I have my post-angiogram/pre-surgery appointment with my neurosurgeon today. I’m going to write this post in two sittings. This first will be before the appointment. The second after.
So, I have read enough to know online that this procedure (aneurysm clipping) should actually be somewhat okay. As brain surgeries go, this one is less risky than others (like removing a tumor or something). That doesn’t mean it’s without risk, though, and those risks are pretty bad. Here’s a list of things that could go wrong in no particular order:
- Ischemic stroke (bad, especially for someone with an aneurysm)
- Increase in headaches
- Problems with vision, balance, memory, language…
- Infection at the wound site
and… of course… death.
(I once had a very Southern, from Virginia, professor, Southern Lit professor of course, who asked in class what “mort” meant. I hesitantly piped up “death,” and he said exasperatedly, “Yes, death” while sighing at the lack of knowledge, fortitude, or interest from the students in the class. So…)
Yes, death. In fact, the neurosurgeon recently had a similarly aged woman with a similar situation who had to have a clipping. She made it through surgery, then the next day had a stroke and died. There’s a reason I’ll be in the ICU, I suppose, but the ICU is not a magic amulet that will protect me from dying.
Pondering on this has made me realize that there are many things that make me not want to die, like family, friends, and my dogs. Those are really important. But, there are a few other things that I also would like to live for, including:
- The Dark Tower movie
- The rest of the Southern Reach series — I’ve only read Book One
- The new season of Sherlock
- The latest Daniel Radcliffe films — I’ve heard both are good but haven’t seen either (Imperium and Swiss Army Man)
- Learning how to crochet beanie hats
- The final two seasons of Game of Thrones, which will likely be depressing, but I still want to be watching
- Finding out who Negan killed. That bastard
- The movie version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Obviously this list is not all-inclusive. For instance, it does not include all the things that I could actually do right now, but probably won’t because waiting on brain surgery is annoying and such.
AFTER THE APPOINTMENT:
So, I went in thinking that the surgery would be happening in a week. Instead, it will be happening in 4-5 weeks. Why? Allow me to explain:
Right now, I have a not-doing-anything stent in an artery in my brain. That stent is not really a problem, as long as blood keeps flowing. However, if my body were to recognize that stent as a foreign body and try to get rid of it (by clotting), then I’d have a stroke.
This isn’t particularly likely, but it’s not unlikely. (5% from what I can tell from a bit of research online). The neurosurgeon wants to wait a bit longer (7 months instead of the recommended 6) to provide a little extra healing time and cushion to decrease that risk as much as possible.
So… I am back to waiting for the surgery. In the meantime, I’ve already gone mostly off caffeine, so it doesn’t make sense to start drinking it again given that I’ll just have to stop again soon, so I won’t even have coffee to keep me awake in the meantime. Nothing wrong with napping, I suppose.