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  • Writer's pictureEmily Hutchins

On the other side

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

It is week 7 of recovery and I officially feel like I'm on the other side of this brain surgery. Last week, Jeremy and I went to UVA for my 6 week post-op appointment. Dr. V was extremely pleased with my progress thus far and scheduled an MRI in 3 months. After that, I will do MRI's 1x/year for annual monitoring. There is a small chance that the tumor could come back, but it would likely take years and I'll be closely monitored from this point on. Dr. V. gave me the green light to start running again slowly and lift weights, but suggested that I go back to work Feb 4 on a reduced schedule. And when I asked about headstands he laughed and said, "no patient has ever asked me that!" Well, Dr. V., I'm not your average patient and I love headstands. He recommended no headstands for at least a year because intense pressure on the head can potentially move the bone plate.

As I look back on my recovery, I can see why the doctors recommend taking off this much time from work and life, especially when your body is recovering from a trauma like brain surgery. I realize now how challenging things actually were in weeks 1 - 3 after surgery.

This time in my healing has flown by and I believe that my recovery has gone well because I was able to move daily through walks and yoga. I've tracked my mileage with each walk and ended up doing nearly 80 miles in the month of January, which is an average of 2-3 miles a day (or a 40-60 minute walk). I've also completed 22 yoga classes at In Balance Yoga so far in January. I've taken a variety of classes from gentle yoga, restorative yoga and once I felt stronger, I got back in the swing of hot yoga and the harder flow classes. I've meditated almost daily and it's really helped in building my mental strength. I'm attempting to journal on a regular basis, which has also been helpful in recovery. I even made a "vision board" to highlight my goals for 2019. I've amped up my baking game and am super proud of this vegan carrot cake I made recently. These are all super "yin" activities, so I need to make sure I keep them up when I get back to regular life.

During recovery, I've been intentional on catching up with old and new friends. I believe social connections and friends are one of the most important things in life. Even though I'm still experiencing social drain, it was helpful to schedule friend activities each week, which gave me something to look forward to.

In terms of projects, I've had ALOT of time at home to get organized. I was able to complete some things I've been wanting to do for years ... like organizing spices, photographs and my pantries. Jeremy was even inspired with my new label maker and organized his man shed! I was also able to bring in a contractor to replace our office ceiling (which had a peeling plaster issue) and repaint the room.

2019 is for new opportunities. This day 5 years ago, Jeremy and I packed up and made the move across the country from Denver to Blacksburg. While we miss the west, Jeremy and I are so happy to be here in SWVA, surrounded by wonderful friends, family and jobs. I don't love the phrase, "things happen for a reason," but surgery and recovery has given me the space to really think about what's next in terms of adventures, friends, family, and professional growth for us. Carpe Diem!

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