Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WHAT I AM LEFT WITH

It is rather ironic that I spent the last four years of my life working for a low-income, senior citizen, housing community up until the month where I was diagnosed with a "meningioma" brain tumor - "M" for short.)  Actually, I think I know better than to think  it was a coincidence. I am a big believer in the theory that "everything happens for a reason." I believe that every place and every person we interact with on a daily basis is put before to teach us a lesson in some way, even if at the time we do not comprehend the how or why.

There were over 100 elderly citizens living independently. I spent day in and day out watching some of these senior citizens literally "lose their minds."

For the most part, everyone was pretty alert and aware, but then there were those few that would forget things, they couldn't remember where their keys were or they claimed someone entered their apartment. They would forget what day it was or where they were going. And I use to think to myself, "Wow, does that suck to  lose your memory."

Here I am, 4 months later scared shi#*less that it is happening to me.  They say "short-term" memory loss is "normal" after brain surgery  (well, fellow survivors say, not the doctors) but that is nowhere near comforting.

I forget if I took a shower, (um, that could be a problem!) I forget if I ate, I forget when my husband ask me or tells me something, I don't remember what I had for breakfast or what we did last week.  Sure, most women go through this because they have so much on their "proverbial plate,"  but not me, I remember EVERYTHING!  Or at least I use to! My dad suggested to me that perhaps this was happening from before. I don't think so!  Either way, now I say, "sucks for me!"  It is a very scary thought to not remember things and to feel like you are literally losing your mind.

I am grateful, don't get me wrong but there are moments I just want to scream!

I was age 45 at diagnosis...date of brain surgery was December 2, 2013.  My "lemon-sized M" was located in the left frontal lobe. I also donated my left kidney in 2008 ( a little history there.)  I felt fine then, even after having an organ removed, no major after-effects.  I never had any head trauma, I did however, suffer from headaches my whole life. I was on birth control for over 10 years (including Yaz and Diane-35.) I wonder of course, did hormones play a role?  I only grew suspect when double-vision and ocular migraines started (although the neurosurgeon said not related! Really? I find that hard to believe!)  

What I am left with now after surgery: I am still trying to grow hair back in the incision area, but oddly enough I have lots of hair loss with the long hair I do have. It is crazy the way my hair is falling out!  I have a very bumpy indent (hard to hide) on the left side of my forehead. Sometimes I get depressed, no good reason really, probably hormonal.  Yeah, add pre-menopause to brain surgery! Ask my husband what a joy I am to live with!  I have weight gain, probably from sitting on my butt all day blogging! LOL! I have prickly feelings in my head like needles being poked (or maybe, someone is doing "vodoo" on me!)  I have "staring spells," that I did not know was common until my meningioma group told me.) I still have poor eyesight in my left eye, and many times feel "drunk,' and like I have a mask over my eyes (the way I look lately, I should!)  I am super irritable, angry and emotional often...but hey, at least I have an excuse, right?  I'll keep telling myself that for a while!!

To those who are curious and researching what it's like after brain surgery, know that it takes a lot of time to heal and even more time to adjust to the "new you."  I know that I will never be the same, but as I analyze the situation, I recognize that I am very lucky and that there are many people who have had similar surgeries and have much more severe problems.

I am alive and AM VERY grateful!!!




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