SURG.up Day 6: Shenanigans and the Beach



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I went to the beach with my parents this last weekend to see Tower of Power and hang out. It was fun and it was my first time being in a casino after being 21 and didn't realize they allowed smoking inside--obviously not very good for lung problems--but luckily they don't allow smoking in the performance hall.

The music was really good and the crowd was incredibly entertaining. There's a clip above of a guy that was standing in front of me dancing--he's a very geeky looking guy in a collared shirt and tie (I'm a huge geek so that only makes him cooler) spasming uncontrollably. It's kind of hard to see him because it was so dark, but if you fullscreen it, you should be able to make him out.

Also, I've included a few minutes of audio/video of the ocean---it's pretty calming aside from a little bit of wind noise, but I cut out most of that.

Information of Interest:


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SURG.up Day 5: Q&A Video with my Surgeon (Plus email Q&A with Pulmonologist)



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[Above: Video of Q&A with my surgeon about my upcoming thoracotomy/pleurectomy. Sorry about the low audio levels.]




I know a number of you are interested in some of the more clinical aspects of my surgery, so hopefully the video above and the Q&A below will answer some of your questions. For more information on exactly what the procedure is click here. If you're wondering about anything at all related to this surgery or surgery in general, leave me a few lines in the comment section at the bottom of this page (click "Continue Reading" if you're viewing this on my main page).

I know a lot about this surgery from experience with my last one--which was similar but less invasive--, from about 4 hours of questioning my MDs, and from hours of my own research. If you're going to have this surgery, a similar surgery, or another major surgery I'd love to talk to you about your experiences and help you out in any way I can.

The following is a Q&A with my Pulmonologist via email.

Q: How long until my incision will be healed and can getting in/out of bed do any harm?
A: The skin/incision is usually completely healed in 2-3 wks.  Getting out of bed does not hurt the intergrity of the incision.

Q: What is the chance of motor nerve damage resulting from the thoracotomy?
A: Low...the nerve to the latissimus muscle is really the only potential concern (discuss with your surgeon).

Q: Does posture have an effect on healing? Last time I was bent over slightly for a while.
A: Not really.

Q: How do I differentiate healing pain from pain that's actually doing damage?
A: Tough to answer.   In general if you follow activity limitations given to you by the surgeons at the time of discharge, any pain you experience is not detrimental to healing.

Q: Once at home, how often should I be walking and how far/fast?
A: At least daily.  Short initially (e.g. a block or so) and slow.  You will have a good sense of how much you can do and how fast at discharge (based upon input from physical therapy)

Q: Should I try to increase distance AND speed everyday?
A: Yes, but gradually (do not think you are trying out for the racewalking team)

Q: How far should I be walking a couple of weeks after surgery?
A: It depends,  hopefully you can walk 1-2 blocks by the time you are 2 weeks out from surgery.

Q: When I do stretches I'm worried about tearing a muscle or pulling the lung away from the chest wall. Is this possible?
A: Tearing the lung with stretching not really possible.   You may irritate your incision/rib with stretching involving your upper body.

Q: Can I continue taking my liquid multivitamins?
A: Yes.

Q: Is the caffeine in tea bad for surgery recovery?
A: No.

[Remember: This information is not a substitute for talking to medical professionals...so be sure to do that on your own too.]

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SURG.up Day 4: When, Where, and a "How To Breathe" Guide



Surgery Information

When: February 2, 2010 @ ~8:00am
Where: Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center
Why: Thoracotomy and Pleruectomy for treatment of Recurrent Spontaneous Pneumothorax
How: Very carefully

Information of Interest:


Video Comment Login Info:
Username: brainchocolate
Password: nathan123

Click here to sign up for Email Updates

Click here to follow me on Twitter

Click here to learn more about my surgery/situation

(If you're viewing this post on my main page, click "Continue Reading" below to leave me a comment, otherwise, scroll on down.)

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SURG.up Day 3: Pre-op Exercise and Recovery



To leave a video comment: Click the "Leave a Webcam video comment!" button under the submit comment button near the bottom of this page. After you record your video and hit "save," be sure to click the "submit" button after you leave that little window.

Username: brainchocolate
Password: nathan123

I'm pushing the video comments pretty hard because I'd like to have them working by the time I go in for surgery. It would be great to be able to hear from you guys too.

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SURG.up Day 2: Getting Ready for Surgery (Plus Video Comments!)



I've decided to use BrainChocolate as my video update medium---I was debating using a separate website but this makes it easier for you as well as me. Click here to get email updates each time I post a new video/status update, generally every few days. Your email address is safe---no one else will see it and I promise there will be absolutely no spam. I'm new to video and it's pretty weird talking to a camera---feedback is good but cut me some slack.

Since I'm going to be picking up BrainChocolate after I recover, I'll send out an email to everyone on my email list with a link to unsubscribe if you're just interested in my surgery updates and not my blog.



WOOOO!!! Video commenting is now possible! If you have a laptop with a webcam, it's SUPER easy to leave a video comment. Click "Leave a Webcam Video Comment!" below the comment box submit button at the bottom of this page:  (and if you're viewing this post on the home page, click the title of the post then scroll down to see the comment section)

Username: brainchocolate
Password: nathan123

If you missed the first video and don't know what this is all about, click here.

If you want to learn more about my surgery, click here.

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