Signs of Life

Last week’s surgery was a success, but man I sure don’t feel like it. Once the doctor got inside my head, he discovered that the tumor had more than doubled in size since I had an MRI a couple months back. At that rate of growth, it would’ve become life-threatening much earlier than anticipated, so it’s a good thing I had the procedure sooner rather than later.

In order to remove the tumor, the surgeon had to remove my left hearing nerve, which means I’m now totally deaf in that ear. He also had to remove the left balance nerve, which as you can imagine has left me really off-kilter. The first two days after the surgery I was too dizzy to even open my eyes – all I’d see was a spinning room – and I was told that when I did open my eyes they darted rapidly back and forth, as though they were trying to figure out what to focus upon. I’ll skip the rest of the details, but suffice to say, those first few days were among the worst I’ve ever experienced.

I’m an annoyingly positive person, though, so I haven’t really let this whole thing get me down. In fact, the only time I’d say I was really depressed was when I listened to music on the car ride home. Even though I listen to music all the time, for some reason I hadn’t considered how music would change once my hearing nerve was removed. I was pretty choked up when I discovered how flat my favorite songs sounded with only one ear to hear them through.

The other thing I wasn’t completely prepared to handle was how I’d look after the operation. Let’s just say that whoever cut my hair must’ve tackled my head like it was sheep ready for shearing. When combined with the huge line of staples going up the side of my head, my fancy new hair-do makes me look flat-out freakish. A neighbor of mine was very kind, though, and suggested that I looked like Johnny Depp (to which I replied, “Do you mean in Edward Scissorhands?”).

The good news is that I’m getting better each day, and I’m already taking short walks to help regain my sense of balance. Right now walking on solid ground feels like walking on a cruise ship riding the waves, but I’m confident that walking will feel more natural within a month or so. And once walking is normal, I plan to get back to running again (running is definitely an addiction!).

The fact that I’m able to type this blog entry less than a week after the operation has me hopeful that recovery will be quicker than I was led to believe, but it will still be a few weeks before I’m able to really tackle any serious work. In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll keep up with the blog world, and I’ll post here every now and then with random thoughts about the progress of my new hairstyle :)

108 thoughts on “Signs of Life

  1. Wow! Glad you’re OK, I’ll continue to be praying for your recovery. Get well so that you can run again. Maybe after everything gets all better you can take a trip to Denver and we’ll go climb a 14,000 mountain :)

  2. Nick, I cannot imagine what you’ve been going through. You have my deepest respect for being the positive person you obviously are! Get healthy quick again!

  3. Glad you made it through the surgery so well, though I’m sorry to hear about the hearing and balance problems. With the attitudes you normally show us, I imagine you’ll compensate faster than any of us could guess.
    At any rate, give yourself time to heal, this *is* a big deal. Our prayers are with you.

  4. nick,
    take all the time you need to feel better, we’re all pulling for you and thinking about you — good luck! don’t worry about the work and stuff, it’ll still be there when you’re better!
    just know you’re in our thoughts!

  5. Glad to hear you’re progressing well with the recovery, Nick.
    have you tried listening to music with headphones, with both channels mixed into one earpiece? Just a thought.

  6. Glad to learn that the operation went OK, Nick; sorry to learn about the loss of your hearing and balance.
    I’m surprised to see you’re online and posting so soon. Just be sure that you don’t try to come back before you’re ready!

  7. Hey Nick, Good to see that you’re doing pretty fine. Stay tuned, stay positive. That’s good for a speedy recovery and good health.
    Take care and greetings!

  8. I’m just really glad to see this blog entry! :)
    Sorry to read about the hearing loss. That would freak me out. I thought it was bizarre that someone asked if you also lost your tinnitus (did you?)!!
    Anyway, here’s to a speedy recovery mate.

  9. signs of life

    Signs of Life è il titolo del post più recente del blog di nick bradbury. nick è il programmatore autore di topstyle, senza il quale non avrei mai capito e usato i css, e di feeddemon, grazie al quale posso leggere molti blog e news items con un buon look & fe…

  10. Alex wrote:
    “- You can ignore people at will and not offend them. Simply place your corresponding the index finger over the good ear’s Tragus (see below). Useful for those mother-in-law moments.”
    I say….in order not to offend them…be sure to use the INDEX finger. LOL…get better, Nickster

  11. Nick, you have an amazing attitude. As someone who was born without hearing — I can understand why it is harder to handle hearing loss later in life after you’ve experienced it than never experiencing it at all.
    And the dizzy thing — I am impressed that you’re back online already. I had the same thing happen when I had my cochlear implant surgery and I could not stand to open my eyes for two days otherwise spin city. And I had to go back to the hospital due to dehydration. I couldn’t drink or anything because I was so off kilter.
    If you need a few tips and tricks on how to have fun with deafness… ping me :)

  12. Good to hear that you are looking on the positive side of life, and that you are getting better by the day. Being positive is the best way to recovery. Concerning your new hair style .. Might be that you will grow to like it with time ;)

  13. Hi Nick,
    We can see how special you are by the number of comments on this ‘getting-back-post’.
    Also like every one here, I just want to wish you a great recovery, and hope that you get back to work soon.
    Let’s work man, I’m needding some features at my topstyle and my feeddemon too. Hehehe ;) [ this was a joke ok?! ]
    Best wishes from Brazil to you man!

  14. Nick,
    I’m so glad to hear that you have come through this whole thing so well. I wish you only the best!

  15. Glad to hear (no pun intended) you’re on the road to recovery. The body has an amazing way of compensating for problems and I’m sure you’ll adjust much sooner than you think. Take it easy for now.

  16. Nick,
    I am very glad to hear that everything went well with your surgery. You have an amazing attitude. I hope rest of your recovery process goes as well. Take care. Best wishes.

  17. Get well soon Nick. REALLY rooting for you to be back “as happy as Larry” as my Dad used to say, as soon as possible.

  18. I’ve been a user of Homesite for the last 5 years, and now I’ve been trying out TopStyle and FeedDemon, both of which are simply amazing to me. I’m planning on purchasing FeedDemon for myself, and have my company purchase TopStyle for me and each member of my development team.
    The point of this is to say that I really appreciate the work you’ve done, since it makes my work a lot more enjoyable. I pray that you have a speedy recovery.

  19. Nick…so glad you’re “back in the saddle again” :-)
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery…and thanks for reminding me to see my own glass as “half full”…even when you’re “down,” you’ve still got your humor and are still helping others (even if you don’t know it!).
    Thanks for your great work and for your great attitude!

  20. Hi Nick – a second comment, but I’m not trying to spam you man, honest. I just laughed out loud (several times) at an audio recording of Eddie Izzard (comedian). So, for the equivalent of audio-Larson (they say laughter is a great medicine), check out: really hope you like. Again, get well soon, all the best, Alan. (Feeddemon and TopStyle user and fan).

  21. Hi Nick – I’m glad to hear that you’re doing better. Your annoyingly positive attitude is an inspiration! This weekend I attended a conference for a new company the makes “software for the human body.” One of the tests to show that the product has an immediate effect was a “tip” test. With the patches on it was much more difficult to unbalance the person. There’s no evidence that the patches will improve your balance, but I wanted to share this with you because I thought it could help. I’ve been using the patches for the past 9 months and have had great results. More information is available at
    Wishing you all the best, Barry.

  22. Great that you are walking along the road to recovery a little further on you will be able to run. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses you will be amazed how sweet they are now.

  23. I’m glad you’re doing well, Nick. I am having surgery on the 27th to repair my first, and hopefully last, hernia. Your positive attitude gives me a little boost of confidence that everything will be just fine. I’m looking forward to the final releases of both Topstyle and Feeddemon. Two amazing pieces of software. Take care of yourself.

  24. Sincere best wishes for a rapid recovery Nick.
    Now, let’s think about a new business venture. How can we bottle that “annoyingly positive” stuff? We could make a fortune. Better yet, make it an aerosol!

  25. I’m delighted to read that you are well after the surgery, and I wish you the best in your recovery. Your attitude is both wise and inspirational.

  26. One other thought Nick. My mother was told that as we age, we rely more on sight and less on the inner ear, for balance.

  27. Good to hear you’re recovering and getting stronger. I wish you well and will include you in our family prayers Nick.

  28. Right on Nick. Take each day for it’s fullest! Your post makes me realize how lucky I am and realize I need to be more positive.
    Wishing you a very speedy recovery.

  29. Hey Nick,
    I recently began using TopStyle and decided to review the homepage in a bit more depth, and here I am now at your blog, reading a hopeful entry about a life-changing event that is often handled quite negatively by those whom endure it.
    Good luck to you.

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