I received an interesting phone call yesterday...it was the neurosurgeon at the Iowa City VA hospital, scheduling me for a visit with her. I have been a little worried about the gaping hole in the back of my head from my surgery (ok, it is not really a hole, because it is covered by muscle, skin and hair, but it sure feels like a hole) and I wondered about having a cadaver skull put in place so that I can lead an active life. The neurosurgeon in Iowa City said that, initially, she would recommend against that, but she wants to meet with me in person to explain the reasons for it. I am sure, since I am not a neurosurgeon, that there are plenty of medical reasons for me not to have the surgery, but I am a little leery of being as active as I used to be (running, playing basketball, riding my bike, etc.) with that part of my skull missing. To make a long story short, she fully understands my reasons for wanting the surgery, but her initial reaction is to recommend against it.
On December 8, 2008, my life changed forever. I had a double sided cerebellar stroke with 2 brain stem compressions. It was not until December 10, 40 hours after my stroke, that surgery was finally done to relieve the pressure. Dr. Piper, the neuro-surgeon from Iowa Methodist hospital in Des Moines, told my wife that surgery was nothing more than an attempt to save my life, but that it would not erase the deficiencies as a result of the stroke. Although she admits that she did not really understand what Dr. Piper had just said, my wife, Laura, agreed to the surgery and the care team performed a decrompessive craniotomy, to hopefully relieve the pressure and allow my brain to function somewhat normally. For those who have followed my blog for the last 14+ years, the surgery was successful, I returned to the church and I now live a relatively normal life, although I do have some pretty severe, though not always visible, defieciencies. I really thought that life could not get any worse th