So, here I am. 8 days left with hair. I'm really excited to be bald. (she said drolly.) One week from today Steve will take the clippers to the old noggin and do his BEST, I mean BEST Honey, to make me look as pretty as possible with no hair. I expect after the surgery I'm going to look a lot like the baby doll in Toy Story that Sid disembodied and attached to the legs of a rector set robot. Pretty.
This last week Steve was on a business trip to Alabama. Lucky for me, (voice DRIPPING with sarcasm) it was 8th grade pictures for child #3. Nothing like that child reminding me the night before and the realization I was supposed to get the kid's hair cut. What was even a more wonderful part was that it was 9 pm and Great Clips had closed up shop. Ahhh. The clippers. With great drama, I ordered #3 to go get them. The whole time, he's turning the stairs into the Green Mile. "I don't want my hair cut!" Had any mother seen this child, you would have even considered getting the weed whacker out of the garage.
Now, I know what you're thinking- "Clippers? Really Cheri? Aren't you going in for brain surgery in 10 days to stop tremors? You know, shaky hands?" Yes, I know. But desperate times call for desperate measures. I have always cut my boys' hair. Up until about 3 years ago. Some of our best memories are Steve pinning them to the floor and me straddling them to get an even line. Funny how if we'd take them to the barber, they'd sit perfectly still - brats.
Anyway, Steve's gone, Great Clips is closed. It had to be done. Now the kid is in tears. "I don't want it cut!" Good grief! He's a teenager! I tell him to be quiet and turn on the lawn mower of death. I must say, I did a pretty awesome job.
The side burns.
As I steady my right hand with my left, I approach the ears. "Stop moving, kid!" He grits his teeth, grabs the chair and tightens up like coiled spring, just as I hit the area right above the ear. I knew it before I even saw the blood surface. I nicked it. Darn it! Now he's REALLY mad! His mother tried to pull a Van Gogh on him! Because he's mad, I'm mad! "Just hold still and let me finish!" With blood, sweat, and tears, literally, we finish. He gets down, stomps up the stairs.
"I HATE IT!!!"
Thank you very much. I go to bed sleeping with one eye open because I'm sure he's planning my murder by clippers. When I dropped him off at school the next day, he's got his hoodie up covering his head and refuses to talk to me.
So, now, I'm a little concerned. It's my turn. I'm praying Steve orders them behind a 10 foot radius while he buzzes it off. This is going to be fun. (She said again, with sarcasm dripping from her tongue.) I am going to have Anna document it with photos... either for historical purposes or proof of my murder. Either way, I'll share them. Not like I haven't shared the whole thing with you already!
In all seriousness, it's at this point I want to share a bit of what's going to happen next week. After my hair butchering, I mean cutting, I'll go to the hospital very early. They'll sedate me and screw a halo onto my head. I know what you're thinking - a halo? Doesn't this angelic woman already have a halo? This one will be steel. They'll then insert me into a special CTscan device located in the operating room and begin the next step of opening up the head and inserting the probes. Then, I'm woken up a bit more and with the brain open for all to see it's glory, they'll begin testing the electrodes to find the right position to shut down the tremors. They'll do this by having me write, touch a finger to my nose and someone else's (no picking allowed) and holding a paper cup. That's something I haven't been able to do for 5 years now. Well, I've done it, just not been successful. This will be the exciting part! I can't imagine it being turned off! This has become such a part of my day to day function, I can't imagine not having to compensate. This part of the surgery will take several hours.
Finally, after they're satisfied with the placement, they'll put me under all the way and begin securing and attaching the extension cord (yes, there really is one) and attaching it up to the neuro-stimulator (aka battery pack) in my chest. All in all, the surgery will be about 6 hours. I will go back to my neurologist's office in 30 days for them to actually program and turn on the the stimulator. They leave it off giving time for the swelling to go down in the brain.
The amazing part of all of this- I may very well get to go home the next day! Shoot! I was hoping for a few days to myself being waited on. Hopefully, I won't have the nurse from Hades like last time. As for keeping you all up-to-speed, Steve and Cathy will post and let you know what's going on.
This morning as I write, I'm in a sort of self-imposed exile. Yesterday I was feeling a little questionable health wise. With the horrible flu epidemic, Steve and I decided it's probably better not go places with lot's of people. If I were to get sick, I would not be able to have surgery. Thus, I'm home from church. I can't tell you how much I wish I was there to spend time worshiping, fellowshiping, and listening to God's word. It is a life-line.
All that said, pray that I will be healthy. I've never been one to freak out over germs and the flu, but with each day, I'm becoming paranoid. I always scoffed at the antibacterial wipes at the grocery store for wiping down the carts, but I actually used them! Pray that Steve and the kids would be healthy! The last thing I want for them is to be sick, not only for my sake, but for their sake. They do not need to go into this next week feeling icky too.
Finally, I wanted to share a weight update! I'm sorry it's been soooo long! Officially I have now lost 117 lbs. Yippy! I am so close to a certain milestone. I can almost taste it! What's amazing to me is that I'm actually the thinnest I've been since before I had kids! I feel so good... I actually don't mind parking further away from places! I went to a Bull's game without fear of fitting in the seats! (Thank you so much Julie, Cath, and Maryanne!) Seat belts fit, smaller jeans have moved into my closet and a sweater I bought three years ago from Talbot's, that I NEVER even took the tags off, fits! Sooo amazing! The one thing that still frustrates me is seeing people I haven't seen in ages or meeting others for the first time and sharing about my surgery. When I tell them I've already lost over 100lbs, their eyes nearly pop out of their head with "Holy Cow! How fat were you?" I don't think I'll ever get over that, but try to remind myself each time, how far I've come since I began this blog 1 year ago! Can you believe?
Thank you again for all your support! It never ceases to amaze me how blessed I am to be lifted up by such an INCREDIBLE team of cheerleaders! I love you so much and truly wish I could hug each one of you. I'm overcome by God's goodness in my life.
As I wrap up, I want to ask for a couple of other prayer requests. First and foremost, for Steve and the kids. Isabelle told me she's really worried. I feel powerless to put her mind at ease. The other kids often surprise me with their concerns... they rarely talk about it and I never think they really care. I guess they do.
For Steve, there's a lot of unknowns. Pray that he'll find peace through God's comfort and encouragement.
Please also pray for my extended family, especially Cathy. Because of the surgery, she has to go it alone with Scott (my handicapped brother) for awhile. The tricky part is knowing what to tell him so we won't upset the apple cart too much.
And for my Philippine family- I know it's hard for Don and Kris to be on the other side of the world. Pray that they'd still feel connected.
I hope to drop a note next week before DBS day-
Love you all soooooooo much!