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Better brain, better body

Monday, December 10, 2018

I had a series of surgeries in the spring that were really difficult. Following one of the surgeries, I received a call from the surgeon saying that they sent my spinal fluid for testing and found the bacteria that causes meningitis in it. I had to have a lumbar puncture and the resident who did it put me through some unnecessary pain and was very rude. It was the worst experience I had in a medical setting. I got on an antibiotic and all was well. A couple weeks later, I had to have another riskier surgery that required putting a drain inside of my brain that was hooked up to a pole at my bedside. I woke in the middle of the night and my bed was soaked. My pants were fine, and I felt the tube. It was wet. I knew it had broken, but that meant that my spinal fluid was again at risk for infection, and who knows how long it had been that way. I freaked out and yelled at my mom to get the nurse and she woke up right away and ran out of the room. Several nurses came back in and then the residents came in. They had to take more spinal fluid, just like the resident had to before. It was terrible. The entire 3 months of being in and out of the hospital was awful but I find myself frequently having flashbacks and panic attacks over these two experiences. The second one, in particular, was one of the worst days days of my life. After having panic episodes, I tend to spiral out of control emotionally and turn to food for comfort for a couple days because anything that’s comforting is hard to turn down. When I get home for Christmas, I’m going to start seeing a therapist for post-operative PTSD. I wish someone had told me that so many people have post-operative depression and PTSD after major surgeries, but it’s ignored a lot. I don’t know if anyone else has had a similar experience on here, but you’re not alone if you have.
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