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Offline avianwaif

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upcoming surgery worries
« on: June 07, 2014, 01:22:05 AM »
I haven't been here in a while. I lurk, but rarely log in. I had the health anxiety well controlled until last week, when severe abdominal pain sent me to the ER. I thought it was norovirus, but it turned out to be pancreatitis! I don't drink, and was assured I had no gallstones 7 and 2 years ago. Forgot all about it! So, that terrified me! Anyway, they suspect micro-stones and I'm scheduling gallbladder removal surgery for "asap". The problem is, I'm afraid of general anesthesia, what they'll see when they stick the scope in there (cancer?), and post-op gas pain, from when they inflate my abdomen with co2.  I researched everything before making the decision to go ahead - it's medically necessary at this point -, and I think I ended up with a very good surgeon. Can you gallbladder-less peeps help me out a little, to allay some fears?

 Is the post-op gas pain like "pass out and want to die" bad? How long does it take to go away?

How does recovery from the general feel? Do you get a swaying waterbed feeling, or are you just drowsy and okay? How long does the sore throat from intubation take to go away? Did you have any post-op nausea, and if you did, when did it start, and when did it go away?
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 02:18:44 AM »
I was put under for a laparascopy in 2011. 

The gas pain was really not that bad.  It just felt like normal stomach gas, but all over.  It wasn't pleasant but it wasn't really painful, just uncomfortable and went away in a couple of days.

I had no sore throat, but I had a HORRIBLE dry mouth that took a day or two to get back to normal.  No nausea for me.  I wasn't swaying or dizzy, just blurry-headed like I'd been woken suddenly out of a deep sleep; which I guess I had been.  I got shakes for a while, but I didn't feel cold or anything, my body was just shivering really hard for a little bit, which is apparently a normal thing that can happen. 
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Offline xxAmyxx

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2014, 10:03:09 AM »
I just had lap surgery yesterday for girly issues so I can speak about the gas pains. It hurt pretty bad last night when I would change positions. Like take my breath away type pain. I read it usually passes within 2 days. The Anesthesiologist suggested putting icy hot on my shoulder, seemed to help. I am so much better today so don't sweat it, it passes. Also I cannot even tell that I was intubated. And no nausea from the general, they put meds in it to help with that as standard procedure b/c I asked.

Also, a friend of mine had lap surgery for gallbladder removal a week ago. She had the surgery and was up and about the next day. She only had a mild raspy voice from the intubation. You'll be fine!
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Offline avianwaif

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 01:12:09 PM »
Thank you both! I appreciate your replies. Tomorrow, I'll schedule the surgery. I'm really nervous. I read 'The Experience Project' website all morning, which was helpful . Does anyone else have a 'surgery war story' to relate?
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Offline rileybug

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 01:36:40 PM »
had my gall blatter about 2 years ago at age 63-scared to death but wasn't that bad.  recovered in a few days.  calm down you'll be fine-its such a common surgery.
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Offline ivyt73

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 08:22:00 PM »
I know just how you feel.  I am almost 9 weeks post op robotic lapro surgery to remove a bunch of fibroids from my uterus.  I was absolutely terrified of the surgery especially the anesthesia.  Everyone told me it was a piece of cake but I just knew I was not going to wake up.  Just like everyone said though they give you "something to calm you down" I think its called versed and I literally went from sheer terror to laughing and joking with the anesthesiologist and nurses and then the next thing I knew I was waking up and feeling just fine. 

As for the gas pains, they are tough but not horrible or make you want to pass out tough.  I felt them the most in my shoulders and only for a few days.  Walking around really helps ease the gas pains, I did circles in my house for the first few days. 

I am now almost back to normal and I would do it again...try not to worry you will be just fine.
Ivy
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Offline ivyt73

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 08:23:41 PM »
one more thing..do buy the Gas X chewables they are a wonder drug.  I never used them before but they are must have for lapro surgery.
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Offline fhestia

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2014, 10:19:45 PM »
I can echo what everyone else has told you so far.  I had my gallbladder out last year and no one could have possibly been more terrified than I was.  I even wrote letters to my family the night before surgery because I was so certain I would die on the table.  All of the nurses were wonderful and my anesthesiologist was a rock star.  They pushed Versed in the pre-op holding area and I remember nothing from that moment until I was opening my eyes in recovery.  I felt groggy but fantastic while I was coming around.   I was back home five hours after arriving at the hospital and my recovery was basically uneventful.  The leftover gas settled in my shoulders and was a little uncomfortable but hobbling around the house helped dissipate it.  I only needed OTC pain relievers; never did take the narcotics they sent home.  I was back to my normal self in about three weeks.  I have had NONE of the side effects others report but I do stick to a fairly low-fat diet with a few splurges here and there.  Mainly because I lost 30 pounds from being stressed out and I'd rather not put it back on!  :laugh3:  You'll do great.
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Offline avianwaif

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Re: upcoming surgery worries
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2014, 02:38:19 PM »
hehe! I was going to write little notes to each family member too. I still might - so they have "keepsakes" to hang on to while I'm out.
It's not even a fear of death - it's a fear of LIFE. Like waking up to increased pain, possible complications, and worry, versus being "free at last".

I got my surgery appointment date yesterday and promptly had one of the worst attacks of pain yet! Can you get "the pain of gallbladder disease" from just worrying? I know it can cause stomach upset, but this is a very specific and serious type of pain. My surgeon told me that no, it's not caused by anything I did or could have done. But he's a surgeon - highly trained to work on organs physically... he doesn't get in to the emotional aspect like an internist might.

Thanks everyone, for replying, so far - it's really helpful! All stories are fine, not just "perfect outcomes"!
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