Meningioma – The Recovery

[This is the third in a 3-part series. If you are the organized type who likes to know what happened from the beginning, you should read about my diagnosis and surgery first.]

What they don’t tell you ahead of time about your brain surgery:

* You should work out and really build up those neck muscles. Because they are going to put a tube down your spine to drain out your cerebrospinal fluid, and your neck will be unsupported for hours, and you will wake up with the worst stiff neck in the history of the universe. Seriously, a stiff neck so bad that it will make you forget that someone just cut into your head. It will last for weeks, and make you take more pain killers than you wanted, and put hot compresses on it every few minutes, and none of that will help, and you will want to scream, except your neck hurts too much for you to scream.

IMG_2301* Your hair will be a complete tangled mess after the surgery, even if you took the trouble  to tie it up out of the way. You will have to leave it alone even if it bothers you (not likely, because you have a lot bigger things bothering you at this time) because it will hurt your head and neck too much to comb it out. It will eventually take your mother several hours, and several gallons of detangling product to put things right. Also, there will be a couple of days when you find your post-surgical black eye attractive.

* If not for the other side effects, brain surgery would be a perfect weight-loss plan. You cannot eat before your surgery, and then they keep you on IVs for days, and even after you force yourself to put some food in your mouth, you will just throw it right back up, and maybe in two weeks you’ll be able to keep down one-tenth of your normal calorie intake. Seriously, you should be able to drop 20 pounds without even trying!

* When you eventually start walking, you will want someone to pat you on the back for successfully making your way from the bedroom to the living room. As you progress, you will shuffle along at roughly the speed of a 105-year-old lady. You will stop every five feet, and your husband, who thought you were a slow walker even before the surgery, will try his hardest to be patient with this, but will fail miserably.

* The steroids they put you on cause depression. Except they will also put you on opiates for the pain, which masks depression. When you finally come off your medication, you will be totally depressed, and also wondering what in the heck is wrong with you because instead of being depressed, you ought to be elated that you didn’t have any brain surgery complications that left you a vegetable.

* Your complete inability to do the most basic housework will eventually cause your father to take pity and start helping out for (as your mother will point out) the first time in 45 years of married life.

* In a few months, you will be well enough for everyone to go back home, and/or back to work, as the case may be. You will still not be able to go back to work yourself, as you will seem fine, but get completely fatigued after a couple of hours of doing pretty much anything, and then need to sleep for a couple of days. This is the time to be patient. Start meditating. Or blogging. Basically, whatever floats your boat and keeps you sane.

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3 Responses to Meningioma – The Recovery

  1. Pingback: Meningioma – The Diagnosis | Cheer Up!

  2. Swami says:

    This post is the best! I have been trying to work out what is your “voice” (the thing that makes one’s writing unique and readable) and now it is clear – your ability to generate and present content from a unique angle that reflects the way you view life. Those angles give the reader a sense of your identity and a sense of connection to you as well as the things you describe.

    Liked by 1 person

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