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Kelly McKee - Journal

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Posted 2018-10-30T23:01:52Z

5 Weeks and Returning to Work

Hello Everyone,

Today is a big day.  It has been 5 weeks since my surgery.  Today Tessa and I met with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Mel Field, and he released me to return to work.  In fact, he released me to do anything I want!  He even said bungee jump if I wanted.  In his words, "go and enjoy life".  It was a little surreal.  I knew that he was going to release me to return to work.  But I wasn't expecting a full release with no restrictions.  It was like someone opening a window.  There was a fresh breeze that blew though my soul.  So to celebrate I decided to run 2 miles.  It was slow.  It was tiring.  But it was 2 miles on a beautiful sunny day in Florida.  What could be better.[...]

Posted 2018-10-26T22:55:56Z

Continued Improvement

As I begin to feel normal again, I have to remind myself to be watchful.  I tire out easily, and my head can still be tender when I’ve done a little more than I’m currently used to.  But I’m continuing to push myself a little since I hope to return to work about November 1st. Today I put 30 minutes on the upright bike (in 10 minute increments).  I got out of the house and got my haircut.  My scar is hardly noticeable and the shaved patch is blended in. My hair cutter was impressed with my story. She asked if they put anything in while performing the operation. I laughed and said that they used fat to fill the gap, but I wasn’t sure if I should tell people that side of the story. (Referring to the potential “fathead” connotations.). She laughed and said I was right, I should leave that part out. I also grabbed a pizza and took a selfie to show my new doo. [...]

Posted 2018-10-25T01:04:14Z

4 Weeks since Surgery

Hello Everyone,

This is Kelly giving today's update.  I want everyone to know that I'm doing well, and it won't be long before I'm back to work.  I continue to try to do new things each day, and over the past week, I have driven a little more, read a little more, and slept more regularly.  That last one doesn't sound big, but it feels so nice to sleep through the night.  My head does feel tender at times, and I have a muscle relaxer that I can use in a pinch.  But I've been able to limit using that, and I only take a couple Advil before going to bed.  Of course, I wake up still feeling like someone cut a hole in my head, but at least I'm refreshed  ;-)[...]

Posted 2018-10-17T17:34:26Z

Three Weeks after Surgery

Hello Everyone,

This is Kelly giving today's update.  As of yesterday, it has been three weeks since my surgery.  I’m doing well since today I took the car for a short drive alone to my primary care doctor’s office to have blood taken for a checkup.  (Yes, first time and with Tessa's blessing.)  I’m still not sleeping through the night, as I have to get up for an hour or two to let my head rest.  (It just feels squeezed when I lay down for too long.)  But I got up and showered this morning after fasting through the night for my blood test.  I had to drive in a little traffic, but it was no problem.  I must say that when I got home, that I was done.  I didn’t feel bad, but I also didn’t feel 100%.  Just a little wonky.  But no face twinges today except a little flutter around my eye while I was brushing my teeth.  Two days ago, my face was hyper-sensitive to every time that I got up from a chair I would start to feel a ripple through my face.  Today has been a good day.  I feel that I’m continuing to get stronger.  I’m not rushing back to work however.  I’m not ready for that grind yet.  [...]

Posted 2018-10-13T17:43:54Z

Something New Every Day

This is where patience really has to be exercised. This is the longest portion of recovery. Kelly is feeling great...until he is not. He is being so patient through this. He feels normal... until he doesn’t. It is a process. One thing Kelly does daily, is to try something new. Since we got home, (this is our 15th day home and  18th day post surgery) Kelly tries something new. From not using the walker after 2 days home, or to today, walking 1.8 miles around our neighborhood, he is consistently adding something different each day.  Yesterday, we went to breakfast and we went by his office to see some of his coworkers. I felt like I was taking my child to his first day of school. I have noticed that Kelly’s adrenaline isn’t exactly regulated yet. So whatever we have that regulates us to a calm state doesn’t regulate Kelly quite as quickly yet. It is a very endearing quality in him, but anyway, after going to work, his adrenaline didn’t come down. So he stayed a little excited after being at work for several hours. He is close. But not there yet. The process of going to work actually requires a lot of work!!! We do this without much thought, but when a person has to count the cost of every task, the weight of just getting ready and driving to work, without even working, is a lot of effort for a recovering brain. So. Kelly tries to walk the fine line of challenging himself just enough and then recovering from moving that gage to its next milestone. I learn so much by watching him each day. It’s always fun to overcome something big, but it’s usually the little tiny moments of patience that set us up for the next big thing. Kelly truly is a strong, strong person. Recovery is NOT for sissies. It should be said that...In Patience There Is Recovery. ❤️ Thank you for reading. [...]

Posted 2018-10-09T20:20:59Z

Follow-Up with Dr. Patni

Hello Everyone,

Today was my first official follow-up with one of my doctors, Dr. Aftab Patni. He’s a great guy and outstanding surgeon. It’s been exactly two weeks since surgery. I’ve only met with a nurse last week to remove my stitches. Today I met personally with Dr. Patni to see how I was doing. And in most everything, I’m doing pretty good. I’ve been keeping up on Advil for most pain, and the doctor reminded me that I will continue healing through the first year. I cannot begin any exercise until I’m at the two month mark. The important thing right now is preventing any spinal fluid leaks. That would be bad news. So, I will continue to take it easy until then. But right now, everything is healing well. [...]

Posted 2018-10-07T21:09:24Z

Take It Slow-kinda Day

Hello Everyone,

Today Tessa took me out for an ihop breakfast.  Then the rest of today has been exactly that — rest. I’m having a low energy day but I’m doing fine. Some days are up, but I know I need to take it easy when my body says so. I hope you are all having a great day. [...]

Posted 2018-10-06T22:18:00Z

Just Testing Part 2

Ok. This is Tessa. I am back. Kelly is doing AWESOME. He is walking without his Boy Scout stick. He is eating very well. He laughs at all my jokes (this is a sign of GREAT cognitive perception 🤣.). He goes sometimes 12 hours without pain meds. His attitude is tremendous, and I am enjoying having him home. ❤️ The nurse took out 25 stitches yesterday, and we went to Outback and Walmart too. This was Kelly’s first outing since coming home in the car only last Friday, September 28. Walmart was NOT a good idea. We went in for 2 things, and they had CHRISTMAS STUFF out. I got so distracted. Finally, Kelly quietly told me he was fading. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 NOT funny at the time. I felt badly. But today it is funny to think of the magnetic pull this had on me. 🙄 Oh and... In the span of the day of surgery (September 25) to today, we have had a broken pool, 10 diseased 30-40 foot Pine Trees to cut down, and our roof is getting replaced due to damage in a recent hail storm. I have been dealing with a lot of service guys. I seem to get around to telling them that Kelly usually fixes all this (except roof) but he had brain surgery, and then when their eyes get big, I pull out my phone and show them the picture of his BIG scar. They have all been in awe of Kelly’s scar!!! 😳 They get this look and say “Sorry to hear about his surgery, but wow that’s an awesome scar.” I told Christa about all these guys reactions to Kelly’s scar. She responded, “Mom, does Daddy know you are exploiting his scar?” 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Hey when my Fix It Guy is not available, I figure it can’t hurt. So that is my Just Testing Part 2. Kelly  is such a fighter. He just doesn’t have ANY idea how strong he is. I am very very grateful for his healing so far. We keep smiling, and each day is a day of healing. Thank you for reading. [...]

Posted 2018-10-06T21:34:35Z

Just Testing

Hello Everyone,

I took a series of pictures that shows the difference between my normal side (my left) and AN side (my right). Tessa likes the look of the AN side better.  (But I think she has lowered her standards for me.)[...]

Posted 2018-10-04T19:32:43Z

Getting Over Surgery - Getting on to Healing

Hello Everyone,

This is Kelly giving today's update.  Today I can string more than a couple of words together at a time.  It was amazing.  In my last journal that I wrote, it took forever to type a word.  I literally had to keep typing, deleting, correcting.  I couldn't get the words on to the screen.  So already, I can see a great improvement since that time.  Today I'm just relaxing and watching some television.  Yesterday was an exhausting day for me.  Just to get my body to function even somewhat close to where I was before surgery is just a tiring experience.  Not to be too detailed, every visit to the bathroom leaves me ready to take a nap afterwards.  There are repercussions to every step.  I clearly feel better at times, and then a simple action causes a wave of discomfort.  And in that statement, I need to celebrate that I'm only talking discomfort and not severe pain.  Yes, I still hurt.  My head aches in about three different ways depending on the circumstances.  But I'm able to deal with most of this pain in a way that doesn't consume me.  I know that I still have a way to go.  [...]