The Brain Surgery Experience
Time Has Come Today
Now if you’re looking for something to worry about I think you’ll find it in the whole medical/insurance bureaucracy gauntlet. I’ll skip the details, but I finally got through all that and was scheduled for surgery on Wednesday January 14, 2004.
The holidays passed quickly. I wrapped up everything I could at work and took time off starting the Monday before surgery. I had to make a couple trips to the hospital to do various pre-admission things. Then, the day before surgery I had to go for another MRI. I believe this one also included a “Brain Lab.” Of course, I don’t really know what I’m talking about but I think the Brain Lab is what they load into the computer to assist with navigation of the noggin with the endoscope. Basically the doctor is looking at the brain on a monitor and carefully directing the endoscope toward the cyst. These people probably do know what they’re talking about if you want more info.
So, now we were all set to go. My folks, brother, and sister-in-law were in town to help with the kids and of course check on me. We had a pretty mellow evening from what I can remember. We had to be at the hospital pretty early, 5am I think. I slept relatively well, all things considered, for an hour or two. I had already packed so the next morning get could just take off. Since I couldn’t eat that morning I was basically walking around in a daze until we left. My wife and mother took me to the hospital.
When we made it to the waiting area we were among a good number of other folks lucky enough to have surgery that morning. As we were waiting I realized I hadn’t brought my wallet. I started to worry about that more than anything. With the state I was in I was lucky, or maybe everyone else was, that I even remembered to put my clothes on. I was sure the hospital would ask me for ID and that I would be stuck. We didn’t live very close to the hospital. Was this going to mess up everything? Turns out, no it wasn’t. Apparently, you don’t need ID to get brain surgery. Who knew? Maybe it was because I had registered the day before. No one ever asked.
Pretty much like any surgery you get changed and then you start meeting a bunch of different nurses and doctors. When the twin neurosurgeons got there one of them asked “have you lost some hair since we last met? I don’t remember you being this bald.” Dude. To be honest that wasn’t very heartening since I was already concerned about how it would look.
With the usual stuff out of the way they started moving me to the operating room. Personally, as much as I dislike general anesthesia, if I have to have it knock me out all the way before rolling me into the OR. That place can be scary with all the metal, machines, contraptions, and people standing around. I don’t need a couple minutes for my imagination to run wild.
(Here’s the first of three videos where the dermoid cyst is being removed.)