Shortly after returning to my home town after my surgery in January, 2005, I remember wanting to get back to the physically strong, energetic person I once was (having sailed around the world), getting back my impeccable balance and fluid motion, being able to hear the softest sound, and I set my goals to reach those levels. I realised these "wants" were delaying my healing. I should've been thinking the way I tell my yoga students, "honor your limitations, leave judgement and frustration at the door."
My approach to healing would've been better served had my doctors added that if at 6-weeks I am not back to normal to relax with it as it can take years for headaches, balance issues, etc. to dissapate and then maybe not. At my 6-week doctor check, I was told I should be feeling back to normal. I also remember hearing over and over from my doctors and friends, "You look great!". Well jeez I don't "feel" great. Perhaps I should be sitting in a chair, head half cocked and drooling so my doctors would take me seriously? When this did not happen and the doctors did not have any answers for me I went back home dejected, angry, scared I didn't heal "right", scared I had something to do with why I wasn't back to normal. It wasn't helping that my husband, unconsciously, was sending signals to me that I wasn't trying hard enough. I had good days and bad which confused him on my bad days. On my good days I felt as though I finally made it "through" and all this is over, then bad days came causing frustration and confusion.
My surgeons at my 6-week visit were confused why I had headaches and was told this had nothing to do with the tumor or surgery. My daily migraine-like pain sent me on a search for specialists in my town to solve what I was convinced was a new and unrelated development. More $$, time, more MRI's, more frightening weeks waiting for results, blood tests, and EEG to be told it's all negative and nothing can be found as to why I have the headaches so seek phsyc counseling--sigh! Now more frustration.
Then a new developmnet reared up when my good ear developed constant tinnitus, problems with level of hearing fluctuating, pressure changes, thumping, pulsing, fullness began I called my surgeon with this new development to be sent to see an ENT near me. More $$, time, tests for ECoG function (negative), ABR (positive), hearing (good) all to be told even though tests results show negative for Menier's , but he suspects Menier's. After discussing my case with an associate ENT more specialized in treating Menier's I was told he wanted to see me. I'm thinking, "now we're getting somewhere." Immediately upon seeing him he wondered why I was there? Now I'm confused and show my frustration. Once again more $$, time, more confusion as this doctor did not think it's Menier's and focused more on why my field of vision would bounce when walking. So more tests, this time for nystagmus (positive) showing consistant with surgery, but he did not address the other issues of the good ear. I also went back to my PT with a script from him for more vestibular rehab only to be told more rehab will not help me--sigh, more $$, time and frustration. I have ended my desire and now told my husband I'll have to be unconscious in order to see another doctor.
Knowing we all heal at our own pace is now a comfort for me. Accepting my limitations has eased my stress and what a bonus when those limitations fall by the wayside! Putting a time-line on healing can be detrimental and I would advise doctors to come up with another approach to their patients.