Thursday, April 9, 2009

Phoenix - Part 1 - We arrive

4/7/2009 - We made it to Phoenix for Katie's surgery! My brother Tim and sister-in-law Barbara came from SLC, picked me up at the airport and we headed for the condo to get checked in. Katie, Mom and Dad arrived a few hours later. It was great to finally be here but knowing what was ahead was on all of our minds.

My parents rented a beautiful, two bedroom condo in Scottsdale. It's about 30 minutes from the hospital that Katie will be at and they thought it would be much better for her to recover here than in a single hotel room.

4/8/2009 - Dad got tickets for a Diamondbacks game and we thought it would be a good distraction to get our minds off the upcoming surgery. Unfortunately, Barbara was sick and didn't come with us. We had a great time and a lot of laughs. We drove by the hospital just to make sure we knew exactly where it was and where we needed to go tomorrow.

4/9/2009 - Katie has her pre-op appointments today and then meets with the doctor this afternoon. Tensions are high this morning and none of us are looking forward to it. On the drive to the hospital, Katie starts to cry. My heart is breaking for her and I start to cry. Is this really happening?!? Is my sister really about to have brain surgery?!?!

We arrive in pre-op and are met by some really wonderful nurses who reassure us that Dr. Spetzler is the BEST in the world and that people come from all over to see him. The nurse that took care of her was named Rachel and I take this as a good sign as my best friend is Rachel. This makes us all feel better. Not really.

After lunch we all head to the Barrow Neurological Institute to meet with the famous Dr. Spetzler. He briefly explains what will happen tomorrow, introduces us to another doctor that will be in the operating room and asks if we have any questions. We do, but can't seem to remember all of them. He assures us that he has done this many times before, 99% are successful and because of Katie's age and good health, he does not foresee any problems at all. This makes us all feel better. Not really.

After meeting with the doctor, we are off for Katie's final pre-op appointment. An MRI. The waiting room is dank and dirty and we can't wait to get out of here. We met an older couple and the husband was having surgery in the morning as well - with Dr. Spetzler - at 9:00am - the same time as Katie! WTF?!?!?

Katie has to be back at the hospital at 6am. The surgery will start at 9am and will last 3-6 hours. We are told that she will be in ICU for at least 24 hours after that. OH.MY.GOD. This is really happening. None of us will be able to sleep tonight. Of this I am sure.

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