D-day finally arrived and I was ready. All my friends and family had called and sent their blessings and we had done all we could do on our end to make this operation a success. Honestly, I was not nervous or even scared for that matter. I knew I’d be flying to another galaxy on the anesthesia-super shuttle and oblivious to it all. I was worried about my husband and mother as they had to putter away ten hours before finding out my fate and that of the unborn baby.
I vividly remember being wheeled into the operating room and instantly placed upon a cold metal odd-shaped operating table that was about the size of a crib mattress. It was located in the dead center of a freezing vast open space and reminded me of a scene from a horror movie. I looked up and found myself in the middle of a giant room with tools and supplies packed up on shelves from floor to ceiling. I was thinking it looked more like a Home Depot warehouse or auto repair garage than a place to perform brain surgery. Then I exclaimed aloud to nobody in particular, (there were about twelve people in the room), ¨Does everyone feel well-rested and did you all drink enough coffee today? Let’s kick ass! ¨ At that moment I was treated to my mild sedative and off into slumber-land.
A minute later, (or so it felt) I touched my belly to feel if I was still pregnant. ¨Is my baby alive, ¨ I managed to whisper in a weak strained voice to some unknown pair of hands mummifying my head? Suddenly I drifted back into a heavily induced dream state. I don’t remember my family coming to see me in the recovery room nor how I got to my bed in the NICU. I do recall, however the pain.
Let me tell you about the pain. It was inexplicable. I could only say that it felt like some really pissed off mafia king grabbed me by the ears and banged my head as hard as possible against a concrete sidewalk. It was so powerful and totally overwhelming that all I could manage to do was lay there eyes sealed shut, mouth unable to open and with the tip of my forefinger signal to the nurses and my family ¨yea¨or ¨nay¨about any question they asked me. My hearing was so disoriented now that this huge mass had been removed that my remaining hearing ear defiantly reverberated all sounds captured through it with a pestering echo that chilled me to the bone and made my hair stand on end. To put it another way, every sound that I picked up with this single unfocused antennae of mine sounded like a witch’s nails screeching across a chalkboard. It was horrifying.
To boot, every soul that stepped foot into the room to visit received a series of cell phone calls and I thought I was going to die from the annoying glass-shattering ring. I was also nauseous beyond belief and had absolutely no intention of trying to pry my mouth open to receive even water. Oh, did I mention that the entire left side of my face had frozen with paralysis as a result of the facial nerves being tampered with? This was expected to recover, in time, but for now, it looked like a severe case of Bells Palsy and I had to learn to live with this asymmetry for many, many months ahead.
The only entertaining aspect of this unbearable pain was that my options for painkillers were extremely limited due to my pregnant state. So, my choices post-brain surgery were: 1. Tylenol or 2. Morphine. These were the two medications that I was told do not cross the placenta and therefore could not harm the fetus. I chose the morphine and to my delight found myself hallucinating so heavily that at one point I told my husband that I was having prophecies about (terrorist-hijacked) planes crash-landing all around New York City. It did not, however, do anything to mitigate my torturous throbbing malfunctioning head. It just helped me to disconnect from this menace in some sort of acid-trip kind of way. Yeah, I had some great epiphanies and discoveries upon my pharmaceutically-enhanced journey. In fact, at some point I thought I was the lens of a satellite peering in on my children back home in Latin America. But once it all wore off, I was consumed by such agony that all I could do was succumb to it by lying as still as a cadaver and breathe.
To Be Continued…
The future of My Mama Mojo - I have been quiet..very very quiet. I am a true introvert and tend to hibernate when I'm upset, going through major life changes or contemplating an imp...
4 years ago