By William Read
Sue and William Read vacationing in Tahiti
I was taken into the Gamma Knife center and relocated from my “bed” to the Gamma Knife unit. My surgery required that I enter the Gamma Knife tube four separate times for four treatments of the radiation. Before each treatment, the frame that I wore was adjusted for the proper settings to ensure that the radiation was directed exactly where it had to be. I remember having complete faith in the medical staff because the persons making the adjustments continually repeated the appropriate settings to other staff members to ensure the proper setting. The actual treatment was painless and quick. No single treatment took longer than 6 ½ minutes.
The medical staff removed the frame from my head immediately following the treatments. However, before removing the frame they took a picture of me for their records and were kind enough to provide me a copy. After the treatment my wife, Sue, who had spent the entire day with me to lend support, met me at the waiting room in the Gamma Knife Center. I was provided with a free ride to the same day surgical center for an overnight recuperation.
After the Surgery
Once I arrived at my room I was provided with a meal that was surprisingly tasteful and filling. I say surprisingly only because I always hear rumors about food provided at hospitals.
I was cautioned that I might have a headache as a result of the pressure from the head frame. I did have a headache but it wasn't unbearable and I did not need pain medication. I awoke the morning after my surgery, ate breakfast, and was given instructions on how to treat the small wounds where the head frame was screwed to my skull.
I left the hospital to spend the day relaxing and reflecting with friends the experience I had at University of Maryland Medical Center. I returned to work the following morning. I am anxious to learn the results of my procedure in October when I have my next MRI and consultation with Dr. Eisenberg.
Memories of the Experience
I know that I won't remember everyone's name that provided me with care and service during my consultations prior to the surgery through being released to go home, but I most remember thinking that everyone was extremely friendly, professional and demonstrated a genuine interest in making this event as easy as possible, from tending to my mental concerns about the treatment choices I had to the actual procedure, and the follow-up care.
I want to especially thank Dr. Howard Eisenberg, Dr. William Regine, nurse Terri Biggins,
nurse extender Allen McClain, (who was my constant companion throughout the day) and Joe Whisman, the day nurse in the same day surgery