Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Post Op Blues

It's been a few days after my lingual hernia repair operation. The procedure went well but the post-op recovery has been more problematic than originally anticipated. I had to deal with the mechanics of determining whether or not my kidneys were working properly as a result of a mishap when inserting a catheter for the original procedure. It's been 5 days since that issue got reconciled (I'm fine) but something weird happened tonight.

I had the uncontrollable urge to cry.

I decided today I would try to go without medication and let my body get used to functioning without them.  I was able to work, run errands, and even audition today. I got home and after s few hours, a freight train of emotion hit me inexplicably. I couldn't regulate my emotions. I just felt very useless, alone, and vulnerable. I wasn't "sad" per se - more just "wounded"than anything else.
So for half an hour I cried. Not bawling or sobbing. Just cried quietly on my bed with my wife beside me. I couldn't stop. I wanted to. I used the mental gymnastics I've built over the years of how "men don't cry"and they were useless. I just rode the waves of emotion the best I could.
While this read happening, I wondered if it was a reaction to the lack of medication or maybe I was having an anxiety attack. I look them up and tried self-diagnosing. Neither one came back with much. I then asked if this was a normal reaction to coming off general anesthesia. I then learned about the "post op blues".

It turns out that it's not uncommon for people to sense a bit of depression after surgery. Granted, the more intrusive the surgery, the longer the recovery, the deeper that depression can go. My operation was an outpatient procedure; however, I believe that it messed me up more than I realized. The recovery process didn't totally start until 8 days afterwards due to the kidney-related problems. So, I couldn't focus on what I sent in for until later. I think all of the stress of the operation, being bed ridden for quite someone afterwards, and the fact that at times I felt completely useless to people because I couldn't do my normal activities got to me. It just found an emotional outlet tonight.

I decided to write about it because I want to remember this. I want others to know that his they may be feeling is normal. Hopefully it's just a short-term thing and I can bounce back to where I was after giving myself more time to rest.

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