What they found was something called a low-grade glioma tumour. It had caused my seizure and was located on the right side of my brain in an area I was was told was “easily operable”. Note: this was the type of conversation which I grew to familiarise myself with and which admittedly constantly irked me. Surgeons are life savers and to their credit realists, but they are constantly telling you “the good news”: “it’s operable” “we can remove it”, “it’s low grade”, it seems non-aggressive”. But to me, NONE of this was good news – my skull was about to be opened so a chunk of tumour could be cut out of my actual brain. No part of this was a Disney fairytale. Sorry, the news it was operable was not going to have me shitting rainbows. Oh, by the way, that’s the other news. Since surgery, I no longer have that filter that enables you to sugar coat things. “Truth bombs” found me after all.
So I lay there beside the anaesthesiologist. “I’m nervous,” I kept saying, almost pleading. I truly hated that feeling as I drifted away from myself. I woke up a couple of hours later in a WORLD of pain known as “high dependency”. You are monitored, fed drugs and more or less shouted at. I think the staff do this to try and snap you back to “reality”. It does work. The kind nurses are the ones that stay with me – I make that differentiation because I experienced one or two unkind ones. More on that next time.
So yeah, did I mention the pain? All the Oxy (morphine in pill form) can’t prepare you for the levels of pain I felt. Also I vomited it all up so fat lot of good that did me. Thank you God for paracetamol drips!
During that first night I genuinely felt like I was dying. This is too personal to go into now, but I cried a lot and pined for friends and family.
Speaking of friends and family… It’s a cliché, but you will be surprised by who steps up and who steps back. In a drugged state, I tried to contact those I loved only to have some make no response or worse, really immature shitty remarks, while others sent bouquets and held my hand. A crisis like this truly separates those who care from those who don’t give a damn.