Today I had my “Balloon Occlusion Test”. My family, doctors, and I were all surprised because I PASSED! This is great news. This means that during my surgery, if my carotid artery is unable to bypass safely then they can sacrifice it and I can function only with my left carotid. (A carotid bypass for me would mean they would take a vein from my lower leg and replace the carotid artery that runs through my tumor with it).
The test itself was crazy. Being awake while operated on was something I could have never prepared myself for. It helped to lessen the fear by the fact that my surgeon had Lady GaGa Pandora Radio playing the whole time .
Before my procedure I was sitting by myself in my pre-op room. That is when the situation I am in really began to take its toll on me. With an IV in my arm and oxygen in my nose, I started to feel the seriousness of my condition set in. I finally felt sick. I finally truly began to realize that all the things these doctors were describing were about me. I felt tears in my eyes for the first time at a doctors appointment. I could not hold them back. For the first time my parents were sitting in a waiting room away from me, worrying about how I felt and how I was doing. I felt their fear and they felt mine.
I have never found comfort in anyone more than my doctor, Dr. Matthew Old. He is incredible. From the friday night calls making sure I am okay, to coming and sitting with me in my pre-op area to make sure I am ready for a procedure not even done by him, he makes me feel as if I am in the absolute best hands. I will never know how to thank him enough for helping me during this time. Not even for the medical treatment, but the personal aspects that he has taught me about life. I know the type of person I want to be. I know the type of doctor I want to be. I know the type of friend I want to be. I want to be just like him. I understand that it is common for most 19 year old girls to want to be just like Taylor Swift or Jessie James Decker, well I want to be just like Dr. Old.
I beat Tuesday.