chapter 63: life with brain surgery, wednesday, may 4, 2011

living in a hotel.  it sounds pretty cool.  makes for a sustainable disney show…well, i have to say, it’s not that great in this context.  but i must also add:  it keeps things simple.  i’m here with louisa.  i have a king size bed; she has a giant chair and ottoman; i sleep here, she sleeps there.  i sleep pretty much nonstop, or i at least try.  the room stays dark; she has her ipod, and now her laptop, which her dad mailed her.  we don’t talk; she’s good like that.

last night, i bathed for the first time since the operation.  somehow i knew i needed a really hot bath.  it did me worlds of good.  so i did it again tonight.

i’m having a few issues, but thankfully no hiccups or puking.  in addition to feeling excessively miserable, like someone shoved a knife into my brain, my left eye is struggling.  for now, my left lid is dead and shut; i have no control over it.  and my eyeball is pointed toward the outside.  in a word, i am now walleyed.  but, my stuck eyeball with the blown pupil and blurry vision is trying heroically to re-establish the all-important neurological connection.  therefore, whenever my right eye looks to the left, my left eye–which is already ALL THE WAY LEFT–tries to follow.  it leaps toward the far left, a surge which causes immense, sharp pain in my eye.  it hurts SO BAD.  in an effort to minimize pain, i must minimize any looks toward the left.  but our eyes are our most instinctive parts, so a mere thought of an object to my left will cause my eyes to move accordingly, almost involuntarily, and BOOM–  pain.  i watched Zoolander the week before my trip to Arizona, and now Derek Zoolander is not the only one who can’t turn left:  i’ve had to stop even turning in that direction, because my eyes want to lead.  so if i feel even the least curiosity toward my left hand side, i must immediately go right, all the way around, to avoid the pain.  just a few minutes ago, walking from the sink to the bed, i had to spin right FIVE TIMES.  i looked like i was caught in a one-eyed New Kids on the Block routine.  New Cyclops on the Block.


also, i can’t see out of my left eye; it’s blurry.  and its misplacement in my eye socket means that, if i try to see with both eyes, i have complete double vision.  therefore, if my left eye opens before my vision is restored in that eye, i will have to wear an eye patch.  this could take 2 years, according to the doctor.  also, of course, there is an aesthetic reason to hide my eye, until it is moving correctly.  i love Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein; but i don’t want to be him.

a friend of mine is a pastor; he sends out a frequent email of updates and prayer requests.  i get the email, because i gave him my email address when i told him about my brain hemorrhage last may.  and yet, from that day forward, i would always notice that i wasn’t on the prayer list.  two days ago, i awoke from a night’s brain-surgery slumber, to find his latest email.  and yet STILL, even with BRAIN SURGERY, i still couldn’t make that stupid list.  instead, the list favors requests such as, “pray that my wife’s bubble bath is extra sudsy,” or “we’re going to Six Flags; pray that the lines are short and we get tanned yet not burned.”  “pray that we don’t need dental floss after our next meal.”  “pray that Palm Olive does our hands while we do the dishes.”  even after the multitude of deaths back home last week, that’s the best you can do?  i had a knife shoved into my brain, pal; i’m not praying for amazing REM sleep for you and your family.


so there are a few thoughts.

i’m thankful to be alive; i didn’t know if i would be.  i’m thankful to still have my eye.  i’m realizing that this recovery is going to be more immense, and longer, than i had imagined.  please stay here, and go there, with me.  i love all of you.


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