Healing: Week 6 & 7

I had a feeling that I might not be able to get a post done last week for my 6 week mark since Caitlin was in town. I was right. 🙂 That’s ok, we’ll just combine weeks 6 and 7 into one post today. My surgeons said that the 6-8 week post-op point was when I would really turn a corner and I believe they were right!

The Good

This week I had so much energy, I had to restrain myself from flying out of the front door and breaking into a full sprint. All I want to do is go for a nice 15 mile hike 😉 It’s a mixed blessing, because although I am feeling good and have lots of energy, I can’t act upon that energy in the way I want. It’s going to be a looong time before a 15 mile hike is a reality! But that’s ok, I’m able to do other things with my energy that still honor the healing that is taking place.

Since Caitlin was in town and I had a full-time chauffeur at my disposal who willing to drive me wherever I wanted, I decided it was time to slowly ease back into society. What better place to start than Target?! We also went to Whole Foods, had a picnic, went to David’s office and my in-law’s. I’m happy to report all my outings went very well with minimal crying, confusion and mental breakdowns haha! I could tell God’s hand was with us everywhere we went, protecting me from rogue shopping carts, crowded aisles and overwhelming produce sections. It felt really really good to be out and about!

Our pre-Target selfie

Whenever Caitlin and I get together, we talk talk talk talk. We can’t help ourselves, it’s just too much fun. Since she lives in Mexico, we don’t get the chance to be in each other’s physical presence very often and we had soooo much to catch up on. Typically, too much talking causes pain in my ear and jaw that will stick around for 24-48 hours, so I’ve had to really monitor how much I talk.  But last week I learned quickly that this is getting better. I definitely talked too much each day with her around, but the pain would typically only last 3-10 hours and rarely over night, so that is major progress!

I’m also happy to report that the lingering exhaustion has vanished (knock on wood)! It’s like the day I hit the 6 week mark, the exhaustion went away. I can now easily chop an apple without needing to rest afterwards haha! I wonder if it’s tied to how much I’m walking now…I’m up to almost 2 miles per day and I can’t help but wonder if the increased activity is also increasing my energy and helping ease the excessive tiredness. I also think that all my walking is really impacting my balance for the better as well. This week I had 3 straight days go by without a single moment of unsteadiness or feeling unbalanced. It’s really tempting to push things even further and think “well, what if I walked 5 miles? Wouldn’t I feel even better?” No. There is definitely a limit of “too much” that causes me to feel worse, so it’s been a tedious process learning to do enough that I’m promoting healing, but not so much that I’m causing setbacks.

 

I also officially decided to outsource half of my editing jobs so that I could take more time to focus on healing and on getting better. I still have plenty to keep me busy, but keeping up with all my editing was stressful and unnecessary. So I hired a freelance editor and she’s doing a great job and helping me out. Having that stress lessened is pretty great!
The Bad
I finally heard back from my UCLA neurosurgeons on the lingering heartbeat that I still hear in my right ear. They officially said it is “not normal to continue hearing it at this stage in my recovery”. They suggested that there is probably another issue going on and that I should continue the investigation with the neurologist in CO.  Most likely, it is the brain cysts that are putting pressure on my brain, causing elevated intracranial pressure. One of the most common symptoms of elevated intracranial pressure is pulsatile tinnitus (hearing your heartbeat). So that is really hard. I was and still am very discouraged. I will be seeing a neurologist in CO next week, so maybe we’ll get started down a road that leads to some answers.

Don’t get me wrong, the surgery was still successful. It fixed my worst symptoms (vertigo & constant feeling of an ear infection) and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate. I’m so so so thankful I had the surgery, I really am. This is just an odd twist, because the pulsitile tinnitus was the very first symptom I ever had and we always attributed it to SCDS. But it looks as if it was actually evidence of something else going on that we just never knew about. It feels a little bit like we’re back at the drawing board when it comes to that.

There are other small and rather insignificant setbacks I’ve had in the last 2 weeks like the continued confusion when there is too much auditory and visual stimulation, or pain/pressure in my ear and jaw if I talk too much. I still get off balance at times as well. But that is all still normal. This is a long recovery, so I’m learning that patience is part of the healing process.

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One thought on “Healing: Week 6 & 7

  1. Praise God for some of the normalcy you are able to have. It sounds like you are making so much progress and exercising way more than me that's for sure!! Praying that the dr's are able to figure out how to fix the other issue now.

    Like

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