A bit of background again - December 2010, in ICU for 2 weeks, had coiling done. February 2011, the aneurysm had grown, had a craniotomy done. March 2011, bone flap badly infected, could not be saved and I was on IV antibiotics for 6 weeks. October 2011, had my bone flap replaced with artificial materials (titanium screws, etc.) So, it has been 8 months - I have been back to work since January and I am still not able to work a full shift. I should add that my job is quite physical. Lately, the area where the bone flap was replaced is still numb and I have pain in that area. Sometimes the area seems to be swollen a bit and other times it seems to be sunk in. I notice the pain happens when I am exhausted, which I seem to be a lot lately. I also find that when I am tired I lose my train of thought and I can’t concentrate if there’s a lot of other noise around me. Today, has been a very bad day. I only worked 4 hours today - I seemed to be tripping over my own feet and dropping stuff. I came home with a terrible migraine on the right side of my head (my left side was the problem side). I feel like I should be doing better and it doesn’t help that family and friends think that I should be all better by now. Should I be concerned?

Judy Hudgins

You have been through quite an ordeal. Unfortunately, I wish I could deliver great news that things will get better very soon but I can't. It seems you took the road that my wife did and went back to work way to early and you both tried to beat your own expectations for quick recovery.
Having just read your note tonight, here's what I believe you need to do as quickly as possible and depending on your circumstances:
1) contact your Neurologist or Neurosurgeon regarding your experiences lately and discuss their professional opinions;
2) getting an appointment with the above professionals takes some time to get in, contact your Primary Care Physician to discuss getting a medical absence note to give to your employer. This will help you obtain work related disability insurance or at a minimum provide you with Family Medical Leave Act protections for atleast 180 days.
3) ask your Neurologist if in addition to his/her testing to arrange a Neuropsychology exam/testing to determine what your current capabilities are.
4) don't tell your employer what problems you are having until you talk to your Primary Care Doctor (you should be able to do this in the next day or two depending on the degree of migraine you have) and you have obtained your medical absence note. Upon receiving it you should then discuss your difficulties with the Human Resources Manager assuming your company has one.
There are a number of issues that you brought up that I have discussed in past notes on this site regarding clipping and migraines, but for right now just deal with the above issues so that your employment protections are in place. I know where you are comming from because these same issues (excepting the artificial bone flap) that took my wife out of the work place 18 years ago. I'd hate to see another person go through what my wife has over this time. This is a serious issue for you so please don't let family or friends dictate your recovery expectations.
I hope to talk to you soon more about this.

Listen Judy, You are doing wonderful for what you have been through. No one can tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing now except you. It takes our body along time to heal and adjust to our new software. Granted I don't have as much new software as you do but brain surgery is brain surgery. And you have been thru a lot of truma and please don't push yourself to much, because your body will shut down on you. Mine did. I had a major set back and I do not want you to have one. Please talk to your primary care doctor about your feelings and see if he or she can help you wheiter it is taken you out for a while to rest or something, Because it sounds like your body is crying for rest. You need sleep. Please don't listen to negative things like should have and should be~because people can only speculate at what we have been through but we know what we have been through. So PLEASE take care of yourself your body is trying to tell you it needs REST.

God Bless!!!

Please listen!!!

Lots of Hugs!!!!


Hi Judy,

I agree with everything said by Ed, Tiffany and Nikki. I want to support Ed’s recommendation to not discuss your problems with your employer until you see your PcP. I can’t say enough about how important it is to get enough rest during your recovery and thereafter.

Tell your family and friends that you ARE better but the road for your finely tuned “brain” to recover full functionality is quite long and hard. They can help you recover through encouragement and by pitching in and taking some of the load off. :-))

May God bless you with a complete recovery.