Monday, August 18, 2014

Go home, said the man the moon, go home.

This is me looking good.  If you want to see the nasty
stuff, scroll down to the bottom of the post.
Look at me!  As 97% of people on the planet (most of whom are on Facebook) know this, but to be sure that this fact is widely known:  I'm home!

Hundreds of you have been supporting, loving, and sending all kinds of good stuff my way...this has really meant a lot to me.

But even as I sit in the luscious sofa in my super-comfortable home, one of the things I've learned is that I'm having incredibly bad language skills. I'm not speaking or writing particularly well (although my mom actually said I'm speaking better than writing. Evidently the thoughts aren't translating to the written word as well as I think when I'm writing them.) Therefore my mom is taking down this blog post from my dictation.  It's a new kind of blogging for me.

The vague messiness about my communication is another weird moment in my life, which, I guess, is always to be expected when you have brain surgery. Dr. Friedman removed a quarter of my skull and dived into my brain. This time I was quite awake for the surgery, so when it was time for me to read cards or talk about Maybelle to the speech guy, I could. And I can still remember the basic words I was supposed to be able to demonstrate (like seeing a picture of a duck and saying, "Duck").  I'd also coached speech guy to bring Maybelle into the conversation since she'd be a very motivating factor to make me want to stay there awake.  Dr. Friedman did some surgery, then he brought out the in-room MRI to see what other bits of tumor were still there, then he dived back into my brain for another round.

Later Dr. Friedman came my ICU and said he'd gotten more than he expected: almost all of it out.

The 6+ plus hours of my surgery were great, and then they were followed by to a lovely experimental process.  Nurses and PA's were doing anything they could to get me to stop my extensive vomiting.  They worked on this effort for 3-4 hours, shoving multiple things into my IV, but only when they gave the third medicine more than once was I able to curl up in the ICU and rest.  As it turns out, though, I was doing so well they released me to the hotel straight from the ICU on Saturday, the day after surgery. And then said if I were doing as well the next morning I could go home to Charleston - which we did!

Yow--that's ugly!  But all kinds of
stuff healing.
The funky-ness of my language hasn't yet become distressing, but that's because they told me that it was to be expected, and it will go away - fairly soon.  For right now it's good for me not to be solo in a conversation...for instance my mom has said to me, "Honey, you've used the word 'intimate' three different times, and it doesn't apply to any of those situations." It's good I got the semester off from teaching, because the students would have thought it was hilarious.


We got to Charleston Sunday afternoon -- WAY before we thought we would. In general I'm feeling pretty good. Maybelle is thrilled that I'm home, but let's face it - she's far happier about seeing her Nonni.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, Alison, it's good to see your beautiful face -- and even scar, despite the "ugliness." I wish you a speedy recovery -- both physical and "verbal," and send much love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I'm eager to start communicating w little more skill...but it'll happen.

      Delete
  2. Glad you're home! "Intimate" is a fun word, because it can be both an adjective and a verb. How are your reading skills? Is your reading/listening vocabulary affected?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading/listening is hard! Easier to listen, but very hard to respond.

      Delete
  3. Alison! SO glad this is going well. Thanks to you and your mom for keeping us updated. Excellent news! In the spirit of your previous post (and, well, because I like silly jokes), here's another silly joke to keep spirits up.

    A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, "We have a drink named after you." The grasshopper says, "You have a drink named Steve?!"

    ReplyDelete
  4. ALISON! I am not on "the Facebook" but have been staying in the loop via Deborah. Bless her, she forwards me the news. I'm thrilled for the update, and that you're doing well enough, language-wise, to post your own play-by-play of your experience. And that you're HOME! What wonderful news. Sending prayers and Big Love from over here in Nashville....Loving you from afar, through time and space....Kathy M/V.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I refuse to see scars as ugly. They're campaign ribbons for the battles we've fought. And I'm glad you're doing so well in your battle.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Glad to hear you are feeling pretty good and homeward bound soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm home! And always eager to stay connected with you, even if my language sucks at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Yes! And I'm eager to babysit Maybelle. Plus, I have awesome feminist magazines to share.

      Delete
  7. So glad to hear you are home and recovering. Rock star!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Woo hoo! On the road to recovery already!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the road! Let's hope it's coated with toffee...chocolate...delicious hot coffee...ripe peaches...etc.

      Delete
  9. Cool scar. Glad to see your first blog post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alison, you're absolutely lovely all around! I'm so proud of you--and your cool mom! No wonder Maybelle's crazy about her! Grandmas rock!

    Be proud of that scar! Wear it as a badge of honor, courage, and love. My scars are on the inside; I like to think of the plaques as ice floes floating along my spine. Visuals, characterizations...yes, small rituals help.

    Sounds like your speech guy is awesome. The words will come, however disobedient they can sometimes get. And there are workarounds, too, always.

    Celebrating your return home! Be well, mind, body, soul.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So glad you are doing well! Sending all kinds of good blessings your way.

    Tikenya

    ReplyDelete