7 Stages of Having and Recovering from Surgery

  • Living almost in a state of complete unconscious – basically unaware of surroundings and having a memory of about one second and basically dependent on others for everything
  • Finding everyone and everything irritating and frustrating
  • Being just well enough that the pain really begins
  • Trying to think or remember something and being completely unable
  • Worrying about everything and being constantly scared of everything
  • Having ups-and-downs in mood and energy by the hour and then by the day
  • Basically being okay but adjusting to a new normal

These are based on my experiences. Some of the stages overlap, naturally, and have occurred in slightly different orders.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda 

Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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4 replies

  1. Dear Dr. Pegoda, in all the years I have been dealing with getting rid of toxins, and following every thought I had, and even unconscious actions in the brain, I have learned how much diet plays a role in mood regulation, rate of healing in both mind and body, and even pain levels. The only purpose of pain is to get you to respond to a condition so serious that the body cannot heal itself fast enough and the brain doesn’t have a solution. Obviously, most of us do not know some of the most basic methods for pain relief. Using nutrition helps the brain learn what is a good solution.

    Using my own mind-body medicine techniques, like muscle response/reflex testing, visualization and mindfulness, I ask my own brain questions that follow this sequence: when, where, who, what, and how. Somehow the brain stores information in that sequence. An extremely important aspect of the nervous system is that, unlike any other tissue in the body, its cells are assigned roles as representatives of other cells, so that complex interactions can result in major and minor changes in the body. Neurons look very much alike in structure and basic functioning of its parts. In fact these cells differ in function mainly because of their location, not structure, to some degree. That conclusion is debatable in some cells, but for our needs right now, that conclusion is enough to consider how the brain works.

    The brain uses both recent memory and archived memory from all over the brain, especially the brainstem. It finds all cells representing a concept, action, feeling, process, another cell/circuit/center in the brain that have or have had anything to do with the problem you are asking about. You would be very surprised at what is linked with each of those questions and your state of mind.

    Researchers have found that diet changes can actually change your mood as well. Much of your irritability and anxiety is due to the inability of the body to heal quickly, and the brain’s attempt to find out where all the damage is, creating a complex state of mind for you during this time. Worse, other things done in surgery (like anesthesia and its side effects) create a brain fog that also has to be addressed. A lot of answers to the questions you ask will seem obvious, but you also have to become acutely aware of the first words/images/feelings to enter your mind and do not throw them out. There could be an event in your past that is STRONGLY linked in your brain to the damage location, the tissues involved, even down to the cells that were damaged or are trying to make it there to heal.

    A change in diet, though, does not include an exact recipe since everyone differs in what damage was done, where it is, who is involved now and in the past, etc. Most doctors will suggest things because a lot of people have responded in the past to that recommendation, but most such recommendations have never been tested. Furthermore, they seem rather naive, considering the complexity of associations in the brain. I always ask the questions about what kinds of food I need to eat. That reduces cravings, over-eating, eating for comfort, even feeling hunger when I should not.

    For instance, with the problem of specific toxins now coming out of my radius, the very movement of those toxins can cause rage in me once in a while. It is baby rage where I feel incredibly uncomfortable being in the very place I am at that moment, doing what I am doing. I have to get up and leave. That discomfort may also include irritation, fear or other emotion. But just that act doesn’t relieve the rage. I discovered that I need a complex of bromine, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate found in a specific ratio common in orange juice. The need was associated with the toxin and the memory of the events that led to that toxin being inside of me. Yesterday, I had an extreme desire for orange juice at the onset of this rage. Four ounces was extremely satisfying for me and the rage was gone. The ratio of chemical elements in foods plays a huge role in mood and tissue damage repair. Now, that won’t work for all moments of rage, because the rage will be brought on because of the association of cells representing certain aspects of a past trauma, with a lot of different circuits and other cells. The nutritional need will vary with the circumstances.

    I suddenly had a need for a lot of boron recently, too. Beans are high in boron. I also needed additional calcium which is best gotten from full-fatted dairy (because of the increased absorption of this form). I usually have a bunch of different beans in my refrigerator (not canned, but cooked from the dried bean). I recently made some yogurt. So I had something in my refrigerator that could satisfy my nutritional needs quickly for that moment. The combination of beans and yogurt was a good way to satisfy that need.. I made a sauce of the yogurt with a bunch of spices (ginger, chile, dill weed, basil, ground coriander, paprika), salt and a bit of sugar. I mixed it into a cup of black & pinto beans, garbanzos and black-eyed peas. It was absolutely delicious.

    When you eat a food that is necessary for healing, the brain sends a signal to satiety centers all over the brain, causing this extremely high level of satisfaction. You only know what to eat because the brainstem tells you that. That is what it is responsible for, basic metabolism and actions necessary for supplying the nutrients needed for that action. People end up eating the wrong foods because they only pay attention to what the conscious brain considers. The conscious brain only looks for the satiety that food gave in the past. It may satisfy some of your true physical needs but more often tricks the conscious satiety cells into registering that satiety because of that food’s association with comfort. Since they are nearer to the cortical decision-making cells, their “voices” are much louder and drown out those from the brainstem. All decisions in the brain are the result of a “committee,” but it is clearly not a theoretical “democracy.” Bypassing the conscious brain’s screams, and looking for a basic need-satisfying choice of the brainstem, leads to much wiser choices. It also retrains the decision-making center in the neocortex to always consider what the unconscious brain want.

    At other moments of such rage, I may need some other nutrient. During the early years of treatment, this made it extremely difficult to leave home because I could get what I needed there immediately and could not when I was elsewhere. It also makes it difficult to get what you need in a hospital, (surprise, surprise) especially when herbal medicine does the job better than any pharmaceutical.

    Given what your surgery usually entails, you, too, need a lot of boron (beans, apples, cashews, walnuts, non-GMO potatoes), calcium gluconate (dairy, cashews, almonds, walnuts, kale, broccoli, carrots, spinach), manganese (meat, tomatoes, fish, dark leafy greens), iron (spinach, meat, tomatoes, kidney beans), essential fatty acids (fish, avocado, bananas, nuts, coconut oil), certain proteins (bone broth, fish, broccoli, nuts). A good idea is to have a snack food nearby, like mixed unsalted nuts or any of the above foods as finger foods. Be sure to exclude soy in an form (especially that found in processed food because you can’t tell if it is from China where it is probably contaminated). Soy grabs all nutrients needed inside the body and all chemical elements not needed or toxic, making these ions unavailable to the cells needing them or difficult to get rid of from the body entirely. Any of these foods would help improve your mood, but only if needed for specific circumstances.

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  2. Andrew, you are stronger than you think. You are also be-loved.
    I’m sorry you’re going through recovery; I know it’s hard. But you can do this.
    Do not aspire to “new normal!” You are not “normal,” you are extraordinary. Consider that every procedure you undergo restores you to your full potential.

    Liked by 2 people

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