I fall a lot, and have for years. I am the gal in the yoga class that falls for any balance move, no matter how hard she tries. It turns out that, over time, my balance nerves on the right hand side have been swamped by this schwannoma. The balance nerves on the left hand side have been compensating over the past few years.
At the time of surgery, my surgeon shared that the balance outcome was not completely known, it all depended on how damaged the vestibular nerve was.
- If minimal damage to date, I could expect significant balance issues & vertigo after surgery. I would have a tougher time adjusting, as I had not yet compensated for loss of balance.
- If a lot of damage to date, I could expect a short period of dizziness and vertigo, which should fade quickly as I had already started to compensate.
At 2 weeks past surgery: the outcome is very positive. My balance is already close to what it was 6 months ago.
How I prepared: I was aware this was a big risk, and spent time over the past few months getting physically ready for the surgery. I have been doing yoga daily, with a breath and balance focus. My balance was better than it had been in years, but it took an investment of time, every day, to get here.
Long Term Goal: I still have work to do, and will continue to make yoga part of my daily life and practice. This is a combination of strength, focus and effort.
Update: August 27. I had my first Physical Therapy appointment yesterday, and learned much more about balance. Turns out there are 3 areas to rely on for balance:
- Vision. With open eyes, using vision, is where I do my best.
- Feel. My assigned exercise homework is to stand on an unstable surface, maintain balance, with eyes closed. My area of focus.
- Inner Ear. This is usually the boss of balance.
I look forward to making balance obey my beck and call.