Excruciating pain post surgery

So the surgery happened yesterday. I’ve got three small cuts (largest about an inch) on my right chest. One of them was for a camera (as operation was VATS) and another for an instrument. Both wounds have been sewn up using dissolving stitches and are covered by bandages. The other one has a drain tube in it, about the diameter of a pinky finger. It’s uncomfortable and I’m in quite a lot of pain and feeling dopey from the pain killers. I’m told that walking around helps the healing process so I’m doing laps of the respiratory ward grandpa style!

Edit: I found out from the nurse that actual operation only took 45 minutes. I had a chemical pleurodesis as well as a lung resection. Some of my right lung was removed but wasn’t told how much. I was administered 18 milligrams of morphine in recovery. I’m not sure whether this is much, but all I can remember when waking up with excruciating pain. I just kept asking for morphine and for my mouth to be rinsed with water. When I was released from the ICU the pain was manageable enough to get by with just regular doses of Panadol. I was given a morphine pump, but didn’t use it as I could withstand the pain (but not the light headed and dizziness side effects that morphine had on me).

Lung surgery

Today is the day! After putting up with numerous pneumothoraces I’m about to surgery to fix my troublesome right lung. I’m about to have what is known as a Pleurodesis. It involves spraying talc between the lung and chest wall. The talc causes inflammation. When the lung is re-inflated it sticks itself to the chest wall. Once healed, the lung can’t collapse (at least in theory)! I was due to be operated on this morning, but an emergency popped up but I’ve been rescheduled for this afternoon. I’ll sit on my hands until then. Dad’s also driven up all the way from Wellington for moral support. Cheers Dad!

Enough is enough!

After a handful of spontaneous pneumothoraces something had to be done. The probability of reoccurrence increases substantially the more pneumothoraces you have. It felt like I was getting one every fricken fortnight! Today I have an appointment with a surgeon at Auckland Hospital. I’ll come prepared with questions like:

  • What are my options?
  • What is the typical time I’ll spend in hospital after the procedure?
  • How long until I can resume exercising?
  • How long until I can fly again?

Any long term health affects?