That day you referred to your Neurosurgeon as “Uncle Deep-Pockets”…

I found out that my neurosurgeons’ contract wasn’t going to be renewed in early December. I literally thought I was loosing a family member. He has been like a trusted Uncle that you only see at weddings or if you need money. ‘Uncle Deep-Pockets’… Only in this case he doesn’t have deep pockets, or if he does he has scalpels in them. And there isn’t a wedding scheduled any time soon.

This news came at a time when I haven’t been feeling great. In fact the only reason I found out he was leaving was because I was calling for an adjustment on one, or all of my shunts. None of which I think are working, and if they are they aren’t working properly.

I’ve been through this before… years ago.

My fourth neurosurgeon, and ironically his wife, who was my third neurosurgeon, went on leave. No notice, no message, no followup, nothing. I was told by ‘their’ assistant, and I mean ‘their’ because the husband and wife were both my surgeons in succession, (brain surgeries three and four respectively), that they both went on leave. I was first told that he had a sick relative out of the country. I totally empathized with that. I’ve had sick relatives and would have, and will be, there for them, no questions asked. Like I said, that was the first thing I was told. I still to this day ask what happened to them and will receive a different answer. “He went to a different hospital…” or “He retired…” or “He went on vacation and didn’t return…” or my personal favourite, “His wife was retiring and he didn’t want to come back to work without her…” All reasons, although separately plausible, together it seems like a bad Choose Your Own Adventure. And the adventure all leads back to square one. No neurosurgeon.

Most may think, “What’s the big deal? I don’t have a neurosurgeon and I’m fine.” Good for you! I’m super glad you’re fine. I genuinely mean that. Sadly, I STILL need a neurosurgeon. And a good one.

I went last week to my family doctor. I actually really like my family doctor. She’s been my doctor since I was 16, so more than a minute, and more than she ever expected to deal with in a patient as young as I was when this first started. I had to beg for another specialist, or to go back to someone I have already seen before. Let’s face it, the neurosurgeons in Hamilton General aren’t particularly fond of me. Or my disease. Mostly me I think.

But now I wait. AGAIN!!!

Here’s where I have a serious issue with this whole situation, why would they let one of their most respected neurosurgeons go; when there is an open position for the exact position that my neurosurgeon occupied? Why was there very little notice? Had I not have called I never would have known he left!!! Why am I going to have to go to the emergency room just for an adjustment, when all it would take is an hour appointment… ok, maybe sometimes two hours?

I just want some assurance that the next doctor I meet will be as empathetic and determined to enhance my quality of life the way Dr. Al Jishi was. Real talk, this is the first day I haven’t cried about it. I could not even say the words “My neurosurgeon won’t be my doctor anymore” without breaking down entirely, but that’s not to say I won’t cry tomorrow.

It’s my hope that I can follow him, Endi has assured me he will take me where my favourite neurosurgeon is. If that’s not love I don’t know what is, and that’s the only silver lining I can see right now.


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