Hi Stephanie and welcome to his forum of caring, supportive new friends .....
I read all of your posts in various threads, but will reply to each one separately.
First of all, take a deep breath, you are not alone with this decision. Yes, it is totally your decision on what you are going to do, where you are going to go for treatment, and when ..... but this forum exists to help the stress level during the decision-making phase.
Secondly, send for the free ANA information to assist you in sorting out the options. See: http://www.anausa.org/index.php/contact-us
These materials will be a big help in answering general questions about acoustic neuromas.
Thirdly, because of the rare nature of ANs, we always urge patients to find physicians with the most successful experience treating acoustic neuromas specifically. You are fortunate to have House Ear Clinic in your state, even though at the southern end.
There are a number of House alums active on this forum right now. I can only speak for myself, but I had a wonderful experience with Drs. Friedman and Schwartz doing my surgery last May ..... no complications and uneventful recovery.
Depending upon the surgical approach used (and doctor preference), only a small strip of your head will be shaved ..... usually just wide enough for the incision and in most cases for women, your hair will cover it easily post-op.
Most docs will not let you wash your hair until the stitches are out (if stitches used), which is usually 7-10 days post-op; but you will be able to shower (using a shower cap) as soon as you are discharged. If you have balance issues post-op, and most people do, for at least a short while (depends on how much compensating your brain has already done before surgery), you will have assistance as long as you need it when up ..... in the hospital, that is.
It is very, very individual how quickly you bounce back from MAJOR surgery. For many people, the first couple of weeks post-op they are physically rather wobbly and very tired. Some people have headaches (I did not!). Much depends upon the patient's attitude and motivation to get back to a normal routine. I have had several major surgeries in my life and the AN surgeries were similar in a 4-6 week recovery time to regain strength.
Feel free to private message me if you want any additional information about House.
Many thoughts and prayers!