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How long does it take to recover emotionally from complications during surgery? Warning TMI included

(8 Posts)
Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Sun 25-Sep-11 18:56:08

Last Friday (16th September) I had planned surgery to remove my first rib to try to relieve the symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. The first rib is behind your collarbone and there is very little room in there. I was warned that a punctured lung was a potential complication but very low risk.

Obviously I was one of those people. Operation was more complicated than expected and took an hour longer (3 hrs total). I woke up with a morphine PCA which made me violently sick. All was going well apart from that though until I had huge pains in my side and started struggling breathing. My sats dropped. I had a pleural effusion and pneumo thorax.

On Saturday I ended up having to have a chest drain inserted under local but despite this only being meant to take 20 minutes, as I apparently have very close together ribs, it took an hour of pressing, pushing, knocking on the ribs with the metal thing so I could hear it when the surgeon couldn't get in between shock

The drain was in for 48 hours of unbelievable pain and drained 1.5 litres out. They tried to get the remainder out with a syringe but it wouldn't come out. I am at home resting while the rest of the gunk is meant to absorb into my body and the rest of the lung inflates.

I just can't get the memories out of my head. It is so horrific and makes me feel quite panicky thinking about it. I am back to see the consultant and have another chest xray on Wednesday and am already panicking that he might say that I need some more intervention.

How long does it take for all of this to fade away to a distant memory like childbirth?

Iamseeingstars Sun 25-Sep-11 20:50:25

This is awful and I cant imagine what you have been through.

When I saw the heading, I was going to say, be positive and make yourself better and not to dwell on the operation, but this is a huge trauma that you hadnt expected.

I would ask that the doctors arrange councelling for you, because the more you talk about how you feel, the sooner you will be able to recover.

They cant change how your body is to know it would have been as difficult as it was, but I would have thought x-rays would have pre-warned them of complications.

For peace of mind (and bloody mindedness) ask for an investigation into your case, is this normal, what could they have done differently, etc., so that if you ever need treatment again, they are more prepared.

Hope you do recover soon

SansaLannister Sun 25-Sep-11 21:02:58

You poor soul! It's all so recent. Perhaps your GP can also refer you for some counselling, too, this is quite a trauma.

Best of luck on Wednesday.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Wed 28-Sep-11 04:08:57

Thank you both.

I broke down in tears just after writing and reading that. Just telling my DH what I was feeling seems to have made it all seem a lot less important IYSWIM. I had bottled it up and now feel better.

Thank you again for taking the time to respond to me in my hour of need thanks

Waltraut Wed 28-Sep-11 04:15:10

My god that sounds absolutely horrific.
As soon as you're able, tell your doctors what you're experiencing and say very definitely that you need some help - they should be able to refer you to a hospital psychiatrist who can hear you, and arrange for some help.
It may be that what happened was quite simply down to a quirk in your anatomy and that the doctors are feeling proud of having been able to help you, so don't be surprised if they are surprised.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 28-Sep-11 04:44:12

You have been through a horrific ordeal, it will take time to come to terms with it.

Do talk to your Dr about it, it may be possible to have some kind of debriefing, where they go through what has happened with you and why things happened the way they did.

It can take a long time to get over traumatic operations/illnesses. I had a horrid time in hospital when I had a major operation for cancer and complications with the pain relief after and no emotional support from the nursing staff. I walked off the ward pretending all was fine and sobbed all the way home. Took me a long time to get over that. With hindsight I wish I had asserted myself more at the time but as is often the case, when you are physically vulnerable, you feel emotionally vulnerable and unable to express yourself in an assertive manner.

Be kind to yourself and seek some support, be it through your hospital Dr or your GP.

CheerfulYank Wed 28-Sep-11 04:49:30

Oh honey ! How terrible.

No advice but lots of love coming your way.

Ben10WasTheSpawnNowWeLoveLego Thu 29-Sep-11 12:01:52

Balls. Being rushed back in for more surgery and another chest drain. Got even more blood etc pushing on the lung. Have to go to London as well which is so inconvenient. DS has Sn so he is going to stay with PILs in S London while I go to the Cromwell Hospital. AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH

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