I hope your Thanksgiving was lovely. We had a full house of my kids and their spouses and kids. I did very little. My husband cooked the turkey and everyone else brought yummy food. It feels weird not being in charge of things. But the truth is, things still work out just as well as when I was in charge and working myself hard. Ain’t that great? I am definitely thankful for that.
I have been thinking a lot about courage ever since someone sent me a get well card that said courage is sometimes manifested not by sticking to your guns in the moment, but by saying, “Things will be better tomorrow.” That’s what I keep telling myself. Perhaps that is patience instead of courage, but I like to think that I am brave as I go through this. A few days ago I had about 2 seconds where my vision was normal and it gave me great hope and comfort. Then this morning I got up and did not notice any visual distortions for about an hour. However, I’m not sure if that was because I just didn’t notice the distortions, or if they were actually gone! I am telling myself they were actually gone, but I must say that this blogging session is very visually challenging (double vision, blurry vision, pain). So now I tell myself, “Things will be better tomorrow.”
Well I am still dizzy when I walk, can’t read well at all, and have fatigue. I am experiencing a major plateau in progress but know I will get through it. This is life: mountains, valleys, and plateaus. A plateau is an opportunity to coast for a while, and develop patience. A few days ago I had about 2 seconds of completely normal vision. That was awesome and keeps my hopes up. I stopped walking the mall and now walk with my husband at an indoor track at the county recreation center. Once I develop more stamina, we will take a fitness class, like Yoga, at the recreation center. Onward.
I have been trying out a few small projects around the house. For example, I dusted a few days ago. And today I took the stuff I brought home from my office and I put them all away. It was a great feeling to accomplish even small tasks like that! I know this is all part of the healing journey but it seems funny to get so excited to accomplish small tasks. I am looking forward to the day I get something done that requires good eyesight. That will be a day of celebration. My plans now are to mop the kitchen floor. We’ll see if I get too dizzy. Baby steps…
It is so cold here now! Only 18 degrees yesterday. I told my physical therapist I would walk 30 minutes every day but it is just too dang chilly. So yesterday my daughter Pepper and I walked in the mall. It was great. No sun in our eyes, no wind, perfect temperature. Now I just have to figure out a way to get to the mall every day, since Pepper is starting a new job and won’t be able to take me every day like she does now. Perhaps I will go in the evenings. But actually I think it is time to start driving again. I will start practicing. So heed this warning and stay off the roads.
Since surgery I haven’t been able to cook because of my low vision. I generally heat up TV dinners or we hit a fast food place. Today I threw caution to the wind and made bran muffins from scratch! Hooray! The hardest part was locating the baking powder. In a crowded cupboard everything looks the same – blurry. Bit I did it! I even cleaned up after myself. I had a mishap when I filled the mixing bowl with soapy water and then spilled it on myself. But generally speaking, I am happy to finally be able to cook something on my own. I am also soaking wet. And the bran muffins don’t taste all that great. But hey, each milestone is awesome.
Yes I am still bored and am getting so tired of television. I watch The View and The Talk and all they talk about is sex and celebrities and Kim Kardashian’s bottom. Enough already! I look forward each day to Ellen Degeneres’ show because hers is a bit toned down, but my favorite thing is to watch movies. Time goes by, there are no commercials, and they usually have substance that I can get engaged with. I do my best to get involved with other things like laundry and doing the dishes, but major household projects are beyond my reach at this point in time. Here comes the weekend – hopefully I can go to some movies. Yahoo!
I was looking forward to seeing a neuro ophthalmologist in hopes that she could fix my eyes. Well, she did a great job of diagnosing the cause of each of my symptoms, including double vision, lack of focus for reading, and imbalanced walking. It’s all related to 3 of my cranial nerves that were irritated during surgery. So everything is as expected. I feel great to know that there is an explanation for everything. She also said that the part of my brain that the surgery was near deals with language. So if any of my blogs don’t make sense, I can use the surgery as an excuseI Yahoo!
The neurosurgeon said I just need to be patient – I am doing great and just need to wait for my nerves to settle down. I said, “There’s that darn P word again!” It is so hard to be patient. She said one of her favorite sayings is, “Just because I’m waiting doesn’t mean I’m patient.” She was very understanding. The bottom line is that I get to continue waiting for my nerves to heal. I can do this. I talk to my nerves, I watch TV, I watch movies, I do eye exercises, and I cry sometimes. The usual time to heal is 6 months after surgery and I am a little over 3 months now. So I’m over halfway there.
It’s been a little over 3 months since I worked as Dean of Nursing at Fortis College. My employer,staff, and students have been supportive, understanding, kind, and patient. But 3 months is a long time to go without a dean, so the time has come for the college to move forward without me. I thank all of them for all they have sacrificed on my behalf and I am so sorry for the inconvenience. I will miss everyone.
My plan now is to continue to heal and then when I can read again I will look for other employment. I would love to retire, but I am only 61 years old and it’s a bit early for retirement. I am hoping that not having the responsibility to return to work at a certain date will take some pressure off and speed my healing. We will see. I am living in a mystery right now regarding healing. On Tuesday I go see a neuro ophthalmologist and have high hopes for what she can do for me. We will see.
Thanks to all for your support and encouragement.
Here is my most recent selfie with my falling-out head of hair. I am most amazed at how much older I look since surgery. I think I have aged 10 years. On the other hand, I’ve learned a lot and feel happy to have matured a bit!
My hair if falling out so today I decided to be proactive and get a short hair cut. Not my favorite look, but it will all grow back. Not sure why it is falling out. Also not sure why my tongue is coated white. If you have any knowledge on these subjects, let me know. Thanks!