Author Topic: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!  (Read 1575 times)


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What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« on: October 18, 2017, 08:39:38 am »
Hi, everyone.
I'm about 2 weeks from translab surgery and I'm very much type A, wanting to be as prepared as possible. I've got my personal/work affairs in order, shopped for button up clothing, gotten night lights/shower seat, etc.  There are a couple things I'm struggling with and could use help:

1. What on Earth am I supposed to do with 6-8 weeks of recovery time off work? Will I be comfortable reading, watching TV, going out, doing a puzzle? I know I'll need to practice walking a few times a day. I'm used to single parenting and working two jobs. I don't know how to sit still and don't know what will be comfortable. Please help me preplan - do I buy books, movies, activities?

2. A friend set up a meal plan for me, including not just food but gift cards and assistance around the house (taking out trash, bringing in groceries, walking with me, cleaning up here and there, etc). I will also have a friend staying with me first, while I am recovering alone and then when my child comes back home a week later (he's staying with a friend while I rest for a week and he can still be super active). Is there anything else I should plan for? Will I want to eat? People are asking me what I want but I'm not really sure what that will be.

Yes, I am trying to control everything and know it's not possible to control it all - it's just my way of coping. :)
Suggestions? Thanks so much.


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2017, 09:39:10 am »
Hi Karen,
Good luck with your surgery!
How long are you expected to remain in the hospital?
I had retrosigmoid surgery last October- I'm almost a year post op.
The first week home was probably the roughest and I did rest a lot.  I watched TV but would fall asleep easily.  My appetite wasn't good for a few weeks, so I wouldn't expect to eat much.  I ate mostly things that were comfort foods for me. 
I started walking maybe toward the end of that first week but it was for very short distances.  I honestly didn't use the bath chair but like 1 time maybe.  I just needed help getting in and out of the tub. 
I didn't feel like reading but did begin watching Grey's Anatomy from season 1 on Netflix.  Probably wouldn't have been able to concentrate on a puzzle.

Just prepare to rest  mostly the first couple of weeks and then gradually increasing activity. 
Are you doing vestibular therapy?  This really helped me regain strength and balance. 
AN right side found August 2016- grape size
Retrosigmoid microsurgery October 2016
Before surgery- minor hearing loss, major balance and dizziness issues.
After surgery- severe hearing loss (it fluctuates), no dizziness, minor balance issues


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2017, 09:58:41 am »
Thanks, mandihester.

I have been told 4-5 days in the hospital and that maybe there would be a consult of therapy while in the hospital but not direct service after that. I guess I'll plan to do nothing, then, and just roll with things as they come. I can't imagine sitting still for so long, though I will do anything to avoid CSF leakage.


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2017, 01:23:23 pm »
as if yesterday, I am 3 weeks post post middle fossa surgery. I, like you, am type A and usually very active.   I had a lot of the same concerns that you do. 
One thing that will determine your activity level is whether or not they cut your balance nerve. I luckily did not have my balance nerve cut. Therefore, I was able to do a lot for myself and began going for long walks early on. I just got back from a 4 mile walk. That said, I was already a very active person and ran a half marathon just 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Facial paralysis and dry eye are very big issues for me, so reading is not a good option for me, but audio books are a good plan B. I also prepared projects that I could do while "resting". For instance, I gathered a bunch of CDs that I needed to upload onto iTunes. I also have a lot of old family photos that needed to be scanned and uploaded onto photobucket.
For the first few weeks, I found that I would usually sit/rest for 15 or 20 minutes at a time then get up and do a little chore (do a couple of dishes, sweep the floor in one room etc.) then I would sit/rest again.
As far as eating goes, I got my appetite back after a few days. This might be due to the fact that I was not dizzy or nauseous due to dizziness. I had one jaw muscle cut, although I believe this is unusual. Because of that, I can't open my mouth too wide, so sandwiches or burgers are difficult, but other than that, I eat the same things I always ate.
One of my friends set up a care calendar since I live alone. It definitely kept me busy. I had one or two people come over everyday. It was designed to help me out, but in the end it felt like I was entertaining and thankfully I had the energy for that.


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2017, 04:39:14 pm »
Understand everyone is different, but I had facial and eye issues, also I was pretty wiped out. I slept a lot and did a little walking in the mall. One of my thoughts after what I went through was that I needed more time than the doctor wanted to give me before going back to work. I never miss time but needed about 16 weeks, got about 12. Hopefully everything goes well for you!!
2.54 cm tumor
TransLab @ House Clinic
Surgery 10/27/15
Numerous Post Surgery Issues


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2017, 08:07:00 pm »
I spent a lot of time sleeping or watching TV ( as able, had the eye issue). Started out about 3 weeks post op on short walks and went from there. I was really tired and became exhausted quickly ( which makes things worse, headache worse, vertigo worse etc.) I was off work for 3 months then returned for about 6 weeks before my first repair surgery and frankly I went back too soon, it depends on you really.
1st AN surgery @ age 23, 16 hours
Loss of 7-10th nerves
mulitple "plastic" repairs to compensate for effects of 7th nerve loss
tumor regrowth, monitored for a few years then surgically removed @ age 38 (of my choice, not medically necessary yet)


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2017, 05:24:05 pm »
Like you,  I couldn't imagine 6-8 weeks off. I discovered I was plenty busy! Sleeping for only short spells, making myself eat, getting up the gumption to get into the shower. Audiobooks were great before I was able to tackle TV or reading material. Best wishes to you on your journey!


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 05:46:14 am »
Thank you, everyone. I appreciate the insight!


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2017, 08:25:41 pm »
Number one thing I can tell you - don't push it too much with activity.  Since you like a plan, make a schedule.  Something like this.  Wake up, eat breakfast, walk or do some balance exercises, take a nap.  Wake up, eat lunch, walk or do some balance exercises, take a nap.  Wake up, eat dinner, walk or do some balance exercises, go to bed.

Work on your recovery with walking and balance or other exercises (no strain) with the consistency of training for a sport, but with lots of naps mixed in.  Some people have lots of fatigue post op, in which case the naps work well.  Some people feel pretty energetic.  But I've read quite a few stories where folks felt great and then did too much, and then had a setback.  Had a few of those myself.

Between eating, napping, walking, napping, exercising (no strain), napping (you get it) you should be able to fill up the day.  Work on recovery, not passing time.
Best of luck,
Dx 2.6 cm Nov 2012, 35% hearing loss.  Grew to 3.5 cm Oct 2013.  Pre-op total hearing loss, left side tongue numb.  Translab Nov 2013 House Clinic.  Post-op no permanent facial or other issues.  Tongue much improved.  Great result!!


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 09:29:52 pm »
For me the initial recovery seemed endless and was quite an adjustment, but to be honest, I long for that time now, considering how things progressed and how I feel now. As hard as it is, indulge yourself in this time to really rest and nurture yourself. Eat everything you want and drink tons of water. Watch light hearted comedies. NAP. Take your medications, stick to a routine (because I was afraid medications may effect my memory I made sure to jot down in the notes section of my phone when I had taken what steroid/med, what time my PT and appointments were, what time I ate (eat a lot!), when I was able to sleep (nap when you can!) The medication I was on made it very hard to sleep for more than an hour and a half or so at a time mostly. Nights were the worst for me, until about 4/5am, then I was able to sleep solidly for 4 hours usually. I know a lot of people say don't over-do it with a lot of exertion, but I found doing things like my laundry challenging but strengthening and rewarding, I practiced with my walker often, and I tried to make the effort to "do things by myself."  -I was lucky enough to have friends who would come help me, and for things like showering or washing your hair, have someone close to you that you are comfortable with there to help you in and out of the bath/shower, slipping is the last thing you want and I wasn't as stable as I thought I was without my walker.  So basically, I'm saying be cautious but try to be strong, and above all else, this is a rare moment of time where you are allowed to really nurture yourself. Eat, revel in the small improvements and victories, and try not to be impatient with yourself, be kind. And one last warning, that I wish my doctor had told me or I had known to expect: Decadron ( a common steroid to help swelling after surgery) causes irritation, angry outbursts, and in my case scary hallucinations, mostly when I'd been up for hours in the night unable to sleep and get comfortable. THAT IS THE MEDICATION, and when you ween off of it, those things go away. On the plus side, the steroid did give me more physical strength and drive, and I progressed very quickly with PT and didn't need the walker around my apartment after 5 or 6 days, just used it for long stretches of walking and in public. Be kind to yourself right now as best you can, it will help for later, and you will have plenty of hardships to overcome down the road and you won't have this peace and time to just nurture yourself as much later, as life needs to go on. My sincerest wishes.
5cm tumor discovered 6/7/17 in ER after fainting, removed 6/19/17 in CA.
-No prior symptoms except occasional dizziness in heat & some tinnitus
-"temporary" facial paralysis on right side, no improvement yet
-Eye, paralysis, stroke, & emotional complications
-Navigating the medical system (trying)


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Re: What am I supposed to do for 6-8 weeks while recovering?!
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2017, 08:17:19 am »
I got by listening to audio books.  I highly recommend the new bio of Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.  That should satisfy your type A tendencies.