How are you doing…? It’s a question I am asked on a constant basis. I realize it’s just people showing they care about my well-being, but it makes me feel like I am broken. Maybe that’s the problem. I am broken.
It’s been almost 4 months since my craniotomy to have my tumor removed and although I look and seem back to normal, I feel far from it.
Since my last post, the main thing I had been waiting on was to get my another MRI and follow up with my neurosurgeon. The MRI came back great and the neurosurgeon said I was recovering wonderfully.
My first update I wrote, though difficult to piece together, was much easier to write. I can’t say I have ever been one to be incredibly open with my emotions and feelings, but I feel like this is important to share for others that may deal with similar issues. Mental health is a serious issue and it needs to stop being treated as if you can bury it away and magically be better.
For me, after surgery, physically I was getting better by leaps and bounds every day. The pain I was dealing with beforehand was excruciating and now felt almost nonexistent. I was back to walking, driving, hanging out with my friends and just trying to live a normal life.
Physically I am back to almost 100%. I still don’t feel as strong as I used to, but that is mainly due to me not working out. The pain I was dealing with beforehand made it impossible, but now it’s the exhaustion. I’m tired all the time.
Part of this, the neurosurgeon said, is normal and I should get better with time. He said everyone heals differently and that physically I bounced back much faster than most people he has seen. I guess it just takes more time for my brain to heal. It has much more space in my skull than it used to.
The headaches are much better. Previously, I literally had a headache all the time. Really it was more like the worst migraine you could ever imagine 24/7. Now I do still get them here and there, but it’s much more manageable.
The strangest thing for me is that my brain just doesn’t feel right. I don’t know how to explain it, as it’s not necessarily a pain, although sometimes it does hurt. The best way I can describe it is as if I went through a brain transplant and my brain is still getting used to the size and shape of it’s new skull. I’m sure that sounds weird to many and trust me it feels peculiar to me as well.
The hardest part is wanting to heal mentally as fast as I did physically. This is very much from my previous mentality. If I got hurt playing hockey, snowboarding, skateboarding, ect. I would just grin and bear it. Play through the pain as they say. When your mind isn’t right, it’s not that easy.
I went to see my primary care physician as I still deal with concentration problems. My memory is atrocious. I started rating movies on IMBD because I would start watching things and swear I have seen them before only to look them up and see I already rated it, usually poorly. Meeting new people is hard. I recognize faces, but can’t remember names or what was talked about.
I went to see my primary care physician as I wanted to talk to him about anxiety and depression that I had been dealing with. This has lead me to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He said that dealing with the intense pain for so many months, not being able to figure out a solution, being blindsided by having a tumor and then sudden surgery, the stress of it all really takes its toll on a person. He prescribed me Prozac to treat PTSD and I have been on that for about 6 weeks. It does actually seem to help.
Some of the other issues I am still dealing with are Tinnitus, which is ringing in my ears. I typically get this in the evening and it is incredibly annoying. Sometimes it is so loud that you want to stick ear plugs in, but unfortunately it is coming from inside my own head.
Another issue I always had, but has been worse after surgery is Nystagmus. That is a condition where your eyes shake back and forth quickly and uncontrollably. This typically happens when I’m trying to focus on tasks such as drawing and usually when I am tired. Luckily this only happens briefly and I can close my eyes and refocus.
Both of these issues seem like they are slowly getting better, but it’s a steep hill to climb. My mental issues tend to be on the uptick as well. As many of you have seen, I have been drawing a lot more recently and that really helps. It’s honestly the thing I look forward to most every day.
Work has been going slowly. As you can imagine going through all these issues and trying to make cold calls to drum up more business is draining. So if you or anyone you know does IT purchasing for a company, let me know.
Otherwise, I have artwork for sale, will do commissions or come get tattooed. If none of those apply, I still have a GoFundMe up.
Facebook: Mjölnir Gallery
GoFundMe: Jorgy’s Brain Surgery