On Tuesday, May 4th, 2021, I will be undergoing brain surgery.
In October 2020, after losing the hearing in my left ear and experiencing alarming vision changes due to nystagmus, I was ultimately diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type 1.5. Essentially this means that my cerebellar tonsils and my brain stem descend into my spinal canal. This is likely a condition that I have had since birth, and it explains why I have always suffered from neck pain, headaches and migraines.
Now, surgery is not “a cure”, but it should alleviate my symptoms and keep this from progressing. I have great confidence in my neurosurgeon at The University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital.
My overwhelming thoughts and feelings however are these: I have had only one other surgery in my lifetime, which was an unplanned C-section when Finn was born, where I had no time to become this scared or worried about how recovery is going to go. -And most of all, how much I am going to miss my four boys and Jason while I’m in the hospital. Jason will be with me part of the time and he will be off of work for a few weeks to help me as I recover at home. Jim’s parents will be caring for my sons, Shamus and Finn full time. Visits with all of the boys will be arranged, but I know that it will be best for my body to have as much peace and quiet as possible for a couple of weeks once I return home. I am grateful that we have so much support for the kids and that they will all be fine, but I also have so much “Momma-guilt” over not being able to take care of them or see them, especially given what my boys have already been through in their young lives.
I am doing my best to remember that in the long run, this will make me a better Mom, the three of us have already been through so much worse in our lives, and I will do my best to remain confident in knowing that we can handle this, too.