I'm Still Recovering
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I'm Still Recovering

It doesn't end when you leave the hospital.

I'm Still Recovering

I clasped my hands together as my best friend Sarah drove me to Mercy Springfield. I did anything to distract myself from touching the back of my head. The feeling of my fingertips coated in the Cerebrospinal fluid that ran down my neck was sickening. Though my teeth were chattering, I turned to Sarah and told her that at least I made it a month into college without something happened. I laughed with tears in my eyes.

A doctor, who looked like he could have been on Grey's Anatomy, told me I could call him Tom. He took one look at the oozing, three-inch scar behind my ear and said, "Yup, that's infected."

I shut my eyes and remembered those past few months. I remembered staring at the first MRI, at a one-inch little blob on the screen; an Epidermoid Tumor in the occipital lobe of my brain. Thankfully benign, but nearly impossible to swallow. In that little room at St. Louis Children's Hospital, I sat next to the doctor, burying my hands in my jacket sleeves. The tears in my dad's eyes that day told me that this was going to be a long journey.

I remembered a team of anesthesiologists raising the rails on my bed. I caught a glimpse of the harshly lit, linoleum-covered operating room where I would spend the next seven hours. I wanted to ask the doctors what it was like going under anesthesia. Was it like dreaming? Was there some kind of transcendence to it? In reality, I don't even remember closing my eyes.

I remembered tossing and turning and kicking at the covers. I tried to move my neck, but it was locked in place with what felt like pounds and pounds of gauze. After the neurosurgeon swooped in and ordered some Valium, I must have asked my mom 20 times what time it was. She told me every time with a weary smile on her face.

I remembered walking for the first time, touching my rubber-soled socks to the chilled floors. Sarah was there to save the day again as I looped my arm through hers and did a couple laps around the nurses' station.

I remembered the splitting headaches in the middle of the night and the congestion in my left ear that wouldn't go away for weeks. The doctor asked me to smile and it was crooked on one side like a stroke victim's. I met a boy wearing a St. Louis Cardinal's shirt and a surgical mask. He had been there a while.

I remembered swinging my feet as I sat on the examination table two weeks later. The neurosurgeon's lips were pursed in a straight line as he looked down at his feet, nodding slowly and muttering, "Mhmm." I remember the apologetic tone in his voice as he scheduled a second surgery for that Monday.

I remembered lying on the bathroom floor a few days later, vomiting because I was too weak to even stand. The neurosurgeon rubbed my back as I lay on his table and cried.

So when we sent the infection pictures to my neurosurgeon a month into my freshman year and he said there would be a third surgery, even after what I'd already been through, I just nodded and let my dad take me home to St. Louis.

Now, a year and a half later, I'm in my second semester of sophomore year, knee-deep in a double-major and spending every second I can with a new group of friends. But I'm still recovering.

There are still a couple days a week where I have to drop everything and stuff my face in my pillow because it hurts. I have a pharmacy's worth of medication, but none of it works. Sometimes the pain is too much to work through.

My hearing is still a little off. My next door neighbors can be screaming, and I'll think it's coming from above me.

I'm still afraid to wear my hair up because someone might see. It is almost white now and almost completely hidden, but I know it's there. There's an indentation in my head that's part of me now.

I'm still recovering and I don't know for how long. It could pass soon or it could be with me for the rest of my life. But I'm lucky. I'm alive, in college, and involved in more activities than my calendar can handle.

I may still be recovering, but I know someone else out there is too. No matter what, keep your head up, even if it hurts.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments