Major Surgeries and “Major” Surgeries

Something that has been on my mind:

I have had six surgeries now: Brain surgery in January 1991, heart/lung/chest surgery in August 2000, pelvis surgery in March 2009, first hand surgery in May 2015, second and third hand surgery in May and December 2017.

The first three were major surgeries that required several months to a year to be anywhere near recovered. These were also much riskier (although very necessary) surgeries. The scars from these surgeries (except the brain surgery) still hurt occasionally (generally a bit less over the years), but I don’t see them. 

The scars from the hand surgeries are ones that not only hurt regularly, but I see and feel them all the time. So while these surgeries were minor and have had a shorter recovery time, they were effectively “major” surgeries–in a much more psychological way.

I am aware in a new and different way that I have had many surgeries and will only have more and more with longer and longer recovery times as the years go by.

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda 


Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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5 replies

  1. It seems surgery will be a constant in both of our lives. Although I’ve had some minor surgeries (e.g., strabismus repair), most have been related to hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates resulting in enlarged ventricles in the brain. The predominant treatment, a shunt, is imperfect at best requiring revision because of infection, growth, and deterioration of the system. I had two procedures in March because of a potential infection (although no cultures grew out of the CSF). In November, much to my surprise, I had an emergency revision and had my first seizures in nearly 24 years. Arguably a blessing and a curse, I don’t remember even being in the hospital, but I felt this most recent recovery was harder than many of the previous recoveries, as though my resilience had deteriorated some. Therefore, I won’t be surprised if, like you, the recovery times are longer and harder than in the past.

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  2. And yet Brother, you’re still here — a feat for which wa-a-ay many more than me are grateful! Keep writing!!!

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  3. It is amazing how coconut oil can heal the skin. It is not just a skin softener, but it actually heals you, both inside and outside. I make up a butter replacement by mixing coconut oil and olive oil (40:60) with 1/4 cup of salted milk (per lb of finished butter).You can add more olive oil if you want a more spreadable “butter.” You generally add enough salt to make the milk taste noticeably salty. I also add a couple of capsules of Vitamin B Complex, 2 capsules of Esther-C, and a few drops of vitamin E oil (food grade). I make sure all is mixed well by cooling the mixture and periodically beating it (about 3 times) until it is solid enough to retain a mix, then move it to storage container(s). It keeps in the refrigerator for about 1 month. It also tastes very much like real butter, and can behave like it if you need to melt it. It can be used to make pie crusts if you take care to keep the dough very cold.

    This way you can get your coconut oil inside of you in those circumstances when you would use butter. I use coconut oil instead of Crisco (with its palm oil/soy oil mix) or lard to grease my bread pans or cookie sheets, as well as in baking things. The added B,C and E is to try to make up for what pasteurization does to milk.

    Always best to reduce the risk of mold by putting an old small plastic container of vinegar on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, refilling as needed. I usually poke holes in the plastic lid so that the vinegar can move quickly into the air flow of the refrigerator and still be unlikely to spill over everything if the container is tipped accidentally.

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