Brain Surgery Recovery: 5 Month Update

I had no idea how hard and slow recovery would be. 

Recovering from brain surgery for me has been a mixed bag.  I feel better because there isn't a tumour growing on my brain anymore, but I am still not feeling like myself because, in short, a doctor cut open my brain and pulled something out.  It's normal for my body to still be adjusting and healing, especially because nerves are involved.  I learned that with nerve issues (like the nerve issues that still hinder my fine motor skills) all you can do is try your best to keep using them and wait.  And wait.  Its very frustrating for me to know that no amount of physio, therapy or exercise will speed this (already long) process, especially when its so central to how I make my main income.   Luckily, my employer and partner have been incredibly supportive in my leave of absence; I don't feel rushed in going back to work at all.  They're just happy I'm still around, and at the end of the day, so am I. 


I still struggle to swallow, speak, walk, and even sometimes, see.  My muscle control is not back on my left side, and since the problem is nerve damage I just have to play the waiting game.  That not only makes using my left side a pain, but it makes things like typing take FOREVER.  Walking unassisted for a long period of time is really difficult, but I find as long as I can brieflystop and rest every few minutes that it's manageable.  Grocery shops are a lot easier when I'm pushing a cart, so I have something to hold onto, but I don't quite have everything figured out yet.  I still wear the wrong type of shoes sometimes, I don't leave enough time for myself and often end up late (most things, like getting out the door, still take a few minutes longer than before) and I'm definitely more likely to stretch myself too thin.  But with all that said, I'm still alive and I'm not mad about that, just adjusting to what may or may not be my new normal.

I don't really know why this happened, or if there was a problem when I was intubated or something, but since my surgery, my throat's been messed up.  When I eat, I feel like I can't get my food down and I need water nearby to help me push my food down.  This has improved since my surgery, but honestly not a lot.  I still eat in complete silence because I need to focus on chewing and swallowing every bite or I can easily choke.  It also always sounds like I just got back from a concert; my throat is so hoarse.   Never sore, but definitely quiet, raspy and not quite myself.  I'm not sure why this is (neither is my surgeon) but very slowly it seems to improve, so I'll take it. 


In case you're not familiar, I underwent brain surgery about 5 months ago for a large tumour growing on the back left of my brain.  My tumour presented itself with a gradual loss of fine motor control on the left side of my body, which I started to notice as far back as 2014.  By the time I went in to the hospital, I was struggling to walk properly, carry things and even see, as the tumour affected the muscles in my left eye as well.  I went into the hospital and about two weeks later I was discharged from a different hospital after a successful surgery.  Both hospitals did a great job taking care of me, and for now that part of my life is over.  The tumour is out, chance of recurrence is low and, apart from yearly MRIs, I'm out of the woods.