All posts tagged: Surgery

The Soundtrack of Life – and Surgery

Most moments in life have a soundtrack, if you think about it.  From iconic movie moments like Judd Nelson raising his fist in the air as the sound of “Don’t You Forget About Me” plays while the credits begin to roll in The Breakfast Club to Matthew Broderick lip synching “Twist and Shout” in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, music recalls a specific time, place or moment for many of us, good or bad. Music has been used in medicinal arenas going back thousands of years, when ancient Greeks identified Apollo as the God of both Healing and Music.  One of its more recent proponents, Dr. Evan O’Neill Kane, supported the use of music in the operating room, as he felt it helped “to calm and distract the patient from the horror of the situation”.  And he should know.  This man operated on himself not once, not twice, but three times, in order to better understand the experience of surgery from the perspective of the patient.  In 1919, he performed a self-amputation of one of his …

Coping with PTSD

A bit of a delay from the last post; my husband came down with a bad cold just after returning to work in the New Year, and despite my best efforts (sleeping in the guest room, wiping down everything with Clorox wipes and practically hosing him down with Lysol every day), less than 24 hours after he was feeling human again, I woke up with a fever of 103 and it turned out to be pneumonia for the third time in just over a year.  It’s taken me over a week to kick most of it out of my system, and now I’m just left with the residual exhaustion and coughing fits. Anyway, now that I’m back, I thought that it would probably be a good time to discuss PTSD, given everything in the news lately with the premiere of American Sniper and the upcoming trial of the man accused of killing the movie’s real-life subject, retired Navy Seal Chris Kyle.  Many people are familiar with the acronym, but most tend to identify it with …

Surviving a Hospitalization

It goes without saying that at some point, if you have IBD or a related autoimmune disease, you will likely be hospitalized; some more than others.   This is why I always travel to the ER with my at-the-ready overnight bag, because you never really know when an admission will be needed.  Everyone’s “necessities” may be different, but below is a list of what I usually keep in my bag: Basic toiletries Toilet paper & Cottonelle wipes (the hospital grade TP is murder on my poor bum) Earplugs (helpful for blocking out noisy IV pumps and possible snoring roommates) Sleeping mask to block out light from the corridors Cell phone charger Reading material Loose, comfortable clothing with open necklines to allow for access to my port (tanks with built in shelf bras, yoga pants, etc.) Socks and a robe Heating pad (they hardly ever have them in the hospital anymore, and I’m spoiled by my awesome infrared model, so “Sparky” comes with me) If you are in the hospital often enough (hopefully not), you may also want to invest in …

Thoughts on my Anniversary

As the eighth anniversary of my first surgery approaches, I find myself recalling the days leading up to it and the events that followed in vivid detail, as tends to be the case each year. I don’t really do it with a sense of brooding or sadness; often times it feels as though I’m almost watching a highlight reel of someone else’s life, as I still occasionally struggle with incorporating both halves of me into the same person, if that makes any sense at all. With so many surgeries occurring over a two year period in my life, one of the two that stay with me the most was the first surgery I had, the emergency colectomy done on November, 2nd, 2006.  I know why the first one is so important, of course, as that is the day my life changed forever.  It is the day I was given a second chance, and a day that my worst fears (at the time) were realized.  Up until that day, regardless of how horrid I felt, how …