I spent five days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) following my tumor resection. Not all went perfect after surgery and when I came up from the recovery room, I was very hypertensive – Blood pressure 200/100 – so it was all hands on deck in my room to get me stabilized and lower my blood pressure. My normal blood pressure is around 114/75. Luckily I was stabilized quickly, and began to get back to normal – post brain surgery normal that is. The Dr’s and nurses ran a battery of tests (Neuro check) to check my motor functions – hand grips, toe pushes, wiggle my ears, talking and seeing if I had awareness of where I was, etc. – and slowly I began to come around.
Brain surgery is a major brain trauma – it’s like a concussion x 10. I had light sensitivity, and stimulation processing issues for a few days after surgery. So you can consider what I went through in the first 5+ days like being on concussion protocol but on steroids. Oh and I was on steroids literally too – Decadron – to reduce brain swelling.
The 5 days post-surgery were quite challenging in I wasn’t sure if I could walk, was mentally all there, and was the same Zach I was before surgery.
Any time you have brain surgery, there is swelling. Swelling pushes on nerves and affects brain function. One of the nerves also affected by the surgery is responsible for nausea and vomiting. Not the nerve you want affected. So yes, I was nauseous and vomited a lot. Zophran was part of my pre breakfast routine every day to help me feel better. But the weird thing is, I could be sick one second, then eat the next. So the nerve related nausea is not like the flu. I still have some recurring nausea today, and is why I don’t feel well a couple days a week now.