Life at home has been beautiful to say the least. We were released nearly a week earlier than expected. So picking up our boys after 17 long days away was a feeling I won’t soon forget! We walked through the door of my in-law’s house to two shocked blondies! It took them a moment to gather themselves, then Blake and I were smothered in more kisses and “I yuv you!” ‘s than we could count! We whisked them back home and snuggled in just in time for my family to bring us quiche and all welcome us back home.
I can’t pick anything up over 10 lbs. until 6-8 weeks post-op which is a big challenge with two toddlers, but thanks to the help of my hubby and amazing family, we’ve managed very well. I have been keeping up with my PT diligently because I can tell each and every day how much strength I regain. I know I still have a long road ahead of me, but as for right now, I am thankful to be at home surrounded by my little people and critters while walking that road. They help me down it faster than I ever could manage on my own. Recovery from brain surgery is so different from anything I have ever experienced. I have to pace myself. I tried diving right back in on our first morning home, and I got so muddled and confused I ended up needing a checklist just to manage the boys breakfast, and followed it up with a good nap.
Common tasks around the house are a slow process and learning to ask for help and depend on others has been interesting. While in rehab, I over did it one evening and acquired a splitting headache, pounding in my head, roaring in my already ringing ears, and a pressure so strong, it felt like I was wearing an extremely tight hat. My nurse helped me relax and gave me what I needed to reduce the pressure in my head, and warned me of the complications of raising my ICP. She told me it would do no body any good if I ended up right back where we started, so do NOT over-do! It’s been difficult at times, but with all the help from all my incredible people, we have managed better than I ever imagined.
My babies are very interested in my big 5-inch zipper scar on the back of my head, but really don’t like the idea of momma going back to the doctor. When we told them they get to come with us this time, they lit up like two little sun beams! They have talked of nothing other than “Dember” and the “Doctors that fixed momma up” and “gave mommy that cool bed!”. My goal was to not frighten them through this entire ordeal. That’s why we waited so long to bring them up to see me. Ezra caught on the first time we went up and was worried for weeks about “momma’s head”. He got scared any time I had a headache or was sick, and I’m overjoyed he gets to see this healing process. Whenever I have to take a rest or lay my head down, he strokes my hair and says “Your head hurts momma. But it’s ok, cause you’re getting better and better.”
I’m so grateful to the nurses who, instead of treating my toddlers like a nuisance or a bother, told them to hop in bed with me, then wheeled me, two kids, AND that big heavy bed all through the hospital to our new room. They made that experience for my babies, let them know I was well taken care of. It’s the little things, I’m tellin’ ya.
Adjusting to this slightly altered Kassidy has been pretty overwhelming. So much to remember about walking, grabbing, looking, stepping, bending, and turning that I never had to think twice about before. As I’ve already said though, each day brings with it less stress and more ease. When I’m over-stimulated or over-done, the sun-spots get a lot worse, so I need to work on managing that as much as I can, but really, time and healing is all that can help as of now. One issue that has been becoming more and more apparent over the last week is something called Tinnitus. We are going to talk to my Dr. about it when we see him in a couple of days, but it is a constant ringing in my ears. I woke up from the surgery with it, and it has been constant ever since, not letting up for even one second. I can usually manage to ignore or deal with it for most of the day, but by the end of the day or bed time when the house quiets down, the ringing is almost deafening. I’m praying this will let up as my brain heals more and more, but I’m also aware that some people have to live with this complication.
We will be heading back up to Denver tomorrow after some appointments here in the morning. We will see the eye specialist (one of only a handful in the country, and he’s been with us though this whole thing, even before the surgery!) as well as my Neuro Surgeon. We will have a lot more post-op information after these appointments, so I’ve really been looking forward to them! Thank you for your prayers and support though all of this!