Brain Surgery and Beauty Standards

Nurses arrived to bring me to the operating room the morning of my brain surgery. I took a deep breath and hugged my dad extra tight and a little bit longer than usual. As they wheeled me away, I glanced back at him standing alone in the middle of the barren hallway, holding a plastic hospital bag full of my personal belongings. His nerves made him appear white as a ghost. In those split seconds, I realized that might be the last time I saw my father.

Rewind to 10 months before my brain surgery, when I’d first learned I had a hemorrhaging mass in my brain. I’d gone in for an MRI after waking up for work one morning, only to find the right side of my body completely numb. Before I knew it, I was dropping things and slurring my speech, as well. As a teacher working around young kids all day, I was scared. When my doctor called to tell me the results, it was like something out of my worst nightmare. Even the hypochondriac in me couldn’t believe this was happening. I had a benign tumor the size of a strawberry and they would have to operate to remove it.

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