A number of regular readers of my blog are aware that I was hospitalized from Tuesday afternoon the 10th through Sunday afternoon the 15th for an operation to repair a subdural hematoma. Let me get the rest of you up to date.
This trouble stemmed from an accident I had on campus on Tuesday the 3rd. I recently moved into a new office in a quirky old building that used to be a carriage house. The corridors are narrow, there are several flights of stairs to be negotiated in order to get to the faculty offices and computer labs in the building, and, most significantly of all, there are low, vaulted ceilings in certain places. I walked smack dab into one of these ceilings while returning to my office from the copier room. I didn't lose consciousness but, as it turned out, the impact resulted in my brain literally being shifted several centimeters inside my cranium and blood and cerebrospinal fluid leaking into the space between the skull and the membranes protecting the brain.
I was still able to teach and drive the rest of the week, but Nicky and I began to notice some strange symptoms over the weekend. I began to have persistent headaches and seemed to be having trouble keeping my balance. When Nicky and I went out walking around our neighborhood, I tired more quickly and started dragging my left foot a bit behind my right. It almost felt as if the top and bottom halves of my body were moving at different speeds. I still wasn't overly alarmed. I attributed the headaches and general air of lassitude to the stress of starting a new academic year and having to get up early every morning. Once I got into the swing of the new schedule, I thought, all would be well.
On Tuesday afternoon the 10th, I had just started my Basic Statistics class and was going over a quiz with the students, perched on the edge of the desk in a half-sitting, half-standing position. I suddenly lost my balance and fell to the floor. Several students had to help me up, while another student went to get help from security. I had already been examined by a security guard on the 3rd, so the security personnel were aware of what had recently happened. They insisted that EMTs come and take me to the ER of nearby Sinai Hospital for evaluation. There, a CT scan confirmed the existence of the hematoma and a large quantity of fluid in my head. I was operated on the next morning and a suction drain was inserted into a small hole in my head to pull out the fluid and help my brain ooze (is that the right term?) back to its normal position. In the process, my hairline was shot to hell.
Once the sucker (sorry) was gone from my dome, everything headed north with a vengeance. I could eat and drink again and my headache quickly subsided to the more typical "I haven't slept well or had caffeine in X days" version. Nicky was with me virtually the whole time, and my mother and three siblings were also on hand at various times to lend support and advocacy to my cause. Nicky did a wonderful job of keeping as many people as possible informed of my condition, both at Stevenson and elsewhere.
I'm now at home with instructions to stay out of work and avoid driving for two weeks while my head recovers from the surgery. I'm hoping to get back to teaching by October 1 if all goes well in my follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon on the 24th. I should be able to resume "normal blogging activities" in another day or so. Thanks to all who were able to send good wishes during my hospital stay.