Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Acoustic Neuroma - 6 Weeks Post Op

It is crazy for me to think that tomorrow marks 6 weeks since surgery. That means Valentine's Day was 6 weeks ago people!  Do you still have candy hanging around like I do?!? {Time to throw it away...the Easter candy is coming!}

I have been slow with posting about how my journey with acoustic neuroma began...hate that...but since I started driving again, life has been full throttle! So I thought I would just give a brief (probably will turn out long, sorry!) current update instead. ;)

In short, my answer to the ever present question of, "How are you doing?", is, "Well, very well."

As I mentioned, I AM DRIVING AGAIN.  That alone is a huge milestone and answer to prayer. Since my update at one month after surgery , driving is probably the biggest news.  I started to drive out of necessity when my in-laws needed to leave town. And you know what? It was fine.  I was fine. My kids were fine. I even made it through the craziness of a carpool line traffic pattern change at the girls' school. I did get a few raised eyebrows, like, "you're driving again?!?"...funniest from the headmaster, but again, all is fine! Friends are even letting me drive their kids around again. To me that is the biggest sign that life has returned to normal. ;) And after 5 weeks of not driving (very humbling, and honestly just a pain!), this new normal is a very welcome change.

Let's see...let me go through the list, as I know many of you have been praying for me. Thank means SO much.

Dizziness/vertigo? None. Sleep? Completely normal long nights! (when I go to bed at a decent hour at least). Hearing? Well, still deaf on L side. ;) Energy levels? Much improved. Headaches/Clicking noises in head? Much less noticeable.

What is still hanging around?

Ringing in left ear? Yep. This is so weird to me. I really do not understand it. At the risk of seeming dense, I will probably not ask my doctor again, but I could really use a full blown audiology class when it comes to tinnitus in a DEAF ear. *sigh*

Neck muscles still tight from surgery? Yep. My surgeon (will introduce him in later post...great guy) did call me in a refill for a muscle relaxer (over a weekend, no less) and I did go get a massage last week (total splurge, but well worth it!). My neck felt great for several days and I wasn't popping Advil or muscle relaxers. While I am still not popping meds, it just does not feel great anymore. Hoping time will remedy this.

Issues with left eye? Still present, but being treated. My ophthalmology appointment last week was pretty uneventful. After worrying about dilation (you would have too if you had witnessed Lily's reaction!), and arranging rides, etc for us because of it, the doc didn't even end up dilating me. I was relieved, but sad that I had called in the help 4 friends (FOUR!) to replace my in-laws that morning. Not kidding.

Basically my left eye is "moderately to severely" dry. Lots of dead skin cells present, so that is why she did not dilate. Apparently dilation causes more dead skin cells to form...just temporarily. She recommended placement of a punctal plug in the lower lid of that eye to keep the tears in my eye longer. I was apprehensive about this, but went ahead with the procedure and it was NO BIG DEAL. After watching a YouTube on it though, I am very glad my eye was numb. When it was all said and done, I went home with 3 meds for my eye...a steroid drop (will the steroids ever end?!?), a rewetting drop, and a nighttime ointment (that one is just plain weird to use...blurred vision). I also get to wash my eyelid daily with Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo...I guess it really is "as gentle to eyes as pure water"!  I follow up with the eye doc in two weeks to assess my progress. Though she thinks I will probably be dealing with "dry eye" from here on out, it really doesn't seem like a big thing to me...especially considering the reality of much more troublesome complications that I was spared. Praise the Lord!

See, it ended up being a long update. Sorry! I do want to leave you with an encouraging word that the ophthalmologist left me with.  She has been in private practice for over 20 years...after training at UTSW where my surgeons work. Anyways, she looked me in the eyes and said, "Kerry, you are the best looking acoustic neuroma patient I have seen. Usually I can spot an acoustic neuroma case at the door, but it wasn't until I read your chart that I even knew. You realize that this is a 'God thing', right?".  Yes, ma'am...I DO. Thanking HIM continuously.

I might be taking this out of context...should have asked my hubby, but I am enjoying Psalm 107 this morning...this one part in particular. 

19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
    and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

I am so thankful to be where I am today. I couldn't have imagined feeling this great so quickly after that monster of a surgery. Praising Him.

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