Hi there everyone!
I shared my story in another post pre-op and now I want to share how it’s been 2 months post surgery. The following are sadly mostly things that happened to me post surgery and some things I’m dealing with now, but overall I want you all to know that surgery was a success and I’m incredibly grateful to have it done and feel very very positive about the future. I’ve overcome so so much and will keep overcoming!!
Surgery was a tremendous success my surgeon says! For a 2.5 mm aneurysm, I was on the fence having surgery, but I’m sure glad I did. When she went in, she found that my aneurysm was actually lifting up my optic nerve, so I eventually would have gone blind in my right eye regardless if I had surgery or not. Due to that, they had to maneuver around the nerve and cut bone near it in order to get to the aneurysm. I am now partially blind in my right eye…very unlikely it will come back. I will know after 6 months if it is permanent or not.
From the arterial line being removed, I ended up having 3 blood clots in my right arm and had nerve damage in my right hand, thumb/forefinger. I am not even joking you…the pain in my arm was HORRIFIC. The pain in my head was nothing compared to my arm.
That first week I was in the hospital and I kept saying my arm hurt, but they said it should go away. After being home for 2 days I was in so much pain that my mom took me to the ER. My arms were so swollen from alany IVs they couldn’t get a new IV in…they poked me probably 10 times before they could get it to work and refused to give me pain medication until the IV was in and the doctor had seen me. I have never been in so much pain in my life. It felt like every part of me was on fire. Eventually though they gave me a nice dose of delotted which took some of the pain away, but sadly not all. They found I had a blood clot and since I was just a week out of surgery they could not give me blood thinners so just sent me home telling me to use a heating pad on my arm.
Sadly two days later I was back in the ER with even worse pain. They found a second blood clot. It was horrible, but the doctor in the ER was in touch with my neurosurgeon and she said no blood thinners, so he was able to find a vascular surgeon who took on my case. I continued to see her in her office for bi weekly scans for the next two weeks. Managed the pain with Tylenol. She found the 3rd blood clot during on of the visits.
Luckily, since those first two weeks, the blood clots have cleared for the most part completely on their own! YES!! Pain is gone except some discomfort in my elbow sometimes. One blood clot remains, but it is opening, soore blood flow can go through.
I have been active since the beginning, starting with little walks around my living room, to walking in the driveway, to eventually walking in the neighborhood. I was walking .75 miles by the second week. Since then I have been building up slowly. I have gotten to 3.5 miles as the furthest I’ve gone! I also started at the gym with my trainer again just in the last two weeks. We are just working with bands on focusing on movement, not weight. It’s amazing to be active, I’ve found it helps SO much.
Some days are amazing and I have so much energy and then some days are so exhausting I can hardly move. Then there are days like today where I mentally force myself to do SOMETHING, but then give myself rest for the rest of the day. It’s crazy how up and down it is. I find that social interaction is great in short bouts, but if I do too much, I tire faster and it takes me longer to recover in the following days.
My neurosurgeon says I’m doing amazingly well, but I am feeling like my down days should be getting better. For instance, I had a friend visit for a long weekend this past weekend and we spent time in the car and seeing her family and our friends. She was here for 4 days. On Monday I couldn’t leave either my bed or the couch. I couldn’t do anything. Tuesday was barely better. Wednesday and Thursday I made myself leave the house and today is a bit better, but not by a lot. I’m concerned that what seems like “normal” activity is causing me so much exhaustion. I think my energy will be good this weekend concodering how I feel today, but those “down” days are rough.
How long does it take to have normal energy levels again? I know everyones recovery is different and I’m trying to give myself grace. It’s just hard when mentally I want to be more active and do things without worrying about pushing it too far.
Also, has anyone else experienced jaw pain and unable to open their mouths all the way? I knew going in that since they were going to cut the muscle to my jaw that goes through my forehead it would be sore and I wouldn’t be able to chew for a while, but I still have pain and can’t open my mouth wide after 2 months. Is this normal? Surgeon said it is…sigh, just want to be able to eat without making a mess again
(Sorry for the novel! )