Today marks two years since my repeat ETV. An operation that placed the cherry on my hydrocephalus cake.
I’m navigating a brain injury caused by the bleed I had during surgery. It’s been hard to accept. It still is. (Time, patience and understanding is what I need, especially from myself. Easier said than done). So much has changed and there’s even more unknowns that comes with it. Fear of my future and the effects on my family. Thrust into a world of anxiety, depression and crying episodes, outside of my control.
Feeling weak, vulnerable and even pathetic, at every turn. It’s amazing how much a simple touch or hug from someone close means. It brings me comfort in a way I’ve never felt before. However, dare I say, even this may become too much to bear, in time..?
There’s just so much I don’t know yet but, I’m working towards discovering all there is on this journey. You’d think all the other times I’ve had this same surgery would make it easier but, that’s just not the case.
Frontal lobe brain injury is only one of the areas affected. There are other areas of my brain injured too. Each bringing different challenges to the fore…
Waking up with a headache, nausea and dizziness this morning, was just the “perfect” reminder of a surgery that’s scarred me with a good dose of PTSD.
If I had to be honest, it’s left me feeling strongly opposed to going through it again. And, I fully understand what I’m saying with this statement.
This “life saving surgery” leaves you with a “quality of life” that I’d wish on no person; alive or dead. A life interrupted and turned upside down. The internal fight continues between finding gratitude for being alive (the socially expected response) VS a challenge I was not prepared for, nor did I see it coming (my reality).
Today, I chose to go for a swim to help alleviate the pain inside my head. (Wishful thinking at best!) A perfect dive into the cold clear water, followed by a few laps of swimming. Then, floating along the length of the pool until the pain subsided, even if only for a little while. Lying still, drifting along, listening to my own breathing and heartbeat below the waterline. It’s a stillness my soul requires. A serenity disturbed only by the thoughts inside my head. You have no idea how powerful those thoughts are!
But, in that moment; Gratitude. Pure and simple.
Feeling the warm sun on my face, watching birds swoop playfully, scooping up water to quench their thirst. A smile on my face as I breathe again…choosing to float instead of sink to the bottom!
We may not know what the journey of life holds in store but, I reckon, the moments where you’re able to stay afloat, are worth it.
*The views expressed in this post are my own. They are in no way meant to influence anyone else. The effects of brain injury, caused by brain surgery, are real. Be aware of what they are for your own understanding.