Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Head games

The last week or so has taken my family and me on a not-so-welcome medical adventure. The roots of said adventure were probably in mid-January, during this encounter. I thought I'd emerged relatively unscathed from that event, but apparently that wasn't the case. After several days of horrible headaches, extreme exhaustion, and, frighteningly, losing some function in my right leg, my doctor gave up on prescribing ever-stronger painkillers and sent me to the emergency room of our local hospital. A CAT scan revealed that I had developed two subdural hematomas that were actually shifting my brain out of place. The treatment: drill and drain, which occurred this past Thursday night. I now have a head full of staples, all scheduled to be removed in three days. I've also lost a bit of hair, but -- amazingly -- didn't need a full head shave. Julie thinks I should get a shave anyway, though. She thinks I'd look bad-ass. I'm not so sure.

I'm out of the hospital now, but not entirely out of the woods. After the drains were removed from my head, another pool of blood was found. Hopefully my brain can re-sorb the blood over the next few weeks (months?), but until then I need to watch for a recurrence of symptoms. If that happens, I'll face another drill-and-drain session, and may reconsider that remember-remember-the-fifth-of-November change of coiffure. The fact that my birthday happens to be the fifth of November makes that prospect seem somewhat appropriate.

Meanwhile, though, a few shout-outs to:

-- Mani the night nurse. I hope he got in some good sledding yesterday. Six prongs for the engagement ring, buddy!

-- Katie the day nurse. I hope the copy of Senior Dogs For Dummies that I gave her will help her deal with her dog's passage over the Rainbow Bridge.

-- Kate the other day nurse, who made it possible for me to have my first post-surgery shampoo!

-- The great neurological surgeons at Inova-Fairfax, who answered my endless questions with equally endless patience.

-- The wonderful folks at Wiley's Consumer Dummies team who sent me the gorgeous bouquet of flowers that just arrived!

-- The equally wonderful folks at Bowtie, Inc. for sending me an equally lovely just-arrived bouquet!

-- My DH, Stan, who's taking such good care of me.

-- My daughter, Julie, whose visit from Chicago was so welcome.

-- My Golden girl, the Divine Miss Allie, who refuses to leave my side.



Gina said...

Geez, Susan! You gotta stop scaring all your friends. Love, Gina

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

Holy cow! That's completely scary. Feel better soon.

Susan said...

Believe me, I've been pretty scared throughout this entire saga -- not to mention grateful that I'm still here, head full of staples and all.

PBurns said...

Jesus. Prayers to you, and GLAD the found out the problem.

Dr. Burns prescribes Cherry Garcia ice cream, one pint taken in small bites all day long. Repeat once a day for as long as you think necessary. Get better!

Susan said...


Ahem, excuse me, Dr. Burns ...

Thanks so much for the ice cream cure, but an even better prescription is watching that YouTube "Shake Your Tail Feather" clip on the PetConnection blog. I laughed so hard that I kept checking my head staples to make sure I hadn't busted them. Fortunately they're still intact (but only till tomorrow, when I get them out -- whee!), but watching that bird sure made me happy.

Ark Lady said...

Hope you are fast on the mend girl. Regarding the Cherry Garcia--only works if you combine it with NY Chocolate Chunk...

Susan said...

Appreciate the tip!