“You’re awesome“, a response by someone whom I had told of my having had brain surgery. I was busy explaining to her about my short term memory loss as part of an apology in my forgetting our appointment. (I truly felt bad and beat up on myself, as I do, because I forgot and simply hate my poor memory). I didn’t go into the specifics of the condition I have, except to say I’ve had brain surgery.
Why did I feel the need to explain it to her? Was it even necessary for me to divulge the fact of my brain surgery being the cause of my memory issues? And, why did she respond by saying I’m “awesome”?
It left me wondering “How does having brain surgery make anyone awesome?”
Surely, if it were up to me, I wouldn’t even have had 1 much less 4. If it were up to me, I would rather go bungee jumping to prove how awesome and brave I really am (FYI – this is something I will NEVER do, not even for a million $s).
Then, there are those Hydro warriors who have had 50 or even more than 100 surgeries in their lifetime. Most are younger than the number of times they’ve had to face these dreaded operations. These warriors have my utmost respect and admiration. Respect because I know only too well that it requires physically, mentally and spiritually preparing one’s self for upcoming brain surgery. Admiration, because no matter what, there is no choice other than to push on through and believe at all cost that what must be, will be. You do it with every ounce of dignity you have inside of you. Regardless of the outcome…
Then, of course, there’s knowing that said surgery is only a treatment option and not the ultimate cure (because there isn’t one…yet). Your vigilance is what determines your survival because, for some of us, every day is a struggle. And, for others…not so much. Add to that the fact that in some instances, the medical professionals do let us down by failing in so many ways: be it lack of understanding/knowledge/skills/expertise even empathy, being dismissive of our symptoms despite our protests of knowing our own body better, making you feel like you’re one foot short of stepping into the loony bin or even throwing drugs at us to give them a 3 month break while you “trial” it.
Brain surgery is nerve wrecking! Make no mistake, each time I’ve had to have one done, I’ve been scared out of my mind. I prepared myself and (subtly) even those around me for the worst. I (to an extent) expected not to wake up from it…each time.
I know this probably sounds like I’m a negative person or lack faith but I prefer to face something once I’ve prepared myself for the best as well as the worst outcome. Either way, I can look it straight in the eye and feel at peace whether I’m ready or not.
I wonder if it was a nervous reaction to utter those words…Whatever it was, I simply don’t feel “awesome”. I only feel blessed to be able to share the journey with others, to live another day to tell it like it is and advocate for a condition called Hydrocephalus.
How about you? Has brain surgery left you feeling awesome? And if not you, then do you see your loved one/acquaintance/friend/colleague that way?
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I blog about Hydrocephalus and Selective Mutism to give a voice to the millions of people around the world with this condition and disorder. As much as these experiences are unique to me and my family, I’m sure others have experienced it too. My aim…to shine a light on it and raise awareness – simple and challenging at the same time but worth it!