Close Your Eyes As You Run Off the Cliff

My sister once took a hang gliding class and when the time came for them to make their first flight the instructor told the students that they should close their eyes when they run off the cliff. Why? Because it’s counter-intuitive to run off a cliff. Your body won’t let you do it. In the name of self-preservation, your brain tells your body that it should stop running before flinging itself into thin air. “This doesn’t seem like a good idea” your mind is trying to say.

I bring this up because I am finding that scheduling your own craniotomy falls into the same category.   No matter who or when the medical assistant asks me, “Would you like to schedule your craniotomy now?” the answer is always “No, thank you.” I can’t help it. No, I would not like to schedule an exact time and date or a surgeon to cut through my skull. No, I’d rather not set up the procedure where a teeny tiny hole in my inner ear is plugged up with teeny tiny bone matter, all done I assume using teeny tiny tools.  No, I am not ready to face the risks of loss of hearing, facial paralysis and brain damage.  Nope, sorry. Not today.

And so my craniotomy is not yet scheduled. Despite the fact that my world is narrowing. Despite the fact that last weekend I could not make it through church because the Christmas music made me so dizzy that I thought I might faint. And despite the fact that it has taken me two whole days to recover from my daughter’s nine year old birthday party. I find myself in a quandary. I have two road to go down. One is essentially getting narrower and narrower and soon I risk the chance of becoming so disabled that I can no longer walk it. I won’t be able to safely drive or play with my kids or take short walks. The other road is well, kind of like a cliff with the hang glider. I can run at it full speed and commit to a procedure to “treat” my SCDS with a mid-fossa craniotomy done by arguably one of the best doctors for this type of thing.

With the support of my family the problem is not the money.  The problem is not the lack of surgeons. The problem is me being able to take a deep breath and close my eyes as I run off the cliff.


4 thoughts on “Close Your Eyes As You Run Off the Cliff

  1. Pauline

    Hang Gliding
    To plunge from high on summit’s peak, And ride the current, swift
    Survey the earth in sweeping view, As, with the morning clouds, I drift

    To look the eagle in the eye, While soaring heaven’s blue
    And float on silent wafts of air, Blind to common hullabaloo

    It would be grand to hang below, The glider as I tour the sky
    And so I would if I just could, Acquire sufficient nerve to try
    CR Clark, 2008

  2. Brad

    Reblogged this on Brad Riddell and commented:
    This is a brilliant post from another SCDS sufferer who had her surgery already. I love it. I’m starting my own run toward the cliff with one week left, but it’s a very slow and tentative stumble, and I can’t seem to close my eyes.

  3. Brad

    Gorgeous post. I just reblogged it. Sums up where I’ve been and where I am now a week out. I’m supposed to be plugged and resurfaced, but am scared of the plug.

  4. Susan

    Just discovered this site and, like you, am on the other side of surgery. Applaud your creative efforts to portray SCDS symptoms and effects. If words were always adequate we would not have art (sensu Hopper) so the impulse to explore via other media is vital. Keep it up!


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