Wow Major update coming. I have gotten way off track updating the final weeks of my surg-cation from work and my actual return to work.
I’ll start here with weeks 4-6.
Week 4 – Just as crappy as week 3. I had lots of pain in my neck that I was able to control with ibuprofen. The underwater pressure feeling in my left ear FINALLY went away this week and I was able to completely hear again. My left ear is still completely numb and very painful where it meets my head. Being active for more than a couple hours just wears me out. As soon as I sit down I fall asleep. Dr. Casey said everything I was going through is completely normal at this time. He stressed about getting in light exercise to help the body’s recovery system going. I was supposed to walk a mile a day (in increments) and now I’m to do 30 minutes of light exercise every day.
Week 5 & 6 – It’s amazing what getting your body moving will do for you. I finally felt good enough to be outside in my flower beds that were completely overgrown with weeds (YIKES!). I was able to spend short spans of time outside pulling weeds. Working up a sweat and being more active than I had been was finally feeling good! AND my flower beds looked awesome again 🙂 . Driving… well after I hit my ouch after driving around the 2 week mark I took a big hiatus from it. Honestly, I was just scared. I started driving again a few days before I went back to work. Weeks 5 and 6 I felt amazing!!!! The only pain I experienced was a little headache in the morning that usually went away after some coffee and my medications.
I had asked Dr. Casey about when he would typically wean his patients off their medications and he said it was after they told him they were feeling great for 3-4 weeks. I have yet to have just that yet. Stupid pesky headaches.
Back to work! – I went back to work on July 20th. My first week back was a short week, I only worked Wednesday through Friday and that was ENOUGH! My body was so exhausted. I came straight home and slept until it was time to wake up again the next day. I had a lot of anxiety about going back to work. My senses are heightened since the surgery and lots of noise and ciaos can send me into a panic attack very quickly. My residents are super sweet. I had quite a few visitors in the first week back and even more in the second week. My second week back to work, I had to take a 1/2 day on Wednesday because my body just said no more! I came home and slept and felt so much better the next day. That day I also noticed my incision was more red and inflamed around the area. It ended up being nothing. I love that I’m able to stay in touch with Dr. Casey via email and he answers my questions so quickly. Week 3 back to work was my first full week back. I slept the whole weekend away. Week 4 was a little easier to get through the week. Usually by the end of the day I’m pretty tired, but I’m starting to get my Go Go Go back. 🙂 I just finished up my 5th week back to work and it involved travel. It was so much fun! I love the company I work for and my little region even more!!!
Complications – I have been very lucky to say that I have not had any major complications from the surgery. I experienced the underwater feeling/pressure in my ear which went away by week 4. I have had ghost/healing pains from time to time. It almost feels as if the nerve is saying “I’m still here, don’t forget about me!” The pain doesn’t really hurt. I’ve only had one ear zap that has made me squeak with the pain. The worst complication for me would be when my body started to reject a couple of the dissolvable sutures. I had a pain on my incision that I went to touch to help calm the pain and when I pulled my hand away I had blood on it. I took pictures over the next few days and emailed Dr. Casey. He reassured me that there wasn’t anything MAJOR wrong. I applied Neosporin to my incision and the raised bumps went away. The pokey sutures went away too.
So all in all the past few weeks have been pretty ok. I have a pesky headache just about every day still, but that is all it is. Coffee and Ibuprofen seem to take care of it pretty well. I really can’t complain too much about that. I still tire more easily than before. Everyone has to remind me that I just had brain surgery and to slow down. As much as I like to be wonder woman, I’m just not! I would call my surgery a success at this point and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.