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Post-op pneumonia complication :( Post-op pneumonia complication :(

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Unread 11-16-2007, 12:48 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

I didn't realize that pneumonia was a "somewhat" common complication after an surgery where you are put under general anesthetic. I first started having problems the day after surgery (running a fever, congestion, etc.), but they gave me antibiotics and the Xopenex enhaler that I usually use when I get bronchitis or pneumonia (I've been very succeptable to these illnesses since I was a child) and I seemed to be doing quite well two days later when I was released.

I live in a small town 150 miles from the castle, so last week when I was feeling bad again my doc had me go to an on call gp at the local clinic. He said I just had a sinus infection and bronchitis, gave me an antibiotic, Ceftin, and let me go. I felt worse and worse for eight days but thought it was just in my head and I needed to toughen up.

I planned to return to work this afternoon for a few hours (only 3 weeks post-op--what a MISTAKE!) but collapsed on my living room floor this morning in a coughing attack. This is probably too much info, but I was hacking green and yellow chunks all over the floor before I was able to crawl 10 feet to the bathroom. Thank God my mom (who lives a couple blocks away) happened to come over and let herself in right then. There was no way I could have made it to the living room to find my cell phone to call for help! She took me to the clinic where they started me on a nebulizer with Allbuteral, another antibiotic, codine cough suryp, and a new script for Vicodin because of the abdominal pain this had caused. Thankfully, I'm feeling much better tonight and I think I'll be able to get some sleep.

Here's the problem, maybe someone else with complications can relate--I feel like I'm letting everyone around me down by not recovering the way I "should". My husband is upset with me because I need to get back to work financially, my patients are needing me (I'm a psychotherapist), and I feel guilty leaving so much work on my partner. Also, my mom is handling my laundry, housework that the housekeeper can't finish, taking care of my 3 year old son, etc. Does anyone else feel like they were "pampered" for about five days then everyone got bored/annoyed with your illness and has basically left you on your own? Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself right now, but I sense that certain people in my life feel that I'm "faking" or blowing this complication out of proportion. When a coughing attack comes on, I've actually seen eyes roll or family members just leave the room (I would appreciate it if they would ask if I need a drink or something at least). DH is so annoyed with the hysterectomy/bronchitis/pneumonia problems that he has just started going to bed hours earlier than normal when our son does rather than spending some time with me just to talk.

So sorry about how long this is if anyone has read all the way through, but I'm dealing with a lot of emotions such as anger (with my body and others), guilt (that I can't be Superwoman and I've inconvenienced people) and simple frustration. Anyone else dealing with something like this? If so, how are you dealing with it, what are you doing to ease any tensions in the home?

Thank you ladies,
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Unread 11-16-2007, 07:15 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with this terrible complication and especially that you aren't getting the emotional support your really need and deserve.

First of all I want to encourage you that this isn't in your head or something you are 'milking' or faking in anyway. A normal recovery, without an complications requires 6 to 8 wks for the initial healing. After that you can begin, slowly, to work back into your regular routines. When you have a complication like you're experiencing it takes longer.

It sounds like your poor body has been fighting this pneumonia for weeks now. You must feel awful. I would encourage you to sit your dh down and talk this out. It might be helpful to print some information out from the site. He needs to understand that this recovery is a tough one and what you're going through isn't abnormal, but has been made more difficult by your illness.

You might want to look through the Post-Op Hints and the Checkpoints for information you could print out to help back yourself up. Be strong and stand up for yourself in this. You don't want to set yourself back by pushing to do things your body is clearly not ready to do. You aren't even four weeks out from your surgery. I would have discouraged you from going into the office even if you didn't have this other illness.

I hope he will listen. It's very unfair for him to treat you this way. No matter what, don't compromise your recovery by giving into this pressure. I'm glad to hear your mom is helping out, just let everyone know how grateful you are for the help. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
's, Rita
Unread 11-16-2007, 07:28 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

Thank you so much Rita, I needed to hear that right now. This morning DH called on his way to work to ask when my post-op appt is so he can go, that is a big gesture for him. As far as work goes, I decided I'll do one phone appt for now and see one "easy" but urgent client per day (Mon-Wed) next week. I was supposed to travel 14 hours to my cousins wedding with my toddler next weekend but I called and explained that I simply couldn't. I'm feeling better just "letting go" and putting off some responsibilities. Ahhh, relax, right sisters?
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Unread 11-16-2007, 08:18 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(


I'm so sorry you're having problems with your DH. I can certainly relate though, mine started to also get "bored" with the whole recovery thing after about two weeks. He literally rolled his eyes at me when I told him, "no, I can't go to the store to get you more pop, I'm not supposed to be lifting anything". Of course, when I confronted him with it ( I was not a very nice wife at that moment ), he denied it. So, I understand where you're coming from.

Just hang in there. I actually talked with my surgeon about it. She told me that I was absolutely not to be lifting, vacuuming etc. because I could cause more damage and be off of work even longer. That made me feel better. I told myself that by doing nothing, I was helping my family. That I would be able to get back to my normal routine withing the six weeks like dr said. Plus, I'm not going to go through all of this surgery to get rid of a lifetime of chronic pain, just to screw up the recovery and end up in pain again!

SOrry, got kind of long didn't it. I guess my point is, by not doing all of those things that you're not supposed to do, you are actually being responsible.

Please take it easy, like everyone says you only get one chance to heal the right way and your poor body has already been through the wringer with the pneumonia. Poor thing!!!!!!

Unread 11-16-2007, 08:20 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

((((((((Sonja))))))))))) I couldn't add to the great response from Rita, but just wanted to say that you having pneumonia all this time and "braving it" is verification to me (and hopefully is to your family) that you're not trying to fake anything. You can only fake something if it isn't true.

After a few days of helping me out, my brother began thinking that I could just snap back to normal. I had to have a heart-to-heart with him and tell him in a nice way that I was GOING to go by my Dr's recommendations, and that this is my one chance to heal properly, and I was going to take it. After all, this isn't elective surgery like a purely cosmetic nose job! We didn't exactly plan on having a hysterectomy, and it's commensurate with any other kind of illness or condition for which one would need surgery.

I'm happy your husband made that gesture to go with you to your post-op appt. And I'm sure that your family members are just frustrated seeing you suffer, even though they knew you would have weeks of recovery time. People are so different in how they respond to illness or recuperation--some are super understanding and some have no tolerance whatsoever.

And let me say I'm SO happy that you discovered that you had pneumonia and are getting the treatment for it!!

Well, take care and I hope you continue to feel better and better, sister!
Unread 11-16-2007, 08:27 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(


I know just how you feel. I too have had complications that have delayed my recovery. My sister left Monday becasue I was "supposed" to be ok by then. But I have had to see the Dr almost every day this week so I have had to ask for lots of help. I'm single. I was talking to one friend about going back to the Dr and she asked how I was going to get there and I said I don't know I guess I'll just drive myself and she ok!! I was supposed to go back to work next week but now I have to take another week off. Plus since my pee came out this morning pure blood, I suppose I'll be looking for yet another ride today to get back to the Dr once again. Ugh. I feel everone's frustration with my complications and slow healing especially the woman looking over my job.

But you know didn't give yourself pnemonia any more than I gave myself pee issues. these things just sometimes happen and oh well. Someday when our loved ones are in need of assisitance we can show them a kind and generous heart in return. I'm glad you husband offered to go to the appt. I'm sure that made you feel better.


Unread 11-16-2007, 08:56 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

Starbgirl, I'm with you, sister. I live alone and it's a little different journey than for those with families at home. We'll hang in there!! (Hope you get the "pee" issue cleared up soon, sugar!)
Unread 11-16-2007, 09:59 AM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

Katie ~ Big Hugs!! It IS different!! There is no DH to pamper the princess and sometimes those messages about getting spoiled and stuff sting a bit. Plus testing out the equiptment intamacy wise once healed. Ummm test it with who??? Wah!!! I just hope it doesn't shrivel up and die before I find Mr. right!! LOL!!! Just know that if I were close, I would pamper you!!!

Thanks for the understanding words!!

Unread 11-16-2007, 02:44 PM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

i hope youre feeling better soon. i got bacterial pneumonia after hernia surgery and it was no fun
Unread 11-16-2007, 03:05 PM
Post-op pneumonia complication :(

(((Starbgirl))) Same here to the pampering! Take care of yourself.....yourself!

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