The night before my operation, I could not tell you how I felt, such was the mixture of emotions that were going through me.
When it was confirmed to me that on 20th December, I would be having the operation that was first discussed back in January or February time, I was relieved. All of those extra screenings, scans and tests were worth it, I was finally going to have an operation that would see me on the path to (hopefully) fixing my body. On the night of the 19th December, I remained relieved.
I was excited too that maybe, just maybe, this operation would mean I would finally be free of the headaches and migraines that had plagued me since my early teens and the backache since I was pregnant with Harry? Yet I was still conscious of the fact that perhaps nothing will change at all.
A hint of previous vindication returned. No surgeon would undergo a needless operation, never mind neurosurgery, so clearly there really was something wrong with me.
Then the worry kicked in. The worry that I wouldn't wake up from the general anaesthetic. That the surgeon would slip and make a fatal error. Or even if it wasn't a fatal error, one that would mean paralysis or brain damage. Those consequences don't just apply to me, in fact the consequences to me didn't really matter what did matter was how they would affect Harry, that he would grow up without me.
I thought I would be sensible. The husband and I headed to bed at 10 pm, an early night for us since we were being picked up at 7 am for my 7.30 am check in at the hospital. It started well. I fell asleep quite quickly. Yet when I woke up at 2 am needing to go to the toilet (and I never need to go to the toilet during the night) I couldn't get back to sleep. 2 am ended up being the start of a very long day.
As predicted, we had to wake Harry up. Despite the fact he had been on a two-week run of 5.30 am wake ups, of course he chose operation day to try to sleep in and at 6.15 we had to wake him in order to ensure he had some time to eat his breakfast, get washed and dressed.
My Auntie had previously offered to take me to the hospital and have Harry for the day so that the husband could stay with me while I waited to be called to theatre and then see me immediately post-op. I had suggested a time to her a few days previously, via text and she hadn't replied so the husband was starting to worry that she wouldn't come. Just as he suggested I call her to check she was on her way, I received a text to confirm that she had just left her own house.
On the drive to the hospital I bemoaned about my lack of breakfast and in particular, lack of coffee! Whilst I am not usually much of a breakfast person and was pretty sure the wanting food was simply wanting something I couldn't have, being nil-by-mouth, coffee is almost essential to my getting through mornings!
As my Auntie dropped the husband and I off and I said goodbye to her and Harry, I felt a strange sort of peace come over me and I knew that, this time at least, everything would be just fine.
After checking in (I am aware that makes it sound like a hotel stay!) I took a seat next to the husband where we sat and waited. I was then called to see my neurosurgeon, who ran through what would happen, what to expect from the end result, mortality rates and just about everything else. When asked if either us of had any questions, there were none. After being warned that I was last on his last and it was, at best, shortly after 1 pm before I would be called to theatre (and it was still only 8.30 am), the husband and I returned to our seats. And waited. I had bloods taken, just in case of a transfusion being needed then I waited some more. I saw the anaesthetist who explained how the anaesthetic would work and what affects to possibly expect as that was wearing off. Then we waited some more until finally, after what felt like an eternity, I was asked to get changed into a gown.
No sooner had I got changed and sat down, preparing myself to wait some more, I was told that actually, they were ready for me to go straight to theatre. The husband walked with me and the anaesthetist who had come to collect me to the door of theatre, we said goodbye and there it was. After months of waiting, months of tests, it was finally happening and I was about to have my first bit of brain surgery.