After your surgery, what are some of the things that you found out that surprised you

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jmb1997

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A different type of answer - While told to expect pain near the incisions and drain tubes after surgery, I wound up coming to with a terribly sore back due to a clerical error.

When I woke up from surgery I felt the soles of my feet pushing against the rails at the end of my bed and my muscles along the left side of my spine were terribly sore. The pain near my incision was way easier to deal with. In fact, I continued to have pain on the left side of my spine any time I laid on my back for any appreciable amount of time. Even during my first week after discharge the pain would build up as I slept and wake me up at night.

I later found out the primary cause. One week before my surgery a woman from the hospital called me to collect some pre-op information. In addition to scheduling me for my blood work and CT scans she asked about my medical history, allergies, height, weight, etc. (even though it was all on file already - or should have been). When she asked my height I told her that I am 6'2". Apparently in the hospital's system they just have a space for inches. I later found out from a doctor that she apparently did some bad math in her head as she typed in that I am 64" instead of 74". As such, a normal size bed was ordered for me.

After I woke up in a slightly curved position that I had been in for hours , which was preceded by having been on my back on a hard operating table for several hours, my back really ached. I asked for a larger bed and was told by a nurse, "I asked if we have any bed extenders and right now none are available. Due to spacing we usually need to order beds a week in advance." They didn't have a single spare bed extender?? It was suggested to me that perhaps I should just put the chair in my room into full recline and sleep there. Sigh...
 
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Chuck C

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I found out from a doctor that she apparently did some bad math in her head and then typed in 64" instead of 74". As such, a normal size bed was ordered for me.

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This makes the case for the importance of basic math skills. It also makes the case for the US to switch over to the metric system already. For obvious reasons, much of the medical world in the US already has gone metric, for example lipid levels are measured in mg/dl, not milliounces per pint, but clearly we have a long ways to go.
 

ValveAdmin

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This makes the case for the importance of basic math skills. It also makes the case for the US to switch over to the metric system already. For obvious reasons, much of the medical world in the US already has gone metric, for example lipid levels are measured in mg/dl, not milliounces per pint, but clearly we have a long ways to go.
Agree. Only very few in the world not fully adopted the metric system. The US and two others?
 

d333gs

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jmb1997

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Agree. Only very few in the world not fully adopted the metric system. The US and two others?
Yup, I've seen this trivia question before. The other two are Liberia and Myanmar! I suppose in some countries like Canada you can encounter it here and there, but generally it's just the three of us.

I know this is getting really off topic now, but when I was in grad school I read a book about relativity and there was mentioned of some movements in the late 19th century to convert time to something "metric". Instead of 24 hours made of 60 minutes that are made of 60 seconds each day would have been 10 hours, made of 100 minutes, each made of 100 seconds. If that movement would have gotten traction and been put into place we'd now have a day of 100,000 seconds instead of 86,400 meaning that the length of a second would have been shortened a bit. If we went with that clock then my surgery would have been a mirror 2 hours in length and my heart rate per minute would get a boost.
 

Daniel758

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After fighting nurses and the breathing tube when first waking up, I did have another unexpected event that was a little disturbing so beware if you continue reading this post.

It was on day 2, and every time I closed my eyes I would find myself flying through a world made up completely of human body parts all mixed together. Buildings, roads, the ground, the sky, forests of trees, lakes, rivers, everything body parts.

As I flew through, the worst were the eyes in the faces of the heads mixed into the body parts that followed me as I passed. It was not good.

I spent several hours winding my way through this world in cycles, all the while slowly descending a little with each pass and the whole time with this overwhelming primal fear that I needed to keep flying because if I allowed myself to touch down, I would become part of this world and never be able to return. Not an ideal situation to be in.

So what to do?

First, I didn't tell my wife as I didn't want to alarm her by telling her that I was being immersed into some crazy horror world every time I closed my eyes and that I was probably drifting, little by little, toward death in that world.

Second, I didn't tell the nursing staff because I didn't want or need any more meds, etc. If I was going to go, I wanted to go clear headed and aware.

So another hour or so passed drifting closer and closer to becoming a part of the mass when I suddenly realized that all of this was not real and that I was making this all up in my mind.

I also realized that if I my mind could create this bad world, it could also create a good world so I immediately began concentrating on imagining flying through a good world instead of this bad world.

Long story short, it worked and after about an hour or so I found myself gliding through a beautiful Lord of the Rings Hobbit world full of lush green forests and Hobbit villages, Hobbit's dancing, feasting, etc.

I have to say it was a welcome change and I wanted to stay there but Hobbit world began slowly drifting away little by little until I finally fell asleep and woke up to find it was completely gone.

(The strange thing about this Hobbit world was that I don't really even like the Lord of the Rings movies so why my mind created that world, I have no idea. I guess the mind goes where it wants to go.)

So anyway, this was my unexpected experience.

If I end up on the table a second time, I'm going to keep this event in mind and plan on revisiting Hobbit World. Ha Ha


NOTE: For those, after reading this, who may be wondering if I do drugs, etc., in real life (because I probably would), nope, not for me. I don't even drink.
 

jmb1997

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It was on day 2, and every time I closed my eyes I would find myself flying through a world made up completely of human body parts all mixed together. Buildings, roads, the ground, the sky, forests of trees, lakes, rivers, everything body parts.

As I flew through, the worst were the eyes in the faces of the heads mixed into the body parts that followed me as I passed. It was not good.

..............

NOTE: For those, after reading this, who may be wondering if I do drugs, etc., in real life (because I probably would), nope, not for me. I don't even drink.
Were you on oxycodone or some strong painkiller by chance?

I don't drink or do drugs and when they gave me oxycodone the day after my surgery for my back pain (see my answer above in this thread). I got a bit sleepy and each time I closed my eyes for the next 90 minutes or so I was seeing myself floating at a good speed above violent images on the ground. I remember the images were of just heads and faces that were all neatly aligned and colored like a spectrum and all in agony. It kept making me snap my head and eyes open until I finally fell asleep (no nightmares). I passed on the oxy offer that afternoon but did take some before bedtime that night and something similar happened. I stayed off them the rest of my stay. Bad trips for me!
 

pellicle

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Good morning

I also realized that if I my mind could create this bad world, it could also create a good world so I immediately began concentrating on imagining flying through a good world instead of this bad world.

yep, opioids do interesting things. I've had quite a few bad ones coming out of GA too

I suggest you start reading some of Carl Jungs writings, it will teach you a lot about the complexity of your own mind and the (perhaps uneasy) relationship between the conscious (which is what you think is you) and the unconscious or as its called by Jung "the shadow".

probably won't help you, but I'll share that for some decades now I've used a simple and important rule for life: minimum distortion of reality.

I say minimum because its a goal and a journey.

Best Wishes
 

Daniel758

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Were you on oxycodone or some strong painkiller by chance?

I don't drink or do drugs and when they gave me oxycodone the day after my surgery for my back pain (see my answer above in this thread). I got a bit sleepy and each time I closed my eyes for the next 90 minutes or so I was seeing myself floating at a good speed above violent images on the ground. I remember the images were of just heads and faces that were all neatly aligned and colored like a spectrum and all in agony. It kept making me snap my head and eyes open until I finally fell asleep (no nightmares). I passed on the oxy offer that afternoon but did take some before bedtime that night and something similar happened. I stayed off them the rest of my stay. Bad trips for me!

I only had pain killers the day of the surgery while I was under, no more for me either. Not worth it and truth be told, I was lucky and the after surgery pain was easily tolerable without them.

And so you know, I've since talked to several other people about this who have seen very similar things to we saw after their surgery so we're not the only crazy ones.

I have no clue why people actually take these drugs by choice and or how experiencing crazy @#$% is fun for them.
 

jmb1997

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I only had pain killers the day of the surgery while I was under, no more for me either. Not worth it and truth be told, I was lucky and the after surgery pain was easily tolerable without them.

And so you know, I've since talked to several other people about this who have seen very similar things to we saw after their surgery so we're not the only crazy ones.

I have no clue why people actually take these drugs by choice and or how experiencing crazy @#$% is fun for them.
Yes, I had minimally invasive mitral valve repair and my incision areas weren't all that painful at all. I only needed painkillers for the muscles in my back.

Getting back to our experiences, you hear so much about people who got hooked on opioids after surgery that perhaps our brains initially gave us bad visions out of fear of becoming addicts after knowing about all those incidents? Also, not long before my surgery I heard a podcast where a comedian (Artie Lange) spoke of how when he was still an opioid addict that he had to go to the ER after he snorted some oxycodone that someone else had crushed with a salt shaker that, unbeknownst to him as he wasn't in the room when it happened, had broken, so he wound up snorting tiny pieces of glass. Maybe that was enough to influence what I was seeing as I closed my eyes as well!

Lange also spoke of how he almost willingly became an addict because he realized the first time someone offered him marijuana that he enjoyed being out of control.

In the end, I guess you and I wouldn't make good addicts as we went in with the wrong mindsets!
 

carolinemc

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After fighting nurses and the breathing tube when first waking up, I did have another unexpected event that was a little disturbing so beware if you continue reading this post.

It was on day 2, and every time I closed my eyes I would find myself flying through a world made up completely of human body parts all mixed together. Buildings, roads, the ground, the sky, forests of trees, lakes, rivers, everything body parts.

As I flew through, the worst were the eyes in the faces of the heads mixed into the body parts that followed me as I passed. It was not good.

I spent several hours winding my way through this world in cycles, all the while slowly descending a little with each pass and the whole time with this overwhelming primal fear that I needed to keep flying because if I allowed myself to touch down, I would become part of this world and never be able to return. Not an ideal situation to be in.

So what to do?

First, I didn't tell my wife as I didn't want to alarm her by telling her that I was being immersed into some crazy horror world every time I closed my eyes and that I was probably drifting, little by little, toward death in that world.

Second, I didn't tell the nursing staff because I didn't want or need any more meds, etc. If I was going to go, I wanted to go clear headed and aware.

So another hour or so passed drifting closer and closer to becoming a part of the mass when I suddenly realized that all of this was not real and that I was making this all up in my mind.

I also realized that if I my mind could create this bad world, it could also create a good world so I immediately began concentrating on imagining flying through a good world instead of this bad world.

Long story short, it worked and after about an hour or so I found myself gliding through a beautiful Lord of the Rings Hobbit world full of lush green forests and Hobbit villages, Hobbit's dancing, feasting, etc.

I have to say it was a welcome change and I wanted to stay there but Hobbit world began slowly drifting away little by little until I finally fell asleep and woke up to find it was completely gone.

(The strange thing about this Hobbit world was that I don't really even like the Lord of the Rings movies so why my mind created that world, I have no idea. I guess the mind goes where it wants to go.)

So anyway, this was my unexpected experience.

If I end up on the table a second time, I'm going to keep this event in mind and plan on revisiting Hobbit World. Ha Ha


NOTE: For those, after reading this, who may be wondering if I do drugs, etc., in real life (because I probably would), nope, not for me. I don't even drink.
You under meds supplied by the doctors and nurses and it worked on you till you were completely awake. It happens to some of us. It is till they take the tubes and stuff off. Your imagination helped you deal till you were completely awake. The mind does strange things when we are under medical drugs for major surgery. At least you are alive and counts more than anything.
 

Mister_James

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This is what makes the human mind so amazing. Imagine that you were able to separate reality from nightmares...there are those that live in the nightmare and cannot escape it.

How about waking up to find your hands restrained?
 

Daniel758

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This is what makes the human mind so amazing. Imagine that you were able to separate reality from nightmares...there are those that live in the nightmare and cannot escape it.

How about waking up to find your hands restrained?

It's interesting that you say that.

I watch a lot of TED talks and your comment brings to mind one particular episode where the speaker was an autistic woman describing what it was like for her being autistic.

She explained that in her case, she experiences multiple realities simultaneously (sometimes up to 100) and that every day she must decide which is real and which are not. She then simply ignores the others and engages with the one reality she believes is real.

I wonder how many others are like her but haven't yet learned to differentiate between what's real and what's not and are trapped in their "nightmares".

Or how many are living their lives in other realities in their minds... and how many of those are diagnosed as "insane" and wake up every day with their hands, etc., restrained.

Or even if the self-injurious behavior displayed by many "crazy" people is simply an attempt to use pain as an anchor to the "real" reality.

Interesting... and quite the unexpected tangent for this thread... HaHa!
 

Protimenow

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😮
This makes the case for the importance of basic math skills. It also makes the case for the US to switch over to the metric system already. For obvious reasons, much of the medical world in the US already has gone metric, for example lipid levels are measured in mg/dl, not milliounces per pint, but clearly we have a long ways to go.
One of my doctor's offices had a chart that gave the number of inches for each height. Six feet was 72" It's a shame that this kind of information was even necessary. (Can't anyone multiply by 12 anymore?)
 

slipkid

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After fighting nurses and the breathing tube when first waking up, I did have another unexpected event that was a little disturbing so beware if you continue reading this post.

It was on day 2, and every time I closed my eyes I would find myself flying through a world made up completely of human body parts all mixed together. Buildings, roads, the ground, the sky, forests of trees, lakes, rivers, everything body parts.

As I flew through, the worst were the eyes in the faces of the heads mixed into the body parts that followed me as I passed. It was not good.

I spent several hours winding my way through this world in cycles, all the while slowly descending a little with each pass and the whole time with this overwhelming primal fear that I needed to keep flying because if I allowed myself to touch down, I would become part of this world and never be able to return. Not an ideal situation to be in.

So what to do?

First, I didn't tell my wife as I didn't want to alarm her by telling her that I was being immersed into some crazy horror world every time I closed my eyes and that I was probably drifting, little by little, toward death in that world.

Second, I didn't tell the nursing staff because I didn't want or need any more meds, etc. If I was going to go, I wanted to go clear headed and aware.

So another hour or so passed drifting closer and closer to becoming a part of the mass when I suddenly realized that all of this was not real and that I was making this all up in my mind.

I also realized that if I my mind could create this bad world, it could also create a good world so I immediately began concentrating on imagining flying through a good world instead of this bad world.

Long story short, it worked and after about an hour or so I found myself gliding through a beautiful Lord of the Rings Hobbit world full of lush green forests and Hobbit villages, Hobbit's dancing, feasting, etc.

I have to say it was a welcome change and I wanted to stay there but Hobbit world began slowly drifting away little by little until I finally fell asleep and woke up to find it was completely gone.

(The strange thing about this Hobbit world was that I don't really even like the Lord of the Rings movies so why my mind created that world, I have no idea. I guess the mind goes where it wants to go.)

So anyway, this was my unexpected experience.

If I end up on the table a second time, I'm going to keep this event in mind and plan on revisiting Hobbit World. Ha Ha


NOTE: For those, after reading this, who may be wondering if I do drugs, etc., in real life (because I probably would), nope, not for me. I don't even drink.

I 4get if I mentioned it but I had a similar experience in the hospital during my recovery. Every time I closed my eyes I was taken to a "brown world" where everything looked like mud but with numerous horrific shapes in the mud, which I would see from the perspective as if I were in an airplane flying over the ground from only about 20 feet up. Kind of like a bizarre Hieronymus Bosch landscape.

It was due to the percocet that they had me on for the pain. Stopped when they switched me to Ultram/Tramadol. I avoided taking anything at all though unless I could not stand the pain. Have had other horrible side effects from percocet as well looking back on it, taking after tooth extractions etc. Avoid it at all costs now....
 

slipkid

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Were you on oxycodone or some strong painkiller by chance?

I don't drink or do drugs and when they gave me oxycodone the day after my surgery for my back pain (see my answer above in this thread). I got a bit sleepy and each time I closed my eyes for the next 90 minutes or so I was seeing myself floating at a good speed above violent images on the ground. I remember the images were of just heads and faces that were all neatly aligned and colored like a spectrum and all in agony. It kept making me snap my head and eyes open until I finally fell asleep (no nightmares). I passed on the oxy offer that afternoon but did take some before bedtime that night and something similar happened. I stayed off them the rest of my stay. Bad trips for me!


Wow, very much what I described above seeing on percocet. Those flying around looking down hallucinations of a world from hell!!
 

d333gs

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I am wondering why it is so addictive: The visions aside, did it feel good?
 
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