The New Reality

“... Snap back to reality. Oh, there goes gravity…” - Eminem


I was really happy to be home, but of course things would definitely not be the same. I knew that I would have to get surgery done. Not just any surgery, but open brain surgery… That was something that really bothered me. I kept on thinking about it. This is going to be life changing. I had all the questions going through my head like “What if something goes wrong?”, “Will I ever be the same again?”, “How do I explain this to my kid?”. The questions just kept on going and going. One of the things I was told is to have someone around me at all times just in case I might have another seizure.


I had my first appointment with the Neurosurgeon. His office was walking distance from my place, right across the hospital to be exact. I did want some fresh air and wanted to go for a little walk anyway. My mom walked with me to be that person just in case. I arrived at his office and he went over the procedure. I can’t remember the exact details but it was pretty much straight forward. Get put to sleep, open up my head, remove tumour, and close it back up. I was told to fill out all this paperwork and questionnaire about my health. I handed it all back to his secretary. She then assured me that Dr. Lee is one of the best Neurosurgeons in the city and I was in good hands. That was definitely reassuring.


The other thing I had to get used to was taking the Anti-Seizure meds. I’m not a big fan of pill popping unless it was vitamins or supplements, but I had to take them because I knew I had something in my brain that caused a seizure. The last thing I would want is to have another seizure, collapse, land on my head, and suffer more brain damage. At first the effects of the meds were strong, but as I was getting used to it, they started to fade away.


I had to let my work know what was going on and emailed my managers to keep them updated. They also wished me the best for the upcoming days. I had a few more appointments to go to. Had to get blood-work done and I met with an Anesthesiologist. I was told that I would be staying at the hospital for up to 5 days. Being on the meds and so much on my mind, I can’t vividly remember everything that happened during the days leading up to the surgery. I had my family and friends call and message me to ask what was going on. I let them know the date of the surgery. My close friends from work heard what happened and they too messaged me.


The best thing I did during that time was talk to people. I knew that if I kept to myself and held everything in, I believe I would have been in a different state of mind. I actually felt positive and confident that everything was going to be alright. I spent time with my son and I sat down next to him. He was only 6 at the time and knew that he could understand what was going to happen. I explained to him what surgery was and what was going to happen to me. He didn’t cry or anything, he just looked confused and quiet. I know that I had to be strong for him and told him that everything is going to be alright.


I told his mom that I was undergoing surgery and I would like it if he can be there with my family on that day when I would be done. She agreed and I could tell you that I was very happy. I knew that seeing his face would certainly help the healing. I talked to some of my closest friends and most of them work in hospitals as they were in health hospitality. They were saying that when they heard about me, they all started doing research about what could’ve happened, haha! It’s cool, they do have the resources.


My Cousin who is a Doctor in New Jersey called me up and ask how I was doing. He too reassured me that I will be fine. He said there has been so many advances in Brain Surgery that this should be a well planned procedure. My other cousin who is also a Doctor in the Philippines messaged me on WhatsApp and told me that everything will be fine. He also asked for copies the the MRI, but I told him that I don’t have access to that.


My mom, who is a religious person, asked me to say some prayers with her, which I did. Even my aunts and uncles were all concerned about me. A group of them who are part of a Catholic fellowship came over to my house and said some prayers for me. We even had a priest come over the night before my surgery, gave me a blessing and rubbed an ointment on my head. Growing up in a Filipino Catholic household, none of this was “weird” to me. It actually felt great. It boosted my confidence and my mood. I would say for the most part, it was how much others cared for me that really mattered.


That night I couldn’t really sleep. My surgery was scheduled for 7am and had to be in the hospital by 6am to get prepped. I looked at my phone and was reading all the messages from everyone wishing me the best. I was laying on the couch with the TV on and slowly drifted to sleep…


My Alarm buzzed….


Next week check the next article “Surgery Day”

Click Here for previous Article “The Diagnosis”