Eddie’s Health Update
As I wrote in a previous blog post, Eddie has been dealing with this acute condition called Trigeminal Neuralgia. Basically, it is extreme, though not constant, facial pain caused by an exposed nerve which comes into contact with an artery. For many people, the pain can be constant and very unbearable. There is a surgical procedure that we thought was a possibility where a small separator is placed between the nerve and the artery. After an initial MRI, the first doctor told Eddie it looked like a hardened artery and that, for him, surgery was not an option. Later, when Eddie was speaking to Jeremy’s neurologist at UCSF, he recommended that Eddie get a second opinion. Our boss suggested Eddie be seen by Stanford since we are in California.
At Eddie’s first visit there, the pain management specialist who attended him said his case was interesting and that he might possibly be a candidate for surgery. He referred Eddie to a neurosurgeon for further followup. Last Thursday Eddie met with the neurosurgeon and his MRI was discussed and explained in detail. The bottom line was that, because of the position of the very fragile looking artery in relation to the nerve, surgery would be risky and was not recommended. The doctor was very concerned about that vascular artery, which to him didn't appear hardened, but rather weak, as it was abnormally enlarged and curvy. He explained how this could lead to other problems and referred Eddie to a vascular specialist. He has an appointment with that doctor on July 10.
As for the trigeminal neuralgia, Eddie will continue to take medication as needed. The doctor also explained another procedure that is not invasive where they use a gamma knife or cyber knife which is a laser with a bit of radiation. In this procedure they target the nerve, and shoot a bit of this laser at the nerve endings to deaden the feeling. The side affect is a bit of numbness in the cheek which is a great exchange for not having that intense pain. The downside is that it is not permanent and has been known to last from 2 to 8 years. For now, Eddie chooses to return to Argentina with a supply of meds in his bags and trust God for healing. It is a good thing that he does not have this pain constantly. It comes and goes. He has had a very good month and at times he may even forget about it. The problem is that when it comes, it can be intense.
Be praying that the positioning of this enlarged vascular artery in his head will right itself, be miraculously strengthened and will not be a problem in the future, and that Eddie will be given the thumbs up to return to Argentina soon.