Entries by Sylvia Achtem (1)


The Biopsy

My mother flew in from Edmonton on Tuesday, the 16th of September.   She came in to be with me for my biopsy.  Surgery was scheduled for the next day.  To keep my body healthy and to build up my immune system, I had been hiking Vancouver's beautiful trails.    I love to hike around the trails in Vancouver and wanted to desperatly share the beauty of our wonderful trail heads with her.  She is into her 70's, so I chose a fairly easy trail in Belcarra.  We spent three hours marvelling at God's beauty.  It was a perfectly sunny day and it was wonderful to keep our minds off of the impending surgery the next day. 

The day outside was beautiful I noticed, as I was being driven to Vancouver General Hospital the next morning.  When we were scheduling surgery, I had asked Dr. Rootman, the ocular surgeon, to release me from hospital as soon as possible.  The last time I was in a hospital I caught three superbugs and ever since then I have been extremely leary of staying in hospitals.  Dr. Rootman assured me that he could do the surgery and release me the same day.  

Sphenoid Wing Meningioma

The tumor was situated behind my right eye.  Dr. Rootman planned to go through my eye socket to gain access to the area behind my eye.  We arrived at the Day-Op waiting room at about 10:30 am and waited our turn to be called into the unit.  It wasn't long before we were called in and I was placed on a stretcher in a little curtained-off area of the unit.  This particular Day-Op is in an area of the hospital for more critical cases.  I thought to myself that if this area of the hospital had the Critical Care Unit, the Burn Unit, the Trauma Unit, etc., then they must clean it pretty good to make sure there are no superbugs.  It made me relax a little more.

After a bunch of blood tests and pre-op preparations by a lovely nurse, Dr. Rootman came into the room and introduced himself to my mother and I.  He said that he thought that it was a meningionoma, although he was not sure, because this tumor seemed to be presenting itself differently.  He would know better once he got through with surgery.  He said that the muscle behind the eye is usually  paralyzed so that the eyeball cannot move from side to side or up and down.  I didn't have these symptoms, nor other symptoms normally associated with  this type of brain tumor.

Surgery went well and Dr. Rootman advised that he was able to get a good piece of the tumor.  What was amazing to me was that my blood sugar readings were right on for the entire surgery.  I am a Type 1 Diabetic and sugar readings can be all over the map when you cannot eat 12 hours before surgery.  Praise God, for He already created a miracle within me and kept my blood sugar readings in the 7's.  As my friend, Lisa, put it later - that is God's number.  Praise God, He was in control.    Dr. Rootman asked me to return to his office on September 29th for the results of the biopsy.