Just wanted to check in with an update on how things are going post-brain surgery. It’s nothing too exciting; even the scar has gotten much less gory, although it has gotten me a few seats to myself on MARTA. But, it’s what’s going on.

I’m still working from home (although probably, by the time this is posted, that won’t be true anymore). The initial plan was to go back to the office a little earlier, but I accidentally told my surgeon to excuse me for “two weeks” of teleworking without specifying a day. In my defense, I was on heavy narcotics at the time. So, I’ll be back at the end of this week. 

I will say that after doing the work-from-home thing for basically one second, my respect for people who do this full-time/permanently has quadrupled. A few questions: How do you do it? How do you motivate yourself to shower and sit in real, supportive chairs? I don’t understand, because I am already incapable of doing any of those things. On the other hand, working from home has been completely, 100 percent necessary because — fact time — brain surgery makes you really freaking tired. Today (Monday) is the first day I’ve stayed awake without either a 3-4 hour midday nap or a 15-hour nighttime sleep. It’s like freshman year of college all over again.

The pain is gone and not gone. I still feel some weird prickling along the line of the scar, which my other doctor, Google, tells me is the result of swelling subsiding beneath the skin. My first shower was terrifying; my first headache after the surgery even more so. My mom eventually diagnosed it over the phone as the result of a chocolate bar, but for hours I was convinced the tumor had made a miraculous two-week recovery and had taken up residence in my brain again. It still hurts to sleep on the right side of my head, but I do it anyway. The pressure smooths the pain out eventually, and comfort is worth the trade.

Then there is the weird aspect of money, which is entirely gauche to talk about, I know, but suffice to say I am 24 and terrible at keeping my savings stocked and the last few weeks have been mostly on my parents’ dime. It’s been pretty fun, in some ways — I’ve gotten way more creative with meals than usual, and I’ve had time to do it. But I also feel sort of cut off from all the things I normally do. I keep thinking, I need a hobby that doesn’t cost money, and then I think — what doesn’t cost any money? I don’t even know what free things I like to do! And I’m trying to take that as a challenge. There’s no reason I should feel the need to spend money all the time.

I am still nervous about wading back into my regular life. I have this feeling, which probably isn’t all that accurate, that I would be less nervous if the life I was returning to was more settled. There’s this sense that sick is terrible but sick is safe (except for the you-might-die aspect of it). Your temporary occupation is a broken thing in need of fixing. You don’t have to do much problem-solving yourself.

It’s the (beyond ample) good stuff that’s harder to write about. How lucky I am, how grateful, how relieved. They are placeholder words; I’m worried that they mean nothing at all. 

But I am all of them, anyway.

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