Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FAQ about out-patient brain surgery

Q: Isn't it amazing that we have come so far that your brain can be operated on and you can go home the same day, only glowing slightly?

A: Yes, it is. I would say that these are amazing times indeed, but the gamma knife procedure has been around for a little while. Luckily, they have been working on it and seem to have no further need for the hamster.

Q: Don't you ever get tired of making light of this, Heather?
A: Have we actually met?

Q: Funny. But, seriously how are you? (Or some variation therein -- like, how are you feeeeeling?)
A: Well, I'll tell you in all seriousness that I feel great. I'm really excited that I have the opportunity to have this procedure and quite possibly avoid all of the horrible things my mother had to endure. The chance of maintaining my hearing, preserving my balance, not having any facial paralysis, well... I can't help but feel upbeat about my prospects.

As an aside... When I first found out about this, I really felt like I was getting something close to a death sentence. I was led to believe that I should wait to see if my neuromas developed/grew and then if they did, that invasive surgery was the only logical pursuit. But, gamma knife has the possibility to prevent the neuromas from growing more and preventing the need for invasive surgery. I feel that if I have a chance to avoid a life in the quiet, then I'm going to grab it. If I have a chance to avoid going through an MRI every six months, I'm going to take that.

I was inspired by women, who upon learning that they have malignancies in their own breasts after going through the deaths of their mothers make the radical decision to pursue double mastectomy sooner than medically advised. Because you know what? It is my body and I am going to do what I need to do to preserve it even if it's considered radical.

Q: Are you in pain? Do you have headaches?
A: I have to tell you that this question really drives me bonkers. Here's why -- when I tell people what is wrong with me, I go into explicit detail about what it is, where it is and how it works. I am very emphatic that this is not the type of tumor that can kill me and that I never would have even known that it was there if I were not doing regular hearing screening. I may make jokes about the fact that I have a tumor and so on, but in the beginning, when the news is broken it is in very detailed information. So, anyone that asks me that was not paying attention. It is frustrating. I know they mean well and I'm just being bitchy and self-centered to get irritated, but whatever. If you really mean well, then pay attention.

I can't think of any other FAQ's. Those are the main ones.

So, tomorrow is Hulk Day! Grrrr... By the time you are reading this, it will probably be over since we have to be there at 6:00 am. I am going to try to get Scott to take some pictures (ever the maudlin drama queen) because I think the halo thing is going to be something to see.

love you mean it!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Head Speaks

*No more school for 44 days. I was reading some old archives here, and I actually used to talk about being in school. Remember Harold?

Well, now I never write about it, because to me -- it is what it is. It's just part of my routine. I like the beginning part of the semester a lot. Get to see new people and learn new stuff and buy new books. It's shiny and new, and we all know just how much Heather likes shiny, new stuff! Then, by the end of the semester I am just over it. Mostly from the feeling guilty about not working harder and yet somehow still getting rewarded for it.

[Note: I am not lacking in awareness in the irony of complaining about getting A's when I don't work hard enough to actually deserve them. It is exactly as annoying when skinny girls complain about how they eat and eat and just never gain any weight. Boo freakin' hoo. The truth is I do study and I am actually smart and they are throwing up in the bathroom and exercising like fiends. Why pretend anymore??]

Hm, where did that soapbox come from? How awkward!

*The other day my boss asked me what was up, why was I in such a good mood? This comment has haunted me ever since. Was she just teasing me? Am I really crabby or was she just playing on my paranoia that I'm always crabby?? Hmm.... It just doesn't seem right. So many times in my life, I always thought that someone else was the teacher's pet, but maybe it was really me and I just didn't know it?


All suck-ups dream of being secretly appreciated for they sycophancy, didn't you know that dear?

*I finally gave up on having a personal cell phone message. A collossal waste of time and energy. I can't please you fuckers with the cutesy messages. And you are irritated when there is information designed to be helpful to people who are not you. Other people call! Sometimes...

*Weird dinner plans. Tomorrow night I am going to dinner with some of my female co-workers. I have barely hung out with any of them outside of work, so I am really nervous that I'm going to say something stupid. And then tonight I had the perfect out from Shrek the Halls. Puss in Boots gets caught playing with a Christmas ornament and he says, "Oh, I have shamed myself."

I just love that!

* I have a class buddy whom I do not share any classes with next semester. Unlike previous class buddies, we actually work in the same building. It should be really interesting to see if the relationship continues. We are absolutely nothing alike and she thinks we're a lot alike. It's cool but weird.

Oh, I forgot to finish my dinner story... So, one of the women going to dinner is my deskmate who regales us with stories of her daughter all day at work. Then I come home and make Scott listen to them -- ah, the circle of life. The other two women coming are younger than I am -- mid- to late 20's. It's really going to be an interesting dynamic because both of them were popular people in high school. Since I am still a nerd at heart, it's hard for me to let go of the social classes and remember that we're all grown-ups. I guess as grown as I think I pretend to be, I do not have my shit together and still get intimidated by popular pretty girls who dress well.

Seriously, what does that say about me?

**** It says that it is past my bed time and that's why my previously pumped up mood has grown maudlin. ***

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