|View from outside the storm (standard:non fiction, 1172 words)|
|Author: Eutychus||Added: Oct 27 2002||Views/Reads: 1956/1179||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A recollection of the aftermath of a neurosurgical event from 1987|
As I stood before the mirror and examined the fiery red flesh that formed a reversed question mark on the right side of my head, my wife slipped up behind me and wrapped her arms around my chest. “You know, you will never be able to wear your hair the same again,” she said and ran a hand gently across the half inch of hair that had grown in the two months following the second surgery. “What do you mean?” “You never really had a well-defined part in your hair to begin with and since they shaved your head, I'll bet your hair has completely lost its memory.” “Could be. Do you think you can get used to making love to hair this short?” I asked in an attempt to draw a look of exasperation from her. “The hair I can deal with. You really need to get some muscle tone back, though,” she said and ran her hands over my shoulders and down my arms. “This feels like it belongs to a little boy. I miss the muscles. A month of inactivity has wiped you out.” “In more ways than one,” I said and winced at a twinge of pain above my right ear. The headaches were backing down some but they still gave the occasional reminder that I wasn't yet at one hundred percent. After thirteen years of suffering under several neurologists, I and my then-fiancé made the decision to try and treat my epilepsy by excising the source of the problem, namely a large bruise on the surface of my brain sustained while sitting on the bench at a little league game in the path of a foul ball. Following the two-surgery procedure that kept me in the Cleveland Clinic for close to a month, I was sent home to recover in familiar surroundings. The look on my wife's face spoke concern for the pain I was feeling, but there was something else that remained unspoken. She desperately wanted to say something, to help balance out my pain, but was hesitant to do so for the same reason you never speak a birthday wish out loud before blowing out the candles. “Go ahead and say it. Someone has to eventually,” I said as I pushed on the puffy area above my ear, feeling the “squish” of cerebro-spinal fluid that had leaked out of my skull and pooled beneath the scalp. It wasn't a dangerous development, but it could be distracting. “Do you realize that today makes sixty days since you've had a seizure?” I had realized the developing trend a month earlier and this new mile marker did not serve to diminish the confusion I was feeling. Logically, I knew that I had every reason to be ecstatic about the news, but the longer I went without a seizure, the less happy I felt. Strange the way receiving that for which you most long rarely produces the sense of fulfillment you thought it should. “Yes, I know,” I said in a tone that gave away my mindset. “And please don't look at me like that. I've lived with seizures as a part of my daily routine for thirteen years. Facing the possibility of never having one again is kind of scary. I know it's why I had the surgery, but try and imagine suddenly never having your period again, keeping in mind the hormonal upheavals that are implied. Isn't the thought just a little frightening?” “Bad example, since it would mean I was either pregnant or finishing up menopause. But I can imagine some uncertainty over the sudden change. And I called the Clinic yesterday to ask your doctor about this because I sensed that you might be feeling this way. Would you believe she said this was stress related?” “Hm... I guess I would. Since a seizure was my way of dealing with stress, I never developed coping mechanisms for stress that life generally forces people into acquiring. Did she have any suggestions?” “Oh yes. Lots and lots of nookie.” Click here to read the rest of this story (52 more lines)
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