For 3 months waiting for my aneurysm clipping I anxiously peered through each and every single blog post trying to find things that didn't scare me to pieces. Thank you to some of you who answered positively to my questions. I promised myself and all those coming behind me to this blog that I would walk through the process step by step in the hopes that I can provide some comfort to those of you who are waiting for your procedures. I know a lot of you have had additional problems but I have not and I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy the procedure was. Here it is, step by step, day by day.
Day 1 - go to the hospital very early, talk to my doctor, the nurses, the anesthesiologist - visit with my family. They give me a mild sedative and wheeled me into the surgery suite. Nothing scary in there at all, just lots of smiling faces asking how I was. Absolutely no pain and no fear. I awoke in the ICU about 4 hours later, again no pain at all. I'm hooked up to a machine that is squeezing my legs every few minutes to make sure I don't get a blood clot. I'm hooked up to a couple of IV's and a blood pressure monitor - standard things for being in the hospital. My doctor said I would feel a slight feeling of fullness around the area they went in but I don't really feel anything. For the past few days I have really been stretching my neck because they have your head clamped down for so long that a lot of people get neck aches but mine is fine. They give me Hydrocodine for the pain along with a muscle relaxer every 4 hours and it works great - no pain. I have a headache for about 1/2 hour at the very end of the medicine before I can take my next dose. The headache would not even send me home from work to lie down. Just a nagging headache. My aneurysm was in the right temple area. I will post pictures at the end of the blog. My family was allowed in to the ICU room for as long as I wanted them there. I actually had my husband go sleep at our daughters - he was more exhausted than I was. No problems throughout the day or the night.
Day 2 - still no problems. Slight headache but that's it. I have about 30 or so staples in my head - still unbelievable to me that yesterday I had brain surgery and today I'm fine. I get up and wash my hair very gently with baby shampoo to start getting some of the ick washed away from it. They tell me it will take 2 - 3 shampoos to get it all clean. I can rub the area with the pads of my fingers, not my fingernails. Gosh, not sure when a shower felt that good. They release me from ICU to a regular room and I walk to my new room. The nurses are very pleased. Oh, before I forget, one of the things my nurse told me is that if I stay upright as much as possible, the swelling won't be bad and she's right. I slept upright in the bed last night - have used ice packs and I don't have much swelling. Since the aneurysm was in the right temporal lobe there is a muscle there that is very sore because they had to move it out of the way. Put your fingers at your temple and act like you are chewing - that is the muscle - they moved it out of the way and sure enough, it's very sore but I can still eat just fine. They tell me to open and close my mouth wide several times a day to stretch it back into position. Day 2, I have a few more visitors and I make a few laps around the nurses station just to get in some exercise and keep my muscles moving.
Day 3, no problems at all - the doctor is talking about releasing me tomorrow and I'm good with that. I am not having any problems at all. They tell me to get up and shower and wash my hair daily so I take another shower. Walk downstairs with my husband and sit in the sun for a bit. Feels great. Get to have my grandkids come visit and I don't even scare them which is great!!! My jaw is still store and again still a slight headache when the medicine reaches the time for me to take my next dose. I have a little bluring in my right eye because of the swelling - that's the only other symptom. No sharp piercing pains, no problems standing, nothing. Even I can't believe I've just had brain surgery.
Day 4 - get to go home. I live 3 1/2 hours away from the hospital and have no problems riding in the car. I don't like the heat, makes me a bit nauseated. My headache is back but goes away when I take my medicine. We make it home with no problems. My parents came to stay with me for a week or so and they are very happy with my progress as well. I'm going to try to attach pictures for day 1, 2 and 3 so you can see for yourself what it looks like. My head still doesn't hurt where they cut the bone out - that was one of my fears. When I feel the top of my head I know where they cut a piece out only because it feels asleep kind of. I can feel the staples with my fingers but amazingly they do not hurt! That's the main thing I was scared of was how much pain and whether I would have memory loss. Not much pain and no memory loss. I have been very blessed. Had a lot of people praying for me and I did a lot of praying as well.
Please feel free to send me any questions you have. Remember to remain positive and upbeat. I believe that a person's attitude has a lot to do with how fast they heal. Do what the doctors tell you to do - sleep upright, exercise your jaw, walk a bit to build up your strength. I know a lot of you have had complications and I do not mean to make light of those at all. I just want to let everyone know that there are people that have no problems at all and that not all aneurysm clippings are difficult or bad. Mine was fine and I am fine!!
If the pictures post, the one with the "feathers" in my hair is day one - the "feathers" were to soak up any seepage (but there wasn't any) Day 2, I'm in yellow (because I'm considered a fall risk) Day 3 you can see the swelling - never got any worse than that.
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