Posts tagged ‘surgery’

August 6, 2012

#322 – Pets and In Loco Parentis

You’re mobile. You enjoy looking after your dog, doing the things she needs to remain healthy, happy and secure. Then, a severe flare-up hits, or you’re off to the hospital for surgery, or some other event befalls you.

You may be increasing your stress level if you don’t have a contingency plan in place to look after your fur baby.  

Fortunately, I have several options open to me, in case of an event, planned or accidental. One option includes Chanone and Canine Harmony. Not only do they provide invaluable dog training classes, but they also do dog day care and boarding. Whenever Holly goes to Canine Harmony I know that she is well-looked after by people who have been trained by Chanone.

To consider:

  1. Is there someone who has a key who can come over and let your pet out and feed him/her?
  2. If you are going to be hospitalized, what arrangements can you make?
  3. If you are at home, but incapacitated, is it possible for your dog to go to daycare?
  4. Familiarize your pet with their temporary “home”. This let’s them know that you will be coming back for them.

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May 22, 2012

Pain Medication

You’ve successfully come through the surgery, now comes the recovery period.

To get through the first few days, you’ll be offered a variety of pain medications, of which you will need less of as you recover. Hydromorphone, morphine, Tylenol 3, Demerol – these are just a sampling of what was offered to me, either by pump, pill or poke. Some I tolerated better than others.

Post-surgery, it is important not to let the pain get away from you. Take what is on offer, bearing in mind how you react to what you are given. If it doesn’t suit you for whatever reason, be sure to let the nurses or doctor know. For example, immediately post-surgery to fuse C – 1 and C – 2 (Cervical vertebra), I was given hydromorphone. I didn’t do well with this drug; the ability to communicate was doused and seemed to smoulder like a poorly extinguished bonfire. I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn’t verbalize it. That is frustrating enough on its own, but coupled with the pain at the back of my head and on my hip (where they removed bone), it was a situation filled with angst. I did finally manage to ask for morphine later that same day.

I found that I was able to use less medication as a result of doing the stress techniques, which is a form of heart, mind and body work. I remember the Pain Doctor—yes, the hospital had a doctor dedicated to dispensing pain medication—remarking that he was surprised to see that I hadn’t used very much morphine. I attributed it to practising my stress techniques. “Well, I don’t know about that,” was his comment.

I think he missed an opportunity to discover why what I was doing was helping me heal, which could be of benefit to other patients.

For more tips on preparing for surgery, please visit the Surgery category on this blog. If you would like to learn about a program to help manage your pain, and increase your feelings of health and wellness, please click here.

Image courtesy of Sergio Roberto Bichara.

April 23, 2012

The Walking Disabled

If you met me, you might be surprised to learn that I am disabled, or more aptly, mobility challenged. You might not notice my dislocated fingers, the lack of flexion in my wrists which were once described as concrete-like. Thanks to a very skilled surgeon, my feet actually look quite normal, but don’t try to bend my toes. They are fused. I’m lopsided, a result of my second hip replacement. Who knows, maybe with the upcoming revision, I’ll be back to being right-sided. I am branded, or as my hairdresser says; I have permanent logos which are the results of orthopedic surgeries.

I get around. I focus on walking as well as I can. I believe in mind/body work and know that it has helped me enormously. I think that without my ongoing work, I would be in much worse condition.

In spite of all of this, I am one of the Walking Disabled, a term I use to describe those of us, who at first glance, seem normally able-bodied. When we ask for help to open a bottle of water or lift something out of the car or pick something off the floor, we don’t do it lightly. We ask because we have trouble doing it ourselves.

This blog is devoted to providing as many D.I.Y. tips as possible, so that you don’t have to ask, yet again.

Image courtesy of Craig Hauger

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. ~ Vellupillai Pirapakaran  

I am grateful to my parents who did the best they could to ensure that I got this gift; I do the best that I can to honour this gift and adapt it with my twisted roots and somewhat bent wings.

November 23, 2011

A Healing Advantage

During the convalescence from my surgeries, I made sure that I had plenty of uplifting and/or light-hearted books to read. The same philosophy applied to the movies I chose to watch.

When you’re recovering from surgery, every advantage is a healing advantage. It was all about doing what made me feel good.

Books and movies were much more than just a distraction. By carefully selecting reading and viewing materials that were enjoyable to me, I generated a chemical cascade that helped to speed healing, decrease the risk of infection and manage pain.

That’s a pretty good outcome from doing something as simple as reading a book or watching a movie. Wouldn’t you agree?

Drawing exercise: Edwards, Betty, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain.

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