Tuesday, November 12, 2013

VNS replacement surgery

Yesterday Abby had her Vagal Nerve Stimulator replaced.  

Surgery #… we've lost count.  Somewhere close to 20. 

We found out it was broken at a routine neurology check up… ironically, also the day she had her status (very long, can't be stopped at home) seizure in September.  

The surgeon was concerned it might be difficult to remove all the coils around her nerve.  Sometimes scar tissue gets entangled with the equipment, making it almost impossible to cleanly and safely remove it.  Thankfully he was able to free the nerve and remove all of the old VNS and leads!  Now she has an upgraded VNS, complete with new technology and a brand new battery.

The first one lasted almost seven years, which was pretty good I've been told.
First VNS implant… 4 years old

2007-  She's grown so much since then!

The past month has been hard on Abby.  Her seizures have been very hard to control.  We've stopped medication, added meds, adjusted doses and spread them out over the day in hopes of keeping the seizures to a minimum.  

During the process she has gotten her days and nights confused, awake at 2 am but sleeping most of the morning.  It's been frustrating to say the least.  Not to mention the seizures.  We know now how much the VNS was helping her!  She started having the old myoclonic (looks like a startle) seizures again, hundreds a day.  She has been so upset by them!  I can only imagine.

She did well in surgery!  They kept her in recovery an extra hour due to her erratic heart rate.  One minute it was uncomfortably low, the next jumping above 120's.  Her nurse was very attentive and didn't take us to the floor until she was comfortable with everything.  

In recovery

Today has been rough.  She started having seizures in the middle of the night and has continued the pattern through today.  I've been on the phone with the surgeon's office and the neurologist.  After over 15 bigger seizures today we finally resorted to giving her emergency medication tonight.  No fun.

Hoping we don't have to take a trip to the ER.

Going home!


Christy Younger said...

Bravest girl I know. Love you Abbers- praying for a smooth recovery. XOXO

Stephany said...

I'm praying that she is doing well with her replacement. Patrick, I LOVE your beard!

Ms. Frances said...

I miss her so much. I am so happy she is on the road to recovery. Food for thought,since there have been so many issues this year,do we need to consider home bound services? Just give me a call? I am out recovering but my brain still works ok! Ha! Love you all! You know Abbs has a very special place in my heart,