Author Topic: 4 weeks post-op balance issues  (Read 6469 times)

mch

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4 weeks post-op balance issues
« on: May 24, 2007, 03:01:50 pm »
Hi,
Had AN sugery a month ago, feeling very out of self due to balance. My head feels very foggy and the left side very solid due to loss of hearing.
Not driving as unsure, would appreciate insight from others that expierenced this and for how long? My mornings when first  out of bed feel clearer and
then again come later in the evening after relaxing watching TV etc - gather this is due to no movement/motion for extended period of time. I am frustrated
as not able to do or feel like doing regular routine stuff, will be seeing Dr's come June for follow-up. I know that to be patient is key - but it's hard.
Thanks,

M

Boppie

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007, 04:57:47 pm »
Mch, Yes patience is the key.  You read so many success stories, and much of the success is assessed after two to three months.  Your fogginess is a sign of being tired.  Hang on; this sounds like normal for one month.  Try doing modified activities over a longer period of the day rather than going full tilt or normal speed for the first few hours.  Pace your energy, meter it out, just like exercise.  Take the tasks slowly and don't stress about quantity.  Quality recovery will come.  Keep track of progress on a weekly basis rather than daily. 

Catflower

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2007, 07:03:52 am »
I'm right there with you on the balance issues.  I'm almost 6 weeks post surgery and my balance is still pretty bad especially in places like Walmart and the grocery store.  I've driven once and just am not comfortable with it.

I'm hoping and praying that our issues will resolve.  We just need to keep in mind that everyone's experience is different.  Just because someone drove at 3 weeks doesn't mean that is the case for everyone.  It just isn't easy trying to be patient when all we really want is to get back to life.

Linda in WV

HeadCase2

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 07:45:39 am »
mch and catflower,
  Your balance should continue to improve with time. As far as driving, your balance needs to improve enough that you can turn your head suddenly to check traffic (for example checking the lane next to you to make sure that it's clear before changing lanes, etc.), without experiencing "fishbowl head".  This took about 6 weeks for me.
  Many people here, including myself, have reported that Vestibular Retraining from a Physical Therapist can be very helpful, and seems to help the process of compensating for the lose of one vestibular nerve to move along more quickly.  The PT will give you various "balance" exercises to help your brain learn about the "new" vestibular input it's getting.  Daily walks are also very helpful.
Regards,
  Rob
« Last Edit: May 25, 2007, 07:48:51 am by HeadCase2 »
1.5 X 1.0 cm AN- left side
Retrosigmoid 2/9/06
Duke Univ. Hospital

GrogMeister of the PBW

Captain Deb

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 11:04:40 am »
Ditto what Rob said.  You actually have to force your other balance mechanisms to compensate--it ain't comin' back sittin' on the sofa, watchin' the tube and waitin'!! I worked with a PT for 3 months and did alot of stuff at home and took lots of walks in our local park which has a flat paved trail.

I practiced targeting--turning the head side to side while walking and trying to pick an object to focus on with each turn.  Balance is a "use it or lose it" thing.  I was laid up twice this past year, once with an arm surgery and once for 2 months with the pneumonia--yucky-poo!  When I finally did get out a bit after being sedentary, my balance sucked big time.  I had to force it back by going back to basics--walk-walk-walk.

Early in recovery you really have to pace yourself-walk, lay down--walk, lay down again. I didn't drive until about 4 months (I work at home and had constant caregivers.)  I did alot of eye and head movement stuff that I could do while sitting.  I think I still have print-outs from my Physical Terrorist if any one wants copies---PM me.

Be Well,  Capt Deb 8)
"You only have two choices, having fun or freaking out"-Jimmy Buffett
50-ish with a 1x.7x.8cm.AN
Mid-fossa HEI, Jan 03 Friedman & Hitselberger
Chronic post-op headaches
Captain & Designated Driver of the PBW

Soundy

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 08:17:17 am »
Only 24 days post op... surgeon cleared to me drive short distances ... I drove Sunday
with 27 year old son for chaperon and to take over if need be ... did OK... had some problems
dealing with peripheral vison... felt like things to the side of me were going by too fast...

Sunday night was dizzy ... Monday still dizzy and nauseated ... Tuesday nausea worse and vomiting
that began around 11am ... couldn't keep down medicine to stop it long enough to do any good ...
landed in the ER because of head pain that I could no longer stand... shots of Zofram and morphine and
a CAT scan later and driving privileges revoke for time being ...I think I was doing so good even the doctor
jumped the gun in granting me permission to drive ...  still have some head spinning feelings

Spent about 24 of last 36 hours in bed... guess key word is patience ... got to learn not to push things
too soon... I have went from walking a straight line to staggering around house ... lesson learned

3mm AN discovered Aug 2004
Translab July 2 ,2007
3.2cm x 2.75cm x 3.3cm @ time of surgery

Omaschwannoma

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 09:54:40 am »
Adding my "two-and-a-half" cents here.  Capt. Deb did great job in covering all details.  I also had Vestibular Rehab with home exercises and this helped immensly to the point it should be mandatory for all patients. 

One thing to mention, there are many people here that still to this day, have difficulty in malls, grocery stores, outdoors, hallways, soft surfaces and in low lighting--I'm one of them.  Just recently I was getting off the elevator with my son and walking fine until we walked into a long hallway.  I stumbled and ran into him.  The feeling was much like I was being pulled towards him (he was on my AN side).  He asked if I was alright, "Yes, fine it's the hallway is all."  It had been awhile since we were together and he like so many are probably under the impression that my balance should be at 100%. 

I still experience fatigue, but not to exhaustion as I experienced in the beginning days of recovery.  I am 2.5 years post surgery.  Fatigue comes from just what you thought--too much stimulation for hours on end with eyes and ears.  5-minute eyes closed power naps help me alot.
1/05 Retrosigmoid 1.5cm AN left ear, SSD
2/08 Labyrinthectomy left ear 
Dr. Patrick Antonelli Shands at University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
12/09 diagnosis of semicircular canal dehiscence right ear

Captain Deb

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 11:56:25 am »
Soundy--
Sounds like you had a migraine! Some of mine used to begin with extreme dizziness and progress to extreme one-sided head pain.  I keep some compazine suppositories (EEEEWWWWW!!!!) on hand for when those puppies start.  Your doc can prescribe them.  Your driving should start with around the block trips, just like your walking. Short spurts of stimulation punctuated by periods of relaxation are better than extended periods of trying to push yourself.

My PT taught me a "surfacing" technique to combat the nausea I felt when we were doing intense PT excrcises--all designed to overstimulate the vestibular system and force compensation:

Sit in a hard chair with your back flat against the back of the chair and your feet flat on the floor. Hands on the arms of the chair or on the sides of it. (a soft chair won't work as well)

Focus your eyes on a single spot in the room (closing your eyes sometimes promotes the spinning)

Focus your mind on the "gravity" holding you in the chair and the feeling of your body attached to the surface of the chair and your feet on the floor--slow down your breathing.

You can do this standing up against a wall, too, which is what I do when I'm in the gym.

Be Well and Sail On!


Capt Deb 8)
"You only have two choices, having fun or freaking out"-Jimmy Buffett
50-ish with a 1x.7x.8cm.AN
Mid-fossa HEI, Jan 03 Friedman & Hitselberger
Chronic post-op headaches
Captain & Designated Driver of the PBW

Soundy

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2007, 06:31:25 am »
Feel almost human again... I have migraines and this was nothing like any I have ever had... and luckily my
migraines are on left side and AN was on right side...

I got dizzy after driving and the vomiting made the head start hurting... holding pressure against the incision
site as I got sick , I could feel bulging against my hand... not a good feeling

I will remember technique you gave..
I have some exercises they gave me that I am nowhere ready for ... reading them makes me ill...I posted
them somewhere on this site...

Thanks Bruce for good thoughts ... I am just slowing down for now to a crawl in hopes of not
triggering another bad spell
3mm AN discovered Aug 2004
Translab July 2 ,2007
3.2cm x 2.75cm x 3.3cm @ time of surgery

Boppie

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Re: 4 weeks post-op balance issues
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2007, 09:10:19 am »
good exercises described online.  Google this...vestibular rehabituation

 


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