March 12 was a great day. At my appointment with my neuro surgeon, I finally got my release note from Dr. Loudon to return to normal activities without restrictions. The combination of rest, acupuncture, my new Eastern Medicine treatment regimen (see below), getting rid of my acid reflux – with Nexium – and mostly by relieving the pressure from my brain, all have gotten me to a point where I actually now wake up in the morning and feel good.
What does this mean?
It means, I can start getting back to my normal activities such as weight lifting, running, training for football (yes I want to play football) , riding my bike (yes, I want to ride crazy trails again), Rugby (yes, I want to play Rugby). That doesn’t mean go wild and do something stupid, but am starting to ramp up to getting back to normal – my normal after having a brain tumor and a year plus worth of complications and healing. As you can see, normal is relative.
What was different from a year ago?
All along, Dr. Loudon has promoted a whole patient approach to healing. Many times, we experienced siloed treatment to correct an issue: Neuro Surgery treats your brain with surgery, probes, drains;
Urology fixes the urine flow; Oncology treats cancer with chemicals; Infectious Disease kills nasty bugs; Neurology figures out brain/nerve issues; Neuro Ophthalmology tweaks eye muscles to accommodate nerve deficiencies to help you see, and the list goes on and on. The recurring theme is that because of time and patient load, each discipline stays within their discipline and when they finish their task at hand, they are done with you. There isn’t a plan for the rest of your life and well-being – it’s not a fault, it’s just the way medicine works right now.
As I’ve gone through battling the issues, my Mom especially, has started to focus on healing me and putting me on a whole-body program to get better. This includes my diet by eliminating chemicals, and following a farm to table/keto approach similar to what the Max Love Project is promoting for helping with childhood cancer.
The focus on the whole body, so far, has seemed to make a big difference in how fast I’ve progressed this time and how great I feel. Below are a few things that really made a difference this time.
No complications and healing time
After you have a craniotomy (Jan. 22 surgery) and your neuro surgeon is knocking around inside your head, the last thing you want is a lot of post-surgery activity to increase your intracranial pressure (ICP). For the 6 weeks+ following my last surgery, my post-surgery activity included dialed back light aerobic exercise – per Dr. Loudon – and as much rest time as possible to keep the intracranial pressure down so my brain can heal and readjust to not having the cyst and scar tissue taking up space. What that means is the brain gets to move around a bit to re-adjust itself to having some added space and, for the nerves, to try and figure out what to do without any pressure on them.
Why this is so great, now
Overall, it takes time to heal, and over the last year and three plus months, I have not had any time where there was not pressure or swelling somewhere in my brain, an infection, or nausea/vomiting. So, following my January 22 surgery, this is a reset to heal and begin the path to normalcy. No infection, no complications, and I am okay with that.
I still have double vision, but my neuro ophthalmologist said my eyes are moving quite a bit and are showing some slight progress. We will revisit our next steps with my eyes in a couple months, so for right now, I will work with what I have, and use my taped glasses and use one eye depending on my activity.
As I mentioned earlier, my nerves (6th nerve controls my eye movements) have not had a long span of time to heal and get back to normal. I still have the right-side Bell’s Palsy on my face and it could take up to six months to go back to normal.
Needle… Needle… Needle…
I continue to visit Ruth McCarty for acupuncture, cupping and massage twice a week and she also keeps Dr. Loudon (since they are married) up-to-date on my weekly progress. I’ve been treated by Ruth since a few days after my very first surgery in January of 2017, and cumulatively, it helps with my healing.
More than just a bowl of pills
I have now started to see a Functional Medicine Dr. to work on a regimen of natural treatment remedies to help me get on track and clear my body of any toxins and chemicals. Since I started with Dr. Ali Meschi and have been on my bowl of pills – literally 9 different ones – I have felt like 3 million bucks (that’s what my head costs now – really). Dr. Meschi’s supplements are not mass produced, never warehoused and contain no GMO materials.
- Here is what I use:
• Inflamma Complex to treat inflammation, which is bad for your body.
• Hepato Complex to treat my liver and kidneys, which helps get rid of all the toxins my body has had to put up this past year
• Triple Immunity RX to help boost my immune system because of all the surgeries and radiation treatment, it has taken a hit.
• Survival Essence RX to also help my immune system.
• BP Peptides to help support my cardiovascular system.
• CNS Ultra that helps to protect and rebuild the myelin sheath that insulates the nerves coating – when I came out of my last brain surgery I had 7th nerve palsy (Bells Palsy) on the right side of my face which is still paralyzed, but the doctors say it should come back within six months – I sure hope so it really sucks.
• Prebiotic and probiotic and I am only drinking water that has been treated through reverse osmosis.
So, I am trying to get rid of the chemicals and it’s tough but I am learning how to like foods that I didn’t before. Honestly, some of the things I loved, now that I haven’t had them, I don’t like them anymore.
All in all, I feel pretty good and am glad to be on the road to being a normal kids. Call it coincidence with the surgery, acupuncture and no complications, but I think it’s a combination of everything.