Saturday, November 16, 2013

Brain Surgery Color Commentary

It is not super fun in the hospital.   But everyone is nice about it.

This  first part of Deep Brain Stimulation surgery is supposed to be the most “uncomfortable” part of the two stage process.  This is where they had to have perfect control of my head to accurately send electrical leads down into the mysterious depths of my brain.

The word, uncomfortable, is code for, “This is going to challenge your current definition of sanity, so try not to emit any sounds that could upset the other patients in pre-op ok?”  All of whom sat up on their gurneys watching the proceedings with wide-eyed half-sedated interest. 

Dr. Foote injects the locals. I connect with my Neanderthal ancestors.

And as we got me ready for brain surgery, I could hear more than a little “There but for the grace…” and “Bless her heart” sympathy utterings combined with the “Ooohs” and the “Oh my Gods” from those who couldn’t filter their reactions to what happened next.

Screwing in the bolts
There is digital proof, however, that I smiled and chatted and babbled while a halo of stainless steel was lowered onto my head like some steam punk crown.  I was the Queen of Deep Brain Stimulation. The second of four scheduled for that day.  There was a little of that production line feeling about it all.

Dr. Foote, a naturally gifted teacher, carried on a quick efficient running dialogue pointing out the whys and wherefores of the procedure to his ever-present entourage of students. He injected lots of local anesthesia at four sites on my face and head where the pointy screw-in pegs were installed to render the crown inexorably bolted to my skull bone.

Fully crowned and cranky

Apparently my face looked like some punk body mod of egg-sized bulges above my eyebrows.  They went down fairly quickly resulting in a blessedly numb scalp and face.  

But not before I was deemed by onlookers to look like a Neanderthal in a trap. Which, under the circumstances, was hilarious.

Even when I heard the back left bolt grind into my skull with a crunch, I maintained.  I am a good patient and a Doctor’s daughter so I just held on to those two thoughts.
My team: The gorgeous Dr. Foote, Pam the no-nonsense OR nurse, and a sweet student guy whose name I promptly forgot.

 This is Part One.   There will be more about this soon.  I have been recuperating from both surgeries and the going  is slow. But I don't shake anymore...    Mark2:1-12


  1. Wow! You are REALLY something else! Now y'know... Get up, take your mat and go on home...

    God Speed Linnn

  2. Shudder. Hopefully will be worth it all!


Come on! Blurt, rant or engage in verbal disrobement! Anything goes, so indulge yourself right here, right now.