I’d asked my surgeon whether I should cancel appointments in the two weeks after surgery. He’d ordered an overnight hospital stay. Just wait and see he said. I waited and spent seven nights in a neurosurgery ward. Was I surprised? I was.
Don’t get me wrong, I like my surgeon. But I think he’s in a bubble where his needs (he does craniums at 2 hospitals, he’s busy) mean more than his patients’. I haven’t seen him since going under the anesthesia. Since waking up hallucinating, interacting with my husband as he was standing high on a wall.
The surgeon is a good guy, a funny guy, but he doesn’t get that when you exit brain surgery you have some questions. You’ve got a tube under your skin behind your ear and big bulge on top of your head. Email a question, he’ll answer in a minute, Johnny on the Spot. But face-to-face he doesn’t get the need.
What am I, a carburetor? And this is Jiffy Lube? You’re not done with me yet because I’m human and you’re human and you just opened up my head.
After surgery I hallucinated for three days, curtesy the anesthesia department. This was acceptable to hospital personnel. Hey, I came out of it didn’t I?
Good thing I’m an artist — I thought an earlier patient had left animated artworks in that room to entertain the next patient, me. I knew the regular artworks and sometimes discovered more.
Part of me (an itty bitty but real part) still believes in those artworks. In la-la land. In what I connected with. Like Dorothy and Toto in Oz. They knew the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch. They knew the Ruby Slippers. They didn’t make those up. But no one back in Kansas will buy it. They’re in a place of knowing what other people don’t, real people don’t. Because they can’t, they didn’t go there.
They stayed home.