Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four Weeks Post-Op: Gnarly Scar Pictures!

I’m good with titles – hopefully the “Gnarly Scar Pictures!” title was enough to get you to read. It’s been almost four weeks since my Chiari decompression surgery, and I’m recovering beautifully. I could not have imagined what this experience would have been like, but I’m better for it and so thankful that I had the surgery.

My neurosurgeon completed the surgery in 45 minutes (he was planning on one and a half to two hours) and apparently, my anatomy is pretty darn perfect (insert joke here). Because of that, he was able to reposition the dangly tonsils and move them up a bit back into my skull, which according to him is very rare. After surgery I spent four nights in the hospital and can’t say enough about the staff at CMC. From the ICU to the 9th floor of the Neuro wing, every single nurse and staff member took remarkable care of me. Minus some wicked nausea and a wee bit of pain (okay, maybe more than a wee bit), every day gets better with more activity, function, and time spent awake. Working through the fatigue is the biggest hurdle at this point. But I’ll gladly take the fatigue since most all of my Chiari symptoms have disappeared: no more tingly legs and pain in the arms, all the tension in my neck and shoulders is gone, and when I step out of bed in the morning my feet feel normal, not asleep and weak.

It’s amazing how a community can come together to rally around someone who needs help. I have never understood just how important that can be to someone until my brain surgery. Twenty four meals, countless well wishes and cards, elves who raked my yard, a husband who never let a ball drop, family and friends who never let our girls miss a beat – countless examples of how lucky I am but more importantly that the world is indeed full of good and gracious people.

So on this Thanksgiving… oh jeez that sounds so sappy given the author. But I’m having a hard time making a joke about this or being sarcastic. So I’ll go back to sappy. On this Thanksgiving, clearly I’m thankful that I had successful brain surgery. But I’m most thankful for everyone in my life (family, life-long friends, elves and friends on Twitter, Chantilly Montessori friends, parents, and staff, neighbors who make this ‘hood my favorite place to be…) who have helped me, Troy, Kate, and Emma stay afloat during one of the strangest experiences this family has been through.

Happy Thanksgiving. And *cheers* to my happy brain!


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