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Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers! Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

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  #1  
Unread 05-17-2010, 08:44 PM
Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Hi sisters,
My surgery is this Wednesday, bright and early. I have to be there by 7:00am, surgery is at 9:00am. My heart is calm, and I'm confident that I'm doing the right thing by having this surgery......but the strange thing is that my mind keeps worrying about WHAT COULD go wrong! Here is my list of concerns:

1.) I have to do a colon cleansing tomorrow, and I am worried about getting sick and throwing up. I'm also worried about getting weak and lethargic (I have hypoglycemia). I'll be consuming a lot of juice and Jello to counter this, but I'm still worried.

2.) PAIN after the surgery. The last time I had an abdominal incision, the pain was sooo bad that I couldn't tolerate it, I was literally screaming out of the operating room. I was given a morphine pump, which did little for me. This time I am going to be given a spinal epidural, so hopefully my pain will be better controlled.

3.) My endometriosis is so bad, that my doctor told me that there is a high risk of bowel perforation (Apparently the evil uterus is stuck to them). I was told that if she could not remove all of the endo close to my rectum and cervix, they would have to leave some of it in there. I am really scared of organ damage!

4.) I'm afraid of heavy bleeding from the vaginal cuff. I just got over Aunt Flo, and my anemia is so bad. How long does post-op bleeding normally last anyway?

5.) I'm really worried about my other organs not working the way that they should...What if I have trouble urinating? What if I cannot have a bowel movement?....etc.

6.) I'm worried about how long it will take me to recover from such a major operation. My doctor said 6 weeks, but I remember that it took almost 3 months for me to heal from my last surgery....and I was still having issues afterwards. Hopefully things will be different this time.



Thanks for listening to me ramble on. I have nobody else to talk to about these matters. My family is tired of listening to me.....I must sound like a broken record. I will be so glad when all of this is finally over. The waiting IS the hardest part! Does anybody else share these same concerns? Any words of wisdom from my post-op sisters?
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  #2  
Unread 05-17-2010, 09:32 PM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Peppercat -

Ahh what the mind can do to you especially when you are waiting for surgery. I will offer my experience and perspective on things as best I can and others will be along to chime in as well.

#1 - about your hypoglycemia - talk to your Dr. make sure they are informed and as you said eat as much jello, sorbet, juice and broth as you can to keep you full and your blood sugar regulated.

#2 - I am so sorry to hear about your previous pain. I didn't have an epidural so I can't really comment on this one. I would keep everyone informed and if they know about it hopefully they can stay ahead of it with other medications.

#3 - On this one all I can do is send hugs

#4 - I didn't have any major bleeding from my vaginal cuff. I had very little bleeding. If you have a lot (soaking a pad in a few hours) you should be calling your Dr. because that isn't normal. I did pop a stitch a few weeks after my surgery and had some bleeding but it wasn't anywhere near soaking a pad.

#5 - Everybody has some trouble with one or the other of these. Get your stool softeners, fiber foods, prune juice, figs or whatever works for you and also drink lots and lots of water. You should ask your Dr. how many days max should elapse before you call if you haven't had a bowel movement.

#6 - 6 to 8 weeks is initial recovery. I didn't start using the word normal until 11 months. Full recovery can take 6 months to a year. So it wouldn't be surprising at all that you could still be feeling a bit off at 12 weeks.



G.
  #3  
Unread 05-18-2010, 08:06 AM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Hi Tauruslady,
Thank you so much for your reply and advice. You have eased some of my anxiety. Hopefully I don't get sick today....I definitely don't want to wait any longer to have this surgery done! I'm trying really hard not to think about tomorrow. Needless to say I probably won't get much sleep tonight. I have to be at the hospital by 7:00am tomorrow....the thing is I'm not a morning person, and I'm really grumpy without my coffee! I'll just have to take a really long shower to wake up, LOL.

Thanks again.
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  #4  
Unread 05-18-2010, 08:33 AM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Just wishing you the best tomorrow! I have my preop tomorrow and will be sending good vibes your way
  #5  
Unread 05-18-2010, 09:26 AM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Hi Peppercat! Good for you for articulating your concerns...and you got some excellent feedback from Tauruslady.

I tried to further categorize my worries into things that I could affect and things out of my control. It helped me to keep my energy focussed on the stuff I could actually do something about, which made me feel more in control...and gave me less time to worry about the stuff that truly is out of our hands.

1) I had read on here from one of the ladies that when she was drinking her bowel prep, she had a cup of broth there too and so she alternated.....I did the same and it really helped. I was worried about throwing up and having to start over....but I didn't and the broth really helped. In terms of keeping hydrated and energy levels up, I hear you on that too. My veins are horrible for drawing blood and getting IVs started and I was worried about being dehydrated and making that even worse....so I just made sure that I had a drink on the go at all times, and kept alternating between something with abit of nourishment and water. I just faced it like it was my absoloute most important task for the day. You WILL get through it and the better you do at it, the better you are setting your surgery team up for success as well.

2) and 3) are out of your control right now, there isn't a thing you can do to change that. Do your best to banish them from your mind, because you have to put all your focus on 1) above! 1) above is helping the surgeons with 3) especially.

4) YAY, you've had your last period, that is so great! Like you, I was anaemic and had heavy scary bleeding. What a great thing to put that in the past....let yourself be excited about it, and hang on to those happy feelings....that is your second most important job today! It's like we finally have a chance to charge our batteries/blood up, without getting totally drained every month! I kept my cervix, so don't have the cuff, but for me there has only been a small bit of bleeding and discharge since. Definitely not enough to worsen anaemia.

5) You are going to do a great job with 1) which also helps with this. Start taking stool softener right away after surgery, and be abit careful of what you eat initially (do some research on foods that constipate and avoid them...and opt for things like tauruslady suggested, plus brown rice and popcorn). Do your best to get up even just sitting upright, and walking abit slowly when you can....this will help move things along. And know that you have done all you can. The tricky thing with reactivating your bowel is that pretty well all pain meds are constipating. So have some patience and know that you might not get a bm until you have tapered off pain meds abit....but everyone is different!! I can't speak to urination troubles, I was fortunate that I didn't have any. I believe this one is out of your control though, aside from the great job you are going to do keeping yourself hydrated today, per 1).

6) you and me both, and everyone else on here......I am one week out and dying to get on with it....I am trying really hard not to overdo it so that I don't have a set back, as well as drinking lots of water and eating well so that my body can do it's best to recover quickly. The rest is out of my control!

So, you only have two jobs today.....do your very best job at your bowel prep/hydration, and do your very best job to feel happy and excited!!!

Big hugs, hang in there!!! Can't wait to hear from you after your surgery! I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!
  #6  
Unread 05-18-2010, 01:23 PM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Ladies, Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. Well, I guess I can cross worry #1 off the list.....I just finished ingesting the laxative, have been making my rounds to the washroom......so far don't feel weak, lethargic, or nauseaous. I am drinking tons of water, and am trying to keep consistent with my sugar intake every hour. Right now I'm having some gatoraid. I will still tell the nurses my concerns about hydration and sugar when I arrive at the hospital tomorrow. Might need an IV full of sugar water. At least the surgery is first thing in the morning.

Fire, I really like your idea of categorizing worries. I am still trying really hard not to think about worry #2 or #3. I have no control over these things, but I can only hope that things will work out for the best, without any complications. After my last surgery in 2007, my iron was only at a 3......now it is at a 10, but my family doctor wants to get it up to a 20. Hopefully after all of this, and no more Aunt Flo visits, it will get up to where it is supposed to be.

As for worry #5, I will follow everyone's advice and add more fibre to my diet. We've already bought extra prune juice, bran, and raisins for such occasions. Definitely hoping there will be no other issues, but I leave it in the hands of God.

Thanks again for your words and well wishes. See you on the other side!
  #7  
Unread 05-18-2010, 04:43 PM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Peppercat -

I am not a morning person either but the good things about an early surgery......a) you don't have to wait around and not eat and b) you don't have extra time to fret.



G.
  #8  
Unread 05-27-2010, 07:08 AM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

I just had my surgery last week, and I thought that I would try to ease the anxiety of my pre-op sisters by posting my progress and updating my pre-op worry list.

1.) BOWEL PREP: The colon cleanse was not pleasant, but it did not kill me! I did not get too weak or lethargic....just very thirsty after midnight (when I could not consume any food or water). As soon as I arrived at the hospital, I told them that I was hypoglycemic, and they checked my blood suger. It was low, so they gave me sugar water through an IV. This helped.

2.) PAIN: I had a great anesthesist, who worked wonders in managing my pain. She thought that an epidural would not be very effective for my type of surgery, so we agreed to do the morpheine pump instead. She also gave me stronger pain killers through an IV before I woke up from my surgery. Did not scream this time....the pain was in control. Was in the hospital for 4 days......had morpheine for 2 and a half days, then switched to pills. I'm taking Naproxen and Tylenol 3's right now for pain management.

3.) FEAR OF ORGAN DAMAGE: My surgery took over 5 hours to complete, because they found new adhesions on my intestines, ureters, and around the bladder. The doctors who performed my surgery were amazing! Every thing is working the way that it should. Only my cervix was left in place, because removing it would risk perforation.

4.) BLEEDING FROM VAGINAL CUFF: Because my cervix was left in place, I have no vaginal cuff.....and surprisingly.....NO post-op bleeding! Hopefully it will stay that way. The nurse did tell me that I might still spot around weeks 3 and 4, but that is normal.

5.) THE PLUMBING: So far I have no major issues with going to the washroom. They took the catheter out on my second day in the hospital.....at first I had a hard time peeing, but I keep drinking water and walking.....eventually I went. There is still occasional discomfort and pain, but it is because everything was rearranged and the bladder might be bruised a bit. Often the pain subsides, and it is bearable. It took me 6 days until I had my first BM. I had to increase my fibre intake to get it to work again. (Prune juice, lentil soup, whole grains, and fruit really helped to get the ol' colon going )

6.) RECOVERY: I feel more tired than usual, but am trying to walk as much as possible to speed up the recovery process. It's getting better and better each day......but I just need to be more patient with my body. Still not sure when I'll feel 100% normal. Only time will tell.

I hope that sharing my experience with all of you will help to put your minds at ease. Sending you all best wishes for your surgery and speedy recovery.

  #9  
Unread 05-27-2010, 09:20 AM
Re: Surgery is in 2 days...my heart is calm, but my mind is going bonkers!

Yes, thank you for this info. I am trying to read all kinds of threads on this site for my upcoming surgery. Thank you so much for sharing and hope you continue to have a great recovery.

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