My daily questions

I know you’re probably getting sick of me by now, but I just try to think of things as they come up. The good news is it sounds like my doctor is going to work with my insurance, even if my insurance loses the contract with that particular hospital my doctor said that he would find a way to make sure I could get in. Now onto the questions.

  1. For elective brain clipping, how long ( average I am sure) were you in the hospital?
  2. What happens if you cannot go back to work right away? Is there short term disability? If you are not from the states this question may be hard to answer
  3. If you have a high stress job that you know you’re going back to you, do you think it’s best Sue set up some extra time to go back? I have a month that I am taking the summer, but then I’m supposed to jump back into teaching right away, four weeks after my operation. As a teacher, cognitive abilities are your bread and butter. And since I am SPED that is whole different type of tired
  4. since I live by myself, how long should I have someone stay with me? My mom is going to come down when I have surgery and I know she’ll be here as much as she can be. I do have people that can come in and out and check on me. But since I live alone are there suggestions
  5. Do you remember being in the ICU?
  6. I have heard a lot about fogginess and short-term memory and the first couple of weeks. I heard someone say that their family member could hold onto a piece of information for five or 10 minutes and then they would repeat themselves not remembering that they had just said something. Have other people experienced that?

As always, thank you for your time and insight

Hey Abby

Nope. You’ll have to try harder :laughing:
I’ll tell you now my questions were unending and I think if people were going to be peeved it’d be me they got peeved with, I’ve asked damn near every stupid question there is.
Most of your ‘How long…?’ questions, nobody, not even the drs, can give an exact number. It will all depend how you come out on the other side.
As for your time off, my advice, take as much time as you can. The longer you allow your body to recover the better the outcome. I had to relearn all of my ‘normals’ again. All of my tolerances changed and I had to learn to adjust. I did return to my role, just wish I’d taken more time. I could do a full day but at the end of it I was knacked and sometimes it would take me a day or two to recuperate.
DO NOT be going straight back to full time hours. Ease into it if you can, minimal hours, then increase s.l.o.w.l.y… I didn’t, I jumped back into it and fried myself badly. Slowly, slowly is best.

As for your Mum and friends, this is another ‘depends how you come out on the other side.’ type question. You could find you need minimal support, but by the same accord their assistance maybe needed for longer than you thought. Having these supports available can be a HUGE advantage. Try, if you can, to give yourself a bit of a back up. Have your home environment set up for YOU. Have your favourite foods/snacks in reserve. I bought sports drinks to keep myself hydrated (my wife kept me fed and hydrated :grin:) Maybe precook and freeze some microwave meals.

Yes, I remember ICU (but not a place I like to remember). I was out of it most of the time, but I do remember.

And yes, my recall was all messed up, especially nouns/names or naming words. I’d know what I wanted but I’d call it something else or get stuck on the words. Even when I thought my recall was OK, others around me would look at me all confused. I’d tell the wife 'There’s nothing wrong with my memory… …BUT… Who are you again?" it was said as a joke but the reality was my memory took a while to get better.

If ANYBODY ever tells you this is a simple process both physically and/or mentally, it’s a lie. This is major surgery on the brain, but the reality is that its an assault on the whole body. I found the exhaustion absolutely beyond any tiredness I’d experienced before, way and beyond. You need to listen to your body and when it says “STOP”, you stop. Don’t be pushing your limits. There’s a theory called 'Spoon theory", do a google search on it. It could be useful.

Recovery is NOT a straight line of progression, you’ll have good days and bad days. Use them as a learning of what works and what doesn’t for you.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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So my aneurysm ruptured. I didn’t know I had it until it ruptured. So my surgery was different too, I had a coil. They told me initially I would be in the hospital for months and I would be in the icu for weeks. But it all changed almost day to day through my recovery. I was lucky.
Now it’s been over four months. I am not planning On going back to work until probably 7-8 months is what I estimate if all continues to go well and my follow up with my surgeon at 6 months goes well too.
After a month of sitting at home I thought I could go back to work. But in reality I was only sitting at the house. Luckily I live with my parents so that helps.
But as I’m out now and driving and seeing people I realize how things have changed. I also realize that I was not ready to go back to work and I have noticed differences more. People that see me tell me how great I am doing. But some of the people closest to me have noticed how some things are different for me. Sometimes I can’t think of words or names. I wasn’t really like that before.
Today I saw a woman I have known for years. I couldn’t think of her name. I also saw a guy I just met once before and I could think of his name. It’s weird and I don’t know why that is. And tomorrow it will be different.
As for work, I plan on starting part time a certain amount of hours a certain amount of days a week. My employer is very understanding and leave it up to me. My drs said to start part time and work my way back to full time. I honestly don’t know how it will go until I do it. I don’t know if this is a good thing if I can’t do it to try to go back to get disability, I guess I’ll find out as I need to.
For the time being though, you won’t qualify for unemployment because to get that you have to be able to work. So what I have is a temporary disability claim I believe. My neurologist has to fill out papers every couple weeks I believe. The money is not much but it’s better then nothing. It is set up through my employer and the state.
Good luck, as they say it’s different for everyone


What is the saying about the only stupid question is the one that wasn’t asked….ask away! We understand your concerns better than most, so nope, not tired of you.

Remember that for those of us who ruptured, our stories will be much different. Also for those of us that had endovascular repairs rather than a craniotomy our stories can be different too. Be mindful of whose story you’re reading.

I would have my home ready for all possible outcomes. I call it taking care of my house and House. Do all your heavy cleaning and the easy ones too, it makes coming home better.

As Merl says and a whole lot of folks, have meals prepared before hand so you can just throw it in the microwave. You might want to check your local grocery store to see if they have fresh meals for sale, Publix does these as my SIL often picks some up for her family. Make sure you have a good month’s supply of cat food as well. If you’re on any medication, make sure they are filled or you have someone who can pick them up for you - just talk to your pharmacist. Finish having your will updated if you haven’t done that. Like Merl, I also had to drink sport drinks after each endovascular procedure, not my favorite drink (actually made the stuff back in the day when I was going to college) but I found some I like so you might want to figure out the ones you like and stock up.

Short term disability depends on the State you live in and your insurance company. When I lived in California, back through the early ‘80’s, the State had short term disability. Here in NC, it’s all on your insurance company. I’m not sure what Washington does.

Your returning to work depends on how you fair and your doctor. It is different for everyone. Someone had me returning to work whilst I was still in NSICU, seems she got me mixed up with someone else, kinda hard to go back to work when you’ve got IV’s stuck in you🤪. Some doctors give a total release and others want their patients to go part time for awhile but it depends on how you did during surgery.

Check with your doctor on how long you’ll have to stay in hospital. Again it will depend on how you faired during your craniotomy. I’ve read where a lot stay one day to three days. I believe it’s all on what your doctor wants, they get to control the show.

I remember my stay in NSICU, it’s exhausting. @oct20 wrote a good, funny post about it. Basically there’s no to little rest in NSICU. The RNs have to come and check you every 15 minutes, the machines are making all their noises as well. Rounds start around 0700 or sometimes earlier and you’ll get all the neurological tests. If you’re in a teaching hospital, there will be a handful of doctors coming in but one does all the tests.

Take your sunglasses, most everyone, no matter the type of procedure, has some type of sensitivity to sunlight afterwards.

I believe the fogginess and short term memory issues are par for the course and it depends on the person how quick they recover. Besides the doc being in your brain and changing a thing or two, the anesthesia plays a big role and we often forget that. You will need to stay hydrated to help your body flush it out which can be easier said than done for some. Also check with your team on how much protein you should eat per day. The dietician they sent in said minimum of 90 grams which is what the average person should eat. WHO says 120 grams for the average person, last time I looked. Having brain surgery means trying for the higher number in my opinion as your brain needs both protein and hydration to heal. If your school has a registered dietician you could just ask them. I recall the county I worked for had an RDN that we didn’t have to pay for the first few visits and after that, it was a minimum charge.

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Hi Rick. Sorry to hear of your rupture. I went through the same thing. Like you, I was fortunate not to need an open surgery. Also, like you people think you’re better when you’re really struggling. I can tell you in retrospect, that I went to work much sooner than I should have. I think I can say that for a couple of reasons. The first reason was just my energy level, I didn’t have the energy to make it through the day. Secondly, I’m not sure I had the full capacity that I needed to do the job that I wanted to do. I think in saying this, I would fully endorse your decision to go back on a slower basis. I know that my deficits are similar to what you cite in that I can’t remember some seemingly simple things, more from short term memory than long-term memory. I have struggled to find the right words at the right times, but I’m not sure if people recognize that or if my brain is at least working fast enough to fill the short spaces of time in a conversation. Energy level remains an issue. If I do too much in a day, I’m exhausted that night and sleep like a rock. These are still problems after nearly 5 years, so I think that they’re probably permanent issues.
So in closing welcome to the club, you never wanted to be a member of. But I can tell you the people here allow you to set goals, parameters with with which you can apply some measures of normalcy. What I mean by that is when you have a problem that you’re dealing with and somebody else writes a comment about it. It’s great to be able to know that you’re not alone.