2/9/11 Surgery #3

We got the latest surgery scheduled for 2/8/11 after several discussions and emails with Dr. Arata’s office and the hospital. Dr. Arata wanted me to go to the Fountain Valley Hospital which is fairly close to their Costa Mesa office. Given I now had an FDA approved billable medical condition (jugular thrombosis), insurance kicked in subject to deductibles and co-pays. Kathy and I left our home in Las Vegas on Monday 1/7 and drove the four hours from Las Vegas, checking into the Ayers Hotel again. Given our procedure was scheduled for the following afternoon and the food restriction didn’t begin until midnight, we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Yardhouse in the Triangle Square mall (located just past the end of Highway 55 as it turns into regular streets in Costa Mesa).

All the nervous anticipation kicked in again, and while we’re pretty good at relaxing and enjoying our life, it was definitely hard to keep the emotions in check. After all, this would be the third attempt to open my left jugular vein in hopes that I could finally begin the road to healing my underlying condition. As I have said many times, CCSVI procedures don’t fix MS; rather they give one the chance to heal once the environment is there.

Anyway, we arrived at the hospital at about noon on 2/8, and went through the obligatory paperwork, dressing into the gown and getting the IV started. I was scheduled to go to the Cath Lab, which is the same operating room they use for all kinds of heart emergencies. It is also a room that looks very similar to the surgery centers I was now becoming so familiar with. Prep was normal in the room, and soon Dr. Arata next to me at the table talking with me about the procedure. There was still no reason given as to why I had built up so much scar tissue, but then again, there was no reason given on why the sky is blue. Sedation was administered, and the procedure began. I hoped for the best.

As with the last surgery on the 27th, in a sedated state I began to realize there were real challenges with this left jugular, Although Dr. Arata was able to get the catheter into and through my left jugular, something was difficult and I again passed out (vaso vagel) from the sheer pain. I came back around in a few seconds, but I was still quite groggy and in quite a bit of pain. I was able to discern, however, that there were two doctors in the room now, not just Dr. Arata. I could tell because of the dialogue of discussion instead of instruction that I normally heard in the room. I realized that Dr. Todd Harris, another of the CCSVI specialists at Pacific Interventionalists, had come to assist and they were working through it together.

They had one of the entry points at my neck and the other in the right groin, and they were breaking up the scar tissue by using a kind of flossing motion out of the two exit points, scraping the scar tissue build up out of the vein. They also installed a stent in the left jugular. I’m glad I was sedated and barely realized what was happening because thinking about this now makes me queasy. Regardless, after about 2 ½ hours, they were done and the scar tissue had been removed, and my left jugular was once again flowing. Note throughout all of this the right vein and azygos all were flowing nicely.

One of the reasons for doing this in the hospital was the possibility that I might have to be admitted in-patient, and sure enough, this was the case. As I went back to the hospital room, I was extremely groggy, in quite a bit of pain, and my head hurt on the left side from the temple down in front of my ear, and to the area just above the clot. It almost felt like the catheter had gone too far up and into my brain, and it hurt so much. I think the pain came from the circulation now taking place after being completely occluded for 2 weeks.

I remember thinking as Kathy came back to my bedside, it’s done, and I can get back on with it.

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