My autobiography I’m Having Brain Surgery on Tuesday describes my life-long struggle to live in the “real” world while dealing hydrocephalus, better know as “Water on the Brain”, and a cognitive disorder affecting my mid brain. I caught viral meningitis from a nurse in the delivery room and had my first shunt placed to treat my hydrocephalus when I was nine weeks old. I had a fifty percent chance of dying, less than that of living a “normal” life, and beat the odd being one of only eight percent of infants who acquire a cerebral spinal disorder to obtain a college degree.
My memoir concentrates on the years 2013-2016 when my condition “reawakened” after being “arrested” for almost twenty seven years.
I hope by writing about my story, I can raise public awareness for this condition. Hydrocephalus affects the same number of people as type one diabetes or Down’s Syndrome, one million Americans, although only approximately one-in-fifty adults in the United States have ever heard of this condition.
Today of those born with hydrocephalus, sixty percent won’t live independently as adults; fifty percent will attain an IQ lower than seventy. I not only live independently with my spouse, I’m a college graduate and, for twelve years worked at a Fortune 500 company. I consider myself ‘one of the lucky ones.’
I’ve previously been a columnist for The Country Courier, a small-town newspaper based in Kamiah, Idaho.