I’d like to say ‘Hat’s Off’ to you for educating yourself, but then you’d see all the holes in my head
So instead I’ll just say good on you. The more info you have the more aware you will be.
Neurosurgery and it’s outcome can be very individual and as you have found differing dr’s have differing opinions, which only confuses the whole subject. I can assure you, this is not unusual. At one point I was told it was a ‘Watch and wait’ situation, but the idea I had this ‘timebomb’ in my head and I was just to wait was a psychological torment of mammoth proportions, so I got a 2nd opinion.
“I guess Id like to know how I can be the most encouraging in the months/weeks leading up to the surgery?”
I think everybody deals with it in their own individual way. Some people need time to process it all, to think about the whole process. Some people need to talk about it all. Some people can become so focused on it all, it can damn near drive them (and everybody around them) crazy. But then some people can be quite at ease with it all. Some people can be on a see-saw of emotions from full acceptance to complete rejection, up, down, up down…
Personally, I’ve required a few neurosurgeries and at some point, I’ve done all of these (I’m sure my wife would agree, especially the driving her crazy bit ). The reality is the dr’s are in control, we, the patients have no control and ‘if’ we can be at peace with that, all the better.
BUT none of them are the ‘right way’ or the ‘wrong way’ to deal with it all. These processes and thoughts don’t happen at a set time of the day and all you can do is be there to support her when she needs. This whole journey can be one hell of a rollercoaster for ALL involved and not just her as a patient, but you too. Don’t forget about yourself. If you don’t remember to look after yourself, you WILL burn yourself out and be of no use to anybody.
Some people can come through the neurosurgery fairly well, some people can have minor issues. But then some can have more major effects. There is no set measure and every patient is different. I’m 7yrs on from my last operations and I still have symptoms/side effects today and yet I have a niece who has also had neurosurgeries and apart from the occasional bad headache, is relatively fine.
One point I’d like to make in regard to ‘strengthening exercises’. If we were talking about a muscular injury a building up of muscle could be appropriate, but we’re talking about the brain. The brain uses electrical signals, when those signals or the strength of those signals is altered this can have the effect of ‘weakening’, but this is not something that exercise can prevent. If she has been advised not to undertake any strenuous activities. DON"T. One of the best things you can do for her is reduce her stress. You cannot manage her psychology, her thinking, that’s up to her. But if you can reduce her other stresses, just by being there for her, this can help.
Best of luck with it all and please do let us know how things go.
We’re here to help if we can
Merl from the Moderator Support Team.