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The Big Operation

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, February 23rd, 2019 - 19 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, health - Tags: , , , , , ,

I’d known for quite some time that something wasn’t quite right. I had many tests done and consulted many specialists. Friends, family, neighbours, work mates, and even complete strangers at Pack ‘n Save they all gave me their personal opinion for free, which I really appreciated but didn’t really help all that much. Don’t get me wrong, it did make me feel better but I knew something more invasive had to be done.

Despite the many symptoms, and some were obvious and reoccurring, and never actually went away, it wasn’t clear what the best way forward was. Everybody had a different opinion; some suggested a radical operation was the only option. Others pointed out that this kind of operation had been tried overseas with mixed results. I was surprised to hear that there were others who had exactly the same syndrome with no known cure but I’m no expert in these things so I took their word for it. Others again said do nothing and things will get better over time; live healthy, eat well, and make sure I get enough sleep and never ever overthink things! That was good common sense although I thought I was already doing these things and it had gone worse with time.

The stress of thinking about a big operation was getting worse than my actual ailments. It started to consume me and affected my life, my work, my socialising, everything, and not in a good way. Even the weekly grocery shopping at my local Pack ‘n Save became a chore  😥

The question that was milling around inside my head was whether to put my affairs on hold, go into the operating theatre for the best part of a day and give my life over into the hands of a team of specialists who are texting about golf while they should be looking after my life signs, and face recovery time in hospital and a long period of revalidation afterwards [I can’t believe this is just one sentence!].

The real problem was that nobody could tell me what exactly they were going to do, what they were going to fix, and how.

In the end I couldn’t face up to the uncertainty any longer. I got a few moles checked on my right shoulder and had Botox injections. That helped and I instantly looked and felt better than I’d done in ages. I felt such a relief that I’d made a decisive decision and dealt with some of my problems. They now keep an eye on me and I get regular urine tests done to measure my wellbeing.

I feel I’m in good hands now and have made the right decision. The symptoms are still there and are not getting any better but it could be so much worse. I’ve accepted my situation and realised that the best course of action is to do very little or nothing – Nero once said don’t fiddle with things the way they are. To think that I even considered a big costly operation with an uncertain outcome now seems really stupid. Ah, the wisdom of hindsight!

My advice to anybody in a similar boat is to listen to all opinions – you’ll get many, trust me – and then do what’s best for you and get on with your life. Listen to your inner voice, feel the fear, and don’t do anything drastic. She’ll be right, mate!

19 comments on “The Big Operation”

  1. cleangreen 1

    You are right to find out what it was and what to do about it.

    I was chemically poisoned in 1992 in Canada, and felt the same way as after I was diagnosed by 12 doctors in Toronto, they said “nothing is wrong and ‘it’s all in your head'”, but my symptoms just got worse,

    Big worry was my main issue, as a kiwi with two young kids and a wife in tow, and thousands of miles from here I went to a ‘chemical exposure specialist’ for another test.

    He ordered my blood test (that i paid $1000 dollars or) to go a laboratory in santa anna in California called ‘Antibody assay laboratory’ operated by a British Royal Navy pathologist – Dr Allan Broughton’,

    When the results came back it showed I was poisoned by many chemicals in my workplace because there was virtually no ventilation during my job in the building I was working inside of for six months, so it was no wonder why I was exposed to all those toxic chemicals for six months while there.

    I have since returning home have radically changed my life and live in a remote clean air environment far from any NZ city today.

    I still need monthly immune system IV treatments 27 yrs later but my mind is relieved as I know what I am facing ahead of me.- I am now 74 yrs old.

  2. One Two 2

    Good on you for walking it through, Incognito…

    Thanks for sharing your experience…valuable insights…

  3. patricia bremner 3

    I have been there and with no real assurance things will improve, until I walk independently again.
    The worst part is the indecision. Once a plan is in place it is a relief
    Good or you. Monitoring is the long road, but you want medical staff who first
    “Cause no harm.”
    Cheers, all the best Incognito.

  4. Ankerrawshark 4

    A tough situation. Sounds like you are doing a lot better and very please with your decision.

    All the very best going forward

  5. BM 5

    What’s the risk to reward?

  6. RedLogix 6

    Best wishes …

    My father says that the great thing about hospitals is there is always some poor bastard in there worse off than you 🙂

    • BM 6.1

      Public Hospitals are probably the worst environment to be if you’re sick.

      You get woken up every xxx number of hours, noisy, stinky, shit food, they absolutely suck

      • patricia bremner 6.1.1

        BM Come to Rotorua Lakes Hospital Bloody brilliant staff meals and treatment .

        • BM

          I’ll keep that in mind next time I get hospitalised.

        • RedLogix

          Yes we’ve found the smaller regional hospitals better than the big city ones. I’d imagine there are specialist services they cannot offer, but for most health issues they’re pretty damned good as a rule.

      • cleangreen 6.1.2

        BM you also suck as Hospitals actually have some very fine folks who are genuinely helping to make people better believe me as I went to a public hospital recently and was well cared for.

        Go to your ‘private hospital’ and leave our public Hospital alone in your ignorance as you obviously don’t go to a public hospital judging by your crass insensitive crap you always speak.

  7. Ad 7

    Thankyou Incognito for showing us being human.

  8. KJT 8

    I thought this was satire about a CGT.

    CGT causes earthquakes.

    Anyway all the best Incognito.

  9. Mark 9

    Thanks for this post! I’m a pretty high anxiety person, particularly around health matters, and I do have an aversion to too much testing, too much probing.

    Somehow your post made me feel better.

    My doctor reckons there is a whole lot of overdiagnosis going on now, things are being found and dealt with that cause pain and harm, but the chances of that thing killing you was unlikely and the treatment worse than the illness itself

    And the anxiety is the worse thing – sort of reminds what Roosevelt said: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. So very true.

    Wishing you the very best!

  10. greywarshark 10

    Glad you have a ‘cunning plan’ incognito. Indecision weighs you down I reckon.

    Another thing that has crossed my mind is what Mark said can happen:
    “the treatment worse than the illness itself”.

    Did you do the thing of setting down the possibilities on a page for Pros and a page for Cons? I think that writing down what you know and then noting questions about what you don’t know can clear a path through doubts.

    And when I wrote down the problem and how I felt about it as if explaining it all to someone concerned, it led to peace of mind. I have this picture of my arm being like a lightning rod and the thoughts travel from my head down and are earthed in the words on the paper. It helped me to stop it all going round and round to set it down where I could look at it rationally even if not objectively.

  11. Paul Campbell 11

    So I had a heart attack 6 months ago …. It was a bit of a miracle …

    I was getting a bit puffed walking around, no chest pain or anything, I mentioned it to my doctor at my quarterly check up … She immediately threw me on an ECG and noticed a little bump, and sent me off to get some blood work done …

    That evening she called me “you’re having a heart attack, go to the
    ER”, they put me on heavy blood thinners, ran tests and admitted me for the night. The next day they installed a stent in a coronary artery, it was done with me awake, through a needle in my wrist under a giant x-ray machine by a team of professionals working together, I could easily have walked away from the procedure. I did walk home the next day.

    The thing is I knew I had a genetic predisposition to something like this, it killed my dad, he would have had full open heart surgery and a bypass, I got an hour in a hitech wonderland …. As I said, a bit of a miracle.

    The big take away though is listen to your body, talk to your doctor, I caught this so early I had no chest pains and did no real damage to my heart … We bitch and moan about our medical system, about queues etc but it really is there for us when we really need it.

  12. veutoviper 12

    Very best wishes, Incognito. You have obviously been through a very difficult time of uncertainty and decision making, but having made a decision – and knowing it is the right decision for you – really helps as I also know from being in a similar situation a year or two ago. I think I may have worked out your diagnosis and know from the recent experience of a close family member the pros and cons of the different approaches to treatment for it. If I am correct, then the option to change your mind re operating will remain open for the future. Monitoring is all important.

    I grinned when you mentioned Botox as I only recently became aware of its use for certain medical conditions other than cosmetic ones! Eg getting unbroken sleep. Must talk to my doctor … LOL.

  13. Richard Chrsitie 13

    What a colossally uninformative post.

  14. Barfly 14

    Saw an article in the herald recently about a woman paying a $1000 a month for botox injections for treating migraines if someone is in that boat ….


    This is one of the many sites selling Botox and with a order of 10 units the price is listed as US $11.18 per unit

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