Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life on the outside - then admitted again (Part 5 to present)

So you think your felling well enough to start making the trip home? was the deciding question .. I responded with a confident Yes! ... knowing that it costs $$ in hospital and I was just dreaming of sleeping without observations check-ups and with hubby & family closer.  But little did I know how much had changed.

Its one thing to have just adjusted to the outcome of surgery in the safety of hospital - where everyone knows what has happened without you having to explain it, where they don't look at you with 'sad poor you - lucky i'm not having to deal with that' eyes and there is no judgemental looks.  But to walk outside where the ground is uneven and each thing you used to do without ease is now a challenge in its self.  We had planned to stop at Hamilton on the way home which would break the journey and give us a night to adjust to no nursing staff and still have quietness of no kids.  What a night it was! I started to appreciate all hospital had to offer - a bed that moved instead of having to juggle 10 pillows and still not be comfortable - drugs on hand - specialised people who could help justify the pain, monitor the temperature of my room and support me through the emotions.  This life on the outside just became a challenge in itself.  But I was fortunate to have hubby there and go through the challenge together (although I'm not sure I was very good company while either complaining of pain or sleeping while he just kept on watching sky lol)

We ended up staying in Hamilton for two nights as really I was in no state to travel so when we did finally travel home - slowly - seems Marks a very careful driver when he needs to be huh!

Was great to finally get home though, so much had changed on our renovation with Mum and Dad in charge for the week, windows in and paint on the place was looking great!  the kids were pleased to see us too as School and Preschool had started up again while we were away, so it was busy times getting used to routine.    First night was about finding the right pillows to get comfy and try to explain to the kids at 2 am that mum wont be coming to see them as she needs to sleep.

Next day Mum and Dad took off and super hubby kicked in - sorting the kids and head on into the renos, stopping now and then to see if I needed anything from my designated lazy boy.  Days came and went painkiller after painkiller taken, renos continued and the kids got used to the 'recovering mum'.  We were so fortunate with food pouring in from very lovely people in our community   But then came the day when I started leaking fluid from my ear - not good.  A quick ring to my surgeon has a prescription at our local pharmacy & an appointment booked for the next day at the local specialist to confirm it is CSF Fluid leaking.    that night i slept with a towel under my head which was drenched in the morning - I had no idea how much you could ' leak'.  That day it was off to town with a friend to get my original head stitches out, but also also contemplating a second surgery.  I'm grateful to the friends that showed up that morning with loads of moral support - this really was the last news I wanted to hear.  The 'leaking' seemed to slow during the day and stopped that night so i slept in a chair for chances that my body could over come this by itself if I gave it time.  My mum had raced back up to keep the kids taken care of if we had to take off to Auckland again in a hurry.

Turns out the leak was too much for my body and surgery was inevitable.  We headed up to Auckland on Valentines Day after a night of the most immense intense pain I have ever felt, as fluid got so low my brain wasn't floating any longer.  Admitted into the public hospital this time - oh how different that experience was!  More sleeping tablets to take - lovely gown to wear - Medical staff to talk to sometimes in a dopey state!
The morning of the 15th came - Mark was only just allowed in before I was wheeled out to Pre-Op.

HERE WE GO AGAIN! ... a familiar face of the surgeon came to great me, forms filled out & see you later cuddles to Mark as tears started to flow, thoughts of the immediate recovery from a few weeks ago Hamish must have seen the thoughts on my face as the next words said is ' it'll be a walk in the park compared to last time'.  Wheeled into theatre, IV's put in, move here, do that - give surgeon hubby's cell number  then finally start to count back from 10.

2 hours later I'm back with it! . Hungry as anything but still many checks going on and procedures to follow, back to the ward & into isolation as I have been in a different hospital for the last surgery and could be carrying bugs - funny it was 12 hours after I was first admitted though!  finally at 12.30 pm  I was allowed ice cream and jelly :D  Recovery was easier this round, apart from the ticking clock! .. silver linings on losing all hearing from my left, and lovely plastic hospital pillows now meant that I could 'block' this out as soon as I lay down.  Not many more drama's and after one more night I'm cleared to head home! WOO HOO.  Its amazing how prepared one can be for the second time travelling 5 hours home - by car - after brain surgery, it was a much easier trip and was great to get home to my sister & the kids.

All that 2nd load of drama was just 3 months ago today .. thats right 12 weeks since my last major surgery and over all i'm feeling great - its been a whorl wind and there are still some very challenging days, but i'm pleased to say recovery has gone well, I can not thank those friends and family who have been here supporting me through the low times enough :D

I'm very lucky! to go through something like this sure is life changing - all of a sudden you begin to realise you really are stronger then you think, and you really don;t know what may be around the corner and nothing is more important then living the life you dream before its to late and never underestimate what you and your body are capable of  one day i hope to regain some hearing on my left with a aid of some type but at the moment i'm just content with most of my original symptoms reduced or gone as I wait for another MRI in June/July to check just what's happening in behind the scars - lets not think about that to much right now though.

Time for everyone to count their blessings x i'm sure when we really start to reflect we have more then we like to admit.

Me .. at the moment I'm just so blessed I can still smile and see the joy in all.

xx Sam
(photo taken soon after surgery two by my 6 year old <3 )