Sunday, September 19, 2010


My sister Pat is recovering from surgery she had about about a month ago. There were complications so it didn't so a smoothly as expected, but she's been home for a week and is doing quite well. When I saw her last Thursday, she was very upbeat and in good spirits. However, when I saw her today, she was feeling very tired and achy, and a little depressed by this unexpected regression. It shouldn't be unexpected, if you think about what surgery involves.

Surgery is physically traumatic. A friend of the family who had serious surgery, described it as being trampled by an elephant. Of course, you don't feel this bad until your body had burned off the drugs. Depending on what kind of pain killers you were given, you may actually feel really great for a while.

The drugs take their toll as well. Because of the complications, my sister went under general anaesthetic three times within a week. Then she was given heavy duty pain killers. That's a lot of drugs for the body to process and purge. As with any detox, there'll be withdrawal-like symptoms.

With those conditions, my sister's current state doesn't unusual at all. Since these ought to be common problems, if doctors prepared patients a little, they might handle it better. Unfortunately, doctors generally suck at explaining things to patients. Is it a personality trait, something in the training, or what?

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