My two biggest fears: suffocation and locked-in syndrome. PSA: request to be awakened after the respirator.

For my particular brain surgeries, it was necessary to stop my breathing and put me in on a respirator.

For the first surgery, I wasn’t told this was going to happen, and I woke up on the respirator. It feels like it looks in the television shows: a long tube down the throat, and I thought I was choking to death. And it was dark, and my eyes didn’t work because of the surgery, and I…
     Freaked out.
     Two weeks later, when I was leaving the hospital, one of the nurses said, Hey, I remember you, I was one of the ones trying to hold you down when you woke up!

And for the next two surgeries I made sure to talk to the doctors and ask to wake up after the respirator was removed, which turns out is an option, and relatively easy for the hospital to do.

I would recommend doing that.