I’ve tried a few times to write a coherent post summarizing this most recent hospitalization and, as you might imagine, keep epically failing. And so I’ve decided to go ahead and use one of my favourite formats: the lazy point form.
Here are a few of the many things that have happened since I last blogged.
- I went through an interesting, exhausting, stressful “bump” in my epilepsy—and, by extension, real—life, and after debating whether or not to write about it, the merits of awareness, the potential dangers of disclosure, etc. etc. etc., I ate a donut (Boston Cream, in case you were wondering about my donut preferences) and decided that my mental energy could be utilized in much more productive ways than agonizing about such decisions. So then I alphabetized some stuff, probably. #OCD
- I consumed bowl after bowl after bowl of Tim Hortons chicken noodle soup and ignored dish after dish after dish of Turkey Mandarin, among other sweet poultry recipes not requiring a knife before shovelling and swallowing and gagging a little. This is probably the best place to thank the many friends and family members who acted as soup porters/my own personal saviours, keeping me from having to consume many a less-than-mediocre protein drink.
- I ate what is likely a record number of Zookies (off-brand animal crackers) and got very upset when they went on sale and sold out at the Shopper’s Drug Mart in the hospital lobby. (You might have noted a food theme to these updates. Gotta refocus.)
- I changed hospital rooms, again, because my private luxury suite in the EMU was needed for someone coming in with intracranial leads, and I was only being monitored there since my epileptologist felt that if I were going to be in the neurology ward, I might as well have electrodes glued to my head.
- I had lots of visitors, for whom I am eternally grateful. Being hospitalized for three weeks shortly after being hospitalized for a month isn’t easy, and I’m so glad that I have an army of friends and other loved ones who were there for me and my husband, painting my nails, wheel-chairing me to Shopper’s Drug Mart, buying me a Batman LEGO book that I coveted, providing, as I’ve already said, endless bowls of soup, and pretending that it’s normal for a grown woman to build a collection of weird-looking stuffed toys that she loves mostly because they’re so weird.
- I received amazing care, particularly from the physiotherapist and occupational therapy team, who really stepped in, especially in the last week. Due both to deconditioning and left-sided weakness, I was having trouble walking and with stairs, and the physiotherapist got me navigating the hospital lobby, though yes, full of anxiety, and, after practicing in the gym, going up and down staircases, full of even more anxiety, but who cares because I managed to climb two flights of stairs all by myself, meaning I’d be able to get up the steep staircase leading to my apartment (a major concern).
- I had a follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon, which probably merits a post of its own. However, since I likely won’t get around to writing it, given my current state of being, I’ll just say that it was both comforting, in that it confirmed, in my mind, that I’m under the best care, and disheartening, in that it’s very clear that I can’t have corrective surgery, at least not now. My epileptologist recently suggested a vagus nerve stimulator, and I discussed that at length with the neurosurgeon; he seemed to think that it’s a good option, especially since it can be removed if there are future advances that will allow corrective surgery to be done. My husband and I both left feeling confident that there is a path forward, even if it isn’t necessarily the ideal one. Luckily, we both love us a challenge (that was meant to be sarcastic, but I don’t know if it came across or not, so yeah, sarcasm).
- I was discharged with a comprehensive follow-up plan, mostly thanks to the physiotherapist and occupational therapist that I previously mentioned. Although the neurology team declared me medically fit to go home, the physiotherapist and occupational therapist had some concerns regarding my ability to function outside of the hospital. Without going into too much detail, I’m still physically weak and have cognitive challenges related to seizures, my surgery, and concussions. Their recommendations for post-hospitalization included that I participate in an outpatient rehab program for people with acquired brain injuries, which I will start in a few weeks; to fill in the gap, a physiotherapist and an occupational therapist will come to our home.
And so late on Friday, my husband and I filled the trunk of a cab with all the stuff I’d accumulated during my hospital stay. Taking a deep breath, I used my cane and the handrail and climbed those stairs.