Allie, welcome to the forum; you will find a ton of information here and I would suggest you look at older posts, especially from June of 08 on. This forum got me through my extreme nervousness prior to the surgery and my recovery as well.
Generally speaking, I am not a nervous nellie, but this surgery had me scared; I was this close to cancelling, but I didn't and I have to tell you that as of today, what a great difference this surgery has made. I had my last post-op appt.; my blood work is the best it's been in 15 years! I no longer have acute pulmonary issues, although I do have permanent lung damage, I no longer cough, clear my throat, have trouble breathing. I don't have chest pain any longer, I'm sleeping better; I could go on and on.
The surgery is very typical in many respects; you have your pre-op prep and your surgery. You'll be pumped full of gas so that the organs can be elevated and provides the surgeon with a clear visual field. This gas will cause you problems afterwards...it gives you some significant shoulder pain..you need to walk and walk and walk, as well as chew a lot of gas-x.
Make sure you have script
s for nausea and pain; both can be significant, but it depends on the person; some have said they had minimal problems and pain.
You'll be on a very limited diet; liquids, then very soft foods (in my case for 6 weeks). You can increase foods as tolerated. Lifting is limited to 10 to 15 pounds for several months; I'm still not back to working with my trainer...can't until February. I should say too, that I had my gallbladder removed at the same time.
I'll tell you right now, the younger you are, the easier the recovery. This is major surgery and it takes time to heal. Rule of thumb is that 90% of your healing takes place in the first 8 weeks, the other 10% takes a year. For me and a lot of others, the 5 week mark was absolutely magical, but I'm 53 and everyone heals differently. (take a look at Acid Prone's remarks on "3 days post op" and you'll see what I mean)
I went back to work 1/2 time at 6 weeks, full time at 8 weeks. I work in an office but I still needed the time.
Don't be afraid to have the surgery; even with the complications that I had I would still do it again...it's made that big a difference in my life.
Post Edited (LdyJane) : 11/12/2008 7:01:11 PM (GMT-7)