Our own mortality is something we take completely for granted. At least until something happens to highlight the fragility of life.
I lost a a sister earlier this year. She died as a result of a brain haemorrhage. Our mother died in a similar fashion many years ago. The implications are that I may be predisposed to suffering a similar fate. After some discussion with my GP he referred me to a neurosurgeon whom I saw last week. As a result of this consultation I am to undergo an MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) to determine if there is a berry aneurysm in my brain. I am not bothered about the actual procedure which is not at all invasive, I am told. However, I am a little concerned about what it might reveal.
Firstly there is the possibility that nothing shows up. That would, indeed, be a cause for celebration. Naturally, I hope and pray that this is the result for me. The second case would reveal the existence of an aneurysm of which there are two types. I cannot recall if there were different names for them but there certainly are different methods of dealing with them. Suffice to say that one type can be treated and monitored by certain medical ‘procedures’ which I would be quite comfortable to permit. The worst case scenario is the discovery of an aneurysm that can be treated only by surgery.
This is the outcome I dread. The brain is probably the only part of my body on which I would not be willing to undergo elective surgery. It is too delicate an organ for any kind of gung-ho action. Having an appendix removed is not quite in the same league as having brain surgery. In fact I think I would really need to be in immediate danger of death before I would agree to it. What use is it to remove a risk of death but cause brain damage in so doing?