I had my appointment at the Brain Injury Clinic at Foothills hospital yesterday. It was quite the experience. I met an amazing social working and doctor. I was asked lots of questions and had to do some tests. I was told to come with a list of the weird things that have been happening to me.
They asked about how I was before I began to feel bad – Healthy & fit – no medications. How I felt before surgery and how I felt after surgery. This appointment was long. I felt comfortable to go over what I have been experiencing:
- Head hurts if I drive too much (which isn’t anywhere outside of town compared to my 600km days)
- Head hurts if flickering indoor lights or sunshine
- Head hurts if I am thinking too hard (I know sounds silly but so true)
- Head hurts if I am on computer too long or watch certain television shows (I am my own worst enemy with the computer)
- I have issues with noise
- I have issues with reading and understanding directions/technical
- I am a little slow on the uptake with understanding and reading
- I can be super tired and go to sleep easily to wake up suddenly for one to four hours every night since surgery
- I have itchy skin
- Of course the swiss cheese like memory stuff that is very erratic and scattered
- and on bad days I still get a tingle numb face patch around my right eye and cheek
Phew…that was a long and sounds like a somewhat whiny sounding list. I was expected to be judged and told I was crazy because I look physically the same as before (minus the muscles plus the added pudge from lack of activity), but instead was told that was in the normal range to have these symptoms for having what the Doc calls a “major brain surgery”…mmmm…I am confused, I thought it was a relatively minor procedure. I still think it was considering what I saw on the acute neuro ward.
After the interview stage the Doctor wanted to do a neurological assessment. I knew a Mocha was coming and I felt confident I would do pretty good. Okay I did pretty good on the naming the animals, knowing where I was, naming things that begin with an F…started off slow but dredged up some forestry terms and recovered. I did great on a couple others then it went downhill quickly with subtracting from 100 and recalling the damn five words I was to remember. Okay I sucked that up as I am still recovering, but really thought I would do better.
Next came the physical stuff -easy peasy right! Or so I thought. I really didn’t have a clue that my balance was wonky until I had to stand with feet together and eyes closed. Then it was really embarrassing to look at the doctor as she had to explain more than once a simple task I was to do. I mean this stuff should come easily or so it used to.
So after a very humbling experience and feeling a lot stupid, because I was never like this. I am faced with the unknown of where my future may be.
The Doc gave Chris and I some options to help me on the fastrack back to where I was. I agreed to take a little blue pill that when in higher doses is an anti-depressant but in smaller doses the side effect helps with headaches and helps you sleep. We also committed to have me go to Unit 58 for two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. All I know is that some time next week, the unit will call with a check in time for my next new adventure.
The weird thing is I am more anxious about this than the ETV surgery. I knew that the surgery would have a great outcome, but no one can tell me what the rehab will do. But I will never say no to a new challenge. Plus they said to pack my bag like I was going on vacation…yes…that’s what I will keep telling myself…a two week vacation.