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Monday, July 14, 2008

15 Years Ago Today- I Had Brain Surgery!

Yep. It's true. Surgeons sucked a tumor out of my brain on this very day, July 14, 1993.
For those of you who didn't know this about me, I had a tumor on my pituitary gland that was being quite a bother.
So after my Senior year of high school, while other kids were having summer jobs as lifeguards and youth interns, I was having brain surgery.
What a life-changing experience it was!!! (I think my Mom will agree with that.)
I remember how terrified I felt.
I was sort-of brave while they prep-ed me, put my IV in, had me sign all the papers that said if I died my family wouldn't sue them, etc.
But when they wheeled me into this room full of patients in Hermann Hospital, all lying on those wheely-stretchers, all waiting for their surgery, quietly, eerily...I lost it. I had just turned eighteen years old, but I started bawling like a baby for my Mama!
They took pity on me and went and retrieved her for me. I got a few more minutes with her.
They basically took apart my face to get to my pituitary gland (sort of in the center of your head), and didn't shave any of my hair. That was a relief!
Until I saw my face for the first time in Neuro-ICU when my bandage fell off.
I looked just like that Planet of the Apes show! Seriously! I started crying so hard, I almost busted all the stitches in my face. (I was 18! Of course I was vain!) I didn't find my teeth for weeks. The swelling was unbelievable.
I sort of looked normal by the time I left for Baylor six weeks after that. But only sort of. My upper lip was paralyzed for almost a year.
No cancerous material was found, so no further treatment was necessary.
I went about my life, tumor free from that day on.
It was a recovery I'll never forget.
I've never wanted to be with my Mom more! (A feeling re-visited in part when I had a baby.)
I learned to depend on the Lord in a beautiful way!
I had to trust him with my life, for real! He, of course, was good to me, and received the glory.
This will always be a pause and take notice day for me, and maybe even my family.
Let us never forget what God has done for us!

6 comments:

Kari said...

WOW! Had no idea Jenn! We all have such testimonies to give to the Lord! I wish we could all gather one day and just lay everything out there and really get to know these people we visit with, worship with, play with and have fun with!

Thanks for sharing!

momofone said...

Hey Jen!
I hope you remember me from BRH. I was Tiffany Smith then. I found your blog through your brother Brian's blog and enjoy reading what you write. I do remember this about you, because it is something that we both share. - issues of the pituitary! And we both also share a heart for adoption! We have a six year old daughter that we adopted at birth! Who knew we had so much in common. PTL that I never had to have surgery, but balence everything with medication. I thank God today that you are healthy and living a wonderful life. Celebrate today - Tiffany Smith Washburn

Mike Hurt said...

It's amazing how time flies isn't it. Can't believe it has already been 15 years that you went through all of this. Before long we will have known each other for 20 years. Feel old yet? I do.

Jennifer Bacak said...

Tiffany Smith!!! It's so cool to hear from you! Thanks for checking out my blog.

Mike- Yes! I do feel old! But you're older than me, so that makes me feel better. :)

jenn

Cindy Seay said...

I thank God for life on this day every year and I thank Him for your healing and the plan that He was completing in you, even at that time.
But, I must say, it was the hardest day of my life - watching them take you into surgery to probe your brain.
i love you,
mom

Arlene said...

WOW! 15 years -- you made me think of my own back surgery! It's been 11 years since I had mine. Crazy how time flies! But I am so thankful yours went so smoothly and you have been able to bless my life and hundreds of others. Love you Jenn!