Determination means never giving up
It’s been 10 weeks since I went and had brain surgery… Scratch that.
It’s been 10 weeks since I underwent brain surgery and kicked Chiari’s ass!
I can just about remember just how horrific life was before I went into hospital and I can also remember being told by more than a few people, including my surgeon not to get my hopes up. The aim of the procedure itself was to release the pressure in my head and neck and anything else would be a bonus. As for my symptoms going away entirely, well, to be honest it didn’t seem likely as generally speaking once you have some of the symptoms like I had then the damage was already done.
But two and a half months on and I can quite happily sit here and shout ‘screw you Chiari’. I have virtually no symptoms, very rarely have any headaches and am almost 100% back on track as the person I used to be, the person I LOVED to be.
Granted I may well be one of the fortunate few who have been lucky, or have I?
My personal belief is less optimistic. Part of me thinks that I was on some level lucky, my surgeon was incredible and my aftercare was like nothing I had experienced before. But I also believe that my recovery has been so good because I WANTED it to be. Because I decided that I hadn’t reached my full potential yet, because I still haven’t reached all my goals and because my family have a right to have back the mummy they used to know.
If I just sat back and let the pain I was feeling and despair of not being able to do things for myself consume me then I’m almost certain that I’d still be relying on Craig to do everything for me and I doubt I’d even have the energy or interest in writing this right now.
I’m still limited in what I can and cannot do until I have my MRI and catchup with my surgeon in 3 weeks time, but I’m happy to say that I’m 100% back to work, as well as being as productive as I used to be. Not only this but I’m back at the gym too, no weightlifting just yet but plenty of cardio which is amazing. Bike, treadmill (walking) and cross trainer, I’m able to do it all.
Being able to get back to the fitness side of things is awesome, I’ve put on a fair bit of chunk from not being able to exercise since mid November. I had to stop because my symptoms were just too painful and I was slowly realising I was capable of less and less. But that said I think it’s safe to say that I’m back on the cardio bus, and I’ve even managed to teach myself to love it!
I’m just about starting to see results in the mirror too, but that’s not just down to cardio. A couple of weeks after surgery I found out that sugar was a major trigger for my headaches, to the point that if I were to eat a handful of chocolates I’d be in bed within minutes for an entire day with the same unbearable pain I had before. It was then I decided to say goodbye to sugar and totally kick it from my diet, the pain I got in return just wasn’t worth it for a mouthful of short term tastiness.
So that means no sweets, chocolate, the majority of fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, ice creams, alcohol… the list goes on!
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking – this is the girl who openly admitted to being a binge eater and used to secretly sit in her car scoffing Easter eggs when no one was looking… On more than one occasion!
Well believe it or not I’ve actually been dealing with it incredibly well. Sure, I found the first few days a little hard but because I had decided it was in my best interests as opposed to being told by someone else that I needed to cut out sugar, for some reason I’ve been more inclined to stick to being so strict.
There are more than enough substitutes out the to keep my cravings at bay, it’s just about finding what works best for me.
So many people have said to me, ‘I wish I had your will power’ but the truth of the matter is I’ve built my willpower from the ground up. It’s not a case of either having it or not, being born with or without it. You create it yourself, build on it and reinforce it until it’s as strong as you need it to be.
Then once you find you need it surely it can be applied to anything in life, not only sticking to a food rule? With this in mind my next challenge is to keep healing as well as I have been doing and to get the all clear from my surgeon next month.
Once I have the go ahead I’ll be able to scratch that itch that’s been bugging at me for months now, getting back to the weights. Then in time and by sticking to a safe pace I hope that I can finally step foot on the powerlifting side of the gym…
…My dreams aren’t over just yet, I have more than enough positivity and a damn strong sense of will to let anything stop me from getting where I want to be.