From J D Faccinetti – This is from Geraldine; Traveler. Blogger. Freelancer. Snack-Enthusiast. You can find more examples of her fine writing in her travel blog here http://www.everywhereist.com/
I found this some time ago and filed it in my “worth saving” file so when I found it again a few days ago, I emailed Geraldine and asked permission to publish it. She gracefully agreed. I am listing the first 8. The remaining 62 are well worth the read!
70 things I learned from having a brain tumor.
I was hoping that brain surgery would teach me a thing or two. That I would wake up from my operation with some sort of hidden knowledge that’s only accessible to those who’ve had their skulls cracked open.
It’s not that I thought I’d wake up speaking French or anything (though I wouldn’t have been against that. I’ve always wanted to learn French). Rather, I imagined I’d groggily rub my eyes and look around with a new appreciation for the world around me. My new perspective would prevent me from getting upset about the small stuff.
I thought that after brain surgery, I could rise above the trivial crap we often find ourselves miring in.
And for a while, that was the case. They say that your true self comes out when you are heavily medicated, and my true self, to everyone’s surprise, was an absolute sweetheart. I loved all my nurses, even the blond that Rand had dubbed “the nasty one” (“You just don’t understand her like I do,” I said, drooling onto my gown). I declared my mother the best mother – NAY, the best HUMAN – in the entire universe. I was even tempted to call a few people that I hated and tell them how I had changed my mind about them, how I was wrong to suggest that if they were a crossword puzzle clue, they’d be “a four-letter word that starts with ‘c’ and rhymes with punt.”
Trust me, no one was more shocked than I about my new-found niceness and goodwill.
Of course, I was hepped on something ten times stronger than morphine, and I suspect that had something to do with it. For when I finally came down from that stratospheric high, many many days later, I found I was back to my old, cranky, ill-tempered self.
And for a while, I moped, because I had gone through all that brain drilling and learned positively nothing.
In hindsight, though, this isn’t entirely true. I did learn a few things. I learned what it’s like to have a brain tumor. What it’s like to get an MRI and a CT scan and what it’s like to be completely and utterly knocked out. I learned what it’s like to have staples in your head and what it’s like to have them removed.
I learned what it was like to have brain surgery.
Hell, not even my doctors, who are experts in the field, have been through that.
Here are some of the things I learned from my experience. I tried putting them in some sort of coherent order, but that kind of failed miserably, so instead, I’ve just plopped them all into one big list.
Call it a brain dump, if you will.
- Trying to diagnose yourself over the internet is a terrible idea. The world wide web, once a dear friend, purveyor of porn, and shopping buddy, will turn on you. And, as my friend Chad so brilliantly puts it, you will come away thinking that you have a life expectancy of three or four minutes.
- Rather than asking Google all those questions rolling around in your tumor-ridden head, I found it best to write them down and direct them to your doctor. Every. Single. One. (Well, every single one that pertains to brain tumors. Don’t go asking your doctor about where you can find those naked photos of Prince Harry from Vegas. He might know, but it will just get awkward from there.) If you don’t write them down, trust me, you will forget them the second you enter the exam room, and will conveniently remember them again well after you’ve gotten home.
- Feel free to run around the house doing your best Arnold Schwarzeneggar impersonation, saying “It is a tumor.” Trust me: it will never get old.
- Note that the tumor is not the sole reason behind your tendency to enter a room and forget why you went in there in the first place. If that were the case, everyone on the planet would have a brain tumor. My mother would have 17 of them.
- However, the tumor may be the reason behind your headaches, your hormone fluctuations, and why you think that Sorority Boys was a good film.
- It’s okay to be scared out of your mind.
- If you are claustrophobic, getting an MRI may cause you to freak out.Calm yourself with notion that the process is similar to being inside a big front-loading washing machine. Become the dirty laundry.
- You will have to remove all metal on your body. That includes body-piercings. This means that at some point after your MRI you will find yourself staring at three metal hoop earrings, and you will not, for the life of you, be able to figure out which one was in your nose and which two go in your ears.
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