Well, we got good news and/or bad news depending on how you look at it. I was the first to get wheeled away to get a venogram and possible surgery. The experience was fascinating. I was under local anaesthetic so I was awake through the whole procedure. I know this sounds cheesy but it`s actually true….when I got anxious on the surgery table while watching the doctors prep, these alarm bells would go off when my heart rate was too high. I first tried visualizing qualifying for the Olympics but I think that made my heart increase even higher so then I imagined and could actually hear my roomy Laura`s beautiful and soothing voice with Evan and Andre playing the guitar and bongo in the background. Within a couple of seconds, my heart rate actually dropped about 10 beats and I smiled to myself at the thought of how powerful the mind is. Thank you `Her and Us` for the help ;)
The surgery then began with a little needle prick in my groin to numb the area. There was no further pain but a couple weird experiences…the first odd feeling was when I was asked to hold my breath while the dye spread into all the veins in my brain. I came so close to passing out and definitely spaced out for a long 5 seconds before I was fine again but a little freaked out. The second weird feeling was when something was in my jugular veins and I could feel my veins flickering, weird. Thank fully Dr. Hussain, my surgeon, was amazing at pep talking me and making me feel as comfortable and confident as possible. There were also about 8 other doctors and nurses watching the procedure intently and treating Dr. Hussain with the utmost respect. He is clearly very experienced and looked up to around here.
Unfortunately, all the screens were on the left hand side and because of my poor vision in my left eye, I had to wait until everything was over before I could see the images and my prognosis. You`re probably annoyed that I have not told you the results yet, so here goes: “There is nothing significant enough to give me reason to go forth with the Liberation Treatment.” -Dr. Hussain. He then showed me the images. The only potential abnormality is that my left Jugular vein is about half the width of my right. This sounds very abnormal to me but apparently it`s not, necessarily, so no liberation for me.
Then it was Donna`s turn. I tried to put on a brave face for her as we passed and I feel really bad that I could not quite hold it together. The disappointing news about my results was very fresh, about 5-10 minutes fresh. Donna cried with me and Swati (administrator who helped me book everything) but then was able to wipe the tears, re-group and crack a few jokes as they wheeled her into the surgery room. Gotta love her!! After waiting for about 5 hours to hear Donna`s results, we were all very happy to hear that she was liberated! She had about 64% and 52% blockages in her right and left jugular veins. It took a few tries to keep the veins open which they finally did without the use of a stent. It is too early to tell whether or not Donna`s symptoms improved but wouldn’t it be something to see her walking again!!? I`ll be sure to update you on her progress.
As for me, yes I am a little upset and disappointed but I got what I came here for….results. And these results will be some of the first to help doctors and MS patients around the world to find the link between CCSVI and MS.
-Maybe you can have blockages that come and go
-Maybe my disease will only improve from here on
-Maybe there are many different disease that are currently all labelled as MS
-Maybe the size of my Left jugular IS abnormal for me and will have to get that fixed in the future
-Maybe there is and will never be any link between my MS and my veins
My results today may not be what I was looking for but like Dr. Hussain said….. “Having no major blockages may be a good thing for you. This may mean that you will not progress with your disease or at least not for a while” he also talked about the power of the mind. Yes, this scientific genius doctor was telling me that there is no surgery or drug out there that is more powerful than your own mind. I thought he was the Dalai Lama himself when he took the time to give me this incredibly powerful pep talk about believing in one`s self and to always take the positive route in life. He also told me to dream bigger than my biggest dreams. I later got a glimpse of his office and noticed a picture of Dr. Hussain and his assistant Swati with the Dalai Lama.
It is now 11:15 pm in Dehli on June 23rd and me and the whole Canadian crew could potentially be out of the hospital as early as tomorrow to continue our adventure in India, but this time without needles and unflattering pj`s.