At my daughter’s baby shower, we played a game, where each woman present had to write down a piece of advice for the new mother. On my card I wrote, “Don’t google the symptoms when the baby is sick. Call your mother and she will do it for you.” That got a good laugh, but really, how many of us do this? I know I do.
Ever since I got my records from the hospital after my surgery, I have been googling the medical terms that I don’t understand, and by doing so, I have a learned a lot about what happened to me. I had no idea how close to death’s door I really was until I read medical articles about Abdominal Compartment Syndrome and Intraabdominal Hypertension and Sepsis
While it is sometimes frightening to read about all these things, it brings me a sense of relief somehow to know what happened to me, and that I lived through it. It could have gone the other way, and I wouldn’t be here today.
One of the most interesting things to me, is that when I started my google search a couple of months ago, I really didn’t know what to search for. I just took one of the terms I found in my discharge summary from the hospital, and went from there. You find one thing, and then another, and then another. You can spend many hours, days, weeks, reading all the information that you can find when you get started in the right direction.
Some would say that this is an obsession, and it may well be, but I just have a need to know if the way I feel NOW, months after my surgery, if normal. No one wants to be abnormal, do they? So, I find myself doing a lot of time searching the internet and reading article after article pertaining to persistent pain, abdominal complications, endometriosis, and on and on and on. For instance, I had no idea that scar tissue from edometriosis could come back after a complete hysterectomy.
Today I found an article called Chronic Post Surgical Pain. The gist of the article is that it is common for people to have debilitating chronic post surgical pain, and that doctors should be telling their patients that it could be a side effect of the surgery before they go under the knife. While I would have still had the surgery that I had, I would at least have had the knowledge that I could be in pain for the rest of my life as a result of it. Instead, it has taken me almost seven months of searching to find out on my own that the pain I am experiencing could very well last for the rest of my life.
It just makes me mad that not one of the doctors I have seen has told me this. That I had to find it out for myself, by getting just the right combination of search words to type in to search for information. Is there anyone you know, or are you yourself, experiencing pain in the abdominal wall after extensive surgery? Did the doctor mention anything at all about the possibility of chronic pain as a result of the surgery?