Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Almost Two Months since surgery!

And boy has time flown!

So, turns out I'm one of those slacker bloggers that starts out with the best intentions in the world but then life gets going and the posts stop. My most sincere apologies. [Note: You may have noticed that during recovery, I attempted to do mobile updates to the blog, but due to a change in programming on the Blogger site, those appeared as gibberish, adding to the frustration and guilt of not blogging]

But the difference here is the mere fact that life was able to get going! My stimulation was turned on one week after surgery and my life seemed to change overnight.

As I've explained to people...this isn't a cure. BUT...and that is a big but, it is a treatment that allows me pain vacations. I have anywhere from 40%-100% relief from the stimulation. So, I'm doing pretty damn good...most of the time.

Since I have neglected the blog for so long...there are so many things I wanted to explain and recount in detail that I just won't be able to now. But I'd like to occasionally post now when items of importance arise or when things I feel may be helpful to others come up.

Here's a short list of things I wanted to post about in detail and didn't have an opportunity to. I eventually decided I would not have a chance to retro-actively post two months of info and just had to suck it up and update you lovely people! So, if anyone wants/needs more information on any of these topics. Just ask, and I'll expound on it in a later post.

1. Surgery Day Experience/Lead and IPG placement
2. Amazing friends, family and support system who helped me during recovery
3. A heartfelt thank you to those who contributed financially
4. Minor post-surgical infection
5. Programming appointments and fine tuning my stimulation with St. Jude folks

And now the present. As I said, I consider myself to be doing pretty good. I am healing well (Sans some hypertrophic scarring on my chest incision) and I think I'm where I should be in my post-surgical timeline.

I will be seeing my headache specialist and/or pain management doc soon to discuss resuming a drug to prevent my true migraine headaches (Which are much more noticeable now that the constant HC headache is being somewhat controlled) I am getting one every week to two weeks and pre-HC had good results with Topamax. Hopefully it will work for me again.

I am able to socialize with friends over dinner and the like without needing two days recovery on the couch. I  have more energy...not as much as pre-HC, but I'll take it! And I can only think that can improve with time.
I can be a bit more liberal with my spoons/marbles.

I've already lost about 15 pounds since surgery simply from being more active in daily activities. I hope this continues and I look forward to being able to get more exercise in the future, as I gained 80+ pounds since the headache began.

The computer still gives me some trouble after a while, but I've more than doubled the amount of time I can look at the monitor. I can read for a bit at a time too! I'm so excited to catch up on my to-read list.

I can drive for short distances now (That was a recovery milestone I was very happy about) Since I have to turn off the stim to drive, the headache doesn't take long to return and about an hour or two to get under control again, so I keep the trips short.

Basically, I'm starting to feel more like myself again. Or at least feel like I have the opportunity to evolve into a me again. I enviously read on other blogs a few months this point, I'm so happy I was able to do this, and I'd do it again in an instant.

Again, I apologize for the lapse in posts. I hope I didn't worry/disappoint anyone too much.

The above pics are things friends/family shared with me on social media or purchased for me after surgery. I loved them and wanted to share them here. Below you'll find my immediately post-operative pictures (My incisions were closed with dissolving stitches and surgical glue). I'll try to post some current ones soon so you can see the progression. Thank you for reading, and good luck to you all.