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 Leaking Brain Fluid

April 12, 2009

Hello all,

I just wanted to take a little time to give everyone a quick update on my health condition to let you know what's going on and to reassure you that all is well and I am in good hands.

Background:
As some of you know, I have been suffering with a runny nose for quite some time which I have been assuming was an allergic reaction or lingering symptoms from a cold.  Lynita and I traced this back to when it first started and found that my nose had been running since February 21st… running nonstop, day and night.  I know, you are probably asking yourself, why didn't he just go to get it checked out?  Well, I guess, being a typical man, I thought it wasn't that bad and that it would eventually clear up and I saw no need to see a doctor.  Well, a very caring and compassionate co-worker (Cristina Reyna) at my job at Applied Materials took it upon herself to research my symptoms on the internet and discovered that my runny nose could very well have been a symptom connected to my brain surgery two years ago.  She implored me to go to see my doctor, I did, and after several CT scans and an MRI, my doctors have confirmed that what my coworker found in her research is true.  What has been running from my nose all of this time is actually Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) from my brain.  An area near the site of my surgery two years ago has started to leak and the fluid is accumulating in my nasal cavity.  I have learned that the body produces quite a bit of CSF every day and the simple fact that it is leaking does not cause any great problem (well, except it is HUGELY annoying).  The great concern is that the compromise between the nasal cavity and brain compartment can allow an infection to be easily passed from the very unsanitary nasal area to the highly sterile brain and spinal system.  Such an infection could easily lead to spinal meningitis, a life threatening illness.

Prognosis:
I have been referred back to my original neurology surgery team in Dallas (the team that performed my brain surgery two years ago).  They had hoped that the area of the leak might be in the area of my frontal lobe so that they could possibly correct it through my nose without major surgery.  However, the leak has been determined to be in the area of my right ear so they will have to open me up again almost like they did 2 years ago.  I was hospitalized in Dallas at Zale Lipshy hospital two days last week (Thursday and Friday) and was discharged with some pretty strict doctor’s orders and told to return to Dallas Monday afternoon.  My doctors, which now include Neurology and Ear Nose & Throat specialists, have tentatively placed me on the schedule for surgery this coming Thursday, April 16th.  I am truly in the best medical hands that I could be in (I truly believe this).

Outlook:
Those of you who know me closely know how strongly I believe in and live by my faith.   Because that faith is so strong and unwavering, I can honestly say that I am going into this with the full confidence that my LORD and Savior, Jesus will once again carry me through this and allow me to get to the other side without fear.  Along the way showing the love of God to some who can benefit from what I am going through.  For if it can help but one person, I willingly and eagerly choose to go through it.

Lynita and the boys are doing well as they have been through this before and are almost veterans at it.  We are all going to Dallas this week as we wait to find out our next steps.  As I find out more, we will keep you informed.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Pray for the strength and endurance of our family and that God will have His way and that His perfect will be done through this.

 

Going into this, God has given me a great peace much in the same way He did two years ago.  To quote The Apostle Paul, “to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21)”, and “absent from the body is present with the LORD (2 Corinth 5:8).”  You see, I know that I can not lose with the cup I must drink.  But rest assured my beloved family, I do not think that my LORD is quite through with me yet… the master has still more work for me to do.

 

May God bless and keep us all, my beloved… until we next see each other… keep looking up.

 

Gerald

 

For insight and details on the way that this unfolded, I have included here a copy of my personal journal that describes the events of my diagnosis and hospitalization for surgery to correct this leak.  After reading it, you will see that this complication and surgery were not an accident, misfortune, or another bad break.  It was actually a very important assignment on which the sovereign Lord sent me.

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© 2007 Gerald L. Prater

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