Monday, April 13, 2009

Circulatory System for a Thousand, please, Alex

I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on my blog.

I am not a teacher. But I sometimes play one in my life.

So...that being said. Take the circulatory explanation for what it is. Simplistic. Rudimentary. And potentially riddled with errors.

Arteries carry blood away from your heart. Arteries have to be very strong so that they can withstand the pressure of the blood as it is carried through the body.

Veins carry de-oxygenated blood back to the heart. The walls of a vein are tissue paper thin. And they can be because they don't deal with the constant pressure.

The two are connected by capillaries. Capillaries connect the arteries to your muscles and organs. And then another set of capillaries join up with the veins. And it all starts over again.

Or at least that is the way it is supposed to work.

Today Michael had a follow-up angiogram. And we found out that Michael did not have an aneurysm after all. What he has is an arteriovenous fistula. Which basically means that in his brain, he has an artery that directly connects to a vein. And well. That vein had just had enough pressure. It bled. A lot. And all that bleeding mimiced an aneurysm. And all that blood. Well, it shielded the fistula.

Now that we have an actual diagnosis. We fix it. And by we. I mean the neurosurgeon. And what we are going to do is a little brain surgery. Next week. Because there is a 20% chance that it will bleed again. This year. But. As far as brain surgery goes, it's not supposed to be a big deal. And when it's fixed. It's fixed. But guess what? It's "elective" brain surgery. Maybe Michael will ask if they can do a little eyebrow lift while they are there.

So...what about you? What kind of elective surgery would you want? Did you ever want to be a doctor? Oh...and I sorta forgot about my own contest. Click here to see the winner of the "Bride and Prejudice" movie.

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57 comments:

LadyStyx said...

Something that really needs fixing and it's considered "elective"??? *shakes head in disbelief*

I wouldnt want elective surgery. Shoot I dont even like having the necessary ones....

Finding Normal said...

I would like an elective tummy tuck.
Glad you got a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Neurosurgery is great fun. Just don't go watching Grey's Anatomy's recent episodes. You really probably don't want to actually have a visual for what will be happening. I like to live far in Denial.

Susie said...

I never wanted to be a doctor. I can't believe that is considered elective!!

Michelle said...

You know... there are some phrases in that post that have words that just shouldn't be together. "elective brain surgery?" "brain surgery... not a big deal?" Yikes!

Prayers that the surgery goes well and is uneventful. Definitely good for you to have a real diagnosis!

And me? I'm going for the ful body scope. That or a metabolism lift.

Swirl Girl said...

I would not elect any surgery!! And I feel so strongly about that I have to really psych myself up for a hair cut.

I hope it all goes well. At least they have a real diagnosis now.

what about you? why were you all dizzy a while back?

Karen said...

Wellm it's a good thing that you now have a diagnosis and a plan of action..

But, they're calling it 'elective surgery' ?? He has a 20 % chance of having another bleed and it's 'elective' ??

Prayers and good thoughts for all of you.

Shannon said...

"elective brain surgery" sounds like an oxymoron to me.

I never wanted to be a doctor. Or a nurse. I'm too squeamish. (is that how you spell squeamish? I wish the comment box had spellcheck!)

ChicagoLady said...

That sure doesn't sound very elective to me. It sounds more like NECESSARY!

I'm so glad they finally figured out what is really wrong with Michael, and it can be fixed.

I'll be praying for his speedy recovery from surgery.

I never wanted to be a doctor, but I have a best friend that is one, I remember in middle school/junior high, she already knew she wanted to be a doctor. She wanted to be a brain surgeon no less! Alas, she isn't, but I thought the story was kind of interesting, considering.

Romi said...

The only elective surgery I would want is plastic surgery, but I'm too chicken to go under he knife.

I have no desire to be a doctor.

What about you? Would you opt for any sort of elective surgery?

Jill said...

I sure do hope your insurance doesn't consider it "elective" too... (insert lots of mumbling under my breath of exactly how much I despise insurance companies these days...)

When Matt had his "elective" grafting done 2 years ago the insurance didn't pay for it... and thus we've been stuck paying the almost $8000 for it. Of course, had he not had the surgery, his teeth would have fallen out - and THEN the insurance company would have paid for the dentures.

@#@*^!#^*%#^&&%???

Jennifer P. said...

oh my gosh Kat!!! What wonderful news!!! Not often that people get told: "we can fix that right up, no problem!". Sooooo happy for the diagnosis and the hope!

As for elective surgery---well the girls would like to get put back in their place after dangling 4 babies.....if ya know what I mean :)

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

I'm glad they figured out what it was and that they can fix it. I'm not sure I get why it's elective though...

I hope it all works out. Surgery, hmmm...my nose, I hate my nose.

Jen said...

that's crazy that that is considered elective! Crazy medical stuff, I know that I will never get it. ;)

Lula! said...

OK...
I am so glad there is an official diagnosis, because just the other day Scott asked, "Did they ever find out if he had an aneurysm or not?" And I said, "I don't know--I'll put it on the list, right above asking her about Paula Deen..."

We will pray for his surgery. And for you and the girls, too.

Elective surgery? Please. I am so getting lipo AND a boob lift, hopefully within the next year. (Not a boob job--we all know I have big enough "jobs" already. I just need 'em lifted a bit...nursing 2 girls for a year apiece really made them migrate south. I'm no longer centerfold worthy. Sigh...)

Shelley said...

yeah, let's elect to transfer Michael's fistula to the punk at the insurance company who calls it an "elective" surgery. Let's see how fast it becomes medically necessary then.
I'm so sorry about that. How ridiculous can an insurance company get?

Kori said...

So glad that you know now and that it can be fixed even if it is an elective surgery.

Love you guys, hope to be coming that way soon. Miss our once a month meet-ups.

Lynette said...

elective as i elect to live?
me i would want my boobs put back where they belong
prayers for michael and you!

Elena said...

Oh I'm so glad you filled us all in. I've been worrying and wondering about Michael. And whoever heard of brain surgery being elective? That is very strange seeing as how the bleed almost killed him. I'm so glad that it can be fixed!!

And did I ever want to be a doctor? I STILL want to be a doctor. If I didn't have kiddos at home I'd be right back in school learning. As for elective surgery, I contemplate a tummy tuck on a daily basis. :)

Best of luck to Michael. I'll keep him in my prayers.

MaBunny said...

voluntarily? I would have a boob job! Although i like my naturally big ones, I am sick of having to buy more expensive not always cute bras becasue they don't always come in XL hooter size, lol.
any other surgery you'd have to convince me I needed, lol.

Karen said...

Oh, you poor thing. I just found your blog yesterday while searching for pictures of the Carnival Legend cruiseship (we're going on it next month) and I had no idea all this stuff was going on with your husband.

Sounds like you're handling it well, though.

Hang in there, and tell your husband to see if they can do a little lift and tuck while they're doing the "elective" brain surgery...

Brandy said...

"Elective" hmmmm. Interesting term for something completely necessary.

IF I were brave enough for some real elective surgery then I would get a boob lift, but since I fear being put to sleep I don't see that happening anytime soon. Much to Stevie's dismay.

Seriously. He actually said he would pay for it.

SKELLER said...

the docs may say it's not a big deal, but gosh, anything that links the brain and surgery in the same thought surely sounds serious. I'm glad you guys have some definitive answers - I'm sure that's a huge relief. I'll be praying for a very successful surgery with full & quick recovery!!!

Linda said...

Well whatever they have to call it, as long as they fix it, right? Elective ... makes me think of a vanity surgery that you can see from the outside, certainly not something as important as the brain. But I'm thankful you have a proper diagnosis and a plan of action. I'll be praying for a successful surgery and a quick and easy recovery!

Firefly mom said...

Elective? Seriously? What do you have - Kaiser insurance?? Stupid insurance companies.

And nope - never wanted to be a doctor (though I did want to be a forensic osteologist for a few years - does that count??) As far as elective surgery goes, I can't think of one that I'd like to have. I've had enough non-elective things done that I know my body doesn't really care to go under the knife ;)

Becky P. said...

I'm glad they finally have a diagnosis for Michael and can fix it. I'm with all the others though, this possibly can't be "elective". Geesh.

Add me to the tummy tuck and boob job list.

Teri said...

I cannot believe that THAT would be considered elective. Holy cow, this stuff constantly amazes me. I can't help but wonder if this elective status was thrust upon the medical community by the insurance industry. Hmm.

No doctor stuff for me. And I would like a tummy tuck as long as it didn't involve scalpels and stuff.

John Deere Mom said...

Are you serious? Elective brain surgery...that's the biggest oxymoron I've ever heard. What does that mean for insurance? Good luck...let us know how things go!

Joye said...

Well you sure have been missed. Prayin for Michael's big brain! My elective surgery easy- new lady plumbing--uterus, tubes, ovaries- and some lypo wouldn't hurt :)

Sissy said...

I'll pray that all goes well. Elective brain surgery, huh? I would think that anything in the brain that needed fixing would certainly not be elective.

Ashley said...

At least you know what it is. And the surgery sounds like it will take care of it... so no more repeats of this event. That is great news!

I don't understand the "electiveness" of the surgery, though.

Fritzie said...

So glad you have a diagnosis! It must make you feel so much better to finally know what it was and how to fix it.

But elective brain surgery? Ridiculous!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

WEll crap. And his hair was finally starting to look normal again.

Gina said...

I would totally elect to have my brain fixed if someone had hot wired it! But, maybe thaty's just me.

Aubrey said...

Sign me up for lasik, tummy tuck and breast augmentation! Fo sho!

I had dreams of going to med school before meeting my hubby, right out of high school, 16 1/2 years ago!

Heather said...

So relieved that you have an answer to all the questions.

So not relieved that BRAIN SURGERY is the solution. Does "elective" mean insurance will be reluctant to cover the cost? Just wondering.

I have to say, I have cared for many patients after brain surgery. I really think Michael will do fine; he is young, he is in relatively good health, he has you for a wife, and he is surrounded with the prayers of godly people.

Thanks for keeping us posted.

Darcy @ lwm3b said...

Well, you win. Your week is definitely more life changing than mine.

I'm going to echo all the thoughts above: elective and brain surgery in the same sentence? Sheesh.

Does your insurance company think it's elective? I mean criminy... that sounds expensive.

Still, what a HUGE relief to have answers. I'm glad for you all that you do, and pray that this will stop any other wimpy vein leaks from happening again.

I wish him the best for a smooth operation and a quick recovery.

Warmly,
Darcy

Rachael said...

Dude, elective surgery? WTH? That's so weird. I'm glad they figured out what really happened. I hope that everything goes okay. I will keep you guys in my prayers.

Teisha said...

Trina- I had no idea this was going on but just saw a post on FB. I am so sorry, and yet your writing makes it sound so amusing... I'll keep you in my prayers and my eye on your blog!

Susan said...

Doesn't sound so elective to me. What's wrong with this picture?? Hang in there, cutie. I have been thinking of you.

Tam said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you!

NOPE I have not had any elective surgery and never will. I am a big OL fraidy Cat of surgery anything.

NOPE Never wanted to be a Doctor or Nurse..blood and needles and such are scary to me. I hate them. I can not even prick my fingers daily to check my blood sugar levels...which I am to be doing...LOL

Again I will be thinking about YOU guys...take care!!!

Angie's Spot said...

I got nothin'. I would try to come up with a witty remark about the snarkiness of insurance companies, but alas, I'm still woozy from my anesthesia a few days ago. This is just ridiculous. Here's hoping that the insurance company discovers quickly what a serious adversary they have in you. Hang in there chick!

Carrie said...

Elective? Um, right...

I am not a believer in plastic surgery, but if I were, I would grant myself an ass.

I am seriously lacking in rear ended-ness.

And hips. The good Lord took all of my hips and butt and put them straight up in my boobs.

Brian and Staci said...

I am here, I am here!!!! I'm sooo sorry I've been such a bad bad blogger :( Glad to hear they finally figured out what really went wrong. Now, just correct it and life goes back to normal, right??? I hope it is that simple for you all. I will continue to pray :) We are sooo close to moving in...life is crazy....my computer got a big bad virus...then burned up in our computer guy's house...now, I'm beginning again with a mini Mac...life is good :) Love ya Kat!

Rhea said...

I seriously don't get how his surgery is considered ELECTIVE. Who WANTS brain surgery?! Sheesh. That's nutty. Insurance better pay for it, damnit, or I'm gonna kick their butts.

And I'm so relieved for you that they found out what was wrong. And that's it's fixable! I'm heaving a huge sigh of relief over here in Texas.

Reluctant Housewife said...

So that's good news. 'Fix it'. Those are great words. Good luck with the surgery.

NJDecorator said...

How the heck is that surgery elective? Hope the insurance does not screw with you on that one...

Ashley Ann said...

I can't believe that's elective, but I guess they're the experts. It must feel good to have a diagnosis. I'll be keeping your family in my thoughts!

And...If I was going to get an elective surgery, I'd get the cyst on my wrist removed. I'm probably going to do it someday. It hurts occasionally.

Swirl Girl said...

SO I think it was today - how'd it go???

{hugs}

Gramma 2 Many said...

Perk my boobs, get rid of the droop in my eyelids, cut off about 30 pounds from around my waist and get rid of the waddle from my neck. Red my hair again. Not surgery, but definitely elective.
That being said, am praying for the best for Michael tonight. I know you are through and things must have gone ok, because I saw you posted on Gina's blog.

Tam said...

HI stalked over to check on you guys!

Ronda's Rants said...

You are both in my prayers!

American in Norway said...

Hey Kat.... just checking in...sending you both prayers....

Karen said...

Hope all is well, Kat. Been thinking of you and sending parayers your way..

*HUGS*

Rhea said...

How did the surgery go?

Swirl Girl said...

Getting nervous that we haven't heard anything. You guys okay?

Michelle said...

Hey Kat, watching tonight's Lost right now and thinking of you... I'm with the others that I'm concerned that we've heard nothing from you. Thoughts and prayers are with you ... and I only hope that everything is ok!

Cairo Typ0 said...

You guys are in my prayers. :) It is weird that when you mentioned neurosurgery i thought about McDreamy? ;)