This has been one of the most intensely emotional weeks of my life. And for epilepsy-surgery-related reasons, so you get to hear all about it!
We’ve been busy preparing for my upcoming procedure, which, as regular readers are aware, was very recently scheduled for November 4th. Such little notice means/meant a lot to take care of in a condensed amount of time: a physical, a preadmission appointment, travel arrangements, packing, etc.
On Monday, my husband and I went to the hospital—at 7 AM—to the surgical preadmission clinic. I met with a whole array of people, including a pharmacist, a nurse, and an anesthetist, all of whom asked a dizzying number of questions; I had my blood taken twice (the second time to confirm my blood type); and I was weighed, measured, and swabbed. Highlights of the visit included the nurse asking if I’ve ever been told I have a small mouth, following a peek inside my mouth, and the anesthetist making a delightfully big deal of the fact that I have a PhD. “We have to write this somewhere!” he said, after adding a “Dr.” before my name on the anaesthesia form he was filling out. And then, in a random place on the same piece of paper, he noted: “PhD, Italian Studies.” Maybe that’ll earn my brain superior treatment. (Disclaimer: I genuinely hope that all brains, whether or not they belong to PhD-holders, are given extremely and equally meticulous care.)
This process made the fact that I’m about to have my skull cut open feel very real. Indeed, there was some point during the appointment that what’s to come in the near future went from a quasi-hypothetical to “this is happening, this week, and nothing’s stopping the train.” Bracing myself, I leaned in.
But the next day, I received another phone call from an unlisted number. It was, again, the neurosurgeon’s office. Though the neurosurgeon himself was ready to go, there was a problem with the epilepsy monitoring unit, and a bed wouldn’t be available for me after my surgery; they were going to reschedule for six days later. The neurosurgeon’s assistant was apologetic. “I know. I’m pissed too,” he commiserated. (Another disclaimer: I responded to the news, or at least I thought I did, using a calm, reasonable tone. Perhaps I need to reexamine the meaning of “calm” and of “reasonable.”)
It felt like a bigger blow than it probably should have. My surgery, after all, isn’t cancelled, it’s just pushed back by a week. At this point, though, I just really, really want to get this damn thing over with. The anticipation is getting to me something bad, and while I’ve been relatively successful at finding ways to distract myself, these methods of distraction haven’t been all that distracting.
It’s only another week. It’s only another week. It’s only another week.
Another week. Ugh.
PS: I realize that I’m forgetting to write about a whole bunch of important stuff that’s happened since I last blogged, but given my patterns lately, the options are likely a) an incomplete post now, or b) the possibility of a post about something else at some undetermined post in the future when I get around to it. I’m choosing a).