Questions re: Recovery after clipping - rehab and therapy


Three months ago, on March 6, my Mom had clipping surgery. She is 59 years old and otherwise in great health. She works full time in a bank as a commercial loan assistant. Her work requires her to be very detail oriented.

Her physical recovery came along nicely. But we noticed that her short term memory was a bit off - as well as her personality. She had her appointment to remove the staples 10 days after surgery. At that time, we expressed to the nurse that Mom was having some short-term memory issues and lack of motivation. The nurse said it was normal. Mom improved some over the next few weeks, but she was still really "spacey" (for lack of a better term) After 6 weeks I called the neurosurgeon's nurse to ask if she should be doing any cognitive rehab or therapy, and expressed my concerns about her short-term memory loss. The nurse said no, no therapy was necessary at this time. She should just be walking (5-10 minutes at a time), eating and resting (along with other normal daily activities). The nurse did not seem the slightest bit concerned. Two months after surgery (April 25) she met with her neurosurgeon again (and the nurse) - who referred her to a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. The neurosurgeon, at that point, needed the evaluation to sign off on a release for Mom to go back to work. Mom has been on FMLA leave from her work - which was ending on May 28.

May 28 rolls around, and they refuse to sign a release for her to return to work, because of what the neuropsych eval said - and recommended (I haven't seen the report at this point - it is in the mail to me). She is now facing termination from her employment.

My question is this: Is it normal to wait 3 months to recommend cognitive rehabilitation or therapy, knowing from day 10 after the surgery that someone is experiencing short term memory loss? My problem is that if she would have been receiving treatment one or two months ago, she may not be facing termination at this point.

This has been a very frustrating situation - especially because we were supposed to be dealing with the best neurosurgeon in the country. I'm sorry I'm venting my first time on this site - but I haven't been able to find any guidance online at other websites.

Thank you! Be well.

Hi Jenny,

Welcome to BAF. I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's troubles and the frustrations that you are having with her doctors.

Everyone's recovery is so different it is hard to say what is "normal". I expect that others with more recent experience may have insight to offer.

May God bless you with a speedy resolution to your problems.



Your Mom has protections under the Family Leave Act )180 days. Make sure her employer is on notice ASAP. Followup on any disability coverage she may have, and since you are about to receive her Neuropsych report, submit a application to Social Security Disability. Having undergone cranial surgery, the Neurosurgeon could not have prevented any damage to brain tissue simply because cutting even a tiny area disrupts unknown neuron material that may or may not have banked memory within it. Please don't wait for more time to pass to see if she gets better. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking for many, many related and unrelated issues with respect to the surgery and your job is to make sure your Mom is protected to the fullest of your ability.

There is very little guidance out there and I unfortunately found out the hard way that (as great and skilled as Doctors are) some can play games to run out the clock on the care they need to provide and may also try to push patients to other Doctors to help run out the clock.