Finding Perspective

Have you ever simply gone through the motions of life and called it living?

With all the limitations and setbacks that I have faced, sometimes I feel as if life is just waving hello to me as it wistfully passes me by. From my previous blogs, you all know how much of a waiting game this whole situation is, and while waiting for phone calls can be daunting, waiting to get back to my normal life seems like an excruciatingly endless process. It turns out, though, that I might not have that much longer to wait.

As I relayed last week, Dr. Shahinian came up with a three step plan for me. First, I am to take melatonin every night for six weeks to help my sleeping patterns and hopefully acquire some REM sleep that will help reduce my headaches. In six weeks, we were to converse with him again and discuss my progress. The third step is to get a fMRI that will track the cerebral fluid in my brain and show any buildup or pressure that could be linked to my blurred vision. After the MRI we discuss the need for surgery.

As you may have already guessed, that six weeks quickly changed to just two, due to the increased severity of my symptoms. When the blurred vision sets in for a long time, which it has been more and more lately, (the longest duration so far lasting about an hour and a half), faces become blobs and words merely black lines. Nothing is distinct and the world is composed of fuzzy edges. It’s as if I am fumbling around searching for my contacts or glasses, except I already have them in. As hard as I try, I can’t properly function like this. I can’t live my life, complete my schoolwork, or converse with my family and friends like this. So after multiple phone calls and conversations with the nurses of the Skull Base Institute and Dr. Shahinian himself, he has decided to bump up the date for the MRI, and the paperwork to fulfill it is actually being sent to me in the mail as you are reading this.

Now this news is all very good and expected due to what has been going on, but when it finally sunk in that I am getting this MRI that will determine whether or not I have to get brain surgery, it all became clear to me. All this time I’ve just been going through the motions, doing my daily activities as best as I could, but never really processing just what is going on with me. The whole experience has been so surreal, almost as if I’m watching somebody else go to all these doctor’s visits, stay at home when the pain is too overwhelming, and struggle to decipher just who is standing in front of them. It is almost as if I’ve been looking through a window of someone else’s life, but suddenly, the window transformed into a mirror and I realized that that person I’ve been watching this whole time is really me.

The idea of getting this surgery is frightening, I won’t deny that. The risks that are involved and the amount of money it is going to cost is almost incomprehensible, but it’s time to face the reality of what may soon happen. And if my symptoms keep increasing with intensity as they have been, going about everyday life will just get progressively harder. But when the idea of all this finally hit me, even though I am scared, I know I can get through this. With my family and friends who have stood by me through this whole thing and my unwavering faith, I can conquer anything. I’ve already undergone so many bizarre things for my age, why not add brain surgery to the list?

I know that life’s not always going to be easy, and I will be the first to admit that there are many days when I just feel like giving up, but I’ve learned to keep my head up. Tomorrow is always another day and it can always get better. So instead of just going through the motions, I’m going to do my best to live my life the most that I can.

After all, you do only live once.