Thursday, March 22, 2007

One Month

As of today, I am approximately one month post SAH. (February is a short month, so it's not quite 30 days.) Today I go back to the neurosurgeon for a follow-up. I devoutly hope I will be cleared to drive and exercise again. My vision is improving, and has never been something that would interfere with driving, I can read speed limit signs and certainly see other vehicles and traffic signals. It's the small type that is a bitch, like for reading a detailed knitting pattern, and more importantly, reading the construction plans and plats that are the foundation of my working life. Those suckers are in 4-6 point type. I was disturbed about the vision issues because if it didn't clear up I'd be unable to function in my job, or any paralegal job. My life revolves around a computer screen and online research and reading the small print and writing the small print, and I have to be able to do it to earn a living. I know my vision is getting better, or my brain is learning to work around the "smudge" because two weeks ago I could not have written this without enlarging the type to humongous, but 12 point type is still eye-straining and gives me a headache. Forget the fine print.

My chronic headaches have decreased from must take somethiing for it to a mild, occasional annoyance, but I'm going to ask Dr. SL for something I can take for them that isn't Tylenol. If I'm going to damage my liver with regular intake of a liver-damaging substance, I'd rather do it with margaritas.

My taste for coffee has returned. Yay.

All in all, I feel like I lost a month of my life and at the same time was given a second chance at life. Now that I'm better, both kids have started talking about what happened and it truly is scary as hell. I am a freak of nature, I should be dead or brain-damaged instead of planning to sell my house and circulate my resume among headhunters. It is something I think about - it's kind of intimidating to realize that I'm on bonus time, I don't want to waste it.

I am not going to quit the job outright. I am going to go back to it on my terms. There were things on my plate that were not rightly mine - I didn't break it, don't give it to me to fix. I am going to insulate myself from stress, and keep in mind that this is temporary. Either I will leave or they will lay me off, but there is no future there. I am not joking when I say I believe my job caused the SAH - yeah, the aneurysm was probably there all along, a birth defect of sorts, but the endless assembly line of crazy problems and Jefe's drama and the Cupcakes and all the rest created a level of stress that nobody needs. (And not for what I'm getting paid, for damn sure.) God knows what it was doing to my blood pressure. I don't normally have high blood pressure, but I know I was under a lot of stress, not sleeping well, not eating right. No job is worth ruining your health, and especially a job you don't even enjoy.

But the reality is that nobody is going to jump to hire a middle-aged woman with a partially-shaved head and brain surgery scar - I look like an expensive insurance liability, if nothing else. I have to ride this out until my hair grows back and I'm enough months post-op that it's no longer the first thing an HR person notices/worries about when interviewing me.

And while I am waiting for the hair to grow back, I will double up on the effort to get the house ready to put on the market. Before this little frolic and detour, I'd bought paint samples for my bedroom. My HOA is having another garage sale at the end of next month, and the Girlchild and I are really, truly going to do it this time, and empty out the garage and the closets and lighten the load for moving. Girl knows where she wants to go - she found a grad program at the U of MD Baltimore, which is perfect as it is near our "fun relatives," and S and his partner J have already offered her a place to crash if she needs it. Me, I'm open - I'm going to try to do what my horoscope has been nagging me to do - go with the flow.

Actual knitting content - I am a quarter into "no yarn for a year" and have not been tempted yet. I'm still working my way through the stash on charity projects. I have a hat and a scarf in progress, both probably destined for Dulaan. If I think I want to buy yarn, I just open the tubs of yarn in the room that is probably never going to be a studio and rummage around in them, and I'm reminded that I have enough yarn for the next couple of years, and my urge to buy yarn evaporates.

Now that my vision has improved a bit, I promise pictures are coming soon.


Amie said...

I'd offer her a place to crash, too, but she'd have to share it with my viscious pitbull and his pink teddy bear.

Should we all knit you chemo caps so you can go to interviews sooner? :P

Shelob said...

Hi, Glad to hear your brain is learning to ignore the smudge! It's amazing what a little re-wiring can do. [grin] If you are looking for adaptive equipment that can help with the fine print, Maxi-aides or Independant Living Aides are both companies that handle such items on-line. I've ordered items from the first. Computer programs such as Zoom-text and items like a CC-TV or CCD-TV did wonders while I was "in-between" sighted and blind and would undoubtedly help with the headaches.

But it sounds like you are doing so well -- improving so fast -- that you might not need such things with a little time. Frustrating, I realize. But hang in there!

--Shelob (from KR)

Catherine said...

I think the smudge is shrinking AND my brain is working around it. At first it was like a big greasy thumbprint, now it's the size of a pinky finger turned sideways. I'm typing this without enlarging the text, it's a little bit out of focus but obviously I can do it. Yay! I want to be cleared to drive again today.

And Amie, do you really think a chemo cap would be less of an HR turnoff than a brain surgery buzz cut? :-) I'm thinking NOT! It's too hot here for wigs, so I think I'll go with the scarves for now.

Kerstin said...

I'm so glad you're ALIVE, lady. I've been thinking about you and hoping that you find a way to have less stress in your life. I think we all forget that just keeping up with our daily needs can be stressful, let alone all the demands that others place on us.

I had to call the VIP in to my inner sanctum to read your comment today. You are one of the few that make me LOL on a regular basis. Still amazed at how well you are doing. Wonder Woman, indeed.

Bess said...

Thinking of you in the midst of madness. will write a Looooooooong real letter soon.

so so so so so glad you are okay.

Michelle said...

Here's hoping you're cleared to drive and to get back a bit of independence. Keep those boundaries for yourself going forward, ok? I get it w/ the job and the being responsible thing, but the soul-sucking stuff has a tendency to try *really* hard to continue to be soul-sucking! :P


dragon knitter said...

you're a ghostwalker. it's a native american term for someone who experienced something that should have killed them, but didn't.

as you are grateful for the extra time, we are grateful for you.

you go, girl

Catherine said...

Ghostwalker - I like that!