The Brain Surgery Experience
This Sucks. Now What?
That same day or the next I remember crying about it to my wife who remained rock-solid, at least on the surface, throughout the entire ordeal. Somehow, I got it together and enjoyed the next few days and weekend in an unusually sanguine state. At this point I still didn’t know what was going on, but I thought somehow the experience I was in for would help me be more motivated to live my life on purpose. So, that meant I was even luckier than I had previously thought.
The next week I was scheduled for an MRI. After an initial call with the hospital where it would be done I was told that I would need to have an “orbital X-ray” to make sure there weren’t any pieces of metal in my eyes. I answered “Yes” to “Have you ever done any welding or grinding?” With that out of the way I went for my MRI. I asked the tech if I could look at the scans when we were done. That was the first time I had a good look at what was in my brain. I would later find out that I had Colloid Cyst and a Dermoid Cyst.
I am a year round bicycle commuter. The day after my MRI I was expecting a call from my doctor that morning. I was on my way to work, riding a fixed-gear track bike, and I became distracted with thoughts about what my doctor would tell me. Lesson learned: Do not ride a track bike while thinking about anything else. I stood up going over a rough patch and stopped pedaling. Since you cannot stop pedaling on a track bike I was launched over the handlebars going over 20MPH. In addition to breaking my helmet, I completely crushed my clavicle, broke three ribs, and a bunch of more minor injuries. I managed to start breathing again a few minutes after I came to, repair my bike to barely rideable condition, and hobble my way the three miles back home. My wife took me and the kids to the emergency room. A few hours later I was back and my doctor, who couldn’t reach me at work, called me at home. “Since I have you on the phone can I also get a referral to an orthopedist to go with the neurosurgeon referral?” That was September. In October I had surgery on my clavicle and thus began my collection of titanium plates and screws. Another story for another day.