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After any surgery or brain tumor treatment, it is not unusual to feel worse than you did before. Though this is temporary, it can be challenging.
Brain surgery is a lot for your body to cope with. Swelling in the brain after an operation means it will take some time before you feel the benefit from having your tumor removed. You may experience dizzy spells or get confused about where you are and what’s happening. These episodes can come and go and are a normal part of the recovery period.
For some people, recovery may be complete after a few weeks or months; for others, you may have to learn to adjust and manage permanent changes in your life including not being able to work or accomplish all of the tasks you did before. Your surgeon can give you some idea, but ask as many questions as you can about what to expect for your recovery.
People who experience a variety of physical symptoms including weakness, difficulty speaking, stiffness, problems with movement, etc. can benefit from various forms of rehabilitative treatment. Every person with a brain tumor deserves to function as optimally as possible, so patients should be evaluated for successful rehabilitation treatment.
Physical, occupational, and speech therapists are experts in this area – and ideally, you can work with professionals who are experienced in working with patients with a brain tumor and/or neurological disorders:
If you need them, there are assistive devices and exercises that can be prescribed by rehabilitation specialists. Handrails, grab bars, and bath or shower chairs are some examples. There are also tools and tips to help with eating, dressing, maintaining computer access and independence. Keeping track of issues and talking regularly with rehabilitation specialists can help you get the support you need.
It is also useful to know about the federal and state programs that link people with services, technology, and funding. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act helps people who experience a disability due to illness, like a brain tumor, but want to go back to work with reasonable accommodations.
A brain tumor and its treatment(s) can cause changes in a person’s behavior and ability to think. Patients may experience difficulties with their communication, concentration, memory, and their personality may change.
These difficulties may affect a patient’s ability to work or go about his/her daily life, and they do not always go away. This can cause stress for both the patient and his or her family.
Medication may be prescribed to reduce problems with cognitive and behavioral changes, and counseling may help a patient recognize when they are experiencing cognitive problems.
Cognitive rehabilitation is designed to help people regain as much of their mental, physical and emotional abilities as possible.