When we arrived at the hospital, my son, daughter, sister and closest friend were waiting. We had a little time to talk before the surgery began. I was pleased that my dearest ones were all together and there to give me support.
The procedure was to begin with an MRI, after which the surgery would be done using up-to-the-minute images. A lifetime claustrophobic, I need sedation to endure that closed in machine. The surgeon had assured me that it would be administered, but it was not. I suspect he forgot to make the arrangements, but this misunderstanding escalated into a nationally renowned neurosurgeon throwing a temper tantrum in the waiting room while his patient and her family watched in shock.
The surgeon threatened to cancel the procedure. I seriously considered it. I had doubts about allowing someone with so little self-control access to my brain, but the tumor was growing. He got a grip on his emotions and I was given a CT scan instead of the MRI. I asked him if he felt well enough to proceed. It seemed as if he ought to be asking me that, but off we went to the OR.
Prior to signing consents, I had been informed of the risks of the surgery. The percentages were negligible and I felt confident. What are the odds I’d be the one in ten thousand? As it turned out, my number was up.
After the surgery, my left hand was paralyzed. The arm was fine, but my hand hung limply from the wrist with the fingers all clubbed together. After one day in SICU, I was transferred to a rehab unit. Physical and Occupational therapists got me started immediately trying to squeeze a sponge, open my hand, etc., Before I went home the next day, I was able to hold the sponge. That was all.
While discharging me, the surgeon said he was sorry about the paralysis. “It happens…” he shrugged dismissively. I wanted to kick him, but settled for going home alive.
Continued Diagnosis: Brain Tumor - Rehabilitation