Getting Closer to “Normal”

Finally … I heard back from my neurologist’s office, with an update to my health status, following my recent accident and neurosurgery. For those not in the loop, after experiencing extreme headaches in May, my doctor could not find anything to cause this rather unusual condition for me, so he ordered an MRI of my head. During the test, the MRI was stopped and I was rushed to a Kansas City hospital for emergency surgery, as I wrote in a recent post (“20-Cent Neurosurgery”).

About 10 days after leaving the hospital, I went back in for removal of stitches and a general checkup, also posted in a post (“Neurosurgery Update”). And just last Friday, I had a followup CT scan to check the status of my head injury. After waiting for nearly a week, I contacted the neurologist’s office on Thursday afternoon to get the results of that test, as well as check on my many restrictions (no driving, limited weight (lifting), no long hikes, etc.). After determining that the office had overlooked my notification to them of the CT scan, they gave me the results.

The latest CT scan showed a small amount of blood still pooled around the brain (this is probably what’s causing my low level headaches that I now sometimes encounter), but the brain is pretty much back into it’s correct position, within the cranium (when first caught, the pressure was so intense that the brain was a bit “distorted” out of position). But overall, everything is looking good. I also found that this is quite common; although the “burr hole” surgery relieved the pressure and removed the large pool of blood, once the pressure subsided, a small amount of residual blood remains in the cavity. Over time, this blood is “re-absorbed” back into the brain. From this point, a CT scan will be performed ~ every 6 weeks to monitor the re-absorption process. Apparently this process will take 2-3 months. Once my brain is free of pooled blood, and “normal” again (yes, this is debatable, as some as my “friends” will tell you!), I will be released by the neurologist.

So, how are my restrictions going?  Some great news here!  One of my biggest concerns was being able to attend the “Artfest Midwest, ‘The Other Art Show'” in Des Moines, Iowa, next weekend. Since I’ve arranged for someone to help me load/unload/booth setup, I am being allowed to show my artwork! The only stipulation is that I have to use “common sense” and be careful, which I’ll gladly do!

For all other restrictions, I have been cleared to “ease myself back to my normal activities” … Yippee! It has been getting awfully boring and depressing to lay around and do essentially nothing.  I’m still very weak and still not much of an appetite (I’ve now lost ~ 15 pounds since this incident happened, plus 5 pounds that I conscientiously worked at losing before the accident). So things will be slow and I’ll likely not be doing any long prairie hikes for a while (although I’ll likely try to do some short ones, with someone else around to help if I run into any issues, after I return from the Des Moines show). But at least things are going the right way and a full recovery is in sight!

I just want to thank everyone out there who has been praying with/for me and for all the positive messages, thoughts, and concerns you’ve voiced on my behalf … many thanks!

I’m hoping to resuming some nature posts very soon. My biggest issue is that I’ve not been out to capture some more nature images. I’ve been seeing lots of beautiful wildflowers along the roadside (while being driven somewhere), but just not able to get out and do what I love to do … hopefully, very soon!




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