Monday, February 15, 2010

The entire day of my operation is a blur in my mind, it seemed like it went by very quickly. I think I have the Valium to thank for that. The worst part about the whole process was when they unscrewed the frame from my head. I seem to recall them hand screwing the thing in there after injecting me with some numbing shit. By the time they were done with me, the numbing shit had worn off, as had the Valium, so when the doctor dude waved the electric screwdriver in front of my face, which I only recognized because of the Milwaukee logo, the same stuff we used at my old job working on industrial grade circuit breakers, I knew I was in for some shit. The pain of the screws releasing from my skull was intense. I only remember my legs shaking uncontrollably when they were done with me. There was some conversation about me peeing, but I let them know that, with all the people around me in the room, including a nurse who was definitely younger than I am, who eventually wound up feeding me pudding, stage fright was going to prevent any bathroom anythings from happening at all.

Having now had an MRI, I can tell you the shit they do on the tele is nowhere near what it's like in that small tube. Shit's loud, like someone threw a sack of hammers down a stairwell. I was so hopped up on Valiums, that I didn't notice much. Soon after that, they were taking an angiogram, looking at my vein structure and it was quickly after that that they had me waiting for the gamma knife to start. They had me in the gamma knife tube for probably an hour, maybe longer. That machine is more enclosed than the MRI but far more silent. My Valium had just about worn off, so I couldn't relax much at that point, so I thought about Hanna. They've got a picture on the ceiling of the gamma knife room of a tree with blossoms on it, which you get to look at when you come out of the tube every three minutes when they move you out to stop radiating so they can adjust the helmet to point it at the right stuff. The picture on the ceiling reminded me of the soilent green movie before they perform an assisted suicide and show the victim a tranquil picture. I'd much rather see cops beating up hippies before I die, so the blossoming tree didn't do much for me.

The thing that stands out most about that day was waiting for this horseshit to start, laying in the bed on wheels, with Hanna holding my hand. I had enough Valium in me at that point that I don't remember her taking my hand, but I remember feeling it and looking up and there she was.

At this point, my headaches are gone for the first time since Christmas. My head still hurts where they had the pins screwed in. I don't look forward to when that all starts healing and it itches like crazy. I don't particularly want to be at work right now, I'd rather be sleeping or watching the Olympics, which probably aren't even on right now and wouldn't be showing since I don't have a television yet.

They say I have to go in for another MRI in six months, which is no big deal in my book. I'll certainly hold out for the Valium if they're offering because that stuff was amazing. Reading the literature handed out by the hospital, it sounds like I may have to do another one of these gamma knife treatments in a few years. The literature presents a few examples of people with these things, one lady with a 2.5cm clump of veins and one with a 9 year old with a "large" clump of veins, both had to go in for second treatments on theirs. I don't know what constitutes large, but they told me mine was the size of a lemon. I'd rather not go through this again, but if I have to, I guess I will. As long as Hanna's there, I'll probably be okay.

said Tommy T. at 2:02 PM - #

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