Barely a breeze

If it is shameful to admit I was more nervous to get my staples removed than I was for my actual surgery, call me Eve after she bitten into the forbidden fruit, for I am one disgraceful young lady.

During my pre-op appointment, my doctor had reassured me that removing my staples should be the least of my worries, that it wouldn’t hurt at all. In fact, she told me it might even tickle! Although I am not quite sure how to properly relay precisely how it felt, I can definitely tell you one thing, it was far from making me giggle.

Going into the doctor’s last Friday, my nerves were already a bit jumbled. I had been dreading this moment ever since I had returned home Christmas Eve, and now that it was here, I just wanted to get it done and over with. Of course, we proceeded to wait approximately 30 minutes in the waiting room before my name was called. Those doctors, they always seem to reserve getting behind in their schedule for days when I come in. Once I finally got settled down on the examining table, I could feel the room start to get a little warmer as I realized my physician was about to pluck out the staples they had put in my head two weeks ago. She entered the room. At this point I believe I had started sweating.

After a quick look at the area, she voiced her worry that her equipment would not properly work because of the swelling I had going on and the tightness of the staples . My stomach dropped a little bit. As she went off in search of a flatter tool to better get under the staples to remove them, I was not a happy camper.

She quickly returned, expressing her disappointment in not finding anything different and stating we will have to work with what we have. Then she began the daunting task, and it quickly dawned on both of us that this was not going to be the breeze she made it out to be. It was going to be more of a hurricane. It turns out that after my surgery, Dr. Shahinian had administered a thick layer of glue because some of the fluid had been leaking out of my brain, and this glue, although thankfully quite effective in doing it’s job, had now posed a large problem in removing my staples, for it was very much in the way.

As you all may know, I wish to be a doctor myself when I grow up, and usually all things medical fascinate me. However, when the subject has to do with me experiencing pain when it is being conducted, it makes me not feel so good.

First off, going into this appointment I still had an immense deal of pain in my head/neck area. Although the pain is not near as intense as it was the week directly after surgery, it is still extremely stiff and extremely tender, I mean after all, they did operate on the center of my brain.

Second off, the idea that there is a dense layer of glue on the back of my head solely to keep my brain fluid from leaking out onto my clothes freaks me out. Thinking about this concept is just weird. Disgusting. Actually, a bit revolting. And now that they were taking out the staples that helped keep this gunk from coming out, I thought I may pass out.

After some tugging, a little pulling, and a bit of wrenching, my doctor successfully got them all out. I won’t pretend I was some big, brave soldier, I was holding onto my mom’s hands the entire time and trying not to cry, which, by the way, I did not. (I am quite proud of this fact, in case you could not tell.) I got to see all nine of the staples after we were done, and it was an odd thing to think those had been keeping the hole in my head together for the past two weeks. I’m still not too keen on the whole glue idea. My doctor said that eventually the glue will flake off on it’s own, but she also handed my mom some scissors as we left to help cut it off. The area around my incision has had a heightened sense of soreness since she so kindly prodded on me, needless to say, we have not touched those scissors yet, and I don’t think we will for at least another week.

As far as the rest of my recovery has been going, it’s still a bit of an uphill process. My energy levels remain significantly low, but I can proudly state that I have gotten up to five laps walking around my upstairs. (This is kind of a big deal, due to the fact that for the first week I could barely even do one.) By the time you are reading this, I will be free to lay horizontally at my leisure, for I have reached the three week mark! I’ll be able to slouch, bend over, lift things over five pounds, all sorts of crazy stuff. Things could get wild.

Although initially we thought I would return to school for partial homebound next Monday, my doctors and I have decided to do six more weeks of full homebound, but I am able to return for a couple of hours or even just one when I am ready. Because of the cold and flu season, my inability to stay awake for more than 40 percent of the day, and fear of regression, they don’t want me to push myself too far too fast. I could lie and say I tried to object to this, but honestly, I just couldn’t quite muster up the energy.

So for now my days are occupied with sleeping, movie watching, visiting, therapy, and a bit of homework. I am content with where I am at, but I hope to continue to improve at the pace that I have been. I knew going into surgery that recovery would prove a challenge, but I’d like to say I’m handling it all pretty well. With the unbelievably exceptional support from my friends and my family, I can honestly say life is good. And it’s only going to get better.