Aftermath of Surgery

Well, November 9th I finally had surgery to revise my spinal fusion from 3 years ago. This was a surgery that I never really wanted to have, but had no choice but to do it. I think what scared me most about this surgery was what complications would arise due to my allergy issues. Leading up to the surgery I had this cacophony of unforeseeable issues that ranged from “what will they try to feed me in the hospital?” to “will my family know where to buy food for me?” and “am I going to have any issues with any of the medicines they try to give me?” Well, if you put all those together, you kinda got what

Before my surgery, I did whatever I could to help my family prepare for my surgery.  I actually went to every store that I buy any groceries from and creating a master grocery list. You see, in my town, it seems like every store had a different selection of flavors and product lines than any other store. It is quite ridiculous actually. So I sat there and creating this cheat sheet of what type of food, what brand, what flavor, and where to buy. As ridiculous as I looked walking around grocery stores and taking notes, this would come into handy when my dad had to pick up reinforcements a week after my surgery.  This is also the day when my dad realized just how crazy and confusing shopping can be. When I created my lists, I made sure to include the exact brands and flavors of items that I could have. The reason I did this was because there are way too many ways that allergens can just slip into something, so I pre-checked and only wrote down the ones that I knew were good to go. Being a loving dad, he picked up a different flavor of ice cream for me to try, one I had not put on the list. Upon further review, I can’t have it, but it is awesome to see him trying to help me try new things.

When I packed up some stuff to take to the hospital, I made sure to pack some small snack bags of items that I could eat. When waking up in the recovery suite, they want to make sure that you can keep food and drinks down, so they encourage you to try some juice and crackers. It is because of this that I brought some packaged gluten-free crackers. They definitely came in handy when the hospital had nothing for me to eat when I was ready. While I was shocked that they would have NOTHING for me to eat, I was honestly not that surprised.

Shortly after I began waking up, I started getting nauseous and throwing up. While it was not a lot, it was worrisome. I have never ever had any issues with throwing up when recovering from anesthesia, so what was the issue this time? Well come to find out that the general anesthesia that they used for my surgery has soy oil in it. I AM ALLERGIC TO SOY! So how is it that the hospital was able to give me an anesthetic of an item that I am allergic to? Simple actually, there are not many, if any, other options. Luckily my reaction is more digestive and causes me to throw up and have very uncomfortable digestive issues, what if my reaction was more severe?

Has the pharmaceutical world really not caught up to the fact that they need to really make options for people with allergens? We mandate that food companies must list and label if their items contain any of the top 8 allergens, so why do we not require pharmaceutical companies to do the same?

While I do not know the solution to this problem, I do know one thing. I am glad that the anesthesia is finally completely out of my system, because that sucked. And I am thankful to have a family that loves me and is really willing to try to navigate this strange diet world with me.