Life After Brain Surgery: My New Normal

***Content warning: x-ray images of my head! May be disturbing for some.

It’s almost 3 am and I’m still awake. As I try to sleep, I’m reminded that I’m never going to be normal again. Not the normal I had. Here is my new normal.

Incisions itch as they heal, even months later. Hair takes way longer to grow back on my right side as compared to my left side. And it also itches like crazy. Finding a comfortable sleeping position is damn near impossible. Titanium plate on the left side feels like, well it feels like I’m laying on metal. Go figure. The shunt on the right side feels like something is stuck up under the skin stabbing into my skull. Oh wait, it is.

And this damn tube. It floats around inside my stomach bumping into whatever is in its path. Everything from sharp shooting pains to dull, throbbing pains. At any given time! The skin and flesh from my scalp to my stomach (the majority of the tubing) feels like it’s being stretched all the time. I can feel scar tissue building up around it.

I can’t focus during the day. I can’t sleep at night. It’s like my already severe insomnia is now on steroids. My sleep/wake cycle is way off. And when I have really bad nights, when everything I’ve listed all acts up together, I get sad. I won’t ever say I regret having the first surgery. Not at all. But I don’t think I will ever be able to accept everything that happened after that first one.

But this, this is my new normal.

~Kristen

5 Replies to “Life After Brain Surgery: My New Normal”

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