More and More, Better and Better

We came right back from Christmas in Atlanta to pre-op and  then surgery on the second hole in my head. They opened up my scalp and followed the spinal fluid leak, along with looking for other holes. Once again, cutting off all that was growing out of the hole, then sewing my head back up. Believe it or not, I went home that evening-way too soon for me! I woke up at midnight feeling like my head was going to explode-pretty horrible pain. Putting ice on my head and taking the painkillers got me through the night, but just barely. And so began, my first week of the new year. Taking so much Vicodin (yes, prescribed dosage), my pharmacist said I had to switch to something else or I’d be in liver failure in 2 wks. So then there was the percoset which did a better job and I thought I was getting better. But oh no, here comes the headache again, only made worse by bending over or coughing, vomiting-the pressure was once again excruitiating! This time, the surgeons turned me back over to the neurologist. They said they had fixed what obviously needed to be fixed and had no ideas of where to go from here.

After speaking with the neurologist at length, a spinal tap was scheduled. I thought, “surely, this will resolve all my problems. I’ve just got too much pressure now after not enough pressure before”. Maybe true, maybe not, but unfortunately for me, the spinal tap showed abnormal fluid and being one of those 5% of the population that the tap hole doesn’t close, I developed a headache that became truly unbearable along with a case of atypical menningitis. I was a sick puppy and went back into the hospital this last week. Demerol every 3 hours around the clock was a wonderful release from so much pain for so long! After the 2nd tap and then blood patch, that headache was gone, the antibiotics had cleared up the menningitis, but the original headache was back-not beginning to be as bad as it had been, but the longer I am up, the worse it gets.

So after 4 days in the hospital, I came home and then we saw the neurologist again on Friday. He believes that I have to very slowly adjust to being up, take the pain meds, but on a reduced basis and eventually my head will settle down. It HAS had a lot done to it in a short amount of time! And the kind of surgery I’ve had could mess with the spinal fluid, so for now, I am trying very hard to take his advice. Just be up 2 hours at a time and then down for two. Hopefully, he is right. Worst case, we’ll know pretty quickly if he is wrong…