On Monday (4/14), I passed my dissertation defense! Now, all I have left to do to get my degree is edit and format my dissertation.
I had to do my defense at school in Los Angeles (I’m on fellowship this year and live on the central coast of CA), and the weather was really hot for April. I’ve been feeling really good, but the heat bothered me much more than I expected; while walking across campus to return a bunch of books to the library (my husband carried the books), I felt a bit faint and slightly nauseous. After that, I stayed indoors or in the shade. Fortunately, it never gets hot at my house, so I’ll be able to continue my recovery in nice 60-70 degree weather until I move in August.
Aside from being bothered by the heat, I did really well with getting up early and being fully functional for two whole days (my husband and I drove down on Sunday and went shopping). I saw some of my grad school friends and, of course, my committee members, and everyone was shocked at how normal I looked. I didn’t even wear a headband (headbands still make my head sore)!
Yesterday, I had an appointment with my neurologist, whom I hadn’t seen since early February. He’s keeping me on the same Keppra dosage for another few months, and, unlike my neurosurgeon, he advised against drinking alcohol. He also recommended that I wait another week or so before driving. I have to have an EEG and a blood test at the very end of June before seeing him again at the beginning of July to work out a plan for going off the Keppra (assuming the EEG shows no seizure activity). That’s also right about the time that I’ll have my MRI and follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon at Stanford.
For now, I get to spend more time resting and doing nothing!