Thursday, March 14, 2013

Acoustic Neuroma - One Month Post Op

Though I have drafts started for parts 2 and 3 of my acoustic neuroma story, I felt I should take an opportunity on Pi Day (!) to update quickly how I am doing one month post op.

I think it is easiest to look back to my early FB posts. For those of you who I am not friends with on FB, below is what I posted at 1 week post op.
One week. As I sit comfy in mom and dad's recliner (PTL my parents remarried last fall!), I can't help but think of where I was-just one week ago. ICU-getting wonderful care, but unable (or not wanting) to move or open my eyes. I was awaiting a 1:30am CT scan to check for bleeding on the brain. I was soooo thirsty. 24 hours w/o water plus bouts with nausea that I didn't win, left my mouth in a state of distress. Poor Jerry, he would swab my mouth with ice water, not sure what would be too much and not wanting to induce vomiting. Ah to be still. That is all I wanted and all I could do. Be still. Sure for dizziness sake, but also because of all the things I was still hooked up to - two IVs, oxygen mask, automatic compression stockings, sensors on my chest, pulse ox, auto BP cuff going off way too often, an arterial catheter and of course the other cath, too. Being still was good! When my mom read my "Jesus Calling" to me Saturday it was as if written just for me (see pic). Ah I have so many thoughts swirling in my head. I don't want to forget and therefore not be able to proclaim the Lord's faithfulness to me. I regret it if I am on screens too long, but cannot wait to write my own blog post soon. Lord, I BEG you to remind me of your every kindness.

So, how am I doing one month post operation?  In short, well.  Very well!
  • Facial nerve still working normally! Symmetrical smile, eyebrow movement, etc.
  • Dizziness/Vertigo pretty much gone. Just can't whip my head around quickly yet (as in when driving)
  • Steroids have run their course and I am sleeping better.  Still not 8 hours, but even after 5 I feel rested.
  • I can pretty much do normal life again...little things like bending over to pick something off of the floor, blowing my nose (it was so hard to remember not to blow my nose!), and as of today I can actually lift more than 10 lbs again and even start exercising.
  • Though I am deaf in my left ear, I even feel like that is going better than expected.  But I haven't done many crowded and noisy situations yet. It is weird and there have been a couple of funny situations that I might recount later, but all in all, it is not as bad as I imagined. Praise HIM!
A few things I am still dealing with: (would love your prayers)
  •  My left eye isn't quite right.  I hate even bringing it up to the surgeons (well, really just one surgeon is taking care of me post op), because it seems so minor and even if it never remedies, I will be fine. The surgery was a success! Basically my left eye just isn't tearing normally.  I will see an ophthalmologist next Wednesday to assess the situation.  Though I have had corrected vision since 5th grade, I have NEVER had my eyes dilated.  I have always had large enough pupils that they just haven't needed to.  But this time I will.  I wasn't worried about it, but today I sat with Lily (our 8 year old) for a 3 hour eye appointment and she did not tolerate the dilation well at all.  She sort of freaked out saying that her eyes were popping out and all sorts of things. Well, that pretty much freaked me out for my appointment! ;) Poor thing...she was almost blind and we didn't even know it! Not really, but pretty bad.  I am thinking that after the surgery I just endured that I can surely make it through eye dilation, right?
  • There are little annoyances going on in my head. Ringing in left ear...still present. *sigh*; Headaches are not uncommon, especially around my temple area...and only on the surgical site side (L); I have these odd clicking noises in my head...annoying, but I guess nothing to worry about. According to my doc, after a craniotomy, patients describe all sorts of weird sounds. *awesome*
  • I tire easily. Its hard not to over do it. My stamina is just not what it was....yet, anyway. 
  • I am still not driving.  They said 4-6 weeks, but I know I am not ready...not quite yet.  It is not so much a dizziness issue as it is a spatial awareness issue. I was messaging my doc about this earlier today.  Basically I have become the worst back seat driver ever! I feel like whoever is driving me is not going to stop in time in traffic.  Also, several times I have felt like cars on either side of me were going to come over into our lane...when my "chauffeur" did not. I was explaining it to one friend and she said, "So, basically you are living the life of of a rear view mirror"! Yep---objects are appearing closer than they really are. ;) I have felt claustrophobic at times too.  I keep telling Jerry it is time to enlarge the kitchen!
  • My neck muscles are still really stiff.  Pretty much ever since the muscle relaxers ran out (I get the feeling they don't really like to refill those!), my neck has been a mess.  I am going to get it worked on next week though. I think it is a medically necessary massage and should be run through insurance, don't you?!?
  • I am probably gaining weight daily. :( Not really, but I wouldn't be surprised.  It's not the lack of exercise part as much as it is the meals people have been bringing! We have been so well cared for...meals 7 days a week the first 3 weeks and now we still have a meals coming 5 days a week until Easter.  I am sure my girls will be disappointed when Mommy starts to cook again! ;) I rarely do dessert...and they have been getting dessert every night for a month now! ;)
See? All pretty minor things.  So thankful!

Still rejoicing at the Lord's provision...


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