|A moody Seattle Alley, the gumwall. Out of the darkness, into the light.|
I'm one week shy of being 4 months from my surgery. I wanted to write this post so that, again, if anyone else is pondering whether or not to have brain surgery, know it will be ok!
Milestones are still a real thing, counting the things I can get back to and the progress I've made.
I've had 2 work trips, thankfully both on the west coast, but I've been on planes, trains and automobiles and seem to be functioning just fine. The first half hour or so on the train was a bit disorienting, but I had a scaplamene patch and did just fine. The plane was no problem at all.
Just two weks ago, I gave up my walking stick for good, shortly after a trip to Seattle. I still get a dizzy moment here and there, but mostly I feel like the earth and I are finally on the same parallel. The place on my head where I had the surgery and have a lovely scar is still a bit tender, but I was able to color my hair at the end of May, what a happy day that was! (and I'm still elated I didn't have to get a buzz cut)
The lingering challenge is definitely fatigue. I'd like to think of myself as an energizer bunny, after work I used to, come home and cook or design something or go out to a lecture. Now, I feel like everyone else, exhausted by the end of the day. I'm definitely not used to being so tired. Some nights we take a nice walk (it's light so late!) and some times I do cook dinner. Other times, it's couch time. I'm learning to go with the flow of my energy, lean in to it and take advantage when I have it, and listen to my body and just collapse when I don't. I remind myself that surgery is still a factor and it hasn't been that long since I was sleeping 18 hours a day, so I'm grateful for the fairly speedy recovery overall.
Unfortunately, I'm still struggling with a lot of headaches and some pain they call trigeminal nerve pain. This was also predicted by the doctor who said the surgery may not cure my headaches. All of this has been a lesson in hoping for the best (making social plans, planning events) and accepting the worst (I can't make the social plans because I don't feel well, am exhausted or have a headache.)
Hopefully, this is close to the last post about this surgery. I had visions of a Ted Talk or other presentation out of this, but right now it feels like it's just blending into my life. Thankfully, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Just a really scary experience that turned out quite well. And, of course, when things seem hard, I get to say, "well, at least it isn't brain surgery!" and know I've conquered that as well.