“You know what Phase One could lead to, don’t you?” the doctor asked on our last day at the hospital. He was looking at me.
“Phase Two,” I said. “Brain surgery. We wouldn’t have come this far if we wouldn’t be willing to consider it.”
But why are we willing? Brain surgery is…well, brain surgery. Risky, isn’t it? Complicated. Is it the right thing to do? It’s not exactly a well-traveled path.
We don’t know yet if she qualifies for brain surgery; we are still waiting to hear. In the waiting, it’s easy for me to second-guess our choice to come this far. I beat back my doubt with the facts.
- Research reveals that the sooner brain surgery happens after seizure onset (when the patient first starts seizing), the more likely that patient will be seizure-free following the surgery.
- Tarica is not yet in school and won’t be for a year and a half. She will have time to heal without pressure to return to her lessons.
- Children’s brains recover from trauma more speedily than teenagers and adults. Why wait until she is older, when her brain is less resilient?
- The longer seizures are uncontrolled, the harder they will be to eradicate (which is probably why #1 is true). It’s as if the seizures create paths in the brain that become hard-packed with use and difficult to break up.
- Her seizures have shown an alarming tendency to worsen in a short period of time. Better to stop them now, if we can.
- A simple illness, such as that one back in January, has the potential to become, if not life-threatening, at the very least brain-threatening.
- Medications are just bandages, not a cure, and they are hard on her body. She might always need medication, but we hope brain surgery would allow her to be on a minimal dose.
- God has not shut any doors. Yet. He may still shut them. The doctors may not find the seizure focus. The seizures could be originating in an inoperable place. But right now, the door stands open, and we are preparing, if necessary, to walk through…
…by His grace.