Sue Waterman acoustic neuroma surgery


Hospital Updates (starting with the most current)


Thursday evening, May 9, 9:57 p.m.
Warren, I am late again; sorry.

      "The last two days have been full of progress and setbacks. Today, Thursday, was better than yesterday. I'm learning daily how to handle Sue's periods of agitation and depression. The doctors say that this behavior is caused by a brain stem that's probably swollen and needs time to heal. Physically she's getting stronger.
      "I've spent the past two days learning to safely handle her when she's at home; hard work, but rewarding. My sister and I will take her home some time tomorrow, Friday. She's excited to go home.
      "Please pray that we'll see even faster healing once Sue returns to the mountains and home that she loves.
      "We can feel the power of your love and prayers. Thanks."
— Jack —

Wednesday , May 8
     [No message today.]

Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 4:48 p.m.
      "Sue had a better day today, having had a little more sleep last night. She ate a bigger breakfast today than on the last few days. Thank you for your prayers in these areas.
      "She also showed some progress during her three hours of therapy. During my daily discussion with her doctor, he suggested that we consider extending her stay another week. I've decided against this and chosen to have her discharged this Friday to continue the therapy program in our home. When I explained my reasoning (mainly the contentment of being in the home she loves), the doctor agreed to release her.
      "She told me today that she was ready to start another quilt. Also, when I was a little firm with her today, she looked at me and stuck out her tongue — a definite sign of recovery."
— Jack —

Monday evening, May 6, 6:55 p.m.
      "Sue spent her first full day in Acute Physical Rehab, completing seven 30-minute sessions covering physical, occupational, speech, and recreation rehab. It was spread out over most of the day with a few rests and a lunch break. I was with her and assisted on the last session at 4:00 p.m. She was exhausted. I had dinner with her and she's now fast asleep, starting at 6:30 p.m.
      "This morning, she woke up at 3 o'clock and never went back to sleep. She has to make so many adjustments to get back to a normal life. They're still saying that she'll be discharged this Friday but with a lot of subsequent in-home rehab. I've lined up help for the first month that she'll be home.
      "I know all of you will keep us in your prayers. Pray especially that Sue will eat more and sleep through the night. Thank you."
— Jack —

Sunday evening, May 5, 8:54 p.m.
Warren,
      Sue had a day off from rehab so I'm taking a day off from writing an update. Check tomorrow and keep praying.
      Tired but still encouraged,
— Jack —

Saturday evening, May 4, 7:30 p.m.
      "Sue spent her first full day at Lodi Memorial Hospital in its Acute Physical Rehab Clinic. Three specialists spent almost three hours testing and evaluating her to determine a program that will best prepare her for discharge and home care. They looked at three areas; physical, speech, and comprehension. She'll have the day off tomorrow and begin a specific program on Monday. If all goes well, she should be released on Friday.
      "Her attitude about this phase of her recovery is good. I continue to be impressed with the professional staff and the care that she's receiving.
      "Sue's getting her appetite back; we ate dinner together tonight and my pasta was great! She gets to select all her meals from a menu.
      "In general, today was a good day."
— Jack —

Friday evening, May 3, 8:51 p.m.
      "This has been a long day for both of us. Sue has been transferred by ambulance to Lodi Memorial Hospital around noon; getting her ready to go was difficult.
      "She's now in the Acute Rehab Section, Room 365, which is a 1st-class facility; her room is similar to a hotel suite! She'll start rehab tomorrow, which takes three hours, spread over most of the day. At this time, they don't know how long she'll be here. I believe she'll be released sometime next week with additional rehab to be provided at home.
      "I have the trailer at a nice park only six miles from the hospital.
      "The best time to visit her would be Sunday, or after 3:00 p.m. on Saturday and weekdays. Please call me first.
      "She's aching to get home, as I am. But I know that this is best for her in the long run.
      "Leaning more heavily on Him each day,"
— Jack —

Thursday evening, May 2, 6:20 p.m.
      "I'm learning to stay flexible in these situations. Sue's chief surgeon has recommended that she be transferred to an acute rehabilitation facility for up to five days prior to her going home. I respect his expert opinion and have agreed to this change.
      "The complications are (1) the location of the facility and (2) its acceptance of her as a patient. At this time they're trying to admit her into a facility in Lodi. We won't know until tomorrow morning whether she'll be accepted. If she isn't accepted, she'll be transported to our home where rehabilitation will be provided by a Sonora facility. We're trusting that things will work for the best for Sue.
      "Thanks for all the calls and emails."

— Jack —

Wednesday evening, May 1, 5:21 p.m.
Warren: This is the update I've been waiting to write!
      "God is good all the time; and he answers prayer. The reason I can say that is because Sue will be discharged this Friday, at 11:00a.m. Her case manager at the hospital is arranging for home physical therapy and nursing care. Sue made an incredible forward step today in everything she did!
      "Her surgeon had left after examining her and observed her getting up from a chair by herself and walking down the hall unassisted. She'll be transported home by ambulance, just to make sure the trip doesn't set her back.
      "She'll also need some extra care for a week to ten days. Our dear friends from Portland, Chris and Mike Akenson, will come down for a week; my sister has offered to take their place if needed.
      "Again I believe it is the excellent care and the prayers that have made this possible. Thanks again, everyone.
      "I'll continue to update you but perhaps less frequently. I want everyone to know how appreciative I am for the website service that Warren Camp has provided. He truly is a 'web servant.'
      "It may be too late for visits but here's the address: UCSF Medical Center, 505 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco. Sue's in Room 862. You can call her on 415-514-5168 but you might find that she's sleeping."
— Jack —

Tuesday evening, April 30, 6:22 p.m.
"Here we go for today:
      "So far, this will be the easiest update to write. Sue had her best day since the operation. All her vital signs were right on track; she's calmed down; they've reduced her medications; she doesn't have an oxygen mask on all the time; and she's been resting peacefully.
      "We brought in one of her quilts, which now covers her; we believe that that has helped her. She had a great workout with the physical therapist, walking almost a 100 yards and doing several exercises. Her attitude is good; she isn't insisting on going home. (I didn't dare ask if she's still going to divorce me if I don't get her out of here.)
      "I spoke with her case manager who is recommending an "acute rehabilitation program" lasting 7 to 10 days. If she continues to improve this week, that duration may change — I hope so. I'm pushing for the rehab program to be done at our home; they're looking into that possibility.
      ". . . While I was writing this update, Sue's surgeon came in and examined her. He was very pleased with her progress since the day before.
      "The entire UCSF staff — from the surgeons to the sitters — have been fantastic! This has helped with her turnaround. I believe, however, that it has been your prayers that have made the major difference. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
— Jack —

Monday evening, April 29, 7:00 p.m.
"Hello:
      "This has been an up-and-down day. It started with an up: Sue was talking much more; with the help of a physical therapist, she was able to walk approximately 100 feet.
      "Later, she had stomach problems and some anxiety. This stage was hard because she became very negative, insisting on going home. They settled her down with medication. We've been told this is normal for brain surgery patients.
      "She made one humorous statement to me, saying that she was going to divorce me if I didn't take her home right now.     (  ; -)
      "Over all, we're told by many that 'her progress is on schedule.'
      "Thankfully."
— Jack —

Sunday evening, April 28, 5:52 p.m.
"Here is the latest:
      "When we came in this morning, the night nurse said that Sue had a rough night with severe agitation and discomfort; thankfully, they got her calmed down before we arrived. Before we left for church, she was sleeping and looked tired. She still cannot talk, which indicates that there still is air in her frontal lobes.
      "One of the surgeons who operated on her came and checked on her. He felt that she may be over the worst of it; sure hope so. Tonight (around 5:00 p.m.), she seemed even better.
      "She'll remain in this special transition care unit (TCU) until she's more alert; she'll then be moved to a normal hospital room. I still don't recommend visitors, except family members.
      "The doctor feels that she'll be here most of the week. When she's ready to be discharged, the surgeon will decide if she can go directly home or to a rehab center near Arnold.
      "We can still feel the power of your prayers; we thank you for your faithfulness.
      "Trusting Him always."
— Jack —

Saturday morning, April 27, 7:32 a.m.
"Hello:
      "My update consists of good and bad news. This may be the most difficult update to write.
      "Good news first: A late-afternoon CT scan showed no internal damage from Thursday's surgery. No infection, no swelling, no blood clots. The surgeons were please with these results.
      "The bad news: When I arrived to see her this morning, Sue was not in the best condition. It was somewhat shocking to me and my daughter. Sue was extremely agitated, constantly moving her arms and legs, groaning, trying to get up, tearing off her oxygen mask. To me it looked as though she was in pain; the doctors and nurses said no. Their theory is that during the operation, one or more of the brain's membranes was torn, causing air to leak into the frontal lobe. Physicians could see it as a black image on the CT scan. Apparently, air leakage causes the brain to 'short circuit, 'causing the behavior Sue was showing; I didn't observe much difference in her condition at 9:00 p.m., last night. The ICU doctor felt that her condition would now begin to improve, since the last CT scan showed that the air mass had diminished significantly. We're praying that he's right. The night nurse felt that part of her agitation may be the result of the steroids she's taking to prevent the brain from swelling.
      "I hope that my next report this afternoon will be more positive. . . ."

Saturday afternoon, April 27, 4:10 p.m.
"Here's an update to my morning update!
      "When I met with one of the chief surgeons this morning, he assured me that except for the air problem in the frontal lobes, Sue's operation was a total success! He felt that with time and patience, the air will dissipate and the recovery will speed up. My daughter and I both needed his encouraging words because yesterday was a hard day.
      "They've moved Sue out of ICU and into a "transitional care unit." She'll still require a private nurse. Sue's opening her eyes more often and she'd voiced a three-letter sentence in response to a nurses's question. She also gave a faint smile when her daughter Darcy and granddaughter Hayley visited her this afternoon. She's still agitated and uncomfortable, especially when lying down. I don't recommend any visitations, except by the family, until they can get her settled down.
      "Still trusting the might One."
— Jack —

Friday morning, April 26, 6:55 a.m.
"Good morning!
      "After more than ten hours of surgery, Sue's tumor has been successfully removed. PRAISE THE LORD!! I was able to see her in ICU last night at 9:30 p.m., but she wasn't yet awake from the anesthesia.
      "I was exhausted from spending almost sixteen hours at the hospital. I don't know how I could have made it without my daughter Diane at my side every minute.
      "I talked with Ken, the ICU nurse this morning, who told me that she was awake but very groggy. They took the large breathing tube out of her mouth but she's still hooked up to a lot of monitoring devices. They're being very cautious because of her age, so she may be in ICU today and possibly tonight.
      "One of the surgeons talked to me last night. He said the surgery took longer than normal but there were no problems. As he explained it, "We had some slow going through the critical areas where going slow is" the rule." In the closing procedure they made a small incision in her stomach and used some of the body fat to cushion the incision area.
      "The tumor had attached itself to the facial nerve; they had to leave a layer of the tumor on this nerve because it was too risky to remove it surgically. They'll decide later whether to remove it with radiation or monitor it by MRI. Her otherwise good health was helpful; they're expecting a full recovery.
      "She's getting excellent care. I expect to find out more this morning and hopefully will be able to find out when she can have visitors and where she'll be taken from ICU. I'm going to request a private room so my daughter or I can spend some nights with her. Doctors still expect a hospital stay lasting from three to five days.
      "THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support and yours prayers.
      "Walking, sometimes unsteadily, in His love and mercy,"
— Jack —
Thursday morning, April 25, 9:00 a.m.
"Good morning, everyone!
      "We arrived at UCSF at 6:00 a.m. and met with several doctors, nurses, and technicians who gave us a thorough briefing on the surgery. Sue was in relatively good spirits and was able to give me a big smile as they wheeled her into surgery at 7:30 a.m. They estimated that surgery will start at about 9:00 a.m. and last up to eight hours.
      "Sue will spend the night and maybe most of Friday in ICU. Her surgical team includes five doctors, a monitoring technician, and several nurses. They assured her that their team is ready and they expect total success.
      "Her daughter Diane is here which is special. Sue has received great phone calls from all the family.
      "My next update will appear shortly after she awakes from surgery. We can feel the power of your prayers and support. Thank you very much."
— Jack —
Wednesday evening, April 24, 8:20 p.m.
[Tests were undertaken today (Wednesday); tomorrow morning, surgery at UCSF Medical Center will begin at 7:30 a.m. Afterwards, Jack will provide his first update. . . . Warren ]

See Jack's "home updates" on this page.