Sunday, November 21, 2010

Update on Jackie...Brain Surgery Part 1

Well on Wednesday the hospital called my parents house while they were at the temple (trying to figure out what to do about her surgery and a few other things) and told Jackie that if they wanted, Jackies surgery could be moved up from the middle of December to FRIDAY! As in 2 days away... Jackie couldn't get ahold of them and called me about four hundred times in a 3 hour time period. She was a little nervous to say the least! My parents came home and she filled them in and decided to go for it. No sense in waiting for the inevitable, right?! She went in on Friday morning at 6 AM and the surgery started at 8:45. The first surgery took about 5 hours. What they did was cut her scalp from ear to ear and then saw a large circle through the top of her skull. They then spread apart the right and left lobe of her brain and they placed about 100 sensors in between those lobes and then randomly all over her brain to monitor all activity going on. Then they stapled her head back up and now we wait... Jackie has to have at least 4 seizures and they all have to be at least 4 hours apart to get the readings that they need. They cut her medicine in half for the first 2 days hoping that would bring on seizures. And now as of tonight, she isn't on any seizure medicine at all. So far, she hasn't had any. The other hard part of it is they have to give her hardly any pain medicines because that could also stop her seizures from happening. So it is quite a painful, long process for her. As soon as she has had the 4 seizures and they get the results they need, they can go in and take out that part of the brain as soon as possible! So we never thought we would say this, but bring on the SEIZURES!!! The longer she has those sensor things on her brain, the more risks there are for infection and clotting among other things. Please, Please, pray for Jackie!! She really needs it. :) Oh and my mom is a big ball of stress too.. so if you could pray for her too, that would be much appreciated!

Here is Jackie the day after surgery (which was last night)...

This was definitely a forced smile but still, a smile nonetheless!

Now this picture is of the top of Jackies head. That big telly-tubby thing coming out the top of her head are all of the wires that are telling us what is going on inside of her brain. When she has a seizure, she has to be held down really tight so that those don't get bumped.. because that is a whole other problem!!

Kids are not allowed in the NCCU and I didn't feel like getting a babysitter so the kids got to hang out in the waiting room and color for awhile!

This is the same place that my grandma died after our car accident.. it has brought back a lot of sad emotions being here. It is so sad to see all of the people in this unit. They are all really out of it and look like they are in a coma (which I am sure a lot of them actually are)... you leave this unit feeling VERY grateful for the good health you have!

All of these squiggly lines are what is going on in Jackies brain. How somebody reads this is beyond me!

My dad reminded me today that it was about 4 years ago that Jackie was about to get her first brain surgery! Time has sure flown! Jackie has also made AMAZING progress from where she was 4 years ago. She was having seizures every 2 or 3 minutes at some points. Talk about SCARY!!

and here is my telly-tubby sister all zonked out on pain meds!

My cute grandma! She is sure a trooper for being almost 90!

That yellow line is the problem spot in her brain.. The "cingulate gyrus" I think is what it is called.

and that is what they took out of her brain last time. About 2 inches across... quite the chunk!
They think that the problem spot now is only about the size of your pinky nail area.

They have scheduled Jackie's surgery for this Wednesday. If all goes as planned and she has her 4 seizures at least 4 hours apart then that will happen! :) The poor kid is missing her favorite Holiday...Thanksgiving... looks like our family will be celebrating late this year!

I got to spend the day up at the University of Utah with her today while my mom went home and got cleaned up. It was such a humbling experience. Jackie is seriously such a trooper. The only thing she complained about all day was her dang suppository she had to get! Sheesh-- if that were me, I would be complaining every second I could. This morning a cute couple came in the room and asked if they could tell us a spiritual thought and let us partake of the sacrament. It was one of the neatest experiences I have had in a long time. I wish I could remember the quote she told us.. the spirit was really strong in the room and I was such a bawl baby! Earlier tonight, Braun and my dad were able to give Jackie and my mom the sweetest blessings. I am so grateful for Jackie and the things that she has taught me in my life. I need to stop taking the little things for granted. I don't have a single thing to complain about in my life but yet, I still do occasionally. Again.. note to self.. be more like Jackie. :)

This little hiccup in her life isn't over yet, but she seems to be making some good progress! Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers! This week is going to be a really rough one on her!! :)

Update as of Monday Morning: Jackie had her first seizure at 5:30 this morning! One seizure down, 3 to go!! Who knew I would be so excited for her to have seizures???


{Layla} said...

Jackie & your ENTIRE family will definitely be in our all are going through so much stress right now! And poor Jackie, what an ordeal. She IS such a trooper. Remember how i asked you if she would be able to feel any pain after the surgery? Well I am sure since she can't be on pain meds she is feeling quite a bit of pain--ahhh! that is terrible. i feel so bad for her. i sure hope they can do the surgery on wednesday and that it fixes the problem!!! much love!

Mel said...

Your post made me cry Tara. Thank you for posting it & we will be sure to keep Jackie in our prayers. I feel like there are so many people that I care about struggling right now & in need of so much, but I know that Heavenly Father gives extra strength to all of us when we need it & ask for it. I was serious about the text I sent last night. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Jackie is a great example to all of us. Keep us updated as well! Good Luck!

Jason-Mindi-Porter-Ellery said...

Thanks for the update Tara, your sister has been in my prayers this week. When you talked about the sacrament in the hospital you made me cry. When Porter was born, we were in the hospital on a Sunday and a cute little couple came in and sang a Christmas Hymn and gave us the sacrament. One of the most spritual and special moments I have ever had. Thanks for reminding me. We will keep your family in our prayers!

The Rindi's said...

This post made me cry so I can only imagine how you and your family are feeling!! Your family has been in our prayers and we will continue to pray!!

P.S. Bring your girls here next time!! They would have so much fun and Brynlee would love it!!

The Brandt Family said...

sheesh, what a trooper. i will for sure keep her and all your family in my prayers. thanks for sharing-she really is inspiring. hope you guys will have a wonderful thanksgiving whether it is a tradtional one or not:)

Beesley Family said...

Wow i didn't know this about your family! Our prayers are with you guys at this time. It was fun to see you last week at the Oh Sweet Sadie show. I was wondering if you could tell me what other holiday shows are good ones to attend?
Our blog is private so email me at and I will add you to our blog!!

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