Friday I had my first post-op follow-up visit after my brain surgery two weeks ago, this one with the ENT surgeon Dr. Sindwani. He scoped my nose and removed what he called “scar bands” that had formed, which he said is fairly common. This caused a bit of a bloody nose, but that’s pretty typical for me anyway. But he said everything looks great and he’ll see me back in four months! He cleared me of all restrictions, but I’m still going to take it easy and not do anything too crazy; I don’t want to risk causing any problems at all! I see my neurosurgeon, Dr. Recinos, in two weeks, so we’ll see what he has to say as well. I have lots of questions for him.Since my mom was with me at the appointment, I showed her around the hospital so she has an idea of where I work. We stopped by the pharmacy satellite so I could see my co-workers, which was awesome. One I hadn’t seen since probably May, so I got some good hugs from her and she said that I look better now than I have all year. (And despite the lingering headaches and extreme fatigue, I actually feel better than I have literally all year.) My mom agreed, saying “This is my daughter, not what she has been for the past year.”
That got me thinking. I know my health has been a train wreck all year. As a result of infertility, I suffered (and still do) from major depressive disorder, which I’m sure made my affect quite flat a lot of the time, despite my attempts to hide it. And of course, there were the migraines that had me calling off multiple times a week and taking periodic leaves of absence for the first five months of the year before finally going on extended disability in June. The migraines and infertility workup eventually led to the brain tumor diagnosis and the ensuing four months on horrible medications I couldn’t tolerate, hence the need for the brain surgery two weeks ago. Inbetween all that, I had another surgery in Atlanta related to my endometriosis. I was also inadvertently diagnosed with an aneurysm during my pre-op testing prior to the brain surgery that almost led to the cancellation of the surgery.
Whew. What a year.
Once David got home from work Friday night and I was telling him about my appointment and my visit to the satellite, he said he was sure I would be more than ready to go back to work in a month given how far I’ve come, even in the past week. Thinking back on what my mom and co-worker said, I asked him how he could tell that I was doing better. Keep in mind that the fatigue I have been experiencing for the past several months, even since the surgery, has been monumental, so I have been doing a whole lot of nothing. He told me it was just a whole bunch of little things that added up.
I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher.
I brought in the empty trash bin after garbage pick up.
I reheated dinner in the oven.
I’m walking with my head up instead of down.
I’m not shuffling my feet when I walk anymore.
I’m generally up and about the house more instead of just staying in bed.
These are all things he said I wouldn’t do if I were feeling crummy (which is true.) I know they sound ridiculously simple. But I’ve been through some major life changes this year that resulted in big changes in how I function. The fact that I can walk with my head held high and not shuffle my feet is actually a huge thing. It means I’m less depressed and it means I have the energy to actually lift my head and my feet. These are things I don’t take for granted anymore.
So David is confident I will be ready to return to work in a month. I’m of course still apprehensive. So many new policies and procedures have been implemented since I went on leave. We’ve lost two pharmacists and gained four and a half. (And good Lord, how many e-mails am I going to have after four and a half months off?) And since I’m working second shift when I go back, that gives me about two hours on my first day back to learn and master all the new things before I’m alone for the rest of my shift. At least I’ll have my techs to help me, and they’re awesome. Peds has the best techs in the hospital, not gonna lie. ?
One month to go. Can I really do this?