Read the Room, Vanessa

Well, that was a week.

From last Tuesday to last Friday, I received difficult news or experienced something difficult, or both, every day. In this post, I’ll write about what was/is, in many ways, the easiest to process and one of the most time-sensitive. (“Time-sensitive” probably isn’t the right word choice here, but I don’t have the brain power right now to agonize over sentence flow or coherence.)

I had an appointment with my epileptologist on Thursday. Since this doctor practises out of a different hospital, the healthcare facility I currently inhabit arranged for me to travel there accompanied by a PSW. I could look out the window of the wheelchair taxi, giving me renewed confidence that the city does, in fact, still exist, and we arrived early enough to browse the Shoppers Drug Mart in the lobby. I was understandably—given my current circumstances—incredibly happy.

I was, however, also incredibly nervous. This is a recurrent theme for me: freak out for days before an appointment, go to said appointment, have everything go well, chastise the me-of-an hour-previous for being so anxious. And for the most part, things played out as they usually do.

Until, that is, my epileptologist interrogated my VNS (which I named Vanessa, as you might recall).

As of my last visit, Vanessa claimed to have 1.8 years of battery life still in her. As of Thursday, less than a year later, the battery was at a “critical low” of 0–5%.

My epileptologist worked quickly to arrange for my neurosurgeon to change the battery ASAP. So quickly, in fact, that the operation will take place on Thursday. As in, two days from now.

I’m really impressed by and thankful for the speediness with which everything’s come together, but I’m also scared, anxious, and a little depressed—in other words, a delightful mélange of some of the worst feelings ever.

Though this isn’t what I wanted, especially since I was already very, very overwhelmed by other recent events (what a cliffhanger!), I’m trying to focus on the positives here. First and foremost, I’m so lucky that I saw my epileptologist when I did. Second, my dad happens to be visiting from BC and can spoil me before and after the surgery. Third, I’ll be able to check this off my list of “medical stuff that’ll need to be addressed in the relatively near future.”

That won’t stop me, of course, from cursing my VNS and its completely inaccurate battery-life estimate.

C’mon, Vanessa.


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