Tomorrow I’m going to the Mayo Clinic for a brain surgery consult.
It’s not surgery (yet). It’s just the consult. Still, I am scared shitless.
I’m scared because I have been backed into a corner by my own body. I don’t exactly have any other options (other than continuing to have seizures, and those are slowly causing me brain damage). If I want to have any shot at a normal life again, this is pretty much the only thing left for me to do.
I’m just not all that excited about having a part of my brain...killed. Or zapped with a laser. Or scooped out with a spoon or whatever. I’m not exactly sure what they do, but I know that it does involve removal of the part of the brain where there’s seizure activity.
My doctor seems to think that I’m a strong surgical candidate. He’s been suggesting this option for a long time, and I’ve been hesitant to pursue it because...well, would you want part of your brain destroyed?
Any other organ, I’d be totally down.
But my brain? Um...not so much.
Especially since no one seems to be quite sure what the right temporal lobe even does in right-handed people. (They know in left-handed people, but not in right-handed ones.) I’m right-handed, but I'm also slightly ambidextrous (I can only shoot pool left-handed, I favor my left hand when I use a pottery wheel, and I can write fairly well with my left hand, among other things), so the thought of them messing with this particular region really freaks me out. They said I’ll probably lose...something. I mean, of course I would--part of my brain would be gone. But they can’t tell me what I’d lose, and that’s terrifying.
However, living in fear and expectation of seizures freaks me out, too.
I cannot decide which fear is greater.
I am so weary of my identity being wrapped up in this disorder. I can’t go anywhere without someone asking me how things are going. I’m grateful for people’s interest and concern, but the answer is always the same: The seizures are still happening. Nothing has worked to stop them. And having to tell the story over and over sucks.
Being able to drive myself to the grocery store again is a small dream.
Being able to leave my house alone is one, too.
Surgery could make those small dreams possibilities, but I can’t help but wonder: at what cost?