Healing: Week 4

Woooow! I can’t believe I’m already in my 4th week of recovery! Crazy how time flies when you’re sitting around doing nothing 😉 This was my first full week home and I think that being home has really accelerated the recovery process. There’s just something so good about sleeping in your own bed!

I continue to feel like I don’t make a lot of day to day progress, but then I look back on a week ago and I can see lots of progress! Time is the best tool for perspective when you’re on a long road like this one.

The Good:

  • I walked almost a mile on Saturday (.92 miles to be exact)! Walking is the #1 thing you can do to regain balance after this type of surgery, so they really push you to walk walk walk! Considering going down the block was a challenge 4 weeks ago, I’m super happy that I’m almost up to a mile now! Most days I’m walking 3x/day. 
  • This is the first week where I didn’t have much mental fog. I felt really clear-headed, present and “with it,” for lack of a better word. 
  • My balance is really improving a lot! It’s hard to describe sometimes…before surgery, it always felt like the world around me was spinning. Now it feels like the world is done spinning (yay!) but I’m the one who is a little off balance and unsteady. It’s just a new kind of dizzy to get used to and overcome. But it’s getting better and I’m doing some exercises to help. And I can’t stress enough how much better it is now versus before surgery. Thank you Jesus!!!! 
  • I feel stronger. I can stand up with less effort, walk faster, go up and down stairs easier and just feel more energetic. Yeah!
  • I can tell the swelling and fluid is beginning to go down now. My ear feels less full, my voice isn’t echoing as much, and the pulsing that I used to hear and feel has greatly diminished. When I do hear/feel it, it is very subtle.
  • Neck pain is virtually gone now, yay!
  • I went into a grocery store and didn’t have my brain shut down on me. This is HUGE! Public places have proven extremely challenging for me. My brain is working so hard on keeping me upright, balanced and healthy that all the auditory and visual chaos going on in public places makes it really hard for me to think clearly. But I managed to go into the grocery store with my father in-law, pick up a few things, check-out, and leave the store without a hitch. Progress!
  • I feel comfortable being home alone now! We were all a bit worried for me to be home alone, but I’ve eased into it and promised David that I wouldn’t do anything dumb that would be risky. Being an introvert at heart, these days home alone have been very restorative. 

The Bad:

  • Now that my incision is healing really well, I can tell the nerves are beginning to reattach because I’m gaining lots of sensation and pain in the incision area. It was completely numb for a really long time and now I’m starting to really feel things a lot and it is painful at times. 
  • Sleep continues to be a challenge. I’m a stomach sleeper and so sleeping flat on my back with my head elevated on pillows is not my favorite. I wake up any time my head moves to the right because of pain.
  • I struggle if there is too much noise or motion around me. If there are too many people talking or if music/tv/talking is too loud, my brain just kind of goes haywire and I can’t track what’s happening. I frequently will feel overwhelmed and confused to the point of tears (sorry David!). 
  • My jaw is still very sore. Eating and talking are tough. Eating anything chewy is really hard and talking longer than 20 minutes or so causes pain and pressure. 
  • I’m am easily exhausted.  I cut up an apple the other day for lunch and I literally had to sit down and rest afterward haha! I nap a lot and usually have to lie down if I’ve had too much activity.
  • I *think* it may be the titanium plate in my head is conducts hot and cold air, but usually if I’m outside or doing much movement like walking, I have an odd sensation of cold air going deep into my head or inner ear. I’ve been wearing scarves wrapped around my head while outside to help with this, and also keep the sun off my incision until my hair grows more. Hopefully in a few more weeks this bizarre sensation will be gone!

    HA! Walking is so important that we even do it when it’s 40 degrees and raining non-stop. Sweet David accompanied me this weekend out my walks. We were freezing and soaking, but we did it and I am thankful that we were able to push through!
    I had a bad day today and when I called David crying, he came home from work to be with me. And he brought me yummy treats. Seriously, I don’t think a better husband has ever existed! I do not know what I would do without this man! Also…have you had the Orchard Skittles yet? No? Then you must go get them now, they’re delish!
    ***Edited to add: I also wanted to say that many people have been very concerned about my sneezing restrictions. Haha! I too was concerned about this, but have learned a quick little trick that has proved highly effective so far (4 weeks straight without a single sneeze!). If you put your finger below your nose and push up on the underside of your nasal septum and wiggle your finger little bit, the urge to sneeze immediately goes away. There is your fun fact for the day! 🙂
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