Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Return to Normal.

Today was a great day for us and a big step toward getting back to normal.  Brian returned to work and I worked 5 hours from home.  Then we made the drive up to Franklin to have the staples taken out of my head and we got to see the doctor a whole week earlier than expected to recieve the pathology on the thing they took out of my head. 

Dr. Sills (my neurosurgeon) said that they had the pathology back early and that we could talk today and cancel the scheduled appointment next week.  The pathology came back very favorable.  The doctor had some incrediby long medical term for what it was, but basically said that what they had taken out of my head was a benign cyst.  It was basically some extra brain cells that had replicated over and over and caused a little thing to develop.  He said that these were fairly common in young women and that he felt I had a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than ever seeing this thing again.  There should be absolutely no other treatment necessary for me but I will stay on the anti-seizure meds for a few months just to be safe.  I'll also have to stay on the anti-coagulants (blood thinners) for a few months just to be sure that the pulmonary embolism has disolved. 

Getting the staples out of my head might have just been the best of all.  It was like instant relief from a ponytail that was just too tight.  Then I got to come home and wash my own hair.  It has truly been a fantastic day.  So good in fact that we stopped a Chick-fil-a on the way home and bought a milkshake to celebrate. 

We really have been very lucky and blessed during this entire process.  Dr. Sills said today that I made it look easy.  I assured him that it was him and his team that had made the process so easy for me.  We can't thank everyone enough for all the messages, cards, thoughts, and prayers sent out during the surgery, recovery, and throughout the entire month that this process has been going on.  We have been exceptionally blessed to have been surrounded by such wonderful family and friends during this process and have been well taken care of by everyone we love. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Week's Big Progress

Thus far, the week has been HUGE for me.  Yesterday (Monday) I was told that I could wash my hair for the first time since surgery provided that I didn't just soak the incision with water.  Thanks to a great friend and hairdresser, I now have clean hair for the first time in 5 days and I can't tell you how wonderful it feels for it not to be matter to my head in blood and goop from the surgery.  When I got the word that I could wash it, my first call was to Denise (my hairdresser) who volunteered to take time out of her day off to wash my hair at her shop.  Brian was wonderful and helped her hold things out of the way and watch really carefully to be sure that we were being gentle on the incision and not getting too much water in or around the staples.  We used baby shampoo so that it would be extra gentle and afterward, my hair smelled wonderful (like a baby's bottom). 

Today I get to reduce the steroid dosage by half and Friday it drops by half again.  I'm hoping that means that this swelling will go down some in the next day or so and that I'll actually start sleeping through the night again soon instead of sleeping until 3:30 am and then lying awake trying not to move until 6am. 

Then next Monday I get to go have the staples taken out of my head.  The staples aren't as uncomfortable as you would really think and the incision doesn't hurt too bad.  It's kind of like having a ponytail that is too tight in.  Just a little uncomfortable.  I also miss being able to run a brush through my hair or scratch my head (both of which are big no-no's with these stupid staples in my scalp). 

Last night after a wonderful supper provided by some really nice friends who cooked for us, Joey (my mom) took me in to Fayetteville for a 50's show meeting.  The 50's show is an annual variety show that I've participated in for the last 12 years to raise money for cancer victims.  We sing, dance, play music, and entertain crowds of people to raise funds for an organization that provides financial support to local families who are undergoing cancer treatment. 

It was great to see all my friends from the show and even better to get out of the house for a few hours.  I have a feeling that I'm not going to take too well to spending all this time at home.  I believe that I may just go stir crazy if I don't get out and about some.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get some friends to come by and hang out with me for a while, or get whoever is babysitting me to take me out somewhere from time to time just to get out of the house. 

Overall, I'm feeling great this morning, no pain, no pressure, no problems.  Yesterday I managed to get out of the house and go for a walk, and I'm looking forward to doing that again today.  I may even convince Brian to let me work from home for a couple hours after while.  It would be really nice to feel like I have a purpose in life again.  Hope wherever you are you are having a great day too. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Surgery Update

So everything went really well yesterday. With the neurosurgeon running the show, the day went off like clockwork. I was on the table and had the filter placed at 7am (as scheduled). I was in the pre-op holding area by 8:15 or so, and on the operating table at 8:30. By 1:00 I was in a room in intensive care, awake, and answering questions. I wasn't feeling completely top notch at first, I had a little pain, a bad headache, and some severe nausea caused by some morphene. But after I got some food in me, I felt about a million times better. As we learned on Thursday, I don't do well when I miss meals.

The neurosurgeon said that they took the entire mass and that things simply couldn't have gone better. Personally, I couldn't be more relieved for the entire process to be finished. Right this second I'm sitting up in a chair in the ICU room and am hooked up to a machine that monitors just about everything and checks my blood pressure every hour. I'm told that this afternoon I'll be asked to walk around the floor and moved to a step-down room where I won't have to be hooked up to quite so much equipment all the time. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to that. I've told the nurses that if I had a pair of wire cutters they would be in trouble and I would be free.

I'm really looking forward to getting unhooked, cleaned up a little, and back in my own clothes. I'm a little dissapointed that I've been told that I can't wash my hair until Monday, but I'll cope. I did manage to get some of the goo at the ends of my hair brushed out and I washed my face and brushed my teeth. So I feel pretty good overall. I'm really looking forward to feeling even better as the day goes on and hopefully getting some real good food tonight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

PE Exam Update

After 9 months of studying, I'm finished (for now).  On Friday I sat for my PE exam.  Overall it went reasonably well and I was able to learn alot about the exam and perhaps gained some strategies in the event that I have to take it again.  I think I managed to get about 75% of the morning correct and perhaps around 55% on the afternoon.  That averages me out to around 65% total on the exam which I figure is just about boarderline.  If I'm right and a little lucky, I'll pass.  If I'm wrong and a little unlucky, I'll take it again.  Either way, it's nice to be able to go home from work and not feel like I need to be studying myself into oblivion every night. 

Brian and I actually managed to watch a movie one night this week and I've been trying to get back into the routine of cooking some actual good-for-us supper rather than just throwing something together as quickly as possible so that I have time for studying.  I'm having a little difficulty adjusting to this new, old routine since I've now become accustomed to filling every minute of every day.  I just can't seem to find anything on television that is worth watching and it's getting dark so much earlier now (and about to get worse) that taking the doggies out to play is almost impossible after work.  Hopefully, I'll find some new and exciting hobby to keep me occupied.  I have a reward in mind for myself should I pass that would involve getting back to my scrapbooking (which is terribly neglected) but I refuse to make this purchase until I know that I've passed my exam. 

This Friday is the big surgery so say those extra few prayers that everything goes to plan.  Brian and I are both very ready to have the entire thing over and done so that we can begin to work our way back to normal.  We feel like we've been in a holding pattern for a month now, so making any progress along the road to recovery will be a great relief to both of us.