Surgery – Going Under The Knife Again
Last few months
If you’ve been following This real life Dad from the beginning, have recently followed me or even just checked in from time to time to see any illness updates you’ll be aware that over the last few months I’ve been going through hell. I’ve been in and out of hospital, I’ve had numerous invasive tests done, I’ve been on all sorts of horrible medications and I’ve seen so many different ‘specialists’ all with the aim of getting some answers and possibly surgery for the constant pain and discomfort I’ve been in without any success.
Apparently I’m a mystery, and to be honest I still don’t have a diagnosis or any guarantees of a magical fix. However, I can finally say that after a successful meeting with my surgeon on Friday, we finally have a plan of action that we are happy with and one we feel is a step forward. Which after 3 months of fighting for answers and living in constant pain I am over the moon about.
In my second blog post ever I wrote all about my Love-Hate relationship with hospitals. That post gave you the full background story of my previous Nissen fundoplication operation and all complications I’ve had with my digestive system since I was young. If you haven’t already I’d advise you to give it a quick read so this post makes more sense. The post proved to be very popular and it gave me the confidence boost I needed to keep writing about my illness. It also gave me the reassurance that most of you want to be kept informed on my current situation too.
So here is my most current situation.
On Friday, we had an appointment with my surgeon. We went in with very low expectations. Mainly due to the lack of communication and service we’d previously experienced from him and his team. However, straight from the start, this meeting seemed different. More relaxed and less stressful. I think he realised that we’ve exhausted all tests and all medications. Plus we’d had so many different discussions about symptoms that we only really had one option left.
I need more surgery!
In my head I think I knew surgery was going to be the end outcome. Nevertheless when you finally hear it and it becomes reality it feels strange. You need to put your complete trust in someone else and all sorts goes through your head. I left the appointment very flat and very quiet. Not knowing how i should be feeling. On one hand, I felt great, I’m was getting the surgery which could fix me. Then on the other hand, I was thinking oh no, more surgery and still no real guarantee it will help.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to put my positive hat. I’ve got lots to think about but despite being apprehensive I’m over the moon that things are finally happening.
So in the next few weeks everything should move fairly quickly. I’ve got a few more hospital visits before the surgery, the pre operation assessment and also a CT scan so they have more imagery to use before the surgery. Then comes the surgery itself which could be within 3-4 weeks.
I’ll try to explain what type of surgery I’m getting and what they are going to be doing but I’m sorry if it makes no sense. It probably wouldn’t make sense to me if I hadn’t already had it done.
So the actual procedure will be exploratory laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery on my stomach and oesophagus. The surgery will look at the previous fundoplication wrap surgery I had in 2011.
If they find something out of the ordinary that’s the best case scenario for us as it will be able to fixed during the operation and hopefully fix my current issues.
However, the surgeon has warned us there’s a more likely outcome, he goes in and everything looks normal for a 6-year-old operation. Maybe some scar tissue or slight slackening of the previous wrap. If this is the case, things might become more tricky and I’ll either need to trust the surgeon to make the correct judgement on the day or make a plan myself prior to the surgery.
If everything looks the same the two options I’ll need to decide on are:
- He could either completely undo my previous wrap, which would put my stomach and oesophagus back to how a normal oesophagus should be. But it could leave me with a recurrence of symptoms that lead me to need my first operation.
- He could undo the current wrap and then redo the same operation as he did in 2011. He described the undo and redo as basically a ‘service’ or a ‘tidy up’.
My feelings today
With any surgery there are obviously massive risks involved, these have all been explained and I’m still happy to go ahead. My main worry is they don’t find anything and l have to choose to go back to being how I was pre-operation in 2011 or do the ‘tidy up’ and not know whether it will help my current pain.
Until the day of my surgery I still might not know what way I’m going to go. However, until that day I’m going to relax, be happy and enjoy being at home with my family. I’m going to put all the stress we’ve had trying to get people to listen behind us and now enjoy the next few weeks.
Thank you so much for reading
This very happy real life Dad xx
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