The Best Halloween Gift of All (?)

At various points of my life, I’ve tried to convince those close to me that there should be a being, much like Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, who brings presents on Halloween and/or Canadian Thanksgiving (the target holiday changes from time to time). The lack of such a beast has always felt like an unnecessary void: sure, candy is a gift in its own right, as is turkey, but accepting new toys from Santa when you were a kid didn’t mean that you had to forfeit them from your parents and other loved ones, did it? For reasons that I won’t try to explain, since they lack rationale, I chose a rodent as the mythical creature that, in a just world, would make the rounds in October, delighting children and adults alike with his (her? I haven’t decided) offerings.

Well, it seems that this year, the Halloween Rat will finally make his (I guess it’s settled: he’s a dude rat) premiere, if all goes according to the plan made this past Friday.

My appointment for the VNS consultation with my neurosurgeon was only scheduled a week ago, last Wednesday, and I saw him two days later since he had had a cancellation. My husband and I arrived at the hospital early in the morning. I was, as usual, a bundle of nerves, convinced that a vague *something* was going to go wrong. My husband was—also as usual—a reassuring presence.

I needn’t have worried: the surgeon readily agreed to move forward with the surgery to implant the VNS. I was, even in my glorious pessimism, relieved more than I was surprised. Astonishment came when I took the completed consent forms to the front desk. The secretary told me to take a seat; he’d call me up with a surgery date in a few minutes.

What? A surgery date? I certainly hadn’t been expecting to leave the hospital that morning with a scheduled procedure, and definitely not with one in the immediate future. To be honest, I’d assumed that I’d have a couple of months from the time I saw the surgeon to surgery go-time to let the decision to get a VNS settle—to talk to people about their experiences with the device, to do even more obsessive research, to enjoy not having a little computer in my chest, whatever that means. Instead, I was asked if I wanted to have the surgery on October 2, only two and a half weeks away. Not only did it feel too soon, but it would have meant cancelling a father-daughter trip that I’m really looking forward to. After a quick conversation with my husband, I decided to see if I could delay the procedure a bit, making clear to the secretary that if turning down the October 2 slot meant waiting until, say, February, I’d go with October 2.

The (very competent, very friendly) secretary spent a few minutes looking at the surgeon’s calendar again and let me know that October 31 was a possibility. Unlike the earlier date, to which my gut had reacted with confusion and panic, this one just felt … right. A little more time to process what I’m about to do/have done to me? Check. Not having to cancel my trip with Pops? Check. Becoming a cyborg on Halloween? Ultimate costume/true commitment.

The Halloween Rat is really pulling through for me this year. He’s ignored me up until now, so it’s about time.

The Halloween Rat, bringer of gifts and VNS surgery.



2 thoughts on “The Best Halloween Gift of All (?)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s