Recovery Update

Feeling much better!

Feeling much better!

Originally uploaded by woodcreeper.

Today marks the 13th day since my surgery, and a day-and-a-half since I stopped taking pain meds. I’m officially onto a simple diet of Advil, plus the regular steroids and anti-seizure meds required for the next few weeks. What a relief to finally begin feeling normal again. All things considered, I think I’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks. For some reason the steroids make me hungrier than I’ve ever been- which has resulted in some serious over eating (at some good local restaurants, no less).

Sometime in the next day Inga and I will be adopting Tess, an 18 month old Catahoula Leopard Hound, who was surrendered to a shelter by her owner. In preparation for this I’ve been reading all sorts of books on positive reinforcement training and behavioral psychology of dogs, namely The Dog Listener, by Jane Fennell (thanks Sue Palmer); Don’t Shoot the Dog!, by Karen Pryor; and How Dogs Think, by Stanley Cohen (thanks David Ehrenfeld).

During the first week being home we had an explosion of mushrooms around the forest, so with the help of our friend Jay Kelly, I became hooked on the fungus among us. To that end I’ve been trying to key out the local fungal community using the National Audubon guide to North American Mushrooms, The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide, and Mushrooms Demystified. This has proven much more difficult than I imagined. Part of the problem, I think, is my lack of smelling ability, making it impossible to use smell (or even taste) as a helpful clue (I know, I shouldn’t be tasting strange mushrooms).

In between reading, sleeping, photographing and keying out mushrooms, I’ve been practicing my Deering Goodtime 2 5-string banjo. So far I’ve only mastered the first bit of Boil Them Cabbage Down, but I’m planning on focusing more of my attention on this in the coming weeks. ๐Ÿ™‚ Inga is on her way to becoming the next big fiddle player, so by our wedding this May we hope to be a bonafide bluegrass duo.

I want to send out a special thanks to all the folks who have emailed, called, or commented on this site or my flickr photos. The power of the ‘group’ is often underestimated, but I wholeheartedly believe that the extended support has helped me immensely through my recovery. You’re all wonderful, caring people with so much to offer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, to the top of my head.



…now I need to call the doctor and see how long before I can drink a beer…I’ve been saving a few special ones since before the surgery.

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20 responses to “Recovery Update”

  1. I saw the series on Flickr, and followed your link here. Amazing pictures; I’m glad you’re recovering well. How’s your lovely fiancee holding out?

    Congratulations on the catahoula — my mother loves hers. They’re hard-headed dogs, but spooky smart and wonderful, too.

  2. David, you don’t know me, but I’ve been following your photostream for a bit, and I just wanted to say that I’m super glad that things are going well and that you’re recovering well.

  3. Another random drop-in from the web/flickr/alien-caught stream. Please allow me to add my sincere relief that all is going well, and hopes for a speedy and complete recovery. Plus, like so many others, awe at your forthrightness, and thanks for sharing this experience with us-the-unknown-masses! Cheers, and may that first beer taste – and taste *good*.

  4. Hey, I have a GT2 as well, and I’m also learning banjo (from a great teacher, who puts up with my inability to practice – probably due to my ability to pay). I’ve found some great banjo resources online, and have some good sheet music, if’n yer interested.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience. My dad, who lives in another state, recently underwent surgery to have a malignant tumor removed, and is now on the road to recovery. I thought of him this morning when I came across a link to your photostream on Boing Boing. It definitely demysties cancer a bit. That, in a strange way, was comforting.

    Best of luck with your recovery.

  6. Thanks for sharing and letting us know that the aliens CAN be defeated if you find them early.

    Plus the really gross pictures, with which I horrified a couple of my coworkers, and fascinated the rest. That’s what I call exposing yourself.

    Here’s to your smellinator coming back online soon!

  7. Congratulations on your recovery dude. I found your website from BoingBoing, and was immediately interested in your recovery from surgery story. Hang in there, you’ll be drinking beer before you know it.

  8. Just found this through boingboing, and wanted to share a very similar story. My fiance got diagnosed last year and had surgery similar to yours (temporal lobe instead). He came through with flying colours, physically, and we got married a few months later. Emotionally, it’s been a tough year adjusting to life after surgery (and marriage!), for both of us. Don’t underestimate the emotional impact of what you’ve been through – don’t be afraid to take advantage of any counseling services offered. It looks like you both have healthy attitudes about where you’re at and love each other very much – best of luck and take care of each other.

  9. Wow. I also got here via BoingBoing and am absolutely fascinated by those pictures. It is a way of dealing with the seriousness of the situation. When I had a liver biopsy back in 97, I demanded to see the part they took out and all that good stuff. Everyone thought I was insane, but that’s just how I deal with things. So I can identify with your photoblogging this.

    Good luck on your recovery. Things seem to be looking up for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Kick ass! First, you’re a guy cool enough to blog about his alien tumor. Second, you dig birds. Third, you and your lady are about to rescue a Catahoula.

    I wish you the best of luck in your recovery. You’ve put a smile on my face. In the meantime, I shall toast to your health tonight!

  11. David, your courage is boundless. We pray for your speedy recovery, and we hoist a hearty Shiner Bock to your successful operation. Don’t forget Steven Wright’s advice: If your brain itches, think of sandpaper.

  12. Ran across your flikr stream from Boing Boing and I have to say that you’re a stupendous badass. I can’t imagine having so much grace under stress that bad. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.

  13. two things:

    1. You are a fantastic writer and I am so glad to hear that you are ok.

    2. Keep the mohawk, it rocks.

  14. here via boingboing. Inspiring stuff.
    My wife just had a coworker/friend who didn’t fare so well with her own brain tumor. I’m glad to see you’re doing okay.
    And I vote to keep the mohawk too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. I’m glad you’re feeling better, I was quite shocked when I passed by your site to see if you came back from FL when read the shocking news!

    I’m amazed at the strength of character that you show by dealing with this in the positive & upbeat manner that you’re showing. Not many people can say that, hopefully your story will inspire many and allow them to see the bright side.

    On the other hand, keep in mind that the grand prize after your total recovery, will be gaining a new sense of meaning. Everything would seem smaller and insignificant, you’ll be able to accomplish anything, the world will be your cookie man! remember, “you are what you think”, learning to use your thoughts to create a reality of your choice is the key!

    Keep it up , you’re almost there! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  16. Im 3 years out from my surgery to remove the BST (big stupid tumor).

    Im now attempting to document it on my blog before I forget the important details.

    Its so easy to forget so quickly.

    Mad props on the photos.

  17. Of all the folks I have encountered during my residency here, Dave and Inga stand out. You have exemplified an approach to life that is fun, loving, caring, brave, weak… all those wonderful things we are…you seem to celebrate!!! I was never able to take Dave up on his offer of having a captive audience to talk about God. Yet, I dare say, your lives are that conversation!
    As I finish up my residency here at the hospital, I am thankful those moments. My best wishes to you both!


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