More on my conversation with my neurosurgeon

Another topic of conversation that came up with my neurosurgeon the other day was the surgery itself.  It'll take 4-6 hours, and I will be awake for most of it.  My NS will be mapping my brain by probing around and asking me questions.  Yes, that's right:  while he's operating on my brain, I'll be having to talk and answer questions so that he knows what to take out and what not to take out.  This is, of course, a very, very good idea, and I'm all for him not taking out important things.  But still--quite disturbing.

I asked, "Will I remember it?"

He said, "Of course!"

Then I asked, "Will I be given any valium, or anything to relax me, to make sure I don't freak out?"

He said, "No.  We don't want to give you anything that might interfere with the mapping."

"So I'll be wide awake, with nothing to relax me.  What's to keep me from freaking out?"

"You won't freak out."

"I don't know--that sounds pretty freaky!"

He was absolutely confident.  "You won't freak out."

"How do you know?"

"You aren't one of the first 500 people I've done this procedure on.  You won't freak out."

You know, he sounded so sure of this, that I almost believe him.  We'll find out--since I'll remember it all, I'll have some good stories to tell when it's all over.


Kevin O'Mara said...

You won't freak out.

Biffle said...

yeah, i believe him.

The Mom said...

I can just hear you! I don't know if you meant this to be funny or not, but I roared. You're going to be just fine, Alison. You always rise to the occasion when it's important, and you will this time, too. Your trust in your NS will ease your mind as he's asking questions. He'll be calm, so you will, too...or at least not freaked out.

The Dad said...

This story was great. I read it to The Mom and everytime you asked about freaking out, I made my voice higher until toward the last I had you in your "Nee, Nee, Nee..." voice and Dr Friedman in his calm voice. The Mom and I liked it.

They have a ton of experience with this on people alot more anxious than you. You are going to do great.

The Dad

KMB said...

You're allowed to freak out, at least a little bit. But my prediction is that this will be displaced by the latent anthropologist in you who won't be able to resist it as the coolest analytical opportunity ever. . .I imagine you'll be so distracted by the theoretical implications of the flashcards (will you get flashcards?) and the questions that they'll have to work to keep you on task.

mary said...

yep. your gonna rock it.

Anonymous said...

Since you plan to write about your operation, why not ask your doctor for permission to have a long play recording device in the operating room for the duration...it would be invaluable in recounting your thoughts AND the doctor's conversation with you during the procedure. Good luck!