I walked out of my first review with the surgeon post op feeling extremely relieved.
Dr Nick is happy with the progress I have made despite describing the surgery as "tricky" due to the small tumours on the facial nerve. A full recovery is said to be around 12-18 months. He quoted a 80-90% recovery for patients with some sign of nerve function at this early stage. I fall into this category due to the improvement in my eye. I am trying to not get my hopes up despite the good odds. He did raise a valid point that there is more to life than physical appearance (coming from someone who is very easy on the eye!), although I can honestly say that I will be heartbroken if my facial paralysis is permanent.
Dr Nick also advised that I can go back to work for a few hours a week and gradually increase them. I am extremely fortunate that I have a job where I have been given external access and am able to complete some work from home along with an amazing manager who supports this. I have begun working this week and to be honest it's a lot harder that I imagined it to be. Naively I thought that I could jump straight in and pick up where I left off. Sadly half an hour is my limit on the computer before my eye hurts and I loose concentration. It might take me all day to complete a task but I get there in the end.
I was also given the green light to start driving again. I drove to work for a meeting the following day, patch over my eye, hands gripping the steering wheel, feeling like grandma and was ever so pleased when I arrived safely. I have decided that I am not confident enough behind the wheel just yet.
Next step is a MRI in a month followed by a review with Dr Nick in 2 months.
On the whole I am extremely happy with the review. I have come a long way in 7 weeks and have made many gains. I know I have a long way to go, and there will be many more hard days, but it's the good days and regaining my life that I look forward to the most.