Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Survival Tips for Surgical Recovery

Sitz Uboo, Sitz...

(not intended to serve as providing medical advice at all)

1.              There is no simple surgery…and major surgery is major for a reason (I’ll save my fast sprints for drive-through McDonald’s runs and fast food…ooh, doesn’t a McDonald’s fountain Coca Cola sound good?  And some salty, crispy fries?  Squirrel!). 

2.              The blue plug on a catheter has a hair trigger…nasty results will follow if it pops out at the wrong moment (like when you’ve just exchanged a hospital gown for comfy and clean yoga pants).

3.              Aside from milk, very few things around the house weigh less than five pounds (hell, my sliding glass doors require more effort than that).

4.              Tough love is likely the best remedy, but you will still cringe when a well meaning loved one tells you to “suck it up soldier.” (after you laugh out loud, inflicting even more pain…yeah, really do just have to suck it up).

5.              Medical guidance that begins with “use your best judgment”…is not medical guidance.  If you paid for someone to tell you that, you should probably ask for your money back.  Hell, even Charlie Brown got more for his nickel when he asked Lucy for advice.

6.              When someone asks what your pain level is on a scale of 1 – 10, they don’t like it when you say “negative 100.”  But who cares…they’re the same ones, who told you to use your best judgment. 

7.              The correct answer (in any situation), when someone tells you to self- administer an enema, is “No thank you.”  Period!

8.              You may believe that a sense of humor will serve you well.  It will, but resist the urge to crack jokes just before the mask goes over your face…trust me when I say there is no one “laughing with you”…and you’re the only one who won’t remember the punch line.

9.              You may never again laugh at the line, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” … especially if you have organs rendered spare parts that literally have “fallen and can’t get back up.”

10.          You can take more than ten prescriptions at once…prescribed like a Sam's Club wholesale pick-up, and left unmonitored and compartmentalized by prescribing physician as far as future guidance on whether to finish or not finish...refill or not refill.   

Caveat: Unless it’s pain medication.  Then you’re screwed.  Break them into wedges, hide them under your mattress, and keep one under glass in case of emergency.  They will tell you that alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen will work just as well (to ease the pain of multiple incisions and stitch points).  Just nod and smile…patient advocacy is dead and if you want to stay alive, you better be nice to them (please God, don’t let them read this blog…I was just kidding!).  Cue Monty Python, "I'm feeling better...I don't want to go in the cart!"


(At the time of this writing, I am sitting upright for the first time in 11 days...hang in there...it does get better...just use your best judgment and keep smiling!)

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