Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I got a call from the surgical coordinator for The Chiari Institute this morning and I have surgery dates! Praise God!

I'll fly into Great Neck, NY on Nov. 18
have presurgical testing on Nov. 19
have ICT (invasive cervical traction) on Nov. 20 (this is a pre-fusion testing I'll write more about later)
Then go into the hospital and have the detethering of my spinal cord on Nov. 21.

I was told to expect to be in hospital for about 4 days and then to stay in the Great Neck area for 2 days, then I can fly home, if all goes well. That would be about Nov. 28.

I'm so excited. The SFT (Section Filum Terminale, the medical term for the detethering of my cord) is a painful, invasive surgery/recovery, but I have heard SO many successful reports. People tell me the first symptoms to "go" are the bathroom/bladder issues, and the leg/foot pain also is alleviated for the most part. I've read women say they are able to go for walks again, as far as they want to. THAT is exactly what I need.

Of course, now I have to wait to see if CA work comp will authorize all of these procedures, but I feel confident they will. My surgeon says they are necessary before having the fusion, and WC has already authorized the fusion.

Here is a neat story! As you readers know, I've been fretting about the timing on this surgery. It was like "I" had MY timeline of the tethered cord surgery so I could have the craniocervical fusion at the correct time (in my mind) and thus be done with the 3 months of halo early summer next year. Howver, I posted here that I'd read in my Bedside Blessings (thank you, Kim) book awhile back that I needed to seek God's counsel about this, and to await his timing. Anything that is done not in His timing would go awry.

In the meantime, an online friend, Grma Lee (yes, that's how she spells it!) was telling me that her ICT and fusion are coming up and wouldn't it be great if we could be in NY for our surgeries at the same time? She was also posting on our support group board to see if anyone else would be there at the same time as she will be.

This morning, when the surgical coordinator called, she said first, we needed to set the dates. She asked when would be good for me. Well, ANYTIME is good for ME! So, I said, "Anytime in November."

She looked at her schedules and then said, "How about Nov. 20 for the ICT and Nov. 21 for the detethering?" I said, "Fine" without even looking. But when I did look at my calendar, I already had the letters "ICT" on box for Nov. 20, and the word "surgery" on Nov. 21. I thought, "Huh? Is this weird? Did I write this down in my sleep or what?"

Then, above the word "surgery", I saw, lightly written, the words, "Grma Lee" and I understood. Those are the same days as her ICT and surgery!! Incredible! And I never write down the surgery dates of those I know online.

I don't have to look far to see more blessings! Grma Lee has already had the detethering, so she can guide me along abit. And she is having the craniocervical fusion, the same one I'll have in early 2008, so I can learn a lot from being with her during this. We can support each other, learn from each other. I don't know what I can do for her, but I'll think of something. Maybe just keep her laughing.

We can hang out together for our pre-surgical testing, and our tractions....this is unbelievably perfect! God is so good!

Incredible story, huh? We're going to see if there is any way we can be in the same room at the hospital.

And to think way back, when I broke my neck, and none of the doctors were getting it that my C1 fracture was "non-union." And I was led to TCI...and asked to help moderate at the Chiari Connection International support group board...and met Lee, who also has a copy of my book. It all matches up and shows God's divine plan. As the kids say (or do they still?), "I'm psyched!"


Anonymous said...

congrats! God is so good, and He always has good timing! if you have time before you leave, 90 minutes in heaven by don piper would be a great book to read before you endure your upcoming surgery. talk to ya soon, congrats again and prayers with you and your surgeons.

By His Grace said...

Krista, thanks! and I forgot to tell you that I did read that book, it's awesome. It has stayed in my mind and given me much hope. I gave it to my son ... hope he had the chance to read it, too!

thanks again and BIG hug!

Zoe said...

Oh Virginia,
I am so happy for you! And oh, so thankful that God arranged it so, with GrmaLee. The two of you will have to plan to have someone to keep us posted- out here in Cyber-World!

Coming to your blog is the highlight of my day~ seriously! Bless you for sharing, and being a friend.
-from somewhere over the rainbow,
~zoe! (((((hugZ)))))

ps. YOu have a booK? Do TelL morE!

Anonymous said...

I broke my C1 aswell. I hope it went well for you (the surgery). I'm 19 and did it in a car crash and apparently I'm the 1st person in Australia and 2nd in the world to have the operation I had to fix it. It's so new they don't even have a name for it yet. I hope everything worked out well for you!!!! :) x

By His Grace said...

Anonymous!!! I hope you will check back to see if I reply to your comment! I really really am EXTREMELY interested in the surgery you had!! Do you have a link to it for online info? Do you have your doctor's phone number I could call perhaps? I did not have surgery on the C1, I only had it on the base of my spine, to release the "tethered cord." I am now 7.5 years after my injury and I still have had no surgery and I am almost desperate! I'm so so interested in what surgery you had and why it is so cutting edge. I'm so glad you were able to get such wonderful care!! I pray you will recover fully and go on to enjoy the rest of your life without any pain or other symptoms related to your Jefferson Fracture!

gentle hug
By His Grace, or Virginia