Surgery was 09-30-05. The following are copied from messages sent to family and friends at the time, providing updates on my post surgery condition:
Flip was in good spirits today and enjoyed the visitors. She got an IV of antibiotics that the doctor ordered. Funny thing is after her dinner tonight she began to run a fever, although a mild one of 100.5. Needless to say ANY fever concerns me so please continue to pray for her. I do not see her coming home until at least Wednesday.. Definitely not until the fever breaks.
October 5, 2005
Surgery went very well according to docs. I am recovering @ home for the month and possibly longer. The tumor was successfully removed from pituitary. The pituitary gland is located center of the skull behind the sinus cavity, and is the "traffic director" for all other glandular functions (hormones & related chemical production). This tumor, for those who may not be aware, was causing a high level of adrenaline & cortisol (stress hormone) production. This in turn caused various systems to be "miscalibrated", being female that causes alot of things to be "out of alignment".
I am now on drug therapy, which is basically going to help me wean off the "overdose" of unnatural high cortisol production. The analogy I have used is, "it's like being on an overdose for 16+ years and going cold turkey" with the tumor removed. I can tell with the tablet version, when I am needing a "fix". I am on 12 hour cycles with the tablet version.
October 14, 2005
The last week has been quite eventful. My last update on Thursday 10/05/05 was looking pretty good.
On Friday 10/07 things went in the toilet before I even got out of bed. About 0745 I developed a "bleed" that nearly took me out. I will pass on the graphic details, but I passed out once in the ambulance and twice in the ER. I was taken to emergency surgery for a look and repair, but the "bleeder" had sealed itself up with all the clotting in my sinus, thus remained
undetermined. The sinus was packed with antibiotic gel-foam and I was kept overnite in ICU due to low blood pressure, being released 10/08 when my blood pressure remained somewhat stable above 100 over 60. I was pumped with about 4 bags of saline & one of glucose, and a piggy back of blood "expander" during my stay.
Again I thought I was doing OK through the remainder of the weekend, when Monday morning 10/10 I became agravated about something while I was eating breakfast, and popped the bleeder again. I had not been taking my BP med due to low pressure from Friday's hospitalization. I think my BP jumped and fractured what ever seal there might have been. This time was not as critical as the first time, but taking no chances I rode the ambulance again to ER. This time the doctor placed real packing (mini-tampons!) in the sinus. I was released Monday as out-patient.
I went in today to have the packing removed, and expecting more than the usual discomfort, took more of the pain med than I had been taking. I had only been using 1/2 tablet every 3 hrs, when prescribed was 1 - 2 tablets every 4-6 hrs. I took 1 1/2 tablets to prep for today's procedure. I passed out again after the packing had been removed. But then, the doc had also
sprayed a local pain killer and blood vessel constrictor in the sinus as well. I think it was a combination of events & chemicals over the last week that caused today's event. When he sprayed me again a second time with the vessel constrictor, I again became slightly dizzy.
Hopefully I will remain on stable path, and continue healing.
October 26, 2005
I am feeling well enough I guess at this stage of the game. Being down for so long takes some time to recover from as well. Have to build up my activity level, to prep for return to work. Pathology report confirms the tumor was an ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) producing tumor. My Cortisol weaning has begun already, with morning dose @ 20mg, and afternoon dose dropped to 10 from 20, dropping again to 5mg in mid-November.
October 28, 2005
The only real indication at this time is that I have done very little for a while and need to build up my stamina again. I am seeing what appears to be a drop in my blood sugar with the decreased afternoon cortisol dosage. The rest will take time, just as they did to appear. A LOT of people seem to think that there should some kind of "quick fix", but this a multitude of slowly appearing symptoms that will take time to regress. I hope to see some clearly apparent manifestation in a year's time. That will be in answer to the cortisol weaning process, which must occur gradually so I don't send the old body into withdrawal.
November 19, 2005
As of today I am on 20mg (same) cortisol at wakeup, and 5mg (reduced 2nd time) at midday meal. The endocrinologist INSISTED I get a flu shot, under the "chronic health condition" scenario. It took a couple of weeks but I found one in an unlikely place, our OLD neighborhood, at an internist's office.