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Who's had a major operation, and how did you cope beforehand?

(14 Posts)
beetle73 Sat 20-May-06 23:48:52

Would appreciate anyone's stories. My DP has been told he needs a major operation. No date set, so we're rather in limbo at the moment. He's very worried about it and I know I'm not being at all sympathetic. For lots of reasons. He and I are very different. I'm sure I would behave and cope differently in his shoes, but I would like to try to be a bit more empathetic, not least because this situation is likely to last for most of the summer. So if you don't mind sharing, tell me how you felt, what you were worried about and if anyone was able to help. Thanks.

milward Sat 20-May-06 23:52:17

Thoughts to you & your dp xxx Would say to get organised for afterwards so you can concentrate on getting him better without having to think of shopping or cleaning & the other domestic tasks that take up time.

misdee Sat 20-May-06 23:52:28

my dh went through OHS last summer. he coped with it rather well, it was a life or death situation, and there were no guarentees that he would pull through the op. i held it together alright in the days leading upto it, but fell apart just afterwards. but the next op will be abreeze compared to the one last year.

beetle73 Sat 20-May-06 23:59:10

Well Misdee I already have the impression that you and your DP are the Patron Saints of copers. I'm totally in awe.
Trouble is, we're not at all like that. DP was in hospital last month and was a terrible patient. But I was a terrible girlfriend. And I know I'm still doing it. I know it's a big deal, and I know he's scared. But he's not following the doctor's orders and as far as I can see he's using pre-op anxiety as an excuse for everything at the moment. Nothing I say to him about it is right. He thinks I'm cold and unsympathetic, I think he's irresponsible, self-absorbed and irrational. (I know what an evil bitch that makes me sound like!)

misdee Sun 21-May-06 00:03:40

we're not copers. in fatc i am useless in an emergency and lose it completely.can i ask what the op is?

our situation is very extreme, i know that. If it was 'routine' major op (i dunno, trying to think of something thats done lots but is major), theni would probably worry about it more as i guess you have mroe time to work yourself up. we had about a week to prepare for dh op, and even then they kept changing what they were going to do. i was given the information of the different sorts thye may do, couldnt tell us till they opened him up.

beetle73 Sun 21-May-06 00:14:20

No, really, Misdee. The way that the two of you keep family life going just amazes me.
But anyway, he's having part of his lung removed, after vicious pneumonia destroyed it. So clearly the kind of thing to be worried about. But apart from the lung he's in good shape, so no logical reason to think it won't go smoothly (i'm the optimist in the family, he's the opposite). The unfair bit about it is that he has to be properly well before having the op (I know you understand that one), so he's actually feeling fine now, and is about to be laid low for several months. But he's really not treating his body like a temple.
And Milward - thanks for your advice. If I'm honest, any post-op care that needs doing is going to have to be done by a nurse or his mother, because I can't just stop earning money. I'm freelance. I'm just feeling really evil about this, and I want to try to do the right thing.

misdee Sun 21-May-06 08:45:37

that is a pretty serious op. what is he doing that is getting to you? as long as he is infection free and has good strength, not lost a massive % of his body weight etc, then he should be fine. he will need good strength to get through this, its gonna be tough for both of you. will he spend some time in ITU afterwards? if he will, have you been to visit the unit to speak to the nurses there.

beetle73 Sun 21-May-06 23:13:36

Well, on the plus side he's stopped smoking cigarettes and is eating more, and more regularly, to try to build himself up. (He's still underweight tho.) On the down side, he's still smoking dope, and drinking too much (I didn't really expect any change there!)
He will probably spend 10 days in ITU. I haven't visited, and neither has he. But then he was in ITU for some time while he had the pneumonia, so we both know what to expect.
I haven't really met any of his consultants. His parents are doctors, so they go with him rather than me. On the one hand I'm glad about this, because it leaves me to get on with DD, work and home. On the other hand, it's very frustrating being kept at a remove. Always having to hear whatever DP wants to tell me and not being able to ask my own questions. In fact, that's been a big feature of this whole episode. Feeling that the doctors aren't asking the right questions, knowing that he isn't being honest with the doctors and suspecting that getting his parents out of the room might lead to a bit more honesty and straight-talking.

misdee Sun 21-May-06 23:17:32

ask to speak to his consultant before the op about your fears/questions. i often take a back seat to peters parents as they can get to the hospital easier then me, but i want to kow whatsh appening and when.

tell your dp to quit the dope now, it'll be easier than ater the op, and he will feel better for it. ow the drinking, i am unsure what to say. how underweight is he and whatis he drnking? does it interfere with any medication he may be on? dh was perscribed 2 bottles of beer a day to help increase his appatite and help him gain weight in he months following his op. that was stopped when his medication was changed. HTH.

beetle73 Sun 21-May-06 23:33:58

You have helped a lot Misdee. I'm pretty clueless about this sort of thing. He knows that I think he's a fool for still smoking the dope, but it's hard to make any headway with him because I'm the only one saying it.
On the drink front, he puts away far too much. But even then, when he was in hospital with pneumonia the consultant said he could drink 'in moderation', despite being on strong IV antibiotics! I feel like a) I'm a lone voice of common sense and b) that the doctors don't make any attempt to look at the person they're actually treating (i.e. is his idea of moderation the same as theirs??)

misdee Sun 21-May-06 23:44:06

seriously, if he has lung damage the weed wont be helping. i know it help for pain relief and am guessing he is in pain with this, but he needs to quit now. he wont be able to smoke anythign afterwards. does he drink at home? can you sit down with him and have a good heart to heart about this? he needs to be aware of the need to look after himself before and afterthe op.

beetle73 Mon 22-May-06 21:14:21

Well, great news. DP has astounded medical science by having a lung that is healing itself. Needs more check-ups, but it's looking like he may avoid the op. Consultant was apparently amazed. At last, an end to 'I don't think you understand just how much I have on my mind....'
Thanks so much for your help. Will keep hoping for you and Peter, Misdee.

GarfieldsGirl Mon 22-May-06 21:45:33

Hi beetle, good to hear dp's lung is recovering. Just i case he does still have to have the op, dp's had a couple of similar sounding ops. He suffered from regular collapsed lungs. When he 1st started having them, the hospital where he lived removed part of the lung becasue it wouldn't reinflate. A few years ago he started getting them again and they decided to perform an open pleurosectomy which is where they remove the outer lining of the lung, and glue the inner lining to the ribs. He was in ITU for about 5 days, then high care unit for a further 5 days or so. The op has been successful (except when he breaks ribs!), and even tho we had to go to a really crap hospital as the ones where we live don't do it, he's fine and TBH its gotta be much better to go through a scheduled op and be in ITU for a few days, than be ill regularly and spend more time in ITU, and cause more worry as its obviously unplanned and unexpected.

beetle73 Tue 23-May-06 22:25:42

thanks very much for your post GG. that's really good to know. Tell your DP to watch his ribs!

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