UPDATE: I had my brain operation on May 1st, during which several non-cancerous tumors were removed. For some reason, in my life, these experiences always involve jewelry. This time, a nurse brought me a pin that said “I’ve just had brain surgery, what’s your excuse?”
I’m writing this diary from a hospital room, having had one brain operation and waiting to have another (more serious) one. For those of you who have not been in a hospital recently (or ever), the main problem is not pain–it’s boredom and bad food. I wonder if these two things aren’t intentional: A way to make you want to get well and go home soon.
As most of you know, I had a "brain bleed" (burst aneurysm) 8 years ago, something I’ve diaried extensively about. Lately, my brain problems have returned: A few weeks ago I found myself in an ambulance, not knowing who or where I was. One thing about a grand mal seizure–it really messes up your mattress, mainly because you bite the hell out of your tongue.
After that incident, our G.P. referred me to a neurologist, who did an EEG and a CAT scan and saw things inside my head that made him think I should immediately pack a bag and check into the Emergency Room in the hospital where the doctor who saved my life last time practices–and so I did.
After more tests, it was determined that the neck of my old aneurysm was weakening, and a benign (not cancerous) tumor called a meningioma was discovered growing around it. So the aneurysm needed to be re-coiled and the meningioma removed. The coiling has been done and I’m now up and walking to the bathroom again–not to mention eating real food–but I’m waiting for my doctor to do the more serious operation, which is the removal of the meningioma. They may have to cut a small artery in order to do this, meaning that I might lose a bit of my peripheral vision. This surgery is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, because the doctor wants my brain to settle down for a few days post the coiling operation.
I had planned to start taking driving lessons again, but those plans are over (for now, anyway), so despite the fact that I used to drive around San Antonio, I will remain a non-driver in Los Angeles for an indeterminate time in the future.
For the coiling, the doctors were able to snake a tiny TV camera up my groin, but for the major operation, I will need to have my head shaved again, so there goes my hair style, such as it is. Wouldn’t you know it, I just gave away all my wigs–to a friend who is having chemotherapy.
This all happened just before we were scheduled to take a business trip to New York City. We also had an NYC trip schedules in mid-October, 2004, when this happened to me the FIRST time. Whitley said, "Maybe we shouldn’t plan any more New York trips."
But I plan to get well and take LOTS more of them. There are lots of OTHER places I want to go, too!
I was talking with a San Antonio friend on the phone and we both agreed on one thing: Having brain surgery is the PERFECT excuse not to do something.
"I’d love to come to your dinner party, but I can’t–I’m having brain surgery."
"I’d love to take a meeting with you, but I can’t: My wife is having brain surgery."
You can’t beat that one!