On Thursday Amanda had her angiogram in Wellington Hospital.
Our instructions were she could eat a light breakfast before 6am, only drink water after that and report to the ward at 10am. She was on the list for the afternoon, so nothing was expected to happen before 1pm.
To avoid getting up at ‘stupid O’clock’ for the 7am flight from Nelson, we travelled to Wellington the previous day. In the afternoon we walked to the national museum – Te Papa; a 2km round trip from the motel and back. Amanda had already made up her mind she wasn’t going to eat breakfast the following morning, so I made sure she ate plenty the night before.
Amanda was allocated Bed No.8, a set of clean pyjamas and throughout the day, two different nurses and three doctors, increasingly senior in stature as the day slowly wore on towards the headline act – Pierre; the surgeon who would carry out the angiogram.
Each one explained the procedure with increasing detail and medical terminology until ‘Pierre’ (the only doctor who looked anywhere near our age) made his entrance around 1pm.
When I mentioned the AVM he said he couldn’t see it on the previous scans and that since he did this all day every day, and an angiogram was the ‘gold standard’ he would get to the bottom of it this afternoon.
An hour later Amanda was wheeled off to a room just 10 metres away.
She came back just under an hour later, still woozy from the mild sedation and followed by Pierre who confirmed there WAS NO AVM and that as far as he could tell it had simply been a stroke; a blockage which had backed up and caused the burst artery.
No further treatment required. No trip to Dunedin, location of New Zealand’s only Gamma Knife.
I blame it on the sedative, but for the rest of the day, whenever I asked Amanda where she was (and I checked on a regular basis), she kept repeating… Dunedin.
It felt weird to see her back in a hospital bed in Wellington exactly 10 months later. This time she was fully aware of what was happening and, as the picture below shows, taking it in her stride this time around…
Before we left Pierre returned, having written his full report and confirmed once again, no AVM. he did however comment that compared to the previous scans, he could clearly see how Amanda’s brain is healing well.