It’s going down to -18 tonight in Chicago with an incalculable windchill factor, but these cold feet of mine have nothing to do with the weather. I’ve been reading data and support group message boards (against the wishes of my dear, loving, and supportive wife). It seems to me I’ve been far more functional with this syndrome than most, that my dehiscence is on the small to average side, and that there are a whole lot of difficult recovery issues for many people, some of which are long-term and debatably worse than their initial symptoms. It’s a tough call. Vestibular therapy and that little dose of valium every night have me far more functional than I was in the summer and fall. I still feel symptoms at least once a day, but they are comparatively moderate relative to what I remember being the worst of this problem. My surgeon said that if he were my age, and given the complication that could arise without repair, he would do this surgery if it were him. There is a strong chance that at some point my tegmen could fail, allowing the brain to herniate into the ear canal and start dumping spinal fluid down my throat. And yet here I am, a day after coming out to the world, thinking “not so fast….”
Yesterday I heard from Dr. Wiet’s surgery scheduler. Because he needs to to perform the operation in tandem with a neurosurgeon, scheduling can be tricky — but we finally have a date: February 12, 2014: I’ll check in at 5:00 AM, the Surgery will begin at 7:00 AM, and it will likely take four hours.
It’s a funny feeling. You search desperately for answers for so long, then suddenly you have an answer and hard date when the issue will hopefully be resolved. There’s relief and excitement, but also a good bit of worry with the understanding that this all just got real. A craniotomy. Dr. Kazan is the neurosurgeon who will be working with Dr. Wiet, and I’ll visit with him soon.
I’ve decided to try exercising again. I can’t do nearly what I used to do, but I figure the better shape I’m in before surgery, the faster I’ll recover afterward. The valium helps to manage my dizziness, and if I lay still for a while after riding my exercise bike, the pressure subsides in a few minutes. I can do about twenty minutes now at very low intensity. Better than nothing!