Now that my neurosurgeon has removed a significant amount of my pituitary tumor, screwed the front of my skull back into place, and properly stitched the skin around the side of my face together; I feel like a new woman. Either that, or Frankenstein. I think it merits super powers or something. So far though, I haven’t noticed anything extraordinary.
On August 25th I went in for my supra orbital craniotomy. The operation lasted three hours. Amelia, who went through the CNA training course with me, was my CNA again. She took care of me when I was admitted for my transsphenoidal surgery in May. Brent was great at keeping me company. Dr. Florman suggested he bring the girls to see me before my face started bruising up. I guess he thought it might scare them. It was nice to have them there, and they were great, as usual. My friend Maggie came to visit me several times. She helped teach my CNA training course, and she also works with me in the cardiology unit. She made me a delicious strawberry shake and got the girls treats as well. She is awesome!
I slept a lot and quickly tired of lying in bed all day. The nurses were good about keeping the morphine and other pain medications coming. One of the doctors came in and removed the drain from my head. It didn’t hurt much, but I began to feel fluid coming out of the hole and dripping down the side of my face. His expression and response were that of surprise, concern, embarrassment, or a combination of the three. He said, “Um, just a minute,” and promptly ran off. After cleaning up the leak he sealed it off with a big glob of glue. The technology these days is amazing. ;-)
The physical therapist came a couple days after surgery to assist me in walking. She got me a walker with wheels and helped me shuffle down the hall. I was a bit unbalanced and dizzy. I think the double vision and lack of depth perception I was experiencing had something to do with it. Brent asked the PT if we could put tennis balls on the feet of the walker. He’s such a comedian. :-) She wanted me to get a walker to bring home with me, and have a PT come to the house to assist me. Uh…definitely not!
I had several medications temporarily added to the regular hormone replacement medications I am currently taking. I believe the anti-seizure medication played a big part in the headaches and nausea (and what comes with it) I experienced the entire week and a half following my surgery. Also, perhaps I overdid it with the oxycodone, especially as I wasn’t eating much. I recently saw my endocrinologist though, and happily discovered that I do not need to add to or increase my current hormone replacement medications.
Dr. Florman did an excellent job, I think. He did not shave any hair, and the scar is neatly hidden behind the hairline around the top right side of my face. I ended up with a swollen black eye, which took a couple weeks to heal. When I was able to get out of the house, it seemed that I kept getting sympathetic looks from people while Brent would get dirty looks. One of our friends suggested he wear a t-shirt that reads “I didn’t do it.” :-D
Once again, I’m incredibly thankful for Brent and his loving support. He took more than a week off work to stay home and take care of me. He was vigilant and diligent about keeping me from doing anything I wasn’t supposed to (like getting out of bed). When I tried to do anything the least bit strenuous, he would warn me, “your face is going to fall off!” He took fantastic care of me and the girls. The girls were also wonderful and understanding. They’re such troopers!
I started back to work 2 1/2 weeks after my surgery. After trying out a couple six-hour shifts, I went up to my usual twelve hours. I’m feeling good, and keeping up with my 16 credit hours of school as well. I have an MRI scheduled for next week. If the tumor is safely removed from the nerves, I will then go talk to a radiation oncologist about having radiation therapy. Hopefully that will cut down future surgeries and significantly increase the time between each one.