Blankety Blanks (Part One) – The Great Escape

[A few post-scripts to this post.

First, I’ve just had an EEG (22 electrodes pasted to my head for about 20 minutes; no pain; no discomfort; and, I discussed Hannibal with the lovely EEG lady). My hair, which I wouldn’t have been allowed to wash until yesterday anyway, still hasn’t been washed and is not looking tip-top to say the least after the pasting.

Second, apart from adding titles and completing a couple of sentences (it is me, after all), I wrote it at the Rents’ House on Friday night before I seized the moment and added drama to the drama. I haven’t changed the “message”.

Finally, I think it’s fair to say that I spoke too soon!]


Slow Down (aka Don’t You Know That Rach Wasn’t Home In A Day?)

Well, Mr H predicted last week that I would be discharged from hospital the day after my surgery and how right he was. My short-but-sweet slumber party on Thursday was six hours shorter than my brother’s brain surgery on 27 January 2005 (also a Thursday) but I still envisaged that leaving hospital, as Graeme did, after a few days, would be celebrated as a speedy recovery.

Mr H had noted my surprise at the accelerated schedule. He really doesn’t miss a trick, which is a relief as that’s one of the red-flag non-negotiable items on my freshly-devised traffic-light list of traits required in anyone entrusted with my brain and my life.

Mr H had reassured me how “routine” this was by recalling that, when he previously worked in Canada, he typically discharged brain biopsy patients from hospital just hours after the surgery. Knowing the kindness of my own Canadian and Canada-based friends, I took him to mean that his patients had been ready and able to leave rather than turfed out of hospital because their credit card or insurance coverage had been refused in the sensitive tradition of their North American neighbours.

It must be the Nanny State we live in, with its over-indulgent, spendthrift, idealistic, socialist NHS, that is to blame for the UK typically making patients stay in hospital for at least One Fine Day after drilling boreholes into their skulls.

The Break-Out

Now safely ensconced back at the Rents’ Ranch, and as a card-carrying Hole-in-the-Head Veteran, I laugh at my naivety of last week. I felt well enough on Thursday evening that I would have skipped out of hospital if I hadn’t been having such a fabulous catch-up with friends and family. I confess, however, that there’s now a big part of me, the competitive part (i.e., All of Me) that is wistfully wishing that I lived in Canada right now to beat my own borehole-to-breakout time trial record.

To leave with Mr H’s authorisation, I needed a CAT scan and confirmation from it that there is no sign of bleeding or other “funny business” going on in my brain as a result of Mr H’s Opencast Mining. As I was waiting for my scan, this popped up on my Facebook feed courtesy of The Brain Tumour Charity.


As the afternoon marched on, I was beginning to lose hope that I would make a leap home in time to see the kids before bedtime. I was contemplating walking the floors in search of someone with an ornate and creative tattoo map out of there, when I was called down to the Donut Machine at around 4pm. I aced my dual missions to (a) stay perfectly still; and (b) silently recount facts (the latter being an entirely self-appointed mission). As this was a mere two-minute scan and I was feeling tired, I chose the Kindergarten task of recounting the American States in alphabetical order, and thereby increased success since the MRI scan by lowering expectations.

At Last

Patience is a virtue that I don’t really have. However, after a quick chat with Mr H (who has now met my mother, he’s a quick mover), I was allowed out of hospital on the basis that:

  • the scan confirmed that there was no sign of bleeding on my brain;
  • I was therefore given an anti-clotting injection for regular post-surgery pre-emptive strikes (apparently it’s more cost-effective to give the injections to everyone than to treat only those who develop clotting issues);
  • my medication and staple-removal referral letter were finalised; and
  • I was released into the Rents’ care at about 6pm, with a bag full of drugs to combat the pain I don’t have (sadly no Shiny Happy Woozy Stuff, but, without pain, that would definitely tip me over into recreational drug use).

Dates for the Diary

Incidentally, whereas my surgery fell on the sad anniversary of the death of my uncle (my Mam’s only brother), it came to mind earlier that Graeme’s surgery fell on the birthday of our Grandma (my Mam’s late mother). We do seem to be unintentionally successful at keeping to an absolute minimum the number of dates we need to remember in our family.

While I’m on the subject of dates, my first ultrasound when I was pregnant with Jennifer fell on the birthday of my late Grandad (my Mam’s father); the second scan with Jennifer was on the birthday of my uncle (my Mam’s one and only brother mentioned above).

Finally, Leo has his next appointment with his post-meningitis, post-general drama consultant this Friday here in the RVI. I’m therefore expecting biopsy results then!




One thought on “Blankety Blanks (Part One) – The Great Escape”

  1. Ahh Rachel just the mention of Grandad Jim made me feel happy. Such a lovely man.
    Also until yesterday Leo was the only baby I knew who experienced meningitis but when I took Penny back to her toddler group, for the first time since the summer break, I heard that a lovely young mum who was expecting twins had given birth to baby girls but that at a week old they had been rushed up to the RVI with meningitis. I wished I could have told her about Leo and what a fine 1 year old he now is to reassure her.
    Good luck on Friday for both lots of feedback.

    Liked by 1 person

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