I can’t really give you any advice on how best to prepare for brain surgery, but I can tell you I had a good time in the weeks before mine.
Given I was going to be out-of-action for a while I was advised (thank you!!) to do some nice things beforehand and I certainly went to town on that front.
I’ve read that a common fear is waking up during surgery and this is reported to have happened. As my tumour was known to be in what Neurosurgeons call an ‘eloquent’ part of the brain that is exactly what would be happening. I would be woken up part-way through to undergo testing whilst areas of my brain were stimulated with an electrical current.
Work was a welcomed distraction for me so I worked up until the week before my surgery and then milked it for all it was worth doing nice things.
I was almost the bowling champ coming in second when a group of us went to All Star Lanes, beating my sister and fiancé for the first time in history. Still a victory in my book.
I spent a weekend at the amazing Gleneagles enjoying spa treatments, swimming and eating my weight in steak.
The night before my operation I had a long bath and did some mindfulness and breathing exercises. These came in handy in the surgery itself and I remember describing the ocean pools on Bondi Beach to the Neuropsychologist as well as talking about what I had for tea the night before.
I’ll share details about how and why my surgery didn’t work out as planned in a future post. But what I can say is I’m incredibly grateful that I was awake.
Coping with the process and being here to tell the tale puts a lot of things into perspective. In a funny way, it feels like an achievement. All those little things you worried about – the size of your arse, public speaking, being wrong. Forget it. You can do anything.
I adopted a ‘probably only once’ attitude to my surgery and therefore treated myself to new things for the hospital. This included a new dressing gown (The White Company) which was on offer when I bought it but now seems to have gone back up to full price. New slippers (Next) which are now in the sale. The Clinique spritz was great for moisturising easily whilst in hospital and when I was on a permanently hot ward it was cooling too. I would highly recommend the sleep range from This Works, the mini pillow spray and pulse point roller were very relaxing. Items are linked below.