After a month in the hospital and two brain surgeries, I’m home. No more twice-daily checks of my vital signs! No more hospital food! No more being confined to bed and bathroom! (Oh, the joys of intracranial monitoring: I literally didn’t leave my hospital room during my stay there, except for the second surgery. During previous Epilepsy Monitoring Unit sojourns, I could at least go to the hospital lobby for twenty minutes twice a day. It’s the little things, people.)
Although the outcome of the procedures wasn’t what I was hoping for—the seizures I had while hooked up to the intracranial grids all came from different places in my brain, and it isn’t possible to cut all of the offending areas out—I’m trying to be as positive as I can manage, given the circumstances. After all, although we ruled out what would have been ideal (corrective surgery), my epileptologist and I can still explore alternatives. And yes, there are alternatives: a Vagal Nerve Stimulator, the Ketogenic Diet, the few medications I haven’t tried yet. A resection would have been been the best option, but that doesn’t mean that other solutions won’t provide me with seizure freedom or, at the very least, a reduction in the number of seizures I currently experience.
And so I left the hospital yesterday with extremely short, almost shaved, hair, a 27-cm incision stapled closed, immense gratitude for how much support I’ve received from family, friends, and medical professionals over the past four weeks while confined to bed, and hope for the future, despite the less-than-optimal outcome of these recent surgeries. I know that that things will remain challenging over the next bit, while I’m stuck in my apartment and while my activities are restricted. But I also know that things are moving in the right direction, albeit at a slower pace than I’d like. I have a follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon on March 3, when we’ll talk about next steps, and my epileptologist will call me sometime soon so that we can follow up, too. In the meantime, I’ll focus on resting, relaxing, recuperating, and eating non-hospital cuisine.