Aug 31, 2011

Day 1

Day 1
Somehow, surgery seemed like a breeze but this not talk stuff was hard and post OP until now (I don’t know what time “now” was but I afternoonish) seemed like a life time. Once I was settled the nurses started to disappear but one remained, and would be the lucky nurse who pick the short straw; she was my one on one nurse in ICU. She was tucking me in when I saw my dad’s head and peeking inside the door and my mom was right behind him. The nurse turned around and introduced herself as Maria and explains what she go in report and explained to them that I couldn’t talk but I seem all there. She looked at me and asked if I knew who these people. I smile the best that I could and gave her thumbs up. She put her hands on my dad’s shoulder and asked me if this was my mom (the tests goes on) I gave her thumbs down and tried to sign dad but I don’t think it worked or she couldn’t read it. At this point who knows? She then put her other hand on my mom’s shoulder and said is this your mom? I smiled and gave her thumbs up.
Maria talked to us about some of the things in the room. She pointed to a camera straight in front me that was hanging from the ceiling. She told me if you hear people talking to you though that…you’re not crazy. She explained that it was a high tech camera. There were doctors who sit in a monitor room and observe behavior and they can check you pupils from that camera. I guess this special camera has saved so lives. If that was the case, it was ok with me. Even if that wasn’t the case I think it would be cool to have somebody to talk to at night. If I was a doctor I could have fun with this. Maria went on explaining other things but nothing as a cool as the camera. It was like the usual things, blood pressure, nuero checks, every hour, I could not have food or water until my swallow study the next day, and policy only allows 2 or 3 people in the room at a time and quiet hours were 7-8:30 am and pm so the visitors don’t interfere with bed side report. I HATED quiet hours!!  It was just time to lay there awake and think about what just happened and scared of what might come. The first day really wasn’t bad. I was in and out of sleep when there weren’t familiar faces popping in two or three at a time. A face that I distinctly remember was my sisters, Quirsten’s her husband was right by her side. Quirsten and I we are 14 months apart in age. My mom always dressed us like twins, one was purple and the other was pink.  We packed her apartment up so she could move up to Chicago with her now husband just before we found the tumor. Because she started a new nursing job up there she was not able to come home as often. I remember at that moment I wanted more than anything for everybody to just leave and her to sit and cry with me. I don’t remember what happened next. When I woke up there was nobody. I looked at the clock and couldn’t even register what time it was.
Quirsten and I dressed like twins... you cant see them but those are indeed skate on our feet ;) I was born for derby....maybe not

Aug 17, 2011

A Test after Brain Surgery!?!?!

I opened my eyes to the sound of somebody saying my name multiple times. When I looked up I saw a handsome young resident. He asked me a few questions. The first one was if I knew where I was. I said yea. He replied where? I opened my mouth and nothing would come out. He gave some options and I shook my head but even that was hard. I couldn’t coordinate my head to shake the right way. I am so glad he didn’t assume I was confused. Instead he kept asking me questions and I figured out a way to show him I was still me and I remember things. He went on asking me if I knew who I was and I gave him thumbs up with my lefts hand considering I favored that side. He then again gave me a few options and I gave him thumbs down until he got to my name and then I gave him thumbs up. He asked me a lot of questions. It turned out to be a multiple questions test or something. They didn’t tell me there would be a test after brain surgery. That is just cruel. They didn’t even give my time to study for it. It was a good thing the questions where like do know what years it is, the president, and if I’m in pain. It turns out I passed and the conclusion was that I was not confused.
When he left my bed side I had a chance to look around. I was in post op waiting for the neuro nurse to get report for me to go up to neuro ICU. I look around some more and I saw tubes, wires, and cords hooked to me. These tubes, wires, and cords would be my best friends for about a week whether I like them or not. At some point in time I fell back asleep and woke up in my room where they were about to transfer me to my “more comfortable bed”. That was a lie if I had ever heard one. All four nurses at once bombarded me. One was organizing the cords and wires hooked to me, one was scrubbing me in a bubbly tan soap, and one was doing who knows what? The fourth one I will never forget her but I don’t know her name. She was twitleing around at the foot of my bed doing assessment. She lifted my sheet to put on flow trons and her response was jaw dropping when she saw my bright pink cast. I don’t think she knew her response was so obvious but I chuckled inside. She threw the left leg flow tron on the chair beside the bed and said I guess you don’t need this one.

Aug 2, 2011

She Held My Hand Till I Fell Asleep

I wasn’t shaking but my right side of my face dropped. I remember several events though it’s not clear what order they happened in. They very well could have been happing at the same time. I heard the speech pathologists talking to me. She was telling me that I am ok and that I had a seizure. Again the voices above my head were talking away at a speed and language that I could not understand, but I didn’t care. What was on my mind is that I was beginning to feel pain. I went to tell the nurse that my left arm was hurting but I opened my mouth and nothing came out…that was the moment I realized I lost my speech. Dr Cohen previously told me this will likely happen because of the size and area the tumor was located. But still I thought I prepared myself the best I could for the situation but I come to realize you cannot prep yourself for this. A tear fell from my left eye as I felt the resident press on my head with a stapler to close my head up. I remember feeling 3 or 4 staple going in. My left arm was the only things hurting, the staples didn’t hurt but I felt the pressure and the sharpness by my ear. Another tear fell from my eye and the pathologist dabbed it away and held my hand till I fell asleep.