Late last night I read a blog written by someone who'd had something similar to me. Mum had found it, amongst others. She has basically triaged them for me and she thought this one was worth reading.
Up until now, I haven't read much. In fact I realised I'd been actively avoiding it. Plenty of people have offered to put me in touch with their friends that have been through this, but in every case I have found a way not to. It dawned on me that I've been avoiding that too. But why?
Before surgery, I didn't think it was worth talking to someone as each case is unique. The logistics and outcome of the operation are dependent on the location and size of the tumour, I thought. So someone else's experiences wouldn't be relevant.
In fact, I think I just didn't want to know. Hearing more details would make it more real and looking back, I was struggling to prepare mentally for surgery. I don't think I could have coped with it.
But now, surgery over, why am I still so reluctant to hear other people's accounts, or meet up with fellow post-craniotomy patients?
Once I started reading this blog last night I carried on until I'd finished the whole thing. It was mad. There were so many similarities and much of what I read felt familiar. But it also made me feel uncomfortable, reading someone else's account. And I think I've figured out why.
Being a younger sibling, there has always been something to compare myself to, and a feeling of expectation to be met. It was much worse when I was growing up, in fact I don't think it applies anymore, but as a second child the bar has been set before you. To compare you to.
I think this is having a similar effect on me. I don't want the pressure of knowing where I should be in my recovery. To be comparing myself to other people's stories, and coming out worse. It seems ridiculous and petty now I've worked it out.
Also, I'm shy. I have to push myself to be sociable and I'll take any excuse not to meet people. Brain surgery is a great excuse to be antisocial.
At the moment it feels like I'm progressing well, but in my own little bubble. Even writing Henrietta is something I can safely do from the comfort of my preferred solitude. Maybe it's time to pop it and start engaging more. With the community of people who have been through something similar, as well as with everyday life. Something to think about anyway.