I got moved to the regular general floor after ICU in 24 hours as my stomach calmed down and I was a bit more lucid. I refused the narcotics (Oxy, codein stuff) as I am in zombie state with a quarter dose of small pill – so them flowing into me through IV was a “state of complete numbness”. I don’t know how people take this stuff regularly – I just can’t function in it and went back to Tylenol. I wasn’t in any pain really, just awkward feelings around my head. I was shocked that I didn’t even have a bandage on, nothing. My hair wasn’t cut at all, there was no blood anywhere. I literally looked like I am hanging out and sleeping, on drugs flowing into me. Pale, 3 inches of mass lighter. Again, my mind flashed to 5 days earlier – how did I get here? Everything was moving too fast.
Staying in a hospital was eye opening. My room had signs of “seizure danger”, “risk of falling”, “liquid diet” – boy, did I sound like a mess and proudly announced it to anyone coming in. The flow of people doing something with me was neverending, I never realized how many people it takes to get you back on your feet. Nurses, technicians, the surgeon, the doctors on the floor, charge nurse, physician assistant, the 4 therapists each for a different area, the every 3 hours of vitals taking, the food people. I was in a bit of a fog, very tired but functional, managed to get up a few times on Thursday with help, yet exhausted after a short walk to the door of my room, head spinning. I looked at myself in the mirror for the first time and just smiled – a mess I was, hair unwashed for 5 days, yellowish skin, tired look – but I was moving, so happy.
I went home on Friday, 3 days after the surgery. Of course it had to be special because it started to snow in Atlanta. Heavy snow, mind you. I was starting to panic that everything will shut down and I would get stuck there for 1 more day but B made it home and here we were – driving home in snow, in Atlanta, post brain surgery – exactly one week later. I thought I was living someone else’s life for a week.
I got a shower chair in the hospital, anti-seizure medication and lots of instructions to do nothing but slowly get back to normal (a bit oxymoronish) – including not driving for a month. I was a zombie for the first week – the Keppra medication was so strong that I moved from bed to couch and back, slept about every 2nd hour, held on to the wall to make sure I don’t fall and felt like carnival+kaleidoscope+loud music were interchangeably playing in my head at night. My brain was clearly adjusting and it was crazy. I started panicking that this is my new normal as I was not functional – even the kids were commenting that I should have probably stayed in the hospital – not looking healthy.
It all adjusted within a week and things got better from then on. I got used to the meds so today – exactly one month after the discovery – I feel completely normal. I got cleared for driving last week and have already seen my surgeon 2x, neuro ophtalmologist and – oh yeah, wait for this – a dentist. That’s because my tooth chipped during the anesthesia so I need a new crown (to be done in January but had to get it filed). When things go down, they go down.
So recovery – slow, harder than I thought but getting there. Now we are getting ready for Phase 2 – yes, unfortunately there is a Phase 2 as we have a new diagnosis. But that is for the next post.
The kids decided to test my brain activity through some brain puzzle games + Mia’s own math word problems (notice the topic of the bottom one – “my dog threw up 1x, she then threw up one more time – how much did she throw up? – sticking to the theme here)