Author Topic: Athletics and Post AN Life  (Read 33233 times)

Seal

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Athletics and Post AN Life
« on: February 01, 2009, 08:29:11 am »
Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if anyone could provide some feedback on athletic activities after the AN removal.    Granted, it will take many months for the brain to recalibrate to one nerve for balance, and being SSD will have its limitations as well.      What I am trying to find out is just some info on basic things like going for a bike ride, running, or any sports requiring some degree of balance.   If anyone has some feedback both good and bad, it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Steve
Diagnosed 1/14/09 - 2.4cm AN right side --- about 70% cycstic
Retrosigmoid wiih McKenna & Barker - total removal successful on April 13th. 
Issues: balance, facial & mouth numbness, hearing loss right side
Results:   numbness gone, balance is good, SSD right side. Great results.

MAlegant

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 09:03:14 am »
Hi Steve,
My balance nerve was not cut, just messed with I guess, so I am lucky to have few balance problems.  At 6 months post op, I run about 5 times a week (same as before) bike, hike, and do all of the things I want to do.  As people reply you will see that even those with balance issues manage to return to the things they love to do.
Good luck,
Marci
3cmx4cm trigeminal neuroma, involved all the facial nerves, dx July 8, 2008, tx July 22, 2008, home on July 24, 2008. Amazing care at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

texsooner

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 02:29:52 pm »
Steve, everyone is different with balance and recovery.....my experience with activities has been good. I started running about 4 weeks post op and currently run 2 to 3 times a week. I recently completed a half marathon(5 months post op). About 6 weeks post op, I started bike riding(road bike) and do that once a week for several miles. I also played in a golf tournament 2 months post op and did fine. Put your mind to it, and you should be able to get back to doing everything you did prior to AN removal.

Patrick
3.5cm left side AN; 11 hour retrosigmoid surgery 8/11/08 @ Memorial Hermann, Houston - Texas Medical Center with Drs. Chang and Vollmer; home on 8/13/08;
SSD(w/tinnitus); dry eye; Happy to be here and feeling good.

Jim Scott

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 02:33:16 pm »
Steve:

I'm not 'athletic' now and wasn't when I was young, but I am active - and always have been. That means I can't offer you any advice based on experiences with returning to athletics after AN surgery/radiation, but I can offer some general advice from my long-term post-op experience, as well as the experiences of other AN surgery/radiation patients who have posted on these forums.

As you know, healing and recovery are very individualized and there simply is no definite timeframe.  However, I was doing 'physical' things within a few weeks of my surgery (no heavy lifting, though). I've read of AN patients who have run marathons, half-marathons and some ride their bicycles fairly regularly.  Now, I haven't ridden a bike for 35 years or more (although I'm curious to find out if I still can), and just thinking about running a marathon (or even a half-marathon) makes me want to lie down.   However, I amble around quite a bit with no problems and helped my adult son move last fall (some heavy lifting was involved, this time) without suffering any real problems, except when I tried to imitate guys in their 20's, jumping off the back of the pickup truck we used.  I landed wrong, lost my balance and ended up sprawled on the lawn.  Fortunately, only my pride was injured and it healed quickly because no one saw me do this.  :)

As others are certain to tell you: with motivation and some effort on your part you'll be able to do the 'athletic' things you love to do within months, possibly weeks. 

Jim



« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 02:36:36 pm by Jim Scott »
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

kenneth_k

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2009, 02:50:57 pm »
Hi Steve.

I'm 4 months post-op and had the balance nerve cut during translab removal of the tumor.
The first month I did nothing physicial streneous besides playing with the nintendo wii fit balance board.
Now, I run 3-4 times a week (up to 6 km). But it isn't funny, because I feel off balance still. But I can do it, and I have to push myself a bit to become better. ;)

I tried swimming as well. Crawl wasn't funny, cause it involves a lot of head movement. Breast was no problem at all.

I also ride my bike, but not in rugged terrain. That would be to dangerous. I read one place about a young guy mid-thirties, who went skiing 3 months post-op. We are all different, but I guess most of us manage quite well after 3-6 months.

Best regards, Kenneth

leapyrtwins

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2009, 02:51:11 pm »
Seal -

we seem to have our fair share of athletes on the forum.

LADavid is a runner, so are Jeanlea and Patrick - and I'm sure I'm missing at least a few more.  I used to be a runner - long before my AN - and I'm working hard on getting back to that point.   I'm currently in the walking stage, but hope to be running again by the time the warm weather hits Chicago.  

Lots of us can bike - me included  ;D

And stoneaxe started a thread not too long ago about standup paddle boarding.

It can take some time to get your balance back, but it can be done.  And IMO the more you do, the easier it becomes.

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

vogstar5

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2009, 07:25:47 pm »
Hi Steve,  I started riding my recumbent exercise bike two weeks after surgery and am doing great with it.  My husband and I ride long distances but mostly tandem, so I don't anticipate any problems with that.  I hope to make it back on my single bike this summer but was having balance problems with it before my surgery last fall.  I work out several times a week using Wii Fit.  I use it for the short run, the aerobics, the hoola hoop, and the yoga.  The yoga is very difficult for me due to balance issues, but I think it helps me to try.  I still have some pretty major balance issues, but I won't let it get in the way of trying activities.  The important thing is for you to feel comfortable with the sports you attempt.  Just be honest with yourself.  Some things may take more time that you would like.  Each day I remind myself that it's still better than the alternative.

Good luck.
SUE
3 cm left side
Translab. surgery 10/13/08
Dr. Gantz/Dr. Woodson
Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
SSD, adjusting to balance issues
BAHA surgery 1/29/10 Dr. Gantz/Dr. Woodson (dynamic duo)

Jeanlea

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 08:15:35 pm »
Steve,

Everyone's recovery is unique, but as you can see there are many of us who are very active.   I've become more active after my AN surgery.  My balance nerve was cut during my translab surgery.  I ran/walked a 5K three days before my surgery.  It was my goal to run it the next year, and I did.  I began to take running more seriously and have run a half-marathon and was on a 4 person team that ran a 50 mile relay.  Another favorite exercise of mine is bike riding. I've also gone kayaking, swimming and  hiking. 

Best of luck to you.

Jean


translab on 3.5+ cm tumor
September 6, 2005
Drs. Friedland and Meyer
Milwaukee, WI
left-side facial paralysis and numbness
TransEar for SSD

arkansasfarmgirl

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 04:42:26 pm »
My surgery was Nov 19, 2008, so I'm 2 1/2 months out.  I've been jogging and doing yoga for about 3 weeks now, and have been working the balance games on the wii fit since before Christmas.  I rode a horse again last weekend.  I was a little rusty because I haven't been able to ride regularly since last spring, but my balance was perfect just doing the basic walk/trot/lope and some circles--I wouldn't want to try to barrel race yet.  :-D  I never expected to be able to do this so soon!!!!!!!!!  I had a 4.5 cm tumor, and I guess I had already adjusted my balance.  I even swung my baby around in fast circles this morning without getting dizzy.  Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones too.  :-)

Vonda

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 05:14:28 pm »
Okay, so I've never really been a runner outside of high school, however I've been camping with my daughter 3 times since my May 8, 2008 surgery (about 9 months) which was pretty physical putting up and tearing down camp, tent, etc..and have been bowling once.  I haven't tried riding a bike yet, but I was never an avid rider before.  I feel like I could do anything physically, but I wouldn't know differently until I tried.

I would think that there's a good possibility that you could do just about anything you wanted, albeit maybe a little slower than before working up to full strength...

Regards,
Brian
Diagnosed 4/10/08 - 3cm Right AN
12hr retrosig 5/8/08 w/Drs Vrabec and Trask in Houston, Tx
Some facial paralysis post-op but most movement is back, some tinitus.  SSD on right.
Story documented here:  http://briansbrainbooger.blogspot.com/

"I must be having fun all wrong!"  - Roger Creager

Seal

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 07:50:33 pm »
Thanks for all the feedback as usual!!    I was getting a little too much negative information lately about post - op balance issues, and I needed to get some real world experience.      Thank you all, and your comments definitely make me feel more comfortable.     

You all may find the following interesting.    I just got off the phone with Dr. Wilkinson of the House Institute.     I was very impressed with his no-nonsense approach, but more importantly, he helped to narrow down the field of options for me to a likely probability of translab.      Since my hearing is gone,  the translab gives better approach and accessibility, especially concerning the facial nerve.     The "good news" was that my hearing loss over the last 3-4 years was probably in tandem with my balance loss.   The interesting thing was that my good ear has already probably compensated for my lack of hearing and balance in the other ear.      So there is the possbility that my progression post operative may be quicker since my good ear has already be compensating for a long time.        So along with your comments and the info from House, I am feeling more confident that I will eventually return to my pastimes that I enjoy so much.      Here in town, we have a group of bikers that do 20 miles every morning at 5:45AM in the good weather.     On a fast morning, we will do those 20m in under 55 minutes, and we ride two abreast at speed in a peleton of up to 16 riders on good dasy.      So you can understand my concern about balance and not wanting to endanger to other riders.         It will take time, but I think I'll get there.   Heck if Vonda  can whip her baby around in circles, than I'm sure I'll get back on a bike eventually.       

Steve

Diagnosed 1/14/09 - 2.4cm AN right side --- about 70% cycstic
Retrosigmoid wiih McKenna & Barker - total removal successful on April 13th. 
Issues: balance, facial & mouth numbness, hearing loss right side
Results:   numbness gone, balance is good, SSD right side. Great results.

sgerrard

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 09:10:30 pm »
So there is the possibility that my progression post operative may be quicker since my good ear has already be compensating for a long time. So along with your comments and the info from House, I am feeling more confident that I will eventually return to my pastimes that I enjoy so much.

I am confident you will too, and your reasoning makes good sense.

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.

sgerrard

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 09:12:38 pm »
I rode a horse again last weekend.  I was a little rusty because I haven't been able to ride regularly since last spring, but my balance was perfect just doing the basic walk/trot/lope and some circles--I wouldn't want to try to barrel race yet.  :-D  I never expected to be able to do this so soon!!!!!!!!! 

That's great news! I'm glad to hear you are managing motherhood and horseback riding so well, and so soon. Keep it up!

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.

chocolatetruffle

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 09:24:41 pm »
hey steve, glad to hear that you been receiving the positive side of post AN life. 

for me, my balance nerve was also cut but i had already lost 80% of my balance and my other ear had already compensated for it.  I only experience my first and only wave of nausea and dizziness - that was the first day of my ICU where the nurse lifted the bed and me up for the first time.  I had no problems with balance since, except for "wonky head" where i feel like floating and out of touch with the space around me.  Kinda hard to describe but I was able to walk briskly after 2nd month and doing yoga after 3rd month.

like everyone said, everyone's experience is different, but at least there are some positive side to this whole AN thingy which you can at least hope for. Good luck!!!
chocolatetruffle


2.8 cm left AN
Translab @ House/St Vincent's 11/27/07
Drs. Brackmann, Schwartz, Wilkinson, Stefan

allegro17

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Re: Athletics and Post AN Life
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 10:13:07 pm »
Thanks for this thread.
Believe it or not, this very issue is a HUGE factor in determining my course of treatment.  So much so that I worry I might make my decision based on how a given treatment will affect my athletic endeavors (which are a huge part of my life and happiness) as opposed to what might really be in my general best interest.  I am a really avid marathoner and triahlete, and not being able to be active is really distressing - it is such a huge outlet for me and I know how awful I fell when I cant be out and moving!  I also am registered to do my first ironman race in August of this year. . . though I know others will always come along I had a lot emotionally invested in this and REALLY want to do it if at all possible.  I have been leaning toward doing radiation but wonder if I really was able to forget about this race and about being able to continue my normal day-to-day activites if I wouldn't be more inclined to do surgery. i guess this is where the part about different treatments being right for different people comes in, huh? I just don't want to make the wrong long-term decision based on my short term goals.
Anyway, thanks for contributing your stories!!