April 20, 2011

My Brain Surgery...AKA Zipper Head (Sept.13,2000)

I decided to wait a couple of months to have the surgery. I wanted the kids to be in school. I don't think I could have lasted much longer. I was so weak and pumped up on drugs. I looked like the walking dead! I decided to have 12 inches taken off my hair before the surgery. It was like removing my right arm. I always had long hair and the only way I could deal with it was to donate it to make wigs for cancer patients. It made me happy to help. September 13 th 2000 could not have come quick enough. I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am. My husband and parents came with me. I kissed them and rolled away into the pre-op room. I had incredible peace. I could feel all the prayers carrying me. I was not one bit nervous and didn't need any sedative beforehand. The IV went in and out I went. 4 to 5 hours past and the Surgeon came out to the waiting room. He looked exhausted. He told my husband that the surgery took much longer than he anticipated. He explained that the MRI did not show the extent of the problem. I had so much scar tissue built up and had vertually no spinal fluid flowing from my spine to my brain. He was able to perform a successful decompression with a dura graft. The incision went from the base of my neck to almost the top of my head. Hence, the zipper-head. I remember very little but I do remember feeling and hearing this swishing sound in my ears. The doctor explained that I was actually hearing the spinal fluid flowing into my brain. It was an amazing sensation. It felt like my brain was being bathed. Almost like a dry sponge soaking up water.
To the doctors surprise, I was NOT able to walk and I had double vision. All my senses were magnified 1000 times. The pain in my head and neck where unexplainable. How much pain could the human body withstand? I think I had found out. Somehow, none of this concerned me. I just knew everything would turn out well in the end. I spent a week at the hospital and then I was transported to another hospital for rehabilitation. This was not typical. Most went home in five days. But not me...