Every day at work I talk about surgical options for my patients.
In my office the surgeon I work with does a wide variety of surgeries. Mostly the women who need surgery come to me first. I get labs ordered, order ultrasounds, collect cultures, do a complete history and physical, and talk a lot about what their options are. After we get all the results they return to the office and meet with the doctor to discuss the best or recommended options, risks and benefits of surgery, get informed consent, and then schedule a surgery. Pre operation labs, EKGs, chest x-rays and more are then ordered and a couple weeks later our patients have their surgery.
A long list of things to do, but then they just do it and have the surgery and then they recover and go on with life... supposedly now they are "fixed."
How do these women do it? Today I am sitting here, a nervous wreck because my mom is having a total hip replacement. Her surgery starts in about a half an hour. I know nothing about hip replacements so I have been doing a lot of research. She has reassured me that she is using one of the best surgeons in her area, she TRUSTS him, she is relatively young for this surgery and she has always been active and healthy. She doesn't smoke, drink, isn't overweight, and hardly ever takes any medications. She should do well through this surgery. But the surgery is the scary part. I want to be there for her, which is silly because she wouldn't even know I was there. I want to help her recover but I know that isn't possible for my little family right now.
The surgery part is what I am having a hard time with. I trust hysterectomies because I see them all the time. I trust c-sections because I am there and I know when they happen (at my practice!) they are needed. I trust the surgeon I work with because I see him work and I know what kind of job he does. I should just be able to trust that my mother is in good hands and this hip replacement is necessary for her. She has lived with pain too long and is unable to walk some days because of it. Guess what, it still scares me. I cried last night as I went to bed and I prayed for comfort and I prayed for the surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses, and staff who will be there with my mother. I am glad my mother won't be reading this post until after her surgery.
Here is some info about her surgery:
I know the recovery will be the easier part for her (all relative people!). She has had 6 vaginal births (5 without epidurals), 3 miscarriages, lost her mother, raised 6 amazing children to adults, had a brain tumor with a 16 hour surgery to remove it, been happily married over 30 years, keeps the cleanest house I have ever seen, and the list goes on. This woman is tough. She can do tough stuff. She can do really hard things and she does them with grace. I know she will be okay, but being on the end of a family member having this surgery makes me take a step back and look at each and every one of my patients who may need to have surgery.
Thank you for your prayers and support and concern for my mother today. It means the world to Ashley, our family, and me.