Magical Cerebellum Bus Tour to OZ
Magical Cerebellum Bus Tour to OZ

After a very long journey in November 2003 an MRI revealed my diagnosis:  Arnold Chiari Malformation 2 with posterior migration of the Dens.

 Our medical Advocate Dr. Sharon Bearpark came on board (see Medicine Woman).  I was put on the wait list to see the best surgeon in Victoria, Dr. Sun.  In December we went to Mexico (see Doorways to Spirit of Peace)  In February 2004 we saw Dr. Sun.  Dr. Sun sent us to his teacher Dr. Michael Boyd in Vancouver.  In March after being over whelmed by an examination, it was Dr. Boyd’s confident and compassionate touch that had my body and my vision feeling him operating on my brain.  Operation…Decompression of the brain.  Sculpting out of base of skull and titanium plate to hold up cerebellum.  Two titanium rods from skull to C-3.  One butterfly holding Dens (C-2) in position.  Both the Cerebellum and Dens had partially slipped into the brain stem and were creating havoc.  Had I not had the operation there was a possibility of becoming a quadriplegic and choking to death.
Dr. Boyd

 I wrote this quote in my journal as we left on the Magical Cerebellum Bus Tour to OZ (Operating Zone in Vancouver).  I had my ‘Red Story telling shoes’ on and Sir Marbleous by my side.


We arrived in Vancouver on April 4th 2004 and made our way to Maarten’s hotel the Plaza 500 on the corner of 12th and Cambie.  He had a wonderful bright and perfect suite on the 9th floor.  It is four blocks from Vancouver General Hospital which is where OZ is.  We spent a beautiful day and evening together.  I received a special gift of grace where I could walk quite easily on the arm of my Love.  That evening with Maarten under my right wing and son Trevor under my left, we walked to The Banana Leaf for dinner where Sacha, Trevor’s partner met us.  We walked back along  Broadway arm in arm four abreast.

The sun streaming through the next morning as we look out at the city, blossoming trees, and the Lion’s Heads of the amazing mountains.  Maarten and I spent the time enjoying each moment.  I was admitted to VGH Jimmy Pattison Tower to a semi-private room with a miraculous view on the 14th floor.  I sat for an hour just breathing in the view as it would be about a week before I could appreciate it again.  I was put in traction.  A metal open helmet that they call a halo was secured just above my ears.  Then a rope and pulley hung over the head of the bed held a seven pound weight.  An X-ray on the next day showed the vertebrae opening and Dr. Boyd added five more pounds so I had a twelve pound pony tail for the next two days.  I could feel the release of the numbness and tingling in my hands, arms, face and trunk disappear and for the first time in a long time I felt warm.

 Dr. Boyd was pleased that he and his team could do both surgeries through the back of the neck and head.

The traction

My artistic niece Sheralynn Nadine Pearce who at my request created the Magic Cerebellum Bus, visited with sister Victoria and made a brilliant mobile with stars, hearts, butterfly, fairy godmother, and sparkling crystal.  The mobile hung from the ceiling by a wire with a sky blue halo covered in sparkles with encouraging words on it.  It would be a focus against the bleak ceiling tiles.  Sheralynn also made little ‘Cerebellum Bus’ pins that the operation team could wear as they were going inside my brain.  It was a joy to create a feeling of creative lightness and I was grateful the team came along for the ride.  The Cerebellum Bus had pictures of everyone who wanted to be part of the journey.

Trevor sometimes with Sacha would come and hold my hand and listen to me babble and try to slip jelly down my throat.  Maarten was always coming and going learning everything that he could so that we could get home when the time was right.  We spent exquisite moments together as he read to me from Jane Urquahart’s book called ‘Away’.  Rhona and Caroline read from ‘Gifts of the Rainbow Angels’.  Thanks to Julie MacFarlane and husband Kam’s visits and invitation to dinner for Maarten.  Other wonderful people stopped in and staff was excellent.  I was being cared and prayed for by the United Nations of human kindness.
It takes a team of people and friend Karine MacFarlane and Sheralynn would be in charge of communications.  Maarten would call them constantly with updates.

On April 8th, the Operation began around 8:00 a.m. and was completed around 6:00 p.m. Dr. Boyd called to let Maarten know that the operation was done through the back of the head and that everything was working…movement in fingers and toes, etc.  They had finished the operation earlier but when they made a check with the ultra sound they found a blood clot so they needed to go back in and remove the clot.  Maarten asked about seeing me and Dr. asked him to wait for a couple of hours.  Our Paramedic son Troy, had come to be with his Dad and they were the ones I saw in the recovery room.  As I had been face down during the surgery, my face was a huge pumpkin covered with blisters and bruises.  It was hard for them to see me as the tube was still in my throat and my arms were restrained.  But they could tell I wanted them to take the tube out and I was motioning with my finger.  Troy’s face had appeared small in the distance and then suddenly his face looked enormous as he came closer checking everything out.  My last memory was his huge blue compassionate eyes.  Father and son comforted each other in the outer room.  The tube came out and shortly after 12:00 midnight on Good Friday I was returned to my room.

‘Let the Healing Begin’ another story.

Farewell of the Magical Cerebellum Bus.   How about a real silver bus at the Ferry Terminal!   We return to Victoria via the Ferry with priority loading so we could watch out the car deck.

Nadine Agnes Stewart Schaddelee

Storyteller of Maarnada

Path of Human Kindness” and “Wind Chimes of Easter

Nadina - Storyteller of Maarnada

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