Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big Day Today

Well, today's the big day. My surgery begins at 2 pm, and it's expected to take about 3 hours. I'll check in to the hospital at noon, and get properly instrumented and issued one of those lovely hospital gowns.

I find myself in good spirits. I do know the potential seriousness of what will take place today, but somehow I truly think it will be OK. Maybe it is just an irrational but strong belief in my own indestructability. But I think that what (little) we know so far supports the idea that this will prove to be (as brain tumors go) relatively modest. I say this because other than the seizure last Saturday that started this whole thing, I have few if any symptoms:
  • no headache or other pain
  • no obvious deficits in reasoning (OK, some of you may beg to differ on this point...),
  • no worse memory than my usual absent-minded-professor memory.
Of course, it should be stated in fairness that I am also highly medicated, with Dilantin to inhibit seizures, steroids to fight brain swelling, etc.

A big part of the reason I am in good spirits is that I am surrounded by family. My wife Frances (herself an MD) has been an incredible source of strength (and to top it off, she has the insider's knowledge of how to cut through hospital red tape!). I owe her for very much, including for getting me safely home from Kenya, where I had the seizure, with no further incidents. My kids Tim (12) and Erica (10) are handling this great, even though I think the seizure, which they witnessed, was scary for them. (They told me later I was acting like I was "possessed by demons" - well, maybe I was in a sense.)

My parents flew down here Sunday night from Sacramento, one day after my Dad's 78th birthday. They plan to stay all week, and have offered to help in any way they can. Their love, support, and help mean more to me than I can ever express in words. It is a great comfort to have them here.

Well, I guess that's about all for now. The next few posts will probably come from Frances or my parents, since I will likely be in no condition to post anything for at least a day or two. My major task of the morning is to get them set up with Google accounts and teach them how to blog... [And you thought neurosurgery was hard! (Just kidding, Frances, Mom, and Dad!)]

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