I have written quite a few posts about my meningioma and brain surgery over the past months. If you are interested in this or are going through something similar, please have a read. I do hope that it’ll help you understand and possibly be less scared and more positive.
It’s been about 8 months and 2 weeks since the surgery and yes, it took me this long to digest and write about it. This is the penultimate post about it, unless I get a sudden brain wave of what I need to share or I get questions in the future that I haven’t answered.
I’ve tried to pinpoint things that stood out to me during my recovery over a 3-4 month period. After that, your body and brain start getting back to normal with some occasional kinks in the system.
- Being read to: I already mentioned in a previous post, that my mum read to me and it continued at home. Her book of choice: The House of the Mosque.
- Listening to audio books: Since my mum did such a great job of reading to me, I wanted to keep the momentum going. So I listened to all Harry Potter books and watched every single film after each book finished. The best thing was, Stephen Fry does the reading, so you’ll eventually start thinking in his voice.
- Getting some fresh air: My mum made sure to kick me off the horizontal position quite quickly to make sure I get air and exercise. I wandered sloth-like in our garden, squatting to pick up things here and here.
- Lots and lots of laying down and sleeping: Not quite sure what we’d have done without my mum! She saw it in my face whenever I needed a lie-down. And sure enough, I needed one every day for quite some time, though I rarely noticed until I was on my regular spot.
- Multi-tasking overboard: Talking about denial. Not quite sure what made me think that I could cook a meal for 3 people 3 weeks after surgery. I cut my finger and things started boiling over cause, you know, sloth moves.
- No heavy machinery: As a result of aforementioned debacle, I wasn’t allowed handling any machinery, not even the kettle. Though I was told that at admissions already and laughed internally with an I’ll-show-you-attitude.
- No bending over: Instead, free workout for your squashed butt and leg muscles when wanting to pick something up off the floor. Slow, slow squatting and swearing at yourself for letting something drop on the floor in the first place. Obviously it gets better, and I was able to do my first downward dog about 2 and a half months after surgery.
- Finally washing the hair: And cutting it. I think my mum can attest more to the bloody, knotty mess she had to deal with the first time washing my hair after surgery (10 days). She then chopped some of it off to make it easier. I also toyed with various ideas of what to do with my hair, cause, to be honest, I started to not care so much whether it was long and pretty. It’ll grow all back one way or another. So choppy chop it all went end of December 2016. My tip: Find a hairdresser you trust completely and who understands!
- Showing myself in public: The first outing was exciting and nerve-racking. I was in a bubble and suddenly let out, albeit to the pub around the corner. Pure excitement to wear anything else but a hospital gown or baggy clothes. Also wondered, if anyone could tell.
- Steroids and constant hunger: Yeah, so that was happening and you need people around you putting locks on fridges and cupboards. I also wasn’t given any other choice than to eat healthily even though all my heart desired was a burger every day. Thanks mum for keeping my inner cookie monster in check! (I mean it)
- The sounds inside my head: I guess I should be happy they weren’t voices. Anyways, clicking, stinging, blood pumping, burning sensations, movements from one side to the other as I turned my head at night. Sure made for scary moments, but I was told it was all normal. My head was healing after all.
- Sounds outside of my head: Apple did some kind of update where the default scrolling came with clicking sounds. Went right under my skin and my scar started hurting. Too much and too loud noises had the same effect.
- The stitches that no one told me about: Magic stitches that the body rejects and pushes to the surface of your skin, in this case, the head. Icky and fascinating, and slightly alarming too, if no one tells you this can happen, if they don’t dissolve.
- Consuming a lot of water: And thus eliminating a lot. In my head I consumed about 4 litres a day, but that can’t be true, can it?
- Can’t touch this: Please don’t touch my head, and please, ask first, if you want to see it. It was sensitive, nerve endings were healing and the area generally felt fragile. I still have some lack of sensation and sensitivity because it is still healing, but please, ask, don’t just touch it.
Until the next one, in which I’ll address confidence and getting fit and healthy.