I have a perfect brain.  My mind may be raging with pregnancy hormones, wrestling with self-esteem issues, and dealing with boundaries between my mother and me, but my brain is perfect.  There are not many who can say that and know it empirically, but I can and I do. 

 I was born with a malformed brain, with a vascular anomaly that was fixed 7 years ago today.  Seven years ago, I was in surgery for 9 hours, a surgery that left me with physical and psychological scars.  My head has a narrow band almost from ear to ear where hair does not grow.  My head has a funny ridge of stapled skull bone like two tectonic plates at a fault line.  My smile-on-command-of-photography will never been symmetrical again.  My left hand and leg are weaker than my right, if only barely.  But I’ve come a long way since 7 years ago, when I woke up confused and bloody, with my left arm paralyzed, and speaking in a Mickey Mouse voice. 

Facing surgery and recovering were two of the hardest things I ever had to do, yet I did not do them alone. Through the experience of my brain surgery, Mr. Apron and I faced a momentous trial in our fledgling relationship, a trial that could have scared any normal boyfriend away.  Yet mine, my boyfriend of 16 months (only 14 since we had met in person), was side-by-side with me in my hospital bed, snuggling up against all the medical odium that was this little girl he had met online.  My boyfriend was so committed that the resident who spotted us together in the Stryker bed remarked that having one’s husband next to her was the best therapy there was. 

As we were dating, Mr. Apron told me of his previous relationships, of the girls who came from broken homes, of the girls who had psychological and physical issues, of the one who was allergic to sugar, and ofthe one whose mother was addicted to painkillers.  He told me he unwittingly sought out these “broken” souls trying to fix them.  Realizing it was an impossible task, he vowed to reform, and date only girls who were a mite more stable. 

As we embarked on our own relationship, he thought he had finally snagged a girl who didn’t need to be repaired by doting or sugar-free cakes.  Instead, he found a girl with a deep, dark cranial secret.  In this case, however, it was a secret that could be fixed, that, to this date, has been fixed.  I have not had a seizure since November 2003.  I have not seen my neurosurgeon since 2006, when he told me my brain tissue had effectively “filled in” around the surgical area.  I have not seen an OT or a PT since August 2004, when my insurance company declared me “cured”. 

Today is my “brainniversary”, a day my family celebrates with understated exuberance.  We take a moment to remember the solemnity of the day, and to gratefully praise the successful outcome.  We all know what could have happened on the operating table, or soon afterward.  We all know how fortunate I am to have recovered as much as I have.  And we all know how fortunate I am to have had the support system that will carry me into the next adventure of momentous proportion – becoming a mother of twins.

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