Monday, September 6, 2010

"How Do You Feel?"

This is the question everyone asks when they see me. I know it's with good intentions, but I've found that I automatically answer "fine" because I think that's the answer people want to hear. Well, the truth is I don't always feel fine. It's weird because the first two weeks after surgery I was feeling good and seemingly recovering quickly, but the subsequent six weeks have been up and down. The truth is, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel 8 weeks after a craniotomy. Carol did some googling last night and it may take three to six MONTHS for full healing and recovery. In a way,this was a relief because I know I'm not 100% yet and it's comforting to know that this is probably "normal". Fatigue and lack of motivation are probably the main issues. I tire easily and often just don't feel like doing anything. I'm definitely sleeping more than I used to and that's probably a good thing since I used to sleep only four or five hours a night. Sometimes I just don't feel good - whatever that means - but I rarely feel like Good Old Me. And I think I'm a little depressed because I'm not 100% yet and things seemed to be getting better so quickly at first. I've been back at work for three weeks. The first week was a struggle as I came home exhausted every night.  The subsequent two weeks have been easier and I'm getting back in the groove again. I have a workshop coming up in October and have decided to postpone it a few weeks to give me a little more time to heal.

My hair is growing back pretty quickly:

August 29

And here's a new picture of Carol. I like this one:

August 29

So, don't be afraid to ask how I'm feeling. I appreciate your concern! But, I'm going to try and be more honest with my answers in the future. I'm hoping that soon enough "I feel great" will be what I answer most of the time.

15 comments:

  1. Kerik- Hoping more good days than bad become the norm over time.

    All the best,
    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it is good to be honest about how you feel .. I think if i was asked this and had gone through what you have .. I was say 'scared'. My son (he is 8) is a happy little boy but just lately he gets very low and I think it frightens him .. I ask him how he feels and he says 'I don't know' .. I tell him he is allowed to feel this way .. just go with it .. it is one of our many emotions .. I think it helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Kerik, you look good, you are on a good way, maybe you just expected to much in a too short time. And I know many who complain that they cannot sleep long hours. You have put already so much behind you and the future is bright.

    best to you
    Viktor

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Kerik, I know it probably doesn't always feel like progress...but you are looking fine to me, so here is hoping you are feeling like you are looking most of the time. For the record, my hair is never growing back again...ever ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. You had major surgery and thankfully all went well and you are still with us. 6 months of down time will not hurt you so just relax and heal. I understand your depression but the alternative to this is, well, you know.....

    one day at a time and enjoy the small simple things. :)

    *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's funny how our expectations of healing from injury can be so different from the reality, and how we change and adapt as a result. When I broke/sprained my ankle 2 years ago, I thought it would be like the other times I injured my foot/ankle (why I would have thought that, given the last time was 18 years prior...), but instead it took almost a year and a half, including doing physical therapy at the gym to get it back. The initial recovery was so slow, I actually gave up driving a stick shift (which if you're a car guy, you know what kind of sacrifice that is). I've accepted it now and I'm fine with driving an automatic. Life is different afterward, but it's just different, not better or worse. Knowing you, you'll tackle this head-on, conquer it, and in the process make some ART! (even if it is using an automatic transmission).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kerik, I've been thinking a lot of you and sending my best wishes your way. The new hair looks great. :)
    Cheers,
    Tom

    ReplyDelete
  8. With apologies to Mr. Heart and Mr. Lungs, Mr. Brain is the most significant organ we have. Surgery on Mr. Brain is likely to take some time to get over. If it helps put things into perspective, I developed plantar's fascitis (sp?) in my right heel in May. It still hurts like hell some days. Mr. Brain needs time, I expect.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You had to cancel a much anticipated trip to Scotland this summer. So, I'm wondering if having something exciting to plan for in the near future might help...maybe even a day trip somewhere. Half Moon Bay for the Pumpkin Festival...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had to change it a little... How long till you name that tune.

    Well, woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand.

    Whose wine? What wine? Where the hell did I dine?

    Must have been a dream I don't believe where I've been.

    Come on, let's NOT do it again.

    Do you...you, feel like I do?
    How'd ya feel?
    Do you...you, feel like I do?

    My friend got busted, just the other day.
    They said,"Don't walk, don't walk, don't walk away."

    Drove him to a taxi, bent the boot, hit the bag.
    Had to play some music, wonder why's he [brag or drag].

    Do you...you, feel like I do?
    How'd ya [turns from mic, can't catch it]?
    Do you...you, feel like I...

    [1st guitar solo]

    Do you...you, feel like I do?
    Yes ya do.
    Do you...you, feel like I do?

    Champagne for breakfast and a Sherman in my hand. Peached up, Peached Ale, never fails.
    Must have been a dream I don't believe where I've been.

    Come on, let's NOT do it again.

    Do you...you, feel like I do?
    How'd ya feel?
    Do you...you, feel like I...

    [keyboard solo]

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey man, this is not unusual. You basically had some guys in scrubs playing air hockey on your temporal lobe for eight hours. The first two weeks are just that "Hey, I'm alive!" mix of jubilation and adrenaline.

    Then the actual recovery process begins and it can take a few months. I went through the same process with the noggin clonking I received. My family claimed I was a little crabbier and testier than 'normal', but I would just respond "What the @#$@#$#@ are you talking about!!!". Which sort of proved the point, at least to them.

    It'll shake out. Just be patient, and give in to the occasional urge to do something completely unproductive like watching "Housewives of Wherever" on TV.

    We're pulling for you..

    Clay

    ReplyDelete
  12. Give yourself time!
    We are thinking of you.
    Rene

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Fatigue and lack of motivation are probably the main issues. I tire easily and often just don't feel like doing anything. I'm definitely sleeping more than I used to..."

    My doctor said that in my case, this was just due to being over 60...

    Your operating system has had its second ever cold start- its still rechecking all of the addresses... doesn't come fast...

    Have twice been hit hard enough to have temporary memory loss and blackouts - took maybe 6 or 8 months to recover and honestly, I can't recall for certain. Its the most complex part of you, dude, and even the God-like medical profession rarely pretends to know how it functions.

    Don't be so 21st century my friend - not everything can happen in a day - enjoy the rebuilding time and experiences - and good sleeps. Make art from them. Share with us and illuminate us.

    Doctor Russ

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Kerik,
    You are doing well with spelling, punctuation and grammar. Your sentence structure is good. Some people don't have that without brain surgery.
    Take your time, my friend. And don't be afraid to rest, and ask for help. You've got a great team there!

    ReplyDelete
  15. The healing process is a reversal of the becoming ill process. Your master surgeon gave you an amazing start, but your body and spirit need time. Your friends are filled with happiness and relief that you are alive and recovering. When asked how you are feeling, a similar response may be all that is needed. John.

    ReplyDelete