July 18, 2010 – post 1 (3 a.m.)

It’s been an interesting few hours.

I’ve been pushing Lisa around the hospital building in a wheelchair since about 1 a.m. She asked me if we could go for a walk, which we did, then returned to the room. But, she wanted to go on another walk and was (slightly) insistent. When we got going, she started chatting pretty close to nonstop.

She’s been chatty all evening. We visited the 3rd floor (M35) around midnight to see if any of the nurses were there who had worked with us during our last visits. A couple of them were and it was a nice visit. Lisa chatted a lot about her hair, about Harry Potter, about her surgery. Jean commented on how chatty Lisa was being.

During our walk around the hospital, Lisa was talking a bit non-stop about how protected and safe she is feeling, the love surrounding her, the posts on her blog, the prayer quilt. It was wonderful.

And there is a “but”. (Maybe with me there is always a “but”.)

I’m wondering if this is a manic thing. The overall feeling of elation and her non-stop chatty expression. I am not concerned – even if it IS related to the surgery, I assume it’s temporary. I am writing it down for two reasons. The first is the same reason I’m writing this stuff down at all – I am hoping that someone may know someone who will go through a similar thing in the future and can maybe get some insight and comfort from our experience. There is so much comfort for Lisa and us in knowing what is coming next. Lisa had no problems at all this time with going under the anesthetic because she knew what was coming, she met the doctors who were doing it, she expressed her concerns and they addressed them. Knowledge really IS power.

The second reason I’m writing it down is for myself in 6 months or a year. When we see how she is a year from now, I can look back at this and remember what we went through to get there.

We were warned that sometimes people go into a depression after surgery like this. If that happens, then it’s reasonable to wonder if this is a similar type of reaction.

We went outside and sat for ten minutes watching the water fountain, enjoying the sounds of the water splashing and the quiet night. We talked about the operation, about her feeling so amazed that it’s all behind her now, about the love she is feeling constantly flowing her way.

We went back inside and into the chapel. I played “Sanctuary” while she prayed out loud to God, thanking God for everything that had happened and was happening, for Rupert (Emily’s bear), for family and friends, for Kayla’s beautiful card.

She’s in bed now, covered with the prayer quilt and falling asleep. She had me take the clock down off of the wall – the ticking was too loud for her. She asked me what I was typing. I assumed the noise might be keeping her awake, but just the opposite, she said she finds it soothing.

We are probably going to leave the hospital tomorrow. I expect we will stay at the hotel nearby for at least one more night after that. They’ve moved her down from morphine to percocet today, plus she’s still on her regular dose of trileptal. They’ll look at that in about 6 months and decide if we should cut the dosage a bit.

She is still having hallucinations, though.

She describes them as “different” than the ones that got us here. They are not accompanied by any of the feelings she had before and she is pretty sure they are not auras. In exploring it a bit more, we learned that these are typically at the periphery of field of vision, the others would have been more central.

We mentioned them to the surgery docs when they did their rounds the last 2 days (including Dr. Bingaman and Olivera) and also to the epilepsy docs and nobody was too concerned. We’d been warned about the possibility beforehand and I’m feeling pretty confident that this is just the brain adjusting to the trauma of the surgery.

They were coming pretty regularly tonight as we walked around. She’d see someone sitting in a chair and stretching, or C3P0 or an exit sigh where there were none. She said that she could easily recognize them as hallucinations and that they always went away when she looked directly at the spot. We’ll see how that all looks tomorrow and in the days to come.

Overall, though, this is all very positive and exiting. The progress she’s made from Wednesday night and Thursday to yesterday and today is night and day. Even mid-day Thursday, she’d wake for a few minutes and talk, but then be exhausted and go back to sleep. Today, she and I walked from the room to the elevator to 1st floor cafeteria and back, talking all the way, and she showed no signs of fatigue. Just night and day different.

I’m going to call it a night and get some sleep.

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