Friday, May 6, 2011

Trial Surgery

It has been a long day, but I decided to take a second and post my experiences before I forget the details.

I went in for my trial surgery today. Luckily I was the first patient this morning, so I didn't have to spend the day in anxious anticipation. Around 7:30 am they wheeled me back to the operation room after about two hours of pre-op preparation. Since I have egg allergies, the anesthesiologists had to choose different medications to put me out. I have a hard time explaining exactly what they gave me. I was certainly awake for most of the surgery, and I remember it, yet it wasn't like "twilight" as many doctor's kept explaining to me. One anesthesiologist (I had three altogether, gotta love teaching hospitals) gave me a shot that was supposed to make me feel like I was drunk as I got into the O.R. I did for a short period of time, but it wore off quickly. My surgeon came in and started shaving my head. Luckily he didn't chop as much off as I was expecting. He then sterilized the area, and covered my face with a paper drop cloth. My pain is solely above my left eyebrow, so Dr. Boggan decided to forgo connecting to the occipital nerve, and instead insert the wire into my forehead. This meant that during the surgery I was on my side the whole time.

Next, the doctor started injecting a numbing agent into my forehead and surrounding area. This was pretty painful. If you have ever had botox for migraines, it does hurt more than that. The funny thing is, because of the medication, I didn't really care. A little while later I felt Dr. Boggan slip a wire into my forehead, turn it on, and ask if that was the correct location. I said no, so they repositioned it. While I do not remember, I was later told that as soon as they turned it on I sighed and said, "My pain is now gone." Since they no longer needed my input, the anesthesiologist much have given me something stronger because I fell asleep. I do remember saying several times, "Oww, that hurts." Next I remember clearly is waking up in the recovery room.

 I could not have been out of surgery long before the Medtronics representative came in to show me how to use my remote. Since I was so groggy, I requested that my mother be in the room with me because I wouldn't remember the conversation. I highly recommend that if you choose to have this surgery, you have someone else there to listen to the rep and explain it to you later. She was sweet, and gave me a lot of hope. I got the basic gist of what she said, but the details were fuzzy. Apparently, I fell asleep while she was talking.

I was in quite a bit of pain, so my neurosurgeon was hesitant to send me home, despite the fact this is supposed to be outpatient surgery. However, by noon, I was doing very well. I decided that I would rather go home and be comfortable, instead of staying in the hospital. I was discharged by 12:30 pm.

As soon as I left the hospital I turned on my stimulator. Instantly I knew that it was working for me, which was surprising. I thought that it would take a few days until the incision pain went away before I knew if it was helpful. I was wrong. I no longer have the same headache I have had for the last 4 years! Sure, there is quite a bit of pain, and I do have a headache, but it's a different one that I am used to and it's just from the wires. I am so excited and it all feels worth it for me now. I'm really looking forward to having the battery implanted next week so that I can start healing and get on with me life!

I will upload pictures in the next few days.


  1. Hoping your stimulator does the trick. so sorry that you have HC in addition to needed a stimulator. There are a few of us with the same problem that have had great success.

  2. Did you end up with a stimulator as well? What types of headaches do you have?

    I know is sounds odd, but I felt almost lucky that my daily migraines turned out to be HC because it was supposed to be easily treatable. And while Indomethacin didn't work for me, being diagnosed with HC led me to this surgery and I couldn't be happier now that I'm out of pain!