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surgery and survivor issues surgery and survivor issues

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Unread 04-29-2012, 03:42 AM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

Firstly can I please say that I feel sad to think that you feel any shame about your past. The shame is with your abusers, my lovely!
My personal experience recently of hysteroscopy and D and C under general anaesthetic was just fine. I was gowned and snuggled under lots of blankets to keep me toasty warm. I'm sure I could have asked to keep some form of knickers on, had I needed to, and I'm also sure that I could have bought an object with me - the OR is not completely sterile. My arm was secured, BUT with my full consent and explanation - again, I'm sure that I could have said no if I had wished.
I was completely unconscious before I was uncovered, or placed in stirrups. I wasn't shaved. And importantly for me, I didn't feel as if anyone had been there, if you know what I mean.
I have seen gynae surgery from the other side and the nurses and doctors I have observed treat the unconcious women with a great deal of respect, and work to keep women as 'covered' as possible. It matters to me that it mattered to them.
I'm having my op on the 15th too, I'll be sending you heaps of love and hugs!
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Unread 04-29-2012, 07:37 AM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

That is a really good idea Anle, thanks...I will think about that but nervous about putting stuff on paper just in case people see it that I don't want to.
Unread 04-29-2012, 07:55 AM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

dcoriolis - I think writing up a "plan" is a great idea as well!!! Don't put any details of your past trauma - make it specifically things that you need/want to happen.

I also was fully clothed in my gown, hospital panties (I was spotting that day), hospital socks and the lovely bonnet! I was snuggled up in a little caccoon of warm blankets too! In the pre-op room where the anesthesiologist comes to chat, they gave me something in my IV to relax me and I barely remember starting to get wheeled to the OR and nothing after that until waking up in recovery. I was a bit concerned about possibly being "restrained" because I'd read here that sometimes with my type of surgery (I had the DaVinci procedure) that they put an IV in both arms and both arms are out straight during surgery so that the OR staff can get to either arm without having to move the robotic machine. I only had one IV put in and the pre-op nurse explained that it's the doc's preference. So each is different.

I think you should be able to bring something with you - even if your particular hospital won't allow it in the OR, you should be able to carry it to the entrance of the OR where you will be already so near sleep from the relaxing meds that it can be passed over to the recovery nurse without you even knowing and then it be there as soon as you awake in recovery.

I strongly suggest the written plan and don't feel you have to mention anything other than the directions for your care. You owe no one any explanation as to why you prefer these things. Your doctors and nurses have dedicated their lives and taken oaths to provide you care and comfort during these times.

Many huggs to you! I hope you can find the comfort and control you need - this surgery is difficult enough! We're all your sisters on this site and we're here for you!!!
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Unread 04-29-2012, 08:19 AM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

Just know we are all here for you...feel free to ask any questions or tell us concerns you have. You are one of us now and we will support you in every way we can.
You are a brave, strong woman and will get through this.
Unread 04-29-2012, 08:47 AM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

dcoriolis. I'm so very sorry for what you have been through in your life and I'm glad you are getting some help dealing with it. I wanted to assure you that you will be under the care of very respectful doctors, nurses and medical personnel during your surgery. I was very scared and nervous because I have never had surgery before. I was treated with the up-most respect and felt very comfortable the whole time. I was given something for anxiety in my room before I was taken in to the operating room. I had on a designer hospital gown , blankets, warm socks and something covering my head. The anesthesiologist team came in to talk with me and were very reassuring. I vaguely remember the operating room (I was pretty loopy), and thinking how big it was. They told me they were going to begin giving me my sleepy juice and that's the last thing I remember until I was being wheeled back to my room. I assume I was conscious in the recovery room or they wouldn't have taken me back to my room, but don't remember anything. The next thing I remember was my hubby telling me it was all over and there was no sign of cancer. I was treated very well that night and then went home the next day around noon.

I will be thinking about you and praying that you have a stress free surgery and easy recovery. Remember you are in charge of this and you are doing it to improve your life. Good luck to you.

Unread 04-29-2012, 01:38 PM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

You have all provided some excellent suggestions and support. Thanks for that. I like the idea of writing suggestions of what helps me, I just don't want to be a bother to the nurses! but it might make it easier all round.

Do you think it is ok to ask them to help orient me to time and place and that I am safe since the feeling of being drugged is also very triggering for me? Given that, do you think it is better to be more 'aware' when they bring you in or just take the sedative and accept that I might cry or be scared?
Unread 04-29-2012, 04:50 PM
Re: surgery and survivor issues

I think most hospitals and care teams are becoming more aware of how important it is to involve the patient as much as possible in their hospital experience. My hospital did a wonderful thing for me, it might sound wacko to some, but they put my glasses on me before I awoke in recovery. I'm blind as a bat without contacts or glasses and it's very scary to me to be in a new place and not be able to see clearly. So, when I woke up I could see! Sure I was loopy and groggy, but I could see. In my experience, I've always had someone orient me after coming out of anesthesia. It is very comforting and I would absolutely let your team know that you would like for them to do this for you. I prefer to be as out of it as possible because I can get very anxious about surgery. As far as being scared or crying, these are perfectly normal responses to having surgery and there is no need to hide these feelings. Fear only thrives in the dark and the more we shine a light on it by asking questions or asking for help or just admitting that we are scared, the less it will creep into our minds. Oh, the only way you'll bother the nurses is by NOT asking questions and letting them know your concerns. They want to help you feel the best that you can.

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