Here I am, five days after decompression surgery! I’m still in hospital and it’s been an interesting ride, but for the most part there have been no complications and I’ve handled the surgery very well. I’m hoping to be home the day after tomorrow, as tomorrow we are going to try me on some steroids to reduce the swelling around my neck (it’s causing a bit of nausea).
I’m afraid I don’t have the energy to tell the full story right now, but I’ll sum it up in point form for the other Chiari sufferers who are curious:
- The pain from surgery, for me, wasn’t much worse than the pain I got in my worst Chiari moments. I’ve survived the last few days easily on over the counter paracetamol and ibuprofen (you wont need to if you don’t have a bad reaction to drugs in the opiate family).
- Nausea is a big one. Expect it, expect it often, don’t expect anti nausea stuff to work.
- Learning to walk again is really exhausting, but it isn’t painful.
- Tell the nurses to bug off if you need more sleep. Depriving yourself of adequate sleep really makes the whole experience harder.
- No matter how good the hospital, the food is always dreadful. Having friends or family to get you some fresh food every now and then will really make a difference.
- No one told me my head would swell up! Like a balloon! I look ridiculous! Don’t be shocked when you look in the mirror hehe. It goes down slowly.
- I used to have a mild phobia of injections and a huge phobia of blood tests. Not anymore! They’re gonna stick you with a lot of needles, but for the first half you will be too happy and out of it to care, and for the second you’ll be too used to it to notice.
- You might have some bruises on your face after surgery, and you may like me find a random staple in the side of your head. They don’t actually TELL you this before the surgery, but this is all due to how they strap you in place while operating. None of it is uncomfortable.
- Getting the staples taken out doesn’t hurt in the slightest (I’ve only had one taken out so far, but I barely felt it).
- Yes, this has been a hard experience. Yes, I had those moments of thinking “Oh no I’ve made a mistake”. But yes, I’m getting through it, day by day, and I have plenty of up times as well as down times.
I’ll be back to write the full story when I’m feeling well enough! Maybe after I get my staples taken out in a week’s time. I hope you’re all doing well 🙂