Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Just a fast update on my progress halfway into the eleventh week since brain surgery.

I have changed. I still have mostly the same personality and most of the same motor and cognitive skills (or lack of them), but there have been big and small changes that may or may not go away, but are with me now.

I continue to have trouble writing, and reading books of prose that are structured as one long story or examination of one subject etc. Broken up prose I can take no matter how dense, though the more direct and clear and well written the better. But novels, bios, memoirs, histories, etc. right now are too demanding.

I tried reading the first few chapters of an extensive memoir I've been working on for years now and couldn't do it. And I haven't been able to write anything more than these posts and comments on this blog and a few others.

I also notice my thoughts are even more unfiltered than ever (see previous post comments). I am still feeling totally fortunate for my recovery and not having cancer in my brain and the wonderful outpouring of sympathy and prayers and well wishes. And I feel almost a constant sense of not just gratitude but joy.

However I have much less tolerance for the lies and distortions and cynical manipulation of the media and public discourse that has made these times so disappointingly irrational and counter productive.

I also continue to be a bit challenged by everyday life. I went to the local Whole Foods today by myself for the second time (I think) since the operation and found myself a little disoriented at times. Nothing to cause worry, just to cause a sense of "Oh, this isn't the way it used to be." [Just to clarify, I was in complete control of my faculties and knew where I was and what I was getting and got it with no trouble, it just seemed kind of strange to be doing it.]

I still have to correct what seem like "typos" in these posts and comments before publishing them, but they're not typos because I make similar "mistakes" when I write by hand (yesterday in a note I wrote "fife" for "life" etc.).

And I continue to want to limit if not curtail my exposure to negativity from any quarter, whether movies, commenters, music, etc. I'll still try to see movies that seem to have something worthwhile going for them etc. but prefer and intend to respond as much as possible to the things that I find uplifting or enlightening in ways that offer solutions or redemption or the possibility, at least, of love.

I thought Conan Obrien's final words on his last TONIGHT show summed up my attitude pretty well. Here's a link to that, but you have to watch until the end to get to the part I mean. He proved himself a class act in the end. I know I always haven't been and always won't be, but I refuse to buy into the cynicism that has been used by the right as a tool to distract and disillusion most voters who don't care about political parties but only about results so that they will become cynical and not vote leaving the small minority that is the rightwing base to sway elections in their favor and when their failures are too blatant to make that happen (ala 2008 election) do everything they can to distract and disillusion voters about their choice so they will give up in frustration and leave the field to the right's candidates and policies, which have damaged this country to badly over the past several decades and particularly the eight years of the previous administration that many have given up.

All you have to know about rightwing ideology is that it led to the Supreme Court overturning almost a century of American law to declare corporations individuals with the right of "free speech" allowing them to spend any amount of money they wish on political campaigns. Changing the interpretation of laws that had been in effect since the very idea of corporations became prominent in the business of this country. Meaning the rightwingers took an activist position, as they would say, to reinterpret the constitution to mean that the founding fathers were thinking of the possibility of huge corporations being considered "individuals" and being given the right to buy elections. Washington and Jefferson and even Adams are turning over in their graves.


AliveinMe said...

Dear one... give it time, structure. I am not sure how active you have been-- outside of the house since you got out... but that is the biggest thing that gets the brain flowing again. Being an epileptic, I have had 2 brain surgeries... go back in on Monday for my 3rd. And the first 2 were amazing-- it honestly being parts that affected me in anyway from advancing, it was a positive to take it out. And it is amazing how the brain just reacts--and realizes it has to counteract for what either with me, was negatively discharged--or with you-had tumor... now both of us, taken parts out. Learns either quick- or in time to "take over" for most parts. intellectually, you already blow me away with words-- so fear not. Just keep it active-focus a little less on it each day-- the less your brain will trick you to think that it isn't brilliant!! You have many gifts God gave you-- take them, along with the blessing of this fresh, healed part of life-and use them to your fullest-which is a blessing always!
Let me know what area was taken out... pretty amazing how the brain and I seem like ONE. ;) Jesus has a reason for everything.
Blessings dear one!!
In His Grip,
Heather SIebens @AliveinMe on twitter

Elisabeth said...

It sounds as though you may have hit one of those proverbial humps, as all of us do during processes of recovery.

My husband and I have a saying for one another at these times, non-military types though we be: soldier on.

Miles said...


Yeah, that Supreme Court ruling is extremely alarming....

harryn said...

like there isn't enough influence peddling in D.C. ...
if the founders believed this, they would have opened the door for Britain to re-gain control of the colonies ... not likely ...

Lally said...

Hey A. & E., I hope again that I didn't give the impression I'm not still progressing and doing better than most folks with or without surgery. I was just trying to describe (and too late at night for sure) the experience of feeling like your consciousness and perceptions are different than they were in such subtle interior ways that most friends and family wouldn't even see a difference. The choice of the word "disoriented" I think was maybe slightly off. It isn't like I'm reeling or confused, it's just that some experiences seem different in ways that are hard to categorize or even describe. But basically I'm happy and grateful and quite fulfilled by my life as I have been and was before the surgery as well, but even more so with the new perspectives and appreciation for just being alive that the surgery experience gave me. Phew, I do go on.

JIm said...

Mike, You and the President keep getting things wrong. I do not believe your do so because of a faulty brain but because of faulty logic, incorrect facts and a palpable hatred of conservative philosopy.

The court did not overturn early twentieth century law that prohibits direct contributions to campaigns by corporations. It struck down a more recent complicated law inhibited free speech by unions and corporations.

For more illumiation, here is a link to the NY Times article.