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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Recovery: Round #1

Recovering from brain surgery wasn't that easy. Not just because you have pain from the surgical area, but you're also dealing with inflammation and building your body back up. For this they usually put you on steroids. Most of the time you'll see side effects from taking these. For me it was sweating. I was always warm and uncomfortable unless the a/c was on and I had a fan blowing. Another downside to the steroid was that I wasn't able to be put on antibiotics to prevent infection from the surgery. And of course I was back on percocet for pain, which always made me sleeping. Every time I took them I would crash for about 2 hours, which is actually good for you. The BEST thing you can do after brain surgery is sleep. That is when your body can sleep as much as you can!

You'll also notice that the opposite side of your body will be a bit numb. For my surgery they went in on the left side of my head and my right side had the numbness. This is due to nerves being inflamed and it is completely normal. I had some issues walking and even writing, since I'm right-handed. I remember telling my doctor that I felt like my hand was on backwards! Trust me.... it will get better! Like me, you might always have some numbness years after surgery. Luckily mine doesn't really interfere with my everyday life. The numbness may be worse on one day. Just be cognisant of long lasting changes.

I recommend reading my blog about "Surgery Tips" if you haven't already. These steps helped me in during the recovery process.

Keep the area around your surgical site CLEAN! And most importantly do not keep it wrapped up for more than a week! You are more prone to infection (which is what happened to me. I'll discuss this in a later posting). To keep it clean you need to let it be exposed to air. Pull your hair away from it was much as possible. And within a week or so you should be able to starting gently washing it with baby shampoo on a daily basis. DO NOT clean the site with rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or dry shampoo.

About 10-14 days you should have a follow up with your neurosurgeon or neurologist to remove staples or sutures.

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