I was on vacation, living it up in New Orleans with my very best friends when I got an emergency call from my Mom. They'd found a brain tumor in my brother Joey and immediately medi-flighted him to a larger city's hospital to assess the situation. I got on a plane and headed to Missouri.
Now let me back up a bit here to give you a little history. Joey and I were best friends while we were growing up.
|Joey and me.|
Needless to say, it was finally time to make up with Joey. Now, if God had just said to me, "It's time to mend fences Candy (and BTW you're my favorite)." I wouldn't have. As many of you know, I NEVER go along easily with God's plan. It always takes me a good swift kick in the forehead to figure things out.
OK, fast forward...
Me- "I love you Joey."
Joey- "I love you too Sis"
Me- "Good luck with brain surgery."
I'm not really great with all the details but I know they took all the bad stuff out of Joey's brain and had to jumble things up in there quite a bit in the process. We were glad he survived but we had no idea how crazy he was going to be! There should be a pamphlet in the hospital waiting room for loved ones awaiting brain surgery patients.
100 things you don't know about your brain surgery survivor (or something along those lines)
Your loved one could at any time:
...believe he has been abducted by aliens.
...believe YOU are the alien who abducted him.
...think his 15 year old niece is a famous alligator wrestler.
...become very hostile about socks.
...think his nephew is in secret security military operations in Afganistan.
...try to get you to break him out of the hospital.
And a whole myriad of other crazy things.
One of the things Joey lost was his short-term memory. You've seen 50 First Dates? Or maybe you remember Dory from Finding Nemo? THAT was Joey. I am not kidding. It was awesome! Of course he knew who we all were and that he was married with kids, basic stuff, but he could NOT remember things like eating, or watching TV, or phone calls, or a MILLION other tiny little every day happenings. The surgery also messed up his Pituitary Gland which made him think he was hungry all the time. Since the always skinny Joey couldn't remember eating (20 minutes ago) he got fat. So when I saw him a few months after surgery I said, "Holy cow Joey! You're so fat!", "Joey, I can't believe you've gained so much weight!", "Are you going to be this fat forever?" and so on to which Joey finally asked, "Sis, how many times are you going to tell me I'm fat?" My reply? "It doesn't matter, in 30 minutes you won't remember I called you fat anyway." And he didn't.
This brain tumor was becoming a little bit convenient. Of course I didn't call Joey to check up on him as often as I should have...but he had no idea.
Me- "Hey Joey. How are you feeling?"
Joey- "SIS! Hi! I'm doing better! I'm so glad to hear from you!"
Me (lying)- "I just called the other day, don't you remember?"
Joey- "Oh. Not really. Sorry."
Me- "It's ok. I forgive you."
MAYBE I shouldn't have taken advantage of Joey's situation but he's my little brother and I've been doing it his whole life.
Now, before you are all completely appalled by me wait'll I tell you what his wife did! Lacie had bought Joey a new guitar right before his surgery for Christmas. It was beautiful! He loved it! Well, a couple of months after surgery our cousin Russell was over and Lacie went to get Joey's guitar so he could show it off. When she walked in the room with it Joey was elated! He went on and on about how much he loved it and how nice it was so Lacie, jokingly said, "Happy Valentine's Day." You see Joey didn't remember getting the guitar for Christmas. He also didn't remember getting it for Valentine's Day, or Father's Day, or his birthday. That's right. Joey got that guitar 4 times that year and he was thrilled every single time.
Today Joey and I are back on track. We're friends again. He's
|This is me with my siblings. Tiff, Brian, Joey and me.|
Now, I don't recommend waiting until your estranged relative gets a brain tumor to straighten things out but if it does happen, lock the refrigerator.