The human brain is an incredible organ. It’s the driver for your entire body and has the capacity to think about itself while also handling background operations, like keeping your heart beating.
But the brain is also surprisingly fragile. Which means that if you’re dealing with brain-related illnesses and recovering from brain surgery, your recovery may not be completely straightforward.
If you’re preparing for brain surgery or helping someone else through brain surgery recovery, here are three tips to keep in mind.
Be Patient with Variable Recovery
First of all, you need to understand that recovery is both long and variable.
It’s difficult to generalize about recovery from brain surgery because the brain itself is so complex. There are over 100 different types of malignancies that can occur with brain tumors, and the brain contains so many intricate structures and connections.
The point is that recovery, much like the reason for surgery, will depend on a variety of factors, like what kind of problem you had, how aggressive it was, the relative success of your surgery, and your general health, just to name a few.
One thing you will need to understand is that it takes time to recover. That might sound glaringly obvious, but this is something many people struggle with.
Craniotomy alone (cutting open the skull to operate on the brain) can take between four to eight weeks to heal. And that’s just your skull. Your brain can take up to a year to heal completely.
Be Prepared for Memory Deficits
You and your caretakers should also be prepared to deal with memory and emotional struggles that come with brain surgery.
The brain isn’t like the heart and lungs. The heart pumps blood, the lungs take in oxygen. But the brain does more than just keep our heart going. The brain is the center of our emotional life and the sole storage space for our memories.
For many people, it takes a while after surgery to fully understand the deficits they’re dealing with. It’s going to take a while before you can remember where things are, like your computer. Longer still before you can remember what to do with them and handle complex tasks like writing.
Being able to write isn’t necessarily the issue, though it can be. Your brain may struggle to form words and maintain the short-term memory necessary to write a complete sentence.
Caregivers also need to remember to be patient. Take pauses when having a conversation so that your loved one has time to process. Don’t speak slowly, but do give your loved one some time to process what you’re saying.
You should also make sure to keep reminding your loved one of the conversation topic periodically, especially if you notice that they’re struggling to keep the thread of the conversation. This will make it easier for them to participate.
Be Aware of Emotional Struggle
You’re also going to face emotional struggles. These can be the result of surgery, but they’re also the result of frustration with basic tasks that you used to take for granted.
Family members and friends must try not to react adversely to emotional outbursts. This isn’t about you, and it’s not about obstinance either. The brain is trying to make sense of mixed signals and it’s trying to do it while the patient is muddling through medicine.
This can happen even with successful surgeries, so keep in mind that recovery is truly a day-by-day process.
That said, if you notice that your loved one has emotional problems that don’t seem to recede no matter how far recovery progresses, or if your loved one has emotional issues as a result of mishandled surgery, you may be able to sue for brain injuries. Find out how here.
Know That Brain Surgery Recovery Takes Time
The most important tip for brain surgery recovery is patience.
Your brain is a complex organ capable of incredible things. And it can recover from surgery – if you give it the space to do so. Be patient and kind with yourself.
And if you need more posts to pass the time, we can help with that too. Check out our blog for more great posts like this one.