I’m out! I was discharged about 48 hours ago, and within 5 hours of that got on a flight back to Victoria.
When they said 7-10 days, I didn’t think it would actually be that long. There was even the suggestion that it could be up to three weeks. In the end though, I was in the hospital for 7 days. They did have to trigger the seizures to get the data. Apparently I screamed during the seizures, which I didn’t know I did. Some nights I had to go through sleep deprivation, so I had to stay up all night. I didn’t get to shower the whole time that I was there, they just kept adding goo and glue to the electrodes attached to my head, so that was lovely when they came off. I swear, when it finally happened, it was the best shower I’ve ever had. I’m unfortunately still finding glue every now and then, but I was assured that it would likely be entirely gone within a week.
In summary of the session at the hospital, I am not currently a candidate for surgery. The neurologists, nurses and EEG technicians were surprised by what I am able to do with my condition. The food at the hospital was really terrible, like, really terrible. It was hard to lie in a bed for a whole week and not be able to walk any further than the washroom because I was leashed to the EEG monitoring machine and needed to stay on camera. Anytime I stood up, or laughed, or anything, the monitor would go off and a nurse/technician would rush in to make sure I was okay or to tell me that I needed to stay in the bed.
At the same time, I am very thankful for the opportunity to have gone in for the assessment. This is not a chance that everyone gets, and I am super happy that I didn’t have to wait until September for it after all. The staff was all really nice, the individuals in the other rooms were all really kind and some of my friends came in and visited me. I didn’t die (although the food came close) and now it’s official that surgery isn’t an option for me.
That knowledge is so valuable to me. Yes, I was terrified being in the hospital but now I am so happy to have the results that came from it. I was terrified by the idea of having surgery and now that’s definitely off the table (get it? “off the table”). I wasn’t afraid of the hospital itself; it was whatever the results were going to be. Hospitals aren’t scary. Doctors aren’t scary. EEG machines and MRIs aren’t scary. It’s the fear of the unknown and what is going to happen afterwards. Even after a couple decades of these tests, I was still afraid of having electrodes attached to my head (and subsequently felt insecure about the red blotches when they were removed). It reminded me of walking around the University of Alberta hospital when I was a teenager and having giant red blotches on my forehead after an EEG. I think I probably felt more insecure because it was compounded with how 14-year-old-me felt when I first went through it. Regardless of my low self-esteem, I survived. Physically and emotionally.
Today I went for a run. With a running group in Victoria I managed 8 kilometres, alternating sprints and slow runs. It was really nice to see everyone (I’ve been to that running clinic before and I often see the members at various races) and it was nice to get outside for a bit. It’s not raining here (it feels like it has been for the three last months straight) and the sun is actually out. After the run, not only did I go for a cinnamon bun and latte with a friend, but we also went to a running store that was having a sale. I have a new pair of sneakers, and I am currently researching a set of headphones.
What else am I going to do this week? The doctors strongly emphasized a full week recovery time. I am (and have always been) bad at “recovery”, particularly when I feel I don’t need it. I have energy. I (legitimately) have no injuries. The weather is beautiful. I ran with a group today, but a big part of that is that I am safer with a group than on my own, and I don’t have a group during the week. At the same time, I realize that me “feeling” like I don’t need recovery time isn’t the same as a medical professional telling me I “need” recovery time. Small runs are acceptable but I need to make sure I am monitoring how I am feeling (as if I don’t already do that).
So I am willing to accept “recovery” for about one day, and then I am irritated by everything. Regardless of me being irritated, I will still behave myself for the whole week. I wouldn’t want to risk getting back in a hospital with that food.
Thank you so much to the friends who came to visit me while I was in the hospital. It meant a lot, and it was nice to see you. Thank you.