Jean Croker Petke

The Stories We Make Up

The Stories We Make Up

A few weeks ago I wrote about losing vision in my right eye permanently. Yes, there still is no vision. I have had the last test — an MRI to discover if there is something causing pressure on my optic nerve.

Truth #1: yes, there is something causing pressure on the optic nerve and I’ve been referred to a neurosurgeon. I won’t see the surgeon for a couple weeks, but surgeon’s remove stuff so I suspect that’s in my future, though I don’t know for sure.

I’ve done some research to learn more about my situation and possible procedures. But the real info has to come from the doc.


Here’s the issue: when we don’t have all the facts and information we tend to make up stories about what’s going to happen and how things might turn out.

My fictional story:

In the operating room, they’re going to remove my brain from my skull, just like you’d remove a cantaloupe from it’s peel. I can’t rid myself of things I saw for years in the foodservice industry. I think my brain is about the size of a cantaloupe, though more wrinkly. I think I’ve seen a curved knife that would be perfect for separating my brain from my skull.

Then they’ll lay it on a cutting board and come at it with something resembling a Samurai sword, splitting it cleanly in half with one strike. If it is truly like a cantaloupe, they’ll scoop out the seeds, then lay the halves, cut side down on the board. With a few swift cuts, they’ll slice and dice it neatly and quickly. I”m a little worried about what they might scoop out of the middle of my brain. I don’t think there’s any useless material (except for the problem growth) that needs to be discarded  Then, just like in the kitchen, they’ll scoop up all the pieces and put them in a large stainless steel bowl, as if they’re making fruit salad. Or they’ll put all the pieces back into my skull, somehow making them all fit, smushing, pressing, rearranging, expecting it to mesh together and function normally. Perhaps they should have numbered the pieces so they can return them to their exact place. I’ve heard the term “meatball surgery”. Perhaps this is “fruitsalad surgery”.

Truth #2: Nothing in my research suggested such a procedure. I made it all up. It’s merely a figment of my imagination. The absurdity makes me smile. Anything less than fruitsalad will seem like a walk in the park.

Truth #3: The possibility of surgery on a vital organ is a big, big, deal. Pondering it is not particularly helpful, except to create some humor in a stressful time.

So, here’s my plan:

  • I’ll write a few blog posts ahead, to post while I’m recovering
  • I’ll let you know how things turn out, assuming my brain is restored to normal functioning

Until next Tuesday . . .


3 Comments - Leave a Comment

    Piece of cake!! If I can do it so can you!

    I had the “meatball’ kind… 16 hours worth and my head shows it! Scar from ear to ear and hole in my forehead! My girls had to teach me everything from brushing my teeth and showering to loading the dishwasher without falling in!! haha Couldn’t have done it without them. Lotta laughs and lotta tears but we made it!

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