Preparing for my surgery

Posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 1:20 pm

How do you prepare yourself for surgery?  It really is a question that as patients we have to ask ourselves while at the same time following what your surgeon, dietitian and other medical staff request you to do.  It also of course depends on the type of surgery you are having.

For myself it will be what is called a Whipple procedure where part of my pancreas is removed that is causing my health issues to continue as it has for the past 12 years.  How much is removed is dependent on a what damage the pancreas already has and how large any cyst or other mass has got and its location.

Surgery of any type can be a little scary for most as while you may be given all the information about the surgery that is going to be performed you really have no control over what is being done when the surgery is performed. I have done a fair bit of reading and watched several videos on what my procedure may be like and to be honest it’s a tad scary, maybe even very scary.

As a person with aspergers and severe anxiety disorder it can be an even more harrowing thought having surgery done, but how do I get through that and how will I prepare myself?  First and foremost support from family is very important and I cannot fault that at all when it comes to my wife and kids as they have been there supporting me with my illness for the past 12 years, it has not been easy for them but they have stayed strong and through that I have been able to get through it myself as well.  While the odds of successful surgery are high there is always an element of danger and risks with any surgery, even more so with this surgery.  I try not to think much about that as there is no point in doing so.  If I did I would most probably not go through with it but that is no longer an option for me.

I am not religious in any way, in fact in most cases I despise religion due to what religion has caused over centuries of human existence.  That is not to say I do not believe in a higher power, be that God or who or whatever else you want to call it, I just do not have any interest in or time for religion itself,  It’s a personal thing.

The biggest concern the doctors have pre-surgery is my overall health, especially my weight and nutrition as it is very important I am as strong as I can be before surgery is performed as there will be a recovery time that will need to use that stored energy and weight to recover properly.  Having a feeding tube inserted and also still orally eating as much as I can (without pain) is important as that is helping me build up some energy stores.

My mind is the other hurdle that I have to work through, fear, anxiety, depression, and even resistance are just some of the things I have to work through and at the same time try and remain positive and as strong as I can mentally as well as physically.  That does not mean bury those emotions or feelings but rather work through them by asking for help when needed and doing other things that can help me get through the thought process.  This may include talking to my family, doing other things to occupy myself and taking walks to stretch the legs and getting the blood pumping through the body and staying as healthy as possible.  I am not saying it is easy as it is not, but it can be done if I accept that there are things I need to work through, address them and seek help as and when needed.  There is no point and it will only be to my own detriment if I try and bury my head in the sand and ignore those issues.

My Hospital Bed Window ViewFortunately I have my laptop with me and my iPhone that has data available for me to use and connect to the internet, which is how I am writing this now.  I also have the TV on for background noise and sometimes to watch, the problem however is the static in the sound is bad but not a whole lot I can do about it.  I also chat with my kids and wifey via iMessage, SMS or Skype which also helps remove some of the boredom.  Taking a stroll out along the corridors to get a view outside helps to, mind you I have a window bed which helps.  I often will just sit or stand and look out, to the top right of the picture is the ocean view :).

So for now I will do as much resting as I can while at the same time taking time to walk around to help my body and blood as well as eat and drink as much as I can take to build up my strength as much as possible,

What the next few days will be like is new to me and I am sure I will go through a variety of emotions, especially when family comes to visit, like my children who I have not see now for nearly two weeks.  I am not yet sure how my emotions will go when they arrive as they are planning a day visit soon.  We live 350 kms away from here so it is not just a quick trip to visit me.  This visit is so my kids can see me prior to surgery.

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