Friday, March 8, 2013

Written 1 hour ago by Michele Robinson (Duffey)

To catch you up to speed...since I am copying and pasting much of this from my CaringBridge--I've had 3 Chiari headaches this week. You Chiarians know what this is without description...and these are my first ones since surgery. It has to be related to PT, that's my thought...and this is the post I just put on CaringBridge. 
Dr. Kim's office called back. He agrees with me that this is all most likely normal and said to give it 2 weeks, if I'm still having the new headaches we will investigate it further then (now, it could just be me, but did he pick that time frame because he's leaving tomorrow on vacation for 2 weeks...I'm just sayin').  PT went well, we are laying off the laser work again  until Monday, so there was more of the "painful touching", but it was fine.  I read the following post-op info from Precision Neurosurgery Austrailia, it made me feel better--I guess I'm just expecting too much from myself :What is “normal” after a Chiari decompression?
The following are common problems encountered by many patients, and usually do not mean anything serious is wrong:
  • Headaches: these are usually present daily to some degree, and may persist for a number of weeks. They will change in their location, character and severity as the bone heals and the scalp nerves regenerate.
  • Neck pain: this is the most common and bothersome symptom after a Chiari decompression. It usually responds to anti-inflammatory medications and small doses of muscle relaxants, and tends to settle with time. Some gentle physiotherapy commencing 4-6 weeks after surgery may be beneficial.
  • Numbness: this is common, and arises because the skin nerves have been cut. The area of numbness usually decreases over weeks to months, but sometimes does not disappear completely.
  • Concentration: this is usually impaired for weeks to months after craniotomy. It is common to find difficulty focusing on tasks, you may need to re-read information in order to retain it. These symptoms tend to get better with time.
  • Emotional instability (lability): you may experience irritability, depression, crying spells, anxiety, and sensitivity to noise or people in crowded places. Try to relax and take it easy. Spend more quiet time. If you have major problems with these symptoms and cannot relax, call us and we will arrange for you to see a Clinical Psychologist to receive some strategies to do so.
  • Tiredness and fatigue: these are very common, and gradually improve. Once you commence a regular walking program, you will start to feel more energy.
It is common for it to take up to 3 months before you feel “well” again. Have plenty of rest during the day and eat healthy foods. Do not drink more than a small amount of alcohol during this time. Get up at your regular time and get plenty of sleep. Your internal clock would have been severely deranged during your hospitalisation, and it takes some time to return to normal.
I remember reading this a few months before surgery, I guess I just needed to remind myself that I'm not just an underachiever, it takes time. 
So with that, Have a great weekend. I'll check back in Monday.

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