One of the possible side effects I was prepared to have after my surgery was to have something called “neglect syndrome,” which can manifest as a wide range of symptoms and severity, but the jist is that there is an un-awareness of a side of the body. In the most severe types of this syndrome, people totally ignore an entire side of their body and space– they may be totally unaware that there is more past midline.
So, going into my surgery I knew this was a possibility, and initially post op, I didn’t think I had it– I could see and recognize things on both sides of my body- seemed like a victory! But– then once I got up and walking I would consistently bump into things on my left side… I couldn’t tell where they were in relationship to where my body was and where I was moving. This, thankfully, has gotten a lot better. Mostly now I bump into people who are walking with me to my left (and maybe they are walking into me?! 🙂
The most prominent part of this that has continued to be noticeable is that I don’t automatically recognize my own left hand and arm as my own, which is a little jarring but not terrible. For example, I’ll reach my left hand up to scratch my nose or push my hair out of my face– and as my own arm comes up I’ll see it in my peripheral vision and ever so briefly think, “WT..” then I’ll realize before I even finish that thought, that I’m seeing my own hand that I am moving. It’s pretty nuts. This happens probably 5-8 times a day. The good news is that this should be resolved in 3 months or so, and I’m encouraged that already it does seem to be better.