Update: 4-Weeks Post-Op

This past Friday was 4 weeks post-op. That morning I took my last “regular” dose of Norco. I was still feeling pain and noted most were headaches during the week prior to stopping. When I went to see the neurosurgeon for my first post-op check-in and to get staples removed, he suggested that headaches could be partly due to the Norco and I should start trying to take an over-the-counter pain reliever called Aleve to avoid the long-term Norco usage problem of addiction.

I decided to start taking the OTC in between doses of  Norco because I wasn’t sure how well I would tolerate the pain. I did experience headaches and pain, and truly felt that I was going to need to go back to Norco after my 8 hours on Aleve was up. But closer to the 8-hour mark that Friday, I felt like I could get by.

Over the weekend, I used Aleve exclusively. By Sunday, I decided to take a drive and aside from being tired, it felt good to get out of the house.

I still have balance issues, but the dizziness isn’t so much a problem when I stand. Maybe it was that Norco, maybe it was my body adjusting to the flow of spinal fluid. Whatever the case, I seem to be doing better in that area.

I will need an MRI in 3 months to see how that syrinx is doing. I think it’s going to improve. 🙂

This is my first full day home alone. I thought I would be nervous but instead, I look forward to a few home chores that need tending and getting back to it, as they say.

I’m going to shower without the chair I think. I’ll know how that’s going to go soon enough, after a dose of Aleve.


Toni

In the Company of Women

Before the Chiari Decompression surgery, I found myself getting rid of a lot of things, from books to clothes, and odds and ends in drawers, closets, and shelves. I went through most of my photos and distributed them to family members.

As I was going through everything, it was in the back of my mind that I was not only decluttering, but I was also thinking that I was making less work for my family should I not survive the surgery.

As I got rid of stuff, I began to feel lighter, and I liked that. I guess I was also making room in my life for something, though it was and still is undefined.

I am still downsizing as I go through my home doing daily things. Sometimes it is mental, and sometimes it is streamlining an area like kitchen drawers. The thing is, when is it enough downsizing? And there is still a sense of waiting for the arrival of whatever I as making room for.

I’m quite bored waiting here expectantly, especially when I see all the summer activities going on. My mind is often cloudy from the pain meds so learning something new by reading or watching videos on youTube seems tedious. Maybe it’s because it’s not the right fit yet.

One thing feels certain, and that is that I am tired of staring at the blank canvas that is my life. Perhaps I just need to pick up the brush and get that first color brushed, and see what comes of it. So what color will it be? Will it be a literal color on my canvas, in hopes that I find my inspiration and direction to begin stepping towards?

Oh, my head hurts just thinking about it… or maybe it’s my helper’s 5-year-old son screaming at his mother while she vacuums.


The day went quickly and was overall pleasant. We had a good discussion on communities and intentional communities, and talked about personal dreams of land, gathering spaces, and food forests.

It’s exciting to talk about places and events that bring people together in a positive way. I am drawn to people who share visions of community-oriented solutions and of a better world. It stirs my soul and I’m glad to feel that after feeling like a wanderer lately.

Let’s see what’s happening out there in the communities of women.


Toni

Wake Up, Kitty!

It’s nearly 1 in the afternoon. I just woke up the cat from his daily 23-hour nap. He woke me up wanting to be fed at 5, 6, and 7 until I got out of bed to fill his bowl.  So I woke him up just to say hello. 😉

Aside from boredom, bothering the cat, and binge watching Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones (I’m on Season Three), I’m in good spirits. However, seeing all the garage sales, festivals and pow wows going on this gorgeous weekend isn’t helping the boredom factor. Guess I’ll look into a craft project, though I wish I had an open-air space to do it in.

Heart happy observance: Watching the neighbors gather the family for lawn games and lake activities, it would be nice to sit on a deck somewhere, to get a bit of sun while watching play time. It’s fun to see them playing and doing things together. I noticed no one is preoccupied on their cell phones or other devices other than inflating water toys and spreading beach sand.

I hope they have a fun weekend. 🙂


Toni

Three Weeks Post-Op

Pain management: Norco every 6 to 8 hours. The current plan is to introduce Tramadol, a non-narcotic pain med, probably over the weekend. The doctor’s office said to try switching out Norco with Tramadol every other dose to see how well the pain is managed with it, and if it is effective enough, phase out Norco.

Norco makes me drowsy, but it seems intermittent.

Diet: I’m on a normal diet.  Once a day, I enjoy a green smoothie that starts with a handful of greens, frozen fruit, protein powder, greens powder, and coconut water and sometimes with a splash of Jumex, a flavorful juice nectar.

I still have trouble swallowing; maybe it will get better over time. Time will tell.

Activity: Fairly limited to taking things slow yet. Balance is still off; some may be partly due to the Norco, but it was a pre-op condition too, though now when I stand I feel head rushes that feel like I might topple over or pass out.

Going to the grocery store the other day was a bit much, a lot of getting up and down from the scooter cart. I went out again yesterday and it was fine but the movement of the car seems to be a factor in aggravating symptoms.

Yesterday and today, we dug up my art supplies, scattered here and there throughout the house. Art therapy has always been a joyful way to let off steam, pushing those brushes and paints around on a blank canvas.

Well, Norco seems to be kicking in. I’m feeling drowsy once more so end this post now. Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about what a grouch I was yesterday. I ended up apologizing to my mother for it.

“You were right, mom, I’m sorry for being an asshole to you.” It took me a few to step up to the plate to tell her she was right and I was sorry for being such a prig. I’m glad I did though. For both of us. I love you, ma! ❤


Toni