Healing: 8 weeks

Now that I’ve hit the 8 week mark(Woooo! HUGE milestone!), I’ll probably only do one post per month about my recovery. I would love to start focusing on other things in life besides healing from brain surgery-it’s easy for this process to just take over completely. I’m glad I did these posts though, it’s been a great way to keep track of my progress!

The Good
So much good! Physically, I’m feeling amazing. I have tons of strength and tons of energy. The dizziness has really been minimal and the exhaustion is gone. I’ve been walking so much, which I know is helping! I made it up to 4 miles this week, which is amaaaazing! Praise God for the ability to walk with no dizziness or problems. It’s like a dream come true! Minimal pain and pressure. No more issues with talking too much. I have so many moments where everything is my body and brain is peaceful…it’s like this whole SCDS thing never even happened. I’m so thankful for all the healing that has taken place, especially over the last 2 weeks. I’m just blown away by the awesome progress!

From one of my many walks this week

Also, we met with the neurologist this week to discuss the brain cysts that were found the day before my surgery in April. I felt like it went pretty well. Essentially, I have yet another area of my skull just above my left eye where the bone has started to thin and wear away, creating an abnormal pocket. That pocket is being filled with fluid and brain matter (blech). If it grows or if the bone continues to wear away, it’s a problem. If it stays the same and does not change, I’m in the clear. It puts me at higher risk for seizures, double vision and migraines…so if those things ever present themselves, I’ll likely need another surgery to fix it. What is up with my skull bones wearing away?! It’s like I have arthritis in my head or something. :/

Thankfully, the doctor was not concerned with the pituitary cyst at all, no issues there. He also felt like perhaps I’m just a slow healer and that I should wait a few more months before being worrying about the fact that I can still hear my heartbeat. I’ve resolved to just put it out of my mind until October. If it’s still there, I’ll continue my investigating. So, overall it was a good visit. There are a few concerning things, but so long as I remain symptom-free from the cyst behind my eye, I’m good to go! Yay!

**Edited to add: Not sure what this is about, but the neurologist called again today to say they may need me to come in for a spinal tap. It will depend on what some of the imaging I’ve had done says. So, I guess maybe I’m not totally done yet?

The Bad
Probably anyone recovering from major surgery get easily frustrated, impatient and doubtful if they’ll ever get back to “normal” again. I think it’s maybe extra hard with something like brain surgery because so much of the recovery is intangible and incredibly difficult to track or quantify. The swelling is gone, all of my shaved hair sits hidden underneath my normal long hair, there is no more physical evidence of brain surgery, aside from a scar on the side of my face and even that is well hidden! And as I stated above, physically I’m feeling great.

But the way I look and feel physically doesn’t always match how I feel cognitively. And that is highly frustrating.

Prime example: the other day I was making guacamole while listening to music and then David asked me a question. Game over. I couldn’t think clearly, I struggled to find words and started to feel panicky. The only thing that helped was sitting down and staring out the window. It took a solid 5 minutes for me to come back to reality. Gah! It’s just guacamole Becky!!! How hard is it to make guacamole while talking to your husband with music playing in the background?! Apparently, too hard. I know, I know. I need to give myself grace. I had brain surgery 2 months ago. It’s a minimum 6 month recovery. Grace. Grace. Grace.

I just feel caught in that tension between feeling healed, but not completely healed. Like, I have the energy to go climb a mountain. And I think I could climb a mountain if I wanted to. But I know that I would pay dearly for it…I’d probably get confused and lost on that mountain. Exhaustion would probably hit me on my way down and I’d have to take a nap on the trail. Then I’d probably have to enlist someone hold my hand and lead me down the rest of the way.

I remember before surgery, people in my support group always warned about not overdoing it during recovery. “If you do too much, you’ll pay for it”. I never understood that, I always though “you’re recovering from brain surgery, how on earth could you overdo it?!” But I get it now. Your body tricks you into thinking you’re totally fine and it’s ok to start doing things normally again. But your brain can’t keep up with your body. And this is where patience continues to play a part in the healing process. Only time and God’s healing will help with this area of recovery.

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