Hi all! I had been diagnosed with the hiatal hernia after seeing the GI doc for an attack that brought the ambulance out when it felt like my throat was being ripped out. Not knowing the nature of the incident it was a prudent call to rule out a heart attack. The following endoscopy revealed this hernia plus chronic esophagitis and gastritis. I was not recommended a surgery but instead more acid reduction meds and eating lifestyle changes. The surgery only came about
after seeing a surgeon about
another hernia and he offered to fix that at the same time. I timidly agreed.
I unfortunately, for me, began to research this surgery not being well informed on what type of procedure I was having.
Now what happened next may or may not be something readers may have had happen to them. I did not find out it was going to be simple stitching with a Nissen wrap until I thoroughly scared myself with all kinds of different operations and complications detailed on the good ol' interweb. That included watching YouTube videos of frightening things only meant for doctors to see. Eventually I called the surgeon a and he explained the procedure. I went forward with a huge amount of anxiety and agitation. On the 16th of April I showed up after having b prepared myself as well as possible with a complete and somewhat lengthy medication list and order for my Bipap machine to be used post operation. The hospital and doctors where well informed and and instructed on everything particular to my other health conditions. This was the very best I could do to alleviate my mental condition. I am bipolar 2 and given the right situation I can work myself up pretty good even with medication.
As it turned out my worst fears in about
some things came to pass anyway. Following a messy and difficult procedure for the Surgeon my Bipap was not used because the post op Nurse thought oxygen was sufficient even though an order was made regarding my chronic Apnea. My medication list was ignored and they went standard operating procedure with typical pain medication even though another type and amount was required.
I woke up hardly able to breathe crying out from incredible pain from the incisions and bruising. They managed to get me stabilized and moved to a room. Then over the next 24 hours my other medical conditions created complications with the worst being increased blood pressure to 240/180 and more incredible pain because my med list was ignored thanks to the Surgeons NPO order or nothing by mouth. I had assumed they would use alternate IV medication or whatever. The damage was being done on several fronts I won't even get into. After several calls to my GP doctors and one to the surgeon where he said, "I will only deal with the pain issue" a hodge podge of medicines where applied to remedy the problems with little effect. By noon the next day I was a mess and thankfully my wife the RN showed up and started getting providers informed and working together. It only took a few hours to stabilize me and stop the impending train wreck. After a few good days of treatment I was released today feeling pretty good and with what seems to be a great Nissen wrap with little discomfort. Wow!
Here is what I learned.
1.) Don't search the internet for weeks before a surgery trying to be overly informed and scaring the heck out of yourself with what can go wrong. In my case that hypermanic state increased my pain levels when things went south after surgery and I panicked.
2.) If you have health issues that may cause problems with your Post operative healing make sure you have those doctors write orders to provide treatments compatible with post surgical conditions. Like having all your medications in IV or other non oral forms. And leave no room for Nurses to second guess things like mandatory COPD treatment.
3.) And finally, realize that medical professionals may not listen to, agree with, or take seriously your input about
1.) And 2.) So bring an advocate with both the credentials and authority to make sure your orders for medical treatments alongside the surgery are followed through with.
At this point I'm probably going to assume all the bad things that can happen to so many here are not going to happen to me because the great truth is that people with good medical treatment experiences do not publish them on the internet.
If something does start to happen that feels bad I may read and post questions here, but I'm going to see my doctor first.