Steve is resting after his long ordeal. He's in room P803 in a special neuro unit that is a step down from ICU.
It seems as if all of his motor skills and functions are intact. There is significantly more drooping on the left side of his face. I'm not sure if that's permanent or temporary. It's certainly an insignificant side effect. His double vision is significantly worse. He's asked for a patch to make having his eyes open more tolerable.
The procedure was the longest biopsy Dr. L has ever done, he said. Once again, Steve is showing us how unique he is.
Everything began well. They entered his skull from the back right as expected. The wire was going in and was about 15 mm from the lesion when Steve began screaming in pain, saying that he felt something in his head. (He was sedated but not completely under.) Dr. L said that has never happened to him in thousands of biopsies. The brain itself has no pain receptors.
So, they backed out. They studied the MRI scans. They saw nothing that was blocking the path -- no blood vessels, no membrane, no nerves. They tried again. He cried out at the exact same spot. They made a different incision site in the same area and followed the same trajectory. He experienced the same pain.
They stopped altogether and sedated him more. They took him back to imaging for another MRI. They wanted to be sure that he hadn't moved within the halo or that they hadn't missed something. They found nothing remarkable on the MRI.
They returned to the OR and worked on a different trajectory. They considered coming in from the front, as we'd discussed last week, but the doctors couldn't get a good path. They instead decided on the back left as an entry point.
That was the way to go. They found a pain-free path and removed three tissue samples.
The whole experience lasted about five hours.
Because of the multiple incisions and complications, they'll probably keep him for two days instead of the standard one.
Steve is eating dinner now -- his first meal since last night. His dad and I are in his room. Betty and Jim have left for dinner. We're taking shifts so he's never alone.
I am relieved beyond description that he came out of the biopsy in such good shape. I am broken hearted that he experienced such excruciating pain. I am further convinced, though I didn't need convincing, that I am married to the bravest, strongest, most amazing man.