First of all, thank you so much for all of your sweet messages. I tried to respond to everything, but it made me smile laying in the hospital knowing that so many people were thinking of me and wishing me well. I had my surgery last Thursday and overall am doing really well. I spent two nights in the hospital, and got to go home on Saturday afternoon. The first 12 hours or so after the surgery were a little rough. I had a bit of a reaction to the anesthesia, and was very nauseous and couldn’t keep anything down. At some point that first night they switched my meds, and I instantly felt better. The procedure was done through the nose, so there was no external incision. However, upon waking up, I had two tampons (for lack of a better word) stuck up my nose to stop any bleeding. While this wasn’t painful, it obviously limited my ability to breath out of my nose, so my mouth was very dry and my lips very chapped. They were able to remove the packing from one side of my nose during that first night, which I was grateful for as I was able to get some peaceful sleep soon after that. On Friday morning, I woke up feeling great! I would say I felt about 90% back to normal at that point, which was strange to me given the fact I had brain surgery the previous day. But it was short lived, as soon some additional symptoms set it. By Friday afternoon I became very stuffy and congested. While this is very normal, and the expected result of this procedure, because of the internal stitches I’m unable to blow my nose for a couple of weeks. So the congestion basically just has to sit there. Then came the sinus pressure and headaches, which again was expected, and should go away in 1-2 weeks. All in all, a few days out from surgery, I feel more like I’m suffering from a bad head cold or the flu more than brain surgery. I’m still experiencing tiredness from the anesthesia, and must continue to take it easy for the next week or so, and then I can slowly start resuming normal activity. I get tired and a little dizzy if I move around too much, but I successfully took a walk around the block yesterday. It was nice to just get out of the house for a few minutes. I’m planning to do the same again today, slowly working up the distance I’m able to go. Baby steps. 🙂
In looking at me now, you’d likely have no idea I had anything done. There is no swelling or bruising at all. During the procedure they had to use metal pins to secure my head, and when they removed the pins there was some bleeding (my skin is very sensitive) so they had to put a couple of stitches on both sides of my head just above my ears. From the second I woke up from surgery to now, these stitches remain my only source of real pain. While it’s not a high level of pain, that’s just a sensitive area, and feels “tight” pulling at my temples which is contributing to my headaches. I recall just after waking up bringing my hands to that area and feeling the stitches, and being very confused, partially from all the drugs I was on, but also because we had discussed the procedure thoroughly and there was nothing about me needing stitches on the sides of my head. I remember the first thing I asked my mom when I saw her was to look and see if I had stitches. They’re so small and blend in with my hair she initially said no, but I could feel them with my fingers. Apparently this is something that so rarely happens, that none of the nursing staff could understand why I was complaining about having pain there. Finally a nurse did check, and confirmed I had stitches but wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t until several hours post procedure when my surgeon came to check on me that it was explained. He was very nonchalant about it, and I know in the grand scheme it’s not a big deal at all, but as my main source of pain and confusion in those first few hours after surgery, it was nice to finally have an explanation.
So what’s next? While the mass is benign, they sent it off to get analyzed so they can determine exactly what hormonal impact it may have had, as further medication may be needed to treat additional symptoms depending on the results. I have several follow up doctor’s appointments with various members of my medical team over the next few weeks where additional testing/courses of treatment will be discussed as needed.
Shout out to my excellent medical team and all of the staff at Mount Sinai hospital here in New York. Truly every single person I encountered throughout my hospital stay- from the administrator who admitted me, to the attending and residents from various departments who consulted on my case, to the extensive nursing staff, all the way to the staff who took my meal orders and the orderly who so swiftly changed my sheets in the time it took me to pee so I could immediately lay back down- every single person was kind and helpful and seemed to truly care about making me as comfortable as possible. It wasn’t a spa vacation by any means, but I wasn’t particularly itching to leave either :). Plus my room had a view of Central Park!
I filmed a vlog of my experience from pre-surgery through yesterday afternoon if you want to see more of my experience. Don’t worry, nothing gross is shown, although I am a bit loopy through some of it.
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