, that she can finally get her long-awaited driver’s license. Pray also that in all things she will learn to trust in the Lord.

I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.

He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear, And will trust in the LORD.

How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.