Some one asked this question, and it’s a really good question with a complicated answer. During my first post-op appointment with the neurosurgeon, he basically told us that we were going to have to just “wait and see” if, over a period of time, my seizure activity was reduced. Even that is complicated, because I’ve always had both “partial” (“little”) seizures as well as “generalized” seizures. So, it’s an interesting thing to wait and see if nothing is going to happen! My doctor was also clear that, if I had a seizure, it did not mean that the surgery was not successful. After brain surgery, it takes awhile for everything to settle into “the new normal,” so it can take awhile for the “success” to really be determined.
However, in my case, I’m happy to say that, so far, I have had ZERO seizures since I had the surgery. None. Not even the little ones. And, from my own perspective, so far, things feel “different” in my brain. It’s a lot quieter, and I also feel like I have more energy (I know, watch out, if Kristine has MORE energy than before). I guess the way I would describe it is that I think it is an ongoing “drain” of energy when you are constantly having and recovering from small and not so small seizures. Now, I don’t have that drain everyday to every week, as I did before. There used to be these days when I felt as if I was having a “fight” with the seizures, as I attempted to stave them off, and now I don’t have that sense.
So, so far, so good. I try to stay in a realistic place about it, but it does feel incredible to be living in a body that isn’t having regular seizures — when I sleep, little ones throughout the day, and then, the “big ones” that disrupt everything in life.
So that’s the report from inside my brain. I feel great. I am pretty much back to my regular yoga/dance teaching schedule and I can continue to tell that the body memory continues to help my brain and my thought process heal. It’s still very strange to be “inside” a brain that I don’t really recognize as being “my” brain. I found myself longing, the other day, for my “old” brain — the one that was familiar. This new one is fascinating, but sometimes it would feel really nice to have the process of thinking go the way that it used to and not have it feel so unusual, as it continues to feel right now. When it gets to be too much, I just take a nice long nap.
So, over all, things are really, really good, and I continue to just be so tickled that I am alive, waking up, thinking, doing things like going to our daughter’s Parent’s weekend at Whitman College . . . All of those little and big things that make us human and alive.
I can’t say it enough . . . enjoy every minute of it!
Sounds like a success to me, Kristine! A wonderful future lies ahead. Hugs and kisses for the world’s best sister-in-law!
Fantastic–in both senses of the word. Keep us posted as you explore new territory. You’re not the only one interested in an awareness of how the brain works–or even THAT it works. Great news!
This post makes my whole year! So happy that you’re healthy.
It sounds like success to me too. (By the way, in case Dr. Sunshine hasn’t identified me, I’m a coworker of his; I’ve met him and Leda but not you.) Now the obvious followup question: have you cut off or curtailed anti-seizure meds? That will also make a big difference in your “brain weather”, if you can get away with it.
Good question. The way they go about this is that they leave you on your anti-seizure meds for awhile, even sometimes forever. I suspect that the next time I am back in Boston and we do all of the scans again and meet with the “gang” of docs, they will have more to say about this, but, for now, the meds stay. How ever, I was one of those people before the surgery who, unfortunately, was still having seizures while on a pretty robust dose of meds. What they find with epilepsy is that a certain percentage of us are not able to find seizure control, even with meds. So, the hope is that with surgery plus the meds, the seizures will go away. I also am fortunate in that I am now on a med that has few side effects for me, unlike some others I’ve been on. So, it’s all yet another part of the “wait and see” part of things.
Kristine, Thank you for being you and I love your recovery! You are God’s miracle!!!!
I like the image of your brain being “quiet” – I suspect that is also a relative term as in “quiet” for you is probably pretty busy for someone else. That said, I’ve been thinking about this ever since Jonathan mentioned it in church. “Quiet” as in peaceful? Quiet as in moving gently from image to image, thought to thought? Certainly not “blank”. I notice, when the sun is shining at an angle through the leaves and I stop for a moment with no thought but the beauty of it all – that is quiet, but full. Or listening to music – really listening, but not analyzing or criticizing, but being immersed. Right now, my brain is quiet – no “to do” list, no “chewing on anything” – just thinking about being quiet. Pretty interesting, actually.
I’m so happy that all seems to be heading in the right direction -even if time isn’t making sense 🙂
By the way, speaking of socially acceptable time, I did not post that message at 3:52 AM – it’s actually 8:53 PM – 🙂
Really glad to hear you are doing so well, my small Unitarian group down here have been sending positive vibes to you : )
. Q: what part of the brain did they take out?/render powerless?/what was it they did? I am wondering more as it is very possible we took Anatomy of the Brain together : ). Mostly just glad you are here purkalating amongst your loved ones again.
Waking up and knowing that you are alive and doing well, is a good feeling. We are all so thankful for that.
And your North Carolina Yoder “cousins” have you in our thoughts and prayers. by
I’ve been thinking of this since reading it, especially the part about being inside a brain that you don’t recognize as your own. That’s not unlike what happens when you give up drinking: it’s a brave new world, at once fascinating and worrisome. My wish for you is that the unfamiliar blends beautifully with the familiar as the weeks of healing continue. Love from across town.