Actually, I've thought a lot about this theme ever since I was diagnosed with Chiari ~ what would life be like without me on this earth anymore? The concept is a hard one to embrace too closely without letting it consume me whole. I have a questions for other Chiarians and other assorted brain surgery survivors.
How did you cope with the overwhelming feeling that you just might not make it back from brain surgery?
I used to think that I was really good at coping, pushing through very difficult times, but now I'm not so sure. The physical scars, although healed up nicely, will always remain on my skin as constant reminders of the battles I have survived. Now, almost three years post brain surgery, the emotional scars are bubbling up to the surface. Sure, I survived, I'm living, breathing, carrying on at the thing we called life...but at what cost?
I'm not the same person today that I was prior to my Chiari diagnosis. On that profound day,
September 26, 2006, I think I built an instant fortress around myself ~ guarding my emotions, protecting my heart. I think a big part of me wants to walk away from everything prior to surgery and start a new.
The surgeons prepared me for the physical pain I would endure, the long recovery road, but they didn't prepare me for a total fall out of who I am and who I am becoming. This is probably totally gibberish to most readers out there, but I have a feeling a bunch of you know exactly what I am talking about.