Acoustic Neuroma | Brain Surgery Update: 2 Weeks Out

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Gratitude. I’m feeling a deep, overwhelming sense of gratitude for my family, my friends, my community—for you guys. For your words, your messages, your prayers…they helped me more than I’ll ever be able to express properly. Thank you barely scratches the surface. Despite the circumstances surrounding it, feeling that kind of outpouring of love is nothing short of life-changing. It will always be one of my most treasured gifts of this lifetime.  

I was deep into denial and distraction in the weeks prior to brain surgery. I threw myself head-first into work (thank you Nordstrom Sale!) and making the most of what summer I did have…mainly so I wouldn’t have to think too much about surgery and what would happen after. 

Preparing For Surgery: A Book & A Blanket Of Prayer

It was only a few days before surgery when I finally started reading the book I had purchased weeks before called Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster. I had forgotten all about it. I basically read it aloud to my mom on our eight-hour drive to the hospital in Ann Arbor, just a few days before surgery. There were meditations you were supposed to do to calm yourself and even a CD that you could buy to help—but ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re a couple of days out, so I stuck with the suggestions I could actually do.

One of the suggestions was to ask a few loved ones to cover you in a “blanket of prayer” about 30 minutes before surgery. So I reached out to my family and asked them to please pray together the morning of the surgery…and they took my request and ran with it. They put together a prayer schedule where I would be covered in prayer the entire time I was in surgery…starting at 5am the day of. They gave me the schedule the night before my surgery and I was completely blown away. People I had never met signed up for time slots…people from all around the world. It was humbling, mind-boggling and incredibly comforting. 

Zack’s entire side of the family came down for the surgery. To say they were helpful is the understatement of the year. They said, “Scotti, we’ve got this. We’ve got Zack, we’ve got the kids…you just take care of you.” Get through surgery, start to heal. They had everything else. And as someone who is usually in control of all things, I had to learn to just lean on them. To let go.  

They walked Zack and I and the kids out to our car when we left their hotel the night before surgery. It was like my own little private army wishing me luck and sending me on my way with so much love. I couldn’t help but snap a pic.     

I’m officially two weeks out from surgery & I’m feeling a little better each day. My face is still paralyzed, but there’s more movement, little by little.

I went to bed that night with one kid tucked under each arm, the way we had for almost every night prior, breathing in their scents and trying to savor this moment as much as possible. I knew I was going to be sleeping alone after my surgery — the first time in years — and had no idea what it would feel like. I wanted to soak up all the snuggles and remember the feeling. 

Surgery Day

My alarm went off around 4am and I got up to shower. I was supposed to shower with antibacterial soap, wash my hair and not put any sort of lotion or cream or anything on after. (It’s amazing how fast it is to get ready without any of that.) Once I turned the water off, I heard Greenlea crying outside the bathroom door—I had thought the kids would just sleep right through me leaving, but when I opened the door, there stood G, just…sobbing. I scooped her up and held her and told her mom was going to be OK; everything was going to be fine. 

Ozzie woke up shortly after that (of course they’re both awake at 4:30am for the first time ever), so I grabbed them both for some last-minute snuggles before Zack and I left for the hospital. I gave them each one last hug and kiss, Auntie Amber came over to distract them, and then it was time to go. 

Everything kind of felt surreal at that point. It was dark outside and raining on the way to the hospital, and there was virtually no other traffic. Zack and I held hands the whole ride and I remember looking over at him and telling him that I was nervous.

“I know, Boo…it’ll be OK,” he said. 

Mom was waiting for us outside the hospital when we pulled up. Only one of them could be with me per day—with no switching in and out due to COVID—so mom had that first day while I was actually in surgery.  

Zack got my bags and opened the door for me and we hugged each other, and said our I love yous and it occurred to me that, in many ways, he had the harder job: having to be awake the entire day, while I, at least, got to sleep through it. Mom snapped photos of us and then he was back in the truck and it was time.

Mom and I walked into the hospital together, down the hall to the big red column where there were a ton of other people checking in for their surgical procedures. I was surprised by how many people were there, a palpable feeling of anxiety and anticipation in the air. 

We filled out the paperwork and then sat down to wait. When my name was called, we walked back into the pre-operative room where they had me change into a hospital gown and hair net…Greenlea had asked if I was going to be wearing underwear for the surgery, and I giggled to myself thinking she’d get a kick out of the fact that I wasn’t. There were a ton of patients back there, all separated by curtains…only one visitor each, waiting to meet all of the doctors and specialists and residents before their surgeries started.  

Mom was so cute and took pictures of practically everyone we met—from the nurses to the doctors to the anesthesiologists, and told me it makes me more human to them. I was hooked up to an IV, introduced to more people than I could possibly keep track of, asked about research studies I could be a part of, etc., and there was so much going on there really wasn’t time to sit and contemplate what was about to happen.  

Dr. Thompson (my neurosurgeon) and Dr. El-Kashlan (my ENT) both came by to greet me and to answer any lingering questions. I literally cannot say enough about the two of them…not once did I feel anything but complete confidence in their care. But I showed them pictures of my kids anyway and asked them to please take care of me. They said they would and I trusted them—I knew I was in good hands. 

Healing Statements

A few questions came into my mind while I was waiting for different people to come introduce themselves and I ended up asking Dr. El-Kashlan’s resident what it would be like waking up after surgery. She said I’d probably be super dizzy, like the sickest I’ve ever been. That made me nervous but I appreciated her honesty—and I was hoping that since my vestibular function had already been almost 100% lost that it wouldn’t be as bad as she said. (I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for other people with normal vestibular function to go into this surgery and come out on the other side.)

Having just read that book (Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster), I had printed out a few “healing statements” that I wanted read during my surgery. The author of the book basically says that although we’re unconscious during surgery, our mind still hears everything and hearing affirming statements like, “the surgery is going well and is successful” helps our bodies start to heal and recover faster. I am a firm believer in the power of the mind, so if these statements had any chance of helping my recovery I was all in. I made sure the doctors and nurses knew I wanted them read and the anesthesiologists were ultimately the ones who were going to say them at the right times. And although none of the doctors or nurses had heard of healing statements before, not one person made me feel weird about it. Everyone was 100% on board with whatever made me comfortable.

After about an hour or so of meet-and-greets, IVs and paperwork, it was time to be wheeled into the operating room. I gave my mom one last hug. I don’t know if she was scared, but I never saw anything waver in her face at all — just smiles and ‘I love yous’ – and her confidence that everything would be OK gave me comfort as well. The last thing I remember was a big room with a giant light overhead, and lots and lots of people surrounding me. I remember someone saying something like “OK, we’re all here for Scotti Oja, acoustic neuroma, blah blah….”

And I was out.

A Successful Surgery

General anesthesia is like time travel, Shana had said to me, and I couldn’t believe how quickly the time had passed when I woke up. My first conscious thoughts were of dreaming (about the Nordstrom Sale!) and then I realized my name was being spoken. “It’s over already?” were the first words out of my mouth. I felt great. I remember them asking me if I felt any pain and I was like, “Nope! None!” I was ready to walk straight out of the hospital…let’s go! It’s over! I was in the recovery area where everyone again was separated by little curtains and waking up from all of the different procedures. They allowed my mom back to visit and I remember just joking and laughing—drugs are crazy.

The surgery had been a big success—Dr. Thomson had talked to my mom and sister (via phone) and was very pleased with the outcome. The surgery had lasted longer than anticipated, but they were able to remove almost all of the tumor and had managed to save my hearing and facial nerve function. Dr. Thomsen was confident that I would regain all movement since they were able to confirm that the facial nerve still worked at the end of surgery, but because they had to scrape so much to get the tumor out, the facial nerve itself was “angry” and would take time to come back. I was dimly aware that I couldn’t smile or move the right side of my face, but I was so happy to hear it was temporary and relieved that the surgery was over. At this point, everything was being processed through the euphoria of pain meds, but…the pain was coming. 

Post-Surgery Pain

I had expected to be somewhat out of it post-surgery. At least for the few days I’d be in the hospital. You know — just sleeping, mostly, and unaware of the pain, coasting through. But neurosurgery is a bit different, and they want you to be alert…like doing a neuro test every hour (round the clock) to make sure you’re OK. “What’s your name, where are you, why are you here, hold your hands up, push/pull, etc.”

That first night was the worst. “I’m Scotti Oja, I’m in Ann Arbor, acoustic neuroma removal…” over and over again.

I was on a ton of different medications (including steroids) that made me feel crazy. My thoughts felt like a carnival, jarring and intense. As much as I wanted to sleep, I couldn’t. The pain was excruciating, and I was just so overwhelmed. I had three IVs (one on each arm, one in my foot) and was getting a shot in the muscle of my arms every three to four hours to keep nausea at bay. It hurt, but I’d choose the shots over nausea any day. 

I wanted my mom or my husband there and neither one could be outside of visiting hours, and I finally broke down to the nurses (who were Godsends, btw).  

One of them held my hand while I cried and told her I hadn’t been able to break down before the surgery because I wanted to be strong for my kids, not scare them, but I was in so much pain now and feeling all of the feelings. She told me it was OK, that I had just been through a major trauma and I could let it all out, that I was safe. Her compassion was like a lifeline at that point. She gave me a melatonin to help me sleep, and by the next morning we had found a medication schedule that helped with the worst of the pain.

I was anxious to see Zack the day after surgery, and I remember the relief I saw on his face when he walked into my room. I remember being nervous that my face was messed up, but he literally could not care less about it, he was just so happy to have me “back.” He was happy the tumor was gone, that I had made it through the surgery. Everything else was details. 

Dark Thoughts & Small Wins

As the reality that I couldn’t move my face set in for me, though, things felt kind of dark. I couldn’t chew, talk, smile or even close my eye (making my already sleepless nights even harder). I hadn’t anticipated that outcome. I mean, I knew facial nerve issues were a possibility but…at 30% (or less) risk outcome, I kind of just assumed that it wouldn’t happen to me. I mean, I had been very clear: Hey Doctors, if there’s a question of my hearing or my face…take the hearing! And they had saved my hearing so…

It’s easy to sound vain when talking about this, I know. But it’s not just a matter of appearance. It felt like I had been put into a different body. I looked nothing like myself in the mirror. My smile looked like a weird grimace—my smile! Smiling is so much a part of who I am, so fundamental to my being. Communicating, even…slurred or garbled speech that didn’t sound like myself, not being able to eat without drooling or chewing on my own lip. Having to wear a moisture chamber that looks like an eye patch since I can’t shut my eye. None of this had been in my realm of possibilities prior to surgery, and now I was second-guessing my decision to even have surgery in the first place. How long could I have lived with the tumor? Did I do the right thing?

There were some dark times in those first days of recovery. I felt like I had gone into the hospital one person and left a completely different one. My entire perspective completely shifted overnight. Instead of huge dreams and life goals, I desperately wanted the simple things back. I just wanted to be able to smile and enjoy a glass of wine. To go for a walk with my husband, snuggle with my kids, taste food and drink (everything kind of tastes weird so far), to shower and wash my hair!

It’s crazy how important these little desires become when they’re threatened. The super simple things I had taken for granted.

We were able to leave the hospital on Saturday—with a huge bag of pills and medications and pages upon pages of directions on how to take them. The ride home felt a little weird because of dizziness, but it wasn’t too bad. And when we pulled up to our Airbnb, there was little Greenlea—her face lighting up when she saw me in the truck.

“Mom!” she yelled, running over to me the second I opened my door. “MOM!!” She collapsed into my arms, sobbing. 

My heart broke for my sweet G — I can’t imagine how hard those days (and nights) were for her. To go so long without seeing me, without knowing how things were going in surgery, without sleeping with me for the first time. What a brave little girl. I’m so thankful for my family being here for her and Ozzie and Zack. So, SO thankful.

Coming “home” was more emotional than I had expected it to be. We were all sobbing, holding one another, thankful it was over, but still just full of grief at everything that had happened. 

At that point, I still felt like nothing was ever going to be the same again. And although this facial paralysis is “temporary” (I am 96% likely to make a full recovery), there is no 100% guarantee that my face will go back to the way it was before surgery. So of course I spent a few days focusing on the 4%, instead of on the excitement Dr. Thomsen had shown right after surgery.

When you’re deep in it, it’s hard to see your way out.

I’m officially two weeks out from surgery & I’m feeling a little better each day. My face is still paralyzed, but there’s more movement, little by little.
Zack’s family had created a healing oasis for me in my room—with decorations and signs and positive messages all around.   

Mom and I got into a routine of pills and vestibular exercises (to help re-train the brain), walking and napping. She did everything — I basically reverted to being a child, unable to take care of myself, and Mom made sure I had everything I needed. 

Zack and his family had the kids, Mom had me. I gave up all control and just let myself be taken care of. I was walking around the block daily (sometimes multiple times a day) just trying to regain my balance and keep moving. I tried to listen to my body and rest when I needed to rest instead of powering through like I usually would. I kept thinking about the six-week mark— it’s a big deal in brain surgery recovery — but man…six weeks is going to take forever.  

We were all excited when it was time to take my bandage off. The bandage was tight and irritating and felt so good to cut off…. know when you’re wearing your hair too tight for too long? It felt like that. And although the scar is pretty intense right now, they were able to get away with only shaving a small amount of my hair for the surgery. Small wins, right? (Update: The staples came out at my appointment yesterday and it feels good to have them out.)  

Finally — A Bit Of Home

Shana was able to come visit the week after surgery — Greenlea’s birthday, to be exact. Zack’s sisters had wrapped presents before they left and Shana took charge of the “party,” decorating the house and helping Greenlea to feel special during an otherwise pretty crummy birthday. I was super-tired but was able to rest and leave everything to my family. Shana cooked a ton of food (that we ate for days after she left), gave me hugs, let me cry, took the kids, watched shows with me and even meditated with me in the 48 hours she was here. It was like having a piece of home here in Ann Arbor.

Speaking of home, I’m so looking forward to going home. My post-op visit was Thursday, and I got the all-clear to head home before having to come back for my one month post-op visit next month. I’m officially two weeks out from surgery, and I’m feeling a little better each day. My face is still paralyzed, but there’s more movement, little by little. The doctors are now estimating that my face should be back to normal within a three-month window, and that the rest of me will be feeling much better by that six-week mark. Fingers crossed. I’m leaning on my friends and family right now, and am so, so, SO beyond thankful.  

Of course, I’d love to have some profound lesson I’ve learned from this experience to share with you guys, but I don’t. Not yet. I’m still in it, still learning and seeing all the little pieces come together. And although it’s not profound and has been said a million different ways before, I am just appreciating the little things. Like smiling. Once I get mine back, I can promise that I’ll never take that one for granted again.   

Thank you, one more time, for all of your support. Your love carried (and continues to carry) me through the dark times…reading your comments over and over has given me strength when I really needed it. 

I’m forever grateful.

XOXO,

Scotti 

67 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve been saying prayers for you every day friend! I’m so happy you’re on the other side of surgery, at home with your family, and glad you’ve got so many people surrounding you in love and helping you through this!

  2. Prayers for you for continued healing Scottie! You are a warrior and you have survived the worst part. Lean on your army of supporters when you need it! xo

  3. You have been in my thoughts daily, Scotti. I have to say that I am blown away by the fact that two weeks post brain surgery (!!!) you have written out this entire, eloquent post. I hope you are able to see that and know what an incredible force you are! Wishing you a speedy, and full, recovery. Thinking of you always!

  4. Oh Scotti, what a beautifully written piece. Thank you so much for sharing your story, thus far. Continued prayers and thoughts for your healing. Warrior on!

  5. Continued prayers for you and your recovery. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I just had knee surgery with a second more extensive surgery in my future. I’m can’t possibly compare my knee injury to your experience, but I can relate to some of the thoughts and feelings you shared in your post. It’s difficult to feel like you aren’t in control and have to trust God and others to take care of you and your family. Yours has not been an easy road, but you will eventually be on the other side of this and better than ever. Take care.

  6. Thank you for sharing your journey! My son had a health crisis last year (tumor and jaw removal and replacement) and the one thing I learned is that there IS beauty in crisis. I love how you recognize that and shared the beautiful and hard parts of your journey thus far. I will be praying for a full recovery of your facial nerves. My son also had many of the facial movement problems that you are experiencing but it all came back. He is a year out from surgery and still has numbness but I’m so grateful that his lovely face is back! I’m not just saying I will pray for a full recovery- I promise I will!

  7. I am so happy that you are home and healing well. I also have an Acoustic Neuroma. I was wondering if you posted more about your condition I could read. At this point only my hearing is being effected and some occasional bouts of Vertigo. What were the symptoms you were having that caused you to decide that surgery was finally needed? Reading your story gave me a little less worry about the need for surgery.

  8. Don’t worry about not having a profound lesson. After a surgery I had earlier this year, I could only marvel at medicine and think how amazing it is. You know, 100 years or so ago we were still leeching people and draining their blood to solve issues! We’ve come an amazing way in such a short amount of time!!!

  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful brave update, you are a wonder! Someone may have already shared this with you, a woman named Belleruth Naparsrek has some great healing meditations. She has a website and you can download on Apple Music or Spotify. My prayers continue for your healing

  10. This is why I love this place so much. I come for the fashion and stay for the beautifully raw life that happens along the way. So many people are praying for you. Wishing you peace and healing on your road through this. I had a small surgery a couple years ago (no preparations! No healing blanket! I will definitely do this if there is a next time) and it’s so surreal to look back on it from the outside. I’ll look at my husband and say remember when that happened?? Cheers to coming out on the other side, you’ll get there.

  11. I cried through reading this whole thing. Scotti, I’m so glad you are healing!!!! And the simple things ARE the profound things. I had a little giggle, the pic of you with the bandage on looks exactly like the head bandaged emoji!

  12. Thank you for writing this. Not only does it give us all glimpse into what you’ve been going through, it lets us know how we can help (more prayers and well-wishes) and how much that all matters. I love that you can write like this already, so that seems like an awesome sign of recovery. You are so fortunate to have so much great support, that’s incredible. I hope you continue to feel better every day and sending tons of love and get well prayers. (or more like healing meditation since I am more into “meditation”). Hugs and love.

  13. Such a life changing event to go through, from the very first diagnosis until this point and beyond. Sometimes we really do just have to let go and allow things to happen as they come, which is so not easy. I’ll continue sending good vibes your way, also including your family, and wishing your strength on your road of recovery. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Sending ALL the virtual hugs and affirmations from New Jersey!!! Here’s to your smile! (and i’m sending you one of mine…)

  15. I just cried through this entire piece. Beautifully written two weeks post op. You never fail to amaze. Wrapping my heart around you. ♥ will continue to send specific prayers up for healing , Strength and function especially that smile. You got this. Xoxo

  16. What a beautifully written update on such a challenging time in your life. The way you made the effort to prepare physically, mentally and spiritually for your surgery is wonderful to read about and very inspiring. You’ll come through this and enjoy all of life even more than before. Sending good vibes and healing thoughts! xo

  17. I am So happy to know you are Ok! Sending prayers, and hugs to you as well as family. Continued prayers and healing thoughts as you go through your recovery. Xoxo ❤️💕

  18. Here is the profound lesson that I have learned from you – community is the base of our power. You have your community. You will regain your power. Love and virtual hugs to you.

  19. Literally crying here at my kitchen table. I’m so glad you took the time to put words to paper about your experience. We are all supporting you through this journey! Hugs from Madison, WI. xx

  20. You are brave, you are beautiful, and you are loved. I’ll keep the prayers coming and can’t wait to see your smile. Hang in there—you’ve got this. 💕

  21. <3<3<3 SO happy to hear that it all went well! I cried to read about the outpouring of love and support for you. And thank you for sharing the particulars of your experience, which I imagine would be helpful for anyone facing the same thing. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  22. Thinking of you here in Los Angeles and how brave you are. Wishing you recovery and healing, and the best things (which you already have.) Much love and support.

  23. Thank you for the update; I am so happy to hear that you are on the mend and have the love and support you deserve. Big, happy, fat tears rolled down my cheeks as I read your post. It’s beautiful; just like the love of your family and friends. Take care. I am keeping you in my prayers. BTW, you still manage to bring the glamour to the hospital! Amazing.

  24. What an ordeal you’ve been through with so much grace. I’m so glad you are surrounded by so much love as you are dealing with this. I’m rooting for you!

  25. I can’t even imagine all the emotions, although you laid it out so well in your post. Thank you for sharing your story. Your family and Zack’s family sound amazing and it’s nice to know they took care of you and each other at this time. When your smile comes back it will be better than ever!

  26. I cried the whole way thru your story. You are strong and a warrior and so are your kids. I will be thinking of you as you continue to recover and wishing you the very best!!

  27. I’ve been praying for you, Scotti, and I will continue. You are so brave to share all of this with us. Thank you for being transparent. It is so humbling to think of how much I take for granted. So thankful that soon you will be 100%!

  28. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us all. So happy you are on the road to recovery and you are surrounded by the love of your family and friends. <3

  29. How wonderful that we’re all out here, cheering for you! Of course, I cried as I read this. Thanks for the update, amazing to me how far you’ve come already. The ability of the brain to recover is astounding! My father, who has Lewy body dementia, was hospitalized this week with Covid Pneumonia — and crying with happiness at hearing how G greeted you was the cry I needed (and held back on) this week. Sending so much love and healing power vibes (not a word, but it is now;-) your way!

  30. Sending all the healing vibes and crying all the tears for you. Thank you for sharing your experience, it is so very meaningful to hear these things especially when they’re so eloquently written. <3

  31. Been following your story as I too had the same surgery in Dec 2015. Your story interestingly is completely different than mine even though it was the exact same tumor! I know it seems unbelievable but it seems like you have less symptoms than I did. You are walking, and talking and wow typing! You will be ok, I know it seems like maybe it won’t, but you will. One person who completely saved me was my physical therapist. I pretty much cried to them every time I went in 3 times per week. God bless and be patient with yourself. I remember ENT saying its not day by day feeling better with brain surgery, its week by week. So thats how I measured myself.

  32. So happy you are on the road to recovery and that you have such a wonderful support system. I went through a similar situation (meningioma) when my oldest child was just 16 months old. The “gift” during that difficult time in my life was the outpouring of love and support from friends and family. It’s hard when you are a “doer” but try to be patient and give yourself the time you need to heal! All the best 🙂

    P.S. I know you are a reader…when you are ready, take a look at When Life Gives You Pears by Jeannie Gaffigan. It’a a very relatable account of her own brain tumor/surgery journey.

  33. Scotti, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I will pray for you and your family as you get through these next weeks and months, and I am so glad that the surgery was successful.

  34. I have been keeping you & your family in my prayers throughout your ordeal. Your mom is too a warrior & I love her for it! I can relate to watching your daughter go through major surgery, it ain’t no fun! God speed your recovery!

  35. I am in tears (and I don’t cry super easily)–have been praying for you, Scotti, and will continue to and sending you all the strength and love. What a beautiful heart you have–that kept striking me as I read your account. love how you share with us and how we have been able to support you in turn. A team effort. And it’s so clear from all our comments throughout this ordeal that your spirit is such a special one, Scotti. People just feel drawn to you–even, for most of us, without having met you in person. Many blessings and love your way as you move through each moment and day of recovery.

  36. Wait, are we supposed to get “profound lessons” from major surgery?!? Yikes, I am 5 yrs behind on figuring out any lessons from my spinal fusion. But… you survived lady! And you have an awesome family & community that surrounded you with love & care when you needed it. That speaks volumes about the kind of person you must be & how much you are loved. Best wishes for a full recovery & a lifetime of health.

  37. Thank you for sharing, in the midst of everything going on. You’ve been on my prayer list and will continue to be. ❤️

  38. I’m so glad you’re doing as well as you are! You have a beautiful spirit and I know with all the love surrounding you, you’ll find your way back.

  39. Scotti, OMG. A few years ago, I had an experience (this isn’t about me) that was SO MUCH what you just shared. The little things. Smiling. I obsessed over that quote from the Christmas movie, Elf, “my favorite thing is smiling.” Eating. Not drooling. You know, the simple things. WHY THE HECK does time fly until after surgery and why is 6 wks suddenly an eternity? Nerve damage. Nerves healing. Our universal love for you, your positive (yep) attitude and strength for your precious kids – it’s all going to continue to blanket you. There’s just no way that we have this capacity to love so ferociously, even people we’ve never met face to face, and not in some capacity be able to pass it on. You are healing and doing such a beautiful and inspiring job managing it all. It’s wild on this side, looking at and appreciating life, however it looks at the moment. I love you, sister. Thank y’all for keeping us updated on your progress. I truly think about you every day, hoping/praying for you.

  40. This was beautiful written and wow. Thank you for sharing and happy to hear you are doing well. When I saw your slippers and robe and outfit😂 wow coming back in style- it was everything. Take your time to heal.

  41. I just wept my way through that stunningly honest and raw story. Continuing to send you sweet healing prayers from Chicago.

  42. Hello! I have been reading TME since last year, and this article definitely caught my eye and heart. I too had acoustic neuroma surgery in 2012. My newborn daughter was 8 months old, so I can totally relate to all the feels you were and are going through – and also had an amazing supportive husband and family. I lost my hearing in my right ear – and also experienced dizziness for a while. My thoughts to you are to let the healing happen – and one day most likely 4 months – you will wake up and feel great and ready to take on anything! I ran a 1/2 marathon and started a new job:)! When ever I feel like I am doing something hard – I say, I got this – I have been through much worse and had my head cut open! Take care and look forward to hearing what is next for you. There are support groups on the AN website and in your area too. All the best! Wendy

  43. Scotti,
    You have taught me sooo much over the years. Jewels like… wearing eye lash extensions are wonderful but they may damage your eye lashes, how to do a good smokey eye, using your pinkey finger to smudge that shadow:) ,rocking sequins postpartum… I’ve learned so much! However, the biggest and most important lesson you just taught me was how to be vulnerable and yet strong in your most darkest time. Sharing with all of us during this time has inspired me to push myself and do “the hard things”. It would have been way easier for you to just step away and recover. Thank you for continuing to share even when it was hard. I saw this quote when we were on vacay at Lake Erie …“Beautiful girl, you can do hard things”. Still praying for you !
    Lindsey

  44. Thank you for sharing so much with us. I’ve thought of you often, prayed each time for peace now and full recovery soon. Keep going, mama! ❤️

  45. Just bawling here at my table. Seeing everyone come together to just take care of the mama who normally holds it all together for everyone else is just so beautiful. Sending you all the love and healing.

  46. One foot in front of the other and you’ll get through it. So glad to hear you have such wonderful support and that you’re wise enough to let everyone around you help. It can be so hard to let go when we are used to doing all the things. Sending you healing vibes.

  47. Thinking of you, Scotti! I’m so glad to hear that surgery went well. May your facial nerves heal completely and quickly. I cried reading your experience. Thank you for sharing vulnerably, and it was especially wonderful to hear how your dear mother has been there with you, supporting and helping. Prayers and love for you! ❤️

  48. You are amazing. So happy to hear you are recovering. You are a warrior! Prayers for your continued healing ❤️

  49. Scotti, I read this and was completely in tears–thank you for sharing your journey and in such a beautiful, open way. (Dude–how can you write so well just two weeks post-op?! You’re a rock star! But we all knew THAT, of course. 🙂 )

    Have been praying for you and will continue to do so. And we are all supporting you, as evidenced by all of these comments and SO many more that are in people’s hearts too. You have this tremendous, unique spirit and vivacious personality that just draws people to you like crazy. Thank you for letting us in and allowing us to be part of your journey and on your care team throughout this ordeal. We all continue to stand steadfastly beside you in spirit, cheering you on. So much love, healing and peace your way!

  50. Your raw emotion and honesty is a gift to all of us. You are so human, so authentic. And I love that because the stereotype of an online fashion influencer is not that. So eff the stereotypes. Thank you for sharing your experience. I wish you swift and complete healing. Remember to keep taking it easy and letting others care for you, even when you think you don’t need it anymore. You got this, mama!

  51. I’m so glad you wrote this Scotti! I’ve been following the blog for awhile and have been thinking about you since you went into surgery. Much, much love to you and your rockstar family!!!

  52. Scotti – I can’t help but relate your experience with being covered up with love and prayer to my own – in 1972! I had a tumor on my spine, I was eight years old, and when I came out of surgery, I had a bad reaction to anesthesia and was throwing up like crazy. The anti-emetic they gave me put me in a trance-like state (ie, coma) for about 72 hours – and when I came out, my pastor came and told me that a prayer chain had started before my surgery and that it never stopped for the 3-4 days. There were people in the sanctuary at our church 24/7, many that I never knew. I am not a deeply “religious” person but the reality of that having been a part of my experience has stayed with me since. I think about today and how people won’t even wear a mask to protect someone else and I wonder, who would be in that sanctuary today? But your story gives me hope. And reminds me of Ram Dass saying “We’re all just walking each other home.”

  53. I’m so glad you’re deep onto the road to recovery. What you have been through is monumental. Never
    S take so long to heal but they will! Hang in there and keep taking care of your mind, body, and soul!

  54. Scotti I am just in awe that you could write this and share your beautiful story. I’m praying for you and your family. Prayers for a full recovery and thank you thank you for sharing your story. It is profound and beautiful to me and I am so grateful that you would share your journey with us all, especially so early in your recovery. You are a very special person and I’m so glad to ‘know’ you through this site. Much love, Annie

  55. Dear Scotti, writing this post is rock-star level amazing! You are incredible, and so strong. We are all praying for your full and speedy recovery. We love you!!!

  56. Oh Scotti, I’ve been thinking of you daily. I’m amazed by your faith, grace and strength through this very difficult health challenge. I have no doubt that beautiful smile will be back in action gracing all of us with what the power of prayer and love can do. Full glam ahead…..xo

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