Possible surgery - Very scared, worried, questions about others experience
Hi all - So glad I found this site. Doing lots of research on my situation. First I would like to say good luck to all out there. Apparently I am not alone, someone out there has had to have been through some of the things I am going through now.
On 1/1/13 I went to the ER with a sudden onset acute intenstinal illness. That ended up being diagnosed as an intestinal infection. Given antibiotics and it went away in a few days. The total surprise came when they did a CT scan, my first ever - told I had an intestinal infection and they found a mass on my kidney. I was on morphine at the time and thought I was dreaming what the doctor said. I confirmed with my husband. Since then my doctor sent my CT to his radiologist who confirmed the mass. Sent to a Urologist. The Urologist has never ever seen a tumor like that before. Whoa, that's not good. It's 3cm. It's flat, not round at all, flat. It's on the outside of the kidney across it, they can't even tell if it's attached to the kidney or just outside of it. The Urologist consulted with his colleagues and called me 3 days later. None of them have seen a tumor like that. Whoa. The recommendation is an open exploratory kidney surgery. Isolate the kidney, send a piece of the tumor to pathology to identify, determine if it's attached to my kidney, at one point or attached all the way across. If it's benign and attached at one point, take the tumor and 1/2 the kidney. If it's malignant or attached across the kidney at all points take the whole kidney.
So this is all way scary to me. I have never had surgery, never even a CT before. I have not had anything major done before. I don't like medical procedures, don't like invasive procedures and avoid them whenever I can. To be blunt, I am kind of freaked out right now. I go for a 2nd opinion from a different Urologist this Friday 2/15. It has been a month and a 1/2 since discovery. I am worried it's all taking too long. So far it's just been passing info and a month and a half has gone by. That's worrisome as I have this thing growing inside me and no one knows what it is!
I have some questions to aleviate my freaking out. If you have gotten this far in my novel, you might be willing to help me out and tell me some of your experiences.
- How do you feel when you first wake up from surgery? Is there a lot of pain?
- What does a catheter feel like? Do they put one in while you are awake before the surgery? Can you feel it after the surgery? Does it hurt?
- I read that an epidural before surgery makes it pain free after, anyone ever had that?
- Everyone says walking as soon as possible and a lot is great for recovery - is there any danger in it? Moving stuff around in your body, danger to the incision etc.?
- Does coughing, vomiting, sitting up and general movement pose a danger at all after surgery? Or is it fine.
- How quick is the healing? Do you progressively get better in the hospital?
- Is it hard to go to the bathroom after the surgery? Are you able to urinate right away?
- Do they control pain well in the hospital?
- Does it hurt when they check, clean your incision or change your bandages?
- How long before you get to eat? Can you eat? I eat many meals a day, I can't imagine not eating for more than a few hours. How long do you go without eating? Is it a problem?
- What troubles in recovery or taking care of yourself are there after getting home?
- What does it feel like with your kidney gone? Can you tell?
I am really sorry all this is so long and I have so many questions. Hopefully someone out there will take the time to answer some of them, if you made it this far. I am so curious and this is all scary, unfamiliar and I am really not wanting to go through all of this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. Now that I have all that out, hopefully I can join the "short" bloggers! - Shorty
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