Life post surgery is interesting. Sorry. Life is always interesting (or at least it should be). Life post-surgery just highlights some of the many interesting things about my life in particular.

Take, for example, the question, “How are you?” Even four weeks ago, I found a subtle irony in this question and my usual (and usually truthful) answer of “Fine” or “I’m doing well.” Because what is healthy and normal and fine for me is not what anyone else means by those terms. For me it is normal to get up and take pills every morning (the number has varied from 1-9 I think, depending on the status of my health conditions). It is normal for me to use a CPAP machine to sleep at night. It is normal to do at least one serious round of blood work and an MRI each year (this year there has already been more than one of each). It is normal for me to have three or four specialists in my phone book under “doctors.” These are some of the things I do so that I can be ‘healthy’. There are far too many people who do these or similar things so they can be ‘healthy’, but none of this fits under a conventional understanding of healthy.

And then something like brain surgery happens.
How am I? Now, not even a week post-op? Well, I’m fine. For someone who just had brain surgery I’m doing really well, actually. I’m up, I’m moving, I’m a fan of pain medication, I’m eating, I’m reading, “I’m writing coherently (I hope), I’m recovering.

I don’t want to play down the “I’ve just had brain surgery” bit too much. Without the pain medication I hit some very serious headaches—more pounding and less migraine-like pain. My entire body is slowly relearning that the mere fact of existing doesn’t have to hurt. Eating is starting to seem like less than a marathon quality exertion. And the inevitable bruises (from IV’s, arterial lines, and other random needles) are some where between appearing and fading.

In short, I’m recovering. I will be for awhile. I’ll be seeing a lot of doctors and doing still more tests in the next few weeks. Slowly I’ll start moving more and with better speed. And there’s still a lot I don’t know. It’s going to take a couple of months before my doctors will be willing to tell me that my body is close to something considered normal and it will be still more months, if not years, before I really understand what that means.  This will all unfold in some manner I don’t yet know.

Right now, and for the next bit, I’m recovering. That’s how I’m doing.

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