Why Brain Surgery?

“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.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Children’s brains recover from trauma more speedily than teenagers and adults. Why wait until she is older, when her brain is less resilient?
  4. 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.
  5. Her seizures have shown an alarming tendency to worsen in a short period of time. Better to stop them now, if we can.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

4 thoughts on “Why Brain Surgery?

  1. In the words of Dr. Bear to Franklin, “Being brave means doing what you have to do, no matter how scared you feel.” Your courage in the face of this Very Scary Thing is encouraging to me in my Not Very Scary Things. God bless you!!!

    • I don’t feel brave at all, but what I do feel is assurance that the same God Who took us through a successful Phase One is able to take us through Phase Two. It surprises me that I’m not terrified. If it weren’t for the sustaining grace of God and this blessed assurance, I would be.

  2. That you can rest in the Lord as you wait is my prayer…. I have 2nd guessed after leaving the Dr. office at times… seizure related (with our daughter) or our son with his medical needs. When I doubt or waver I remind myself that we prayed for wisdom before we entered the appointment, He is faithful. (God can direct our thinking later too I realize, but often its doubts that enter my mind) I pray you will have grace,rest for the time of waiting.

    • I know God is more than able. The hospital stay has assured me of that, if I doubted before. Where I get into trouble is wondering if we are doing the right thing. But you said “we prayed for wisdom before we entered the appointment.” I need to remember that. I also need to remember that God is not limited by our choices. He can work things out in His time, in His way. Thank you, Diane.

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