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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.

 

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