Author Topic: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12  (Read 32614 times)

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2009, 08:14:39 pm »
Yes, I've already requested 2 months and am wondering if that is enough time.  I hope that it is and will put my father in a nursing home for a month because I don't think I can care for him for the first month. Hw won't like it very much, but I can't handle him by myself.

Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

Kate B

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2009, 08:22:29 pm »
Mei Mei,

What subject do you teach? I am a curriculum director for a large suburban school district west of Chicago.

Under most circumstances, two months should be enough time. I was able to return to work full-time after five weeks. That being said I was tired that first week back.  Is there a way to return that first week to a half-day schedule? 

You may have said this already, but which type of surgery are you having done?

Kate
Kate
Middle Fossa Surgery
@ House Ear Institute with
Dr. Brackmann, Dr. Hitselberger
November 2001
1.5 right sided AN

Please visit http://anworld.com/

pjb

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2009, 08:33:45 pm »
With the FMLA you are entitled to 3 months without any problems with your place of employment with the Board of Education I am not sure if it is different. Besides having surgery you have to worry about your dad which of course is a major concern but you have to make sure that you heal first so you can care for him.  How old is he and how much care do you have to do for him?  Maybe when you are both home maybe you can see if you can get him homecare so that you have less to do and worry about you do not need any extra stress.
Diagnosed with a 1 cm. AN had Retrosigmoid
Approach surgery July of 2009, several problems after surgery.

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2009, 08:08:02 am »
Thanks Jan and PJB,
There's so much to learn.  I didn't know the Coclear implant was for bilateral patients.  I'll have to make a note of these devices for when it comes time for me to get mine.  I sure hope I come out of this with my hearing in tact but am ready for the worst.  I have to get this tumor out of my head before it gets too big.
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

leapyrtwins

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2009, 09:16:39 am »
Mei Mei -

all patients recover at different rates post op, but 2 months should be more than enough time off of work.  Most docs say it generally takes about 6 weeks.

I'm not a teacher (I'm an accountant) but I found it very helpful to work half-days when I first returned to work.  If that's a possibility for you, you might want to consider it.  It helps you get acclimated to the work environment, plus it comes in handy if you want to nap in the afternoon or sleep late in the morning.  The fatigue post op has to be experienced firsthand before you can really appreciate it. 

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2009, 10:02:30 am »
Hi and thank you all for your thoughtful replies,

I teach ESOL in Montgomery County Public Schools which is a large Suburban public school system just outside of Washington, DC.  I have two new curricula this year for my 2nd year and 4th year classes so there's an extra amount of work this year.   My father is 95 years old and had a stroke in 2005 so he is in a wheelchair for the right hemiparesis.  We have home health care coming in from 6:45 to 3:00 p.m.  and that costs about $4,000 per month.   I do the evening care to save the money and have some privacy in my home.   I called the County Respite to see about putting him in a nursing home for the first month and while I'm in the hospital.   He thinks he's going to the hospital with me to wait outside in the waiitng room.   My daughter doesn't want to bring him.  There's just too much to think about, but he will want to know what is going on and we won't be able to contact him in the  nursing home because he doesn't use a telephone.  He has a 60 dB hearing loss. 

My tumor is still considered small so I am hoping for the best as far as outcome and recovery time.   I'm just not looking forward to recovery at all.  I'm home alone and my bedroom is on the second floor.  I will buy lots of frozen dinners and use instant oatmeal and instant coffee for breakfast.   I've had my flu shot and have an appt for the H1N1 on Dec 8. 

I  think I've answered your' questions and thanks for your interest....

Sincerely,
Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

wendysig

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2009, 11:04:28 am »
Hi Mei Mei,

Welcome to our group -- I see the welcome wagon has already been out in force, as usual.  I really don't have much to add except that  ideally, it would be best if someone could stay with you or you could stay with someone (perhaps your daughter?) for the first couple of weeks after surgery.  You might have a problem with the stairs or just dizziness in general -- this too is very individual.  How much of a problem does your doc think you will have with balance after surgery?  As everyone has said, feel free to ask questions -- we are here to help.

Wendy
1.3 cm at time of diagnosis -  April 9, 2008
2 cm at time of surgery
SSD right side translabyrinthine July 25, 2008
Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
Extremely grateful for the wonderful Dr. Choe & Dr. Chen
BAHA surgery 1/5/09
Doing great!

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2009, 11:42:28 am »
I'm overwhelmed and touched with the welcome wagon.  My daughter down in Chalottesvilles, Va about 3 hours south of here is having her second baby around Dec. 17th and her other baby is 15 months old.  I'm not even sure if she is coming to the surgery.  She hasn't committed to anything.   I'm kind of disappointed but understand.   My other daughter from NY who is single is coming for the surgery.  She gets 3 day family leave for this and will take more .   She's a judge so has to get back up for hearings.  My other daughter will be on maternity leave.  I don't know how to leave to get to her house since I won't be able to drive and I don't want to leave my father behind.  Then there's the dog...I can't ask the neighbor to keep him forever.    I am the main caretaker of this household and now everything is going haywire.    I  have to make sure all the bills are paid before I leave for the hospital and be ready for tax time.

As for balance issues, I haven't met the neurosurgeon yet, and will meet him on Dec 21.  I'll have a list of questions for him.   My father has the Link to Life so I think I'll be wearing that and leave the front door unlocked just in case I press the button.

I forgot to answer the question which surgery I was going to Have.  I don't know the name, but the doctor said he was intend to enter from the posterior position if that clarifies things.  I'll have to read up on what Middle Fossa is.   I'm still pretty new at all the terminology.  What is all ironic is that my background is in Speech and Hearing!

Talk to you all later!

Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

leapyrtwins

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2009, 02:30:23 pm »
Mei Mei -

Wendy is right, you should try to have someone with you when you're home from the hospital.  Sounds like your daughters have their hands full, but perhaps the home health nurse could help you, as well as your father, during your recovery.  You might want to check with your insurance company. 

I'm sure if you explain the circumstances to your neighbor, he/she will be happy to take the dog for a few weeks.  Just mention brain surgery. 

It's often hard to ask for help, especially when you're the main caretaker (I know this from personal experience) but most of the time you'll find if you just ask, people are more than willing to help.  You may even have some colleagues at work who'd be willing to assist you - or take the dog for a while.

Just some thoughts,

Jan
Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2009, 04:29:41 pm »
Dear Jan,
Yes, it is hard to ask for help and it will be hard for the dog to be away from home.  He is so attached to us.  This whole recovery is going to be so stressful on all of us.   I need it to go as smoothly as possible.  Maybe it would be better to have my father in the house and the aide here till 8 for a month and have her give him dinner and put him to bed.  At least there would be someone in the house.  I'll figure this out this week when the Respite papers come in.  Being under one one roof has its advantages.  I just don't want to have to lift my father while I am recuperating.  He is  6 ft. tall and a rt. hemi paresis so he weighs heavy on you when you try to transfer him from the bed to the wheel chair and vice versa.  That's why I needed to know how long the recovery time would be because I have my father depending on me.   

I'll have to ask the doctor all these questions on the neurosurgical visiti at the end of December. 

I'll also ask that they not use residents and ask which kind of surgery they are going to do.


can you think of any other questions?

Mei Mei
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

sgerrard

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2009, 06:01:17 pm »
Hi Mei Mei,

Just saying hi. It looks like you are already into it all pretty deeply.  ;)

Steve
8 mm left AN June 2007,  CK at Stanford Sept 2007.
Hearing lasted a while, but left side is deaf now.
Right side is weak too. Life is quiet.

pjb

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2009, 06:51:22 pm »
You have so much to prepare for everyone else before your surgery it must be so overwhelming for you, at least in one way it takes your mind off of the actual surgery and to focus on your recovery instead and I am sure it will go well.  You cannot imagine how caring co-workers, neighbors etc., will come to your assistance after the surgery and don't be afraid to ask for their help. Definitely call your insurance company and also your dad's they might have homecare coverage even for a few weeks it would be a great help and savings to you and one less thing to worry about.
Diagnosed with a 1 cm. AN had Retrosigmoid
Approach surgery July of 2009, several problems after surgery.

moe

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2009, 11:58:13 pm »
Mei Mei,
Just a belated HI. Sounds like you are on the right track getting all your duckies in a row.
The issue with your father is very tricky. You do NOT want to have to worry about lifting or assisting him when you get home.
Unless you have 24 hour care in the home, the nursing home sounds the safest for at least the first couple of weeks.
It is unbelievable the cost of care. It just blows my mind :o
The size of your tumor is small, so think pos, you should recover fine.
Balance/dizziness are very common symptoms post op. Plus the fatigue of course.
Hopefully your daughter who is the judge can stay with you when you get back for a week....?
We lived in Bethesda, MD for 3 years, and then later on in beautiful WALDORF MD for 8 years (military). I have heard it has grown and grown down in that area.
Things will work out, the answers will come. You will feel so much better.
Does your father understand the issue with his age? Is he confused? Of course he doesn't want to be "abandoned" but just keep reminding him....BRAIN SURGERY....
Hang in there,
Maureen
06/06-Translab 3x2.5 vascular L AN- MAMC,Tacoma WA
Facial nerve cut,reanastomosed.Tarsorrhaphy
11/06. Gold weight,tarsorrhaphy reversed
01/08- nerve transposition-(12/7) UW Hospital, Seattle
5/13/10 Gracilis flap surgery UW for smile restoration :)
11/10/10 BAHA 2/23/11 brow lift/canthoplasty

suboo73

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2009, 07:48:13 am »
Mei Mei,

Just wanted to add a belated 'welcome' and hope you are finding all the answers you need.
Certainly sounds like you have A LOT on your plate - so please don't be afraid to ask for help.
I agree that having additional help in the house for the first few weeks sounds like a good plan.
If you get better faster than anticipated, then all the better!

I am not done researching my treatment options but met with Dr. Tamargo. 
He was very nice and explained things clearly, also indicating that I should meet with a radiosurgeon (in my case) as he thought that was also a treatment option for me.
I appreciated his honesty in explaining all my possible treatment options.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time.
Sincerely,
Sue

suboo73
Little sister to Bigsister!
9mm X 6mm X 5mm
Misdiagnosed 12+ years?
Diagnosed Sept. 2008/MRI 4/09/MRI 12/09/MRI 1/21/11
Continued W & W

Mei Mei

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Re: Surgery Date at Hopkins, January 12
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2009, 09:50:39 am »
Dear Friends,   
Thanks for all the replies and offer to make me a hat.  I was just growing my hair long again, too!  I have my application in for Montgomery County Respite Care.  They are pretty flexible.  You can use them either at home and pay a friend or take the person to a nursing home.  I might just pay the aides to be here taking care of him and then she can tend to me at the same time if I need something.   Tomorrow's Monday and I'll make my calls then.  I guess the dizziness post op is due to the swelling from the surgery and the poor brain needs time to settle down.  Boy will I have lots of questions for Dr. Tamargo on my visit on Dec. 21st.

Talk with you all later.
Mei Mei :)
1 cm Tumor RetrosigmoidSurgery on Jan 12 at Johns Hopkins
Drs. Niparko and Tamargo
35dB loss pre surgery and now SSD
Post surgical Headaches and Tinnitus
Dr Ducic Georgetown Excision Surgery May 2011
Dr. Schwartz GW  Titanium Mesh  March 2012
Drs Kalhorn/Baker, Georgetown Removal of Titanium Mesh

 


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