Thursday, November 15, 2012


I actually forgot that this past Tuesday, the 13th, marked three years since they cut into my skull, took a piece out, then cut into my brain and took some kind of foreign object out, then put a titanium plate to fill up the hole in my skull and actually screwed it in (you can feel the screws).

Pretty feckin' amazing actually. Something that is almost routine nowadays but only a few decades ago would have been considered impossible. The great thing is the brain doesn't feel pain so the recovery was mostly mental, unlike other operations I've had. As those who were reading this blog then know, I couldn't read for a while, but began writing as soon as I could even though it would take me hours to write and rewrite one sentence because my fingers would type other letters and words than what my I thought I was telling them too, as if my brain had a life of its own. Which I realized it does.

There were lots of adventures, and a slow recovery to a place that will never be the same as it was before (the most obvious total difference for me is that I could never stop making lists in my head in my poems in my blog in my prose in my conversation even (first thing I'd ask strangers is to list their five or often ten favorite movies or recordings or books etc. because I was always listing mine, and revising them every few hours). Since the operation I have lost that compulsion entirely.

One of many seemingly minor things that most people don't notice or care about. But I am aware of every waking minute. I am so grateful for medical advances that allowed me to survive such an operation and return to a "normal" life. I am also fascinated by what I've learned about how the brain—or more precisely my brain—works. And I'm way happy to be here at the laptop over three years after having my brain cut into writing this fairly easily and if not as well as I once could well enough to be understood.

What an adventure life is for those of us who get to survive some of the rough spots. My heart goes out to those who don't.


Robert Slater said...

The 19th anniversary of my brain surgery is today. I lost hearing in my right ear, but no other major side effects. I, too, have a bit of trouble typing, and do things like spell "the" without the "h". I decided in 1993 that I wasn't going to let it interfere with my life, and have always felt blessed that it was discovered and treated when it was.
Yr Pal, Robert Slater

Lally said...

Only way to go Robert. I too feel blessed, for both of us.

Anonymous said...

Michael, was unaware this happened to you...wowie...very glad you have come out the other side so coincidence, Monday was the one year anniversary of Xander, my son's, motorcycle accident...i suppose it is silly, just another day really, but these markers really impact me...and now we head into the second year... with the hopes that there is some medical miracle on the horizon that will restore his spinal cord...but he has become quite adept in his wheelchair and i have become quite adept of not letting him know i have a broken heart every time he struggles...not sure if you have ever gone to my wall or page or whatever the hell it is called now ...but i posted something he wrote on's pretty great...tell your friend Robert i constantly mistype 'the'...and i have no good excuse. Love you, darlin.

Lally said...

And me you Cheryl and feel for your heart in all this. As I wrote in response to your comment on my FB wall, my oldest son broke his neck diving into the Pacific when he was a teenager and fortunately with some major surgery he avoided spinal injury by a hair and survived with mobility intact (though still suffers some residual effects etc.). But there are few experiences worse than having your child suffer in any way. My heart goes out to you, and of course Xan, but I am so happy to see his spirit in undaunted.