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.
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