Life After Brain Surgery

A week ago my family was all meeting up at a parking garage outside of University of Maryland Medical Center Baltimore, gathering our belongings necessary for the long day ahead, and rushing inside to get to where I needed to be by my 5:30 appt time. Sadly, the hospital sent us on a long run around until we finally landed right where we needed to be, but we got there. Tension was high among the group, of course. The nervousness in the air; palpable.

I was asked if I was ready, more times than a few. How do you answer that? How are you ever ready to risk leaving your family behind? How are you ever ready to risk not coming back to them the same as you left them? So I lied. I was ready, yes. I lied and said I was fine. I lied and said I was going to be okay. I was petrified.

Questions began, IV was started, prepping was moving at the speed of light, but I was still stuck. Lingering, waiting for my entire family to hug me all at once. What would be my last thing to say to each one of them? How do you decide that? You cannot scare the kids, Kristen. You cannot upset your sisters, Kris. And my God, don’t let my parents feel my fear.

Last night I was asked what I felt in those moments. What was it that I told myself to help me get through it and make the final decision to go through with it.

The answer is my life. I wanted my life back. The vibrant, exuberant, fly by the seat of her pants girl was gone. She was replaced long ago by a zombie of a woman that was barely surviving this world. She could no longer head out on grand adventures, planned or otherwise. She spent her days hardly able to make it up and down the stairs let alone to a school event with homemade brownies.

She couldn’t make it to concerts with her sisters anymore. She had to cancel plans with friends more times than a few. She couldn’t get outside and run around with her two sons anymore. Life as she knew it ceased to exist.

But this morning. 7 days after the scariest decision of her life, that girl woke up at 5 am without an alarm clock, went downstairs without a single creaking or aching bone (stairs are a different story), and made herself a cup of coffee. Do you realize how long it has been since that has happened? I won’t count the nights where sleep never happened and I got up at 5 to start a day after a night of no rest. I’m talking actually slept for hours, woke up, went down, and made my own damn coffee??

Let’s ask my little baristas when they wake. I bet ya it’s been a while.

Good morning, world. It’s good to be back.

Screaming in Silence

Pain, ripping flesh, breaking bones, searing flames of agony.
This isn’t torture. It’s my normal.
Tears flow down swollen cheeks to meet the pool gathered on my pillow. How many more nights will this flare last?
The drill in my ear, pressure building. Electric shocks through my jaw. Someone stop it.
Turn off the power. Cut the nerve. Rescue me. I’m dying. Please help me.

I wrote that poem in the middle of a flare up of the neuralgias I love with. They are always constant, but some days they flare so bad I cannot function. It’s unbelievably frustrating. The pain is beyond what the human body should have to endure. 10 days to surgery. I am so ready for this to be done!

~Kristen

Brain Mush

Hey guys. So I’m like 18 days away from brain surgery and my brain is just a mess. We already know my nerves are bad, hence the reason for the surgery. But lately, between the chronic pain, planning for surgery, and the fear and anxiety that go with it, my brain is total mush.

I get all these ideas of things to write, yet I never actually do it. I have note after note in my phone with ideas for blogs or poems or stories and there they sit, just in the note pad, not going anywhere, not being seen by anyone. Such a sad thought, huh.

So I promised myself today that I would post on my blog. That I would get back into writing, no matter how mundane and repetitive. I intended to keep everyone posted with like daily updates on my journey towards surgery. Obvs, that hasn’t happened. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my school work, the kids’ school work, and the household crap. Ugh.

Anyhow, so surgery is getting closer. I have been working on a plan for who will have the kids and who will help me at home once my hospital stay is over. That isn’t going well. This coming weekend I will be meal prepping probably 40 meals, just in case I am down for a while. Honestly, I thought part of being in a “close-knit” community meant I wouldn’t have to worry about such things during times like this, but it seems I don’t know the right people or something. So I’m just going to plan myself and make sure my kids are covered when I’m not able to cook for them. I mean, this is major surgery. I won’t bounce right back and be in the kitchen like June Cleaver the day after they slice into my skull. Right?

So meal prepping it is. Any ideas are greatly appreciated! You could comment here with suggestions!

For now, I’m going to write as many things as I can and see if I can get my creative juices flowing again through all this messed up crap in my head.