Four years on…

Hi, everyone!

No particular news… just an update to say “hello”. It’s 2019. My MRIs in 2016, 2017, and 2018 have shown no changes, so that’s great. I go in once a year (in June) so they can have another look, so the next one is coming up.

I’ve said it before: I was hoping the whole craniotomy experience would somehow make me a wiser person… you know, like “Now I value life in a way I never did before. Every moment has special meaning and significance.” But no. I’m still me. Stupid everyday nonsense still aggravates me. I’ve always loved my family more than anything, and still do. I’ve always been stubborn and skeptical and curious and antisocial, and still am.

Only a few things are different:

  • I get physically tired after a long day of intense thinking and problem-solving. This wasn’t the case before. My brain was a marathon runner, and now it needs an occasional break. Not terrible, but definitely noticeable.
  • My short-term memory is still worse than it was before the surgery; but to be fair, I’m getting older and it wasn’t amazing to begin with. Writing everything down helps a little.
  • It’s a bit harder to remember words or process information on the fly.
  • It’s tougher to connect disparate but related ideas in real time. Like, if I know someone’s birthday is this upcoming weekend and that same person tells me in a different conversation that they are buying food for their party on Saturday, I may not realize that the food and birthday are related until much later, if at all. The ideas just don’t coalesce. This one drives me up a wall.
  • I’m still more emotionally squishy than before. I was all adult and great at handling my feelings, but that maturity wandered off after the surgery and I became more of a raw nerve. I’ve recovered some of my adulthood in the last few years, but not all of it. 
  • I’m becoming more risk-averse – more set im my ways: less inclined to venture forth and take big risks. That’s embarrassing to admit. I hate it. It’s like I can feel my brain calcifying, ever so slowly. It takes conscious effort now to remind myself that uncharted territory is my friend. Age? Maybe. The desire to retire one day? Possibly. Valuing the quality of life I’ve worked so hard to achieve? Certainly. Fear of the possible dangers of the unknown or uncertainty about my own capabilities? I really hope not. That would be disappointing. Everything you gain in life, you gain by being willing to take calculated risks. I don’t want my brain to calcify over time. I don’t want to stop discovering new things. I don’t want to lose my sense of adventure. Is risk-aversion wisdom or is it what turns people into fuddy-duddies? Or am I just tired a lot? Still figuring this out…

Overall, it just takes a bit more work and time to absorb new information. I value being someone who is always learning, so this slower process doesn’t feel totally optimal. On the other hand, learning is learning. It’s still fun and rewarding, even if it isn’t quite as speedy.

I’ll drop in after my 2019 MRI results and share an update. In the meantime, stay cool!

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