While having coffee with a friend yesterday morning, I missed a call from an unlisted number, which often, as I commented to said friend when I looked down at my phone, means a hospital. No voicemail. Grrrrrr.
Coffee Friend and I had just been discussing how I’ve been eagerly—well, maybe “with a complicated mix of emotions” is a better description—awaiting news regarding my recent-ish PET scan and whether I can proceed directly to surgery or need to get intracranials (another round of testing). I’ve been expecting an update from my epileptologist for weeks now. In fact, I left a message with his office last Thursday to ask what the status of things is. I’ve been in a weird limbo since finishing my degree since it doesn’t make sense for me to look for a full-time job until after I take care of my head. The idea of working in a full-time, non-flexible situation is, to be honest, overwhelming anyway due to the number of seizures I’ve been having lately. So I’ve been doing freelance projects and waiting for the hospital to contact me.
It had reached the point that I was expecting to hear that, at the very least, more information would be required. So imagine my shock when later in the day, ten or fifteen minutes after an appointment with another doctor, my phone rang and it was the neurosurgeon’s office. The team had discussed my results, and they wanted to book an appointment.
“Just to confirm,” I said, “this means I’m a candidate for surgery, right?”
“Yup!” the secretary replied. “I have space on July 8. Is that good for you?”
July 8. That’s next Friday. After months of waiting, I’m seeing the neurosurgeon—the neurosurgeon—next week. A top neurosurgeon, and my top choice, at that.
If I stop to think about it, it’s weird to be so happy about brain surgery. And as the reality sinks in, the periods of anxiety/nervousness are already beginning to grow. However, my overwhelming emotion is, indeed, excitement. Is it really possible that I might be seizure-free by the end of 2016? Is it possible that I might be seizure– and AED-free someday? For the first time in what feels like forever, a life without seizures and the side effects of epilepsy medications seems within my reach. For real.
I realize that there’s a long way to go. However, if the risks are relatively low, I’m 99% sure that I’ll go ahead with the procedure. There’s so much to gain and so little to lose. Adios, Seizure Me: it’s been swell.