God Bless…, I had a Successful Operation!
Time flies. It’s more than a month since my operation. It was really God’s blessing that I had a successful medical operation. What was planned for a 4.5 hour operation ended with less than 1.5 hour.
For me 2023 has been a nervy start, as I prepared for my medical operation.
My tummy has always given me problems. It was found that a section of my small bowel has strictures. Stricture is “narrowing” of passage way and in this case, my small intestine. In fact my strictures is so serious that a capsule camera that I swallowed ~15 years ago, for capsule endoscopy test was still embedded within, not until it was extracted during this operation.
The operation is either to “resection”, this means cut the damaged portion of the intestine and reconnect, or to repair the damaged intestine by widening the passage way.
CT Scan showed 1 meter damaged small bowel with 6 strictures. Surgeon decided to go for repair as one meter may be too long to be cut for future consideration.
Normally such surgery is done with “open-cut”, but my surgeon is confident that he can perform it with “Keyhole” or laparoscopy. However he did highlight that if absolutely needed during the operation, there will be open cut.
Prior to operation
To say that I was not at all worried is a lie. I have never had an operation in my life before. This is the first time and a major one. That said, I was very calm on the day of operation and no spirit of fear at all.
This is because many people prayed and gave well wishes for me prior to the operation, and I am thankful.
Above all, we felt that my surgeon was handpicked by higher power after we prayed. Dr Ho Kok Sun was not our first choice, but somehow God arranged him for us, when our first choice doctor was on leave. My wife and me were so comfortable with Dr Ho as he is so patient, caring and calm. Dr Ho is also one of the first surgeons here to perform robotic colorectal surgery with trainings in USA. See this article : https://thisquarterly.sg/specialist-of-the-month/a-family-mission/
While waiting outside the operation room, I met my Anaesthesiologist. He introduced himself as Dr Ho Kok Yuen. I asked if he is related to my surgeon Dr Ho Kok Sun? “Yes, I am the brother”, he said. He is also very caring and comforting and setup my IV drip only with one try, a feat not many others can achieve due to my “invisible” veins.
Next, I found myself with several nurses all assisting me to get ready and Dr Ho my surgeon said “hello” to me and reassure me for the last time before I passed out!
The operation blessed by God
When I first opened my eyes while still being pushed back to my ward, I saw my wife, who eagerly told me that “Dear … it’s a very successful operation!”
Instead of 6 strictures shown in CT Scan, only 3 strictures were found with 45 cm of damaged intestine. That is probably due to the “curls of the intestine” shown in the scan giving deceptions that the actual damaged bowel is twice.
The rest is easy “Cut it off and reconnect”.
The operation was performed with 3x 5mm holes around my tummy, and a 20mm cut on my navel. 1 hole for the video, 2-3 for robotic arms maybe, and the largest is to pull the damaged intestine out.
During my surgeon’s visit, he told me it is a straight forward operation for him, and he brought back with him the embedded capsule camera! Errks….
Post operation, pain set in despite pain killers IV dripped into me.
For more than 2 days, I drank no water and eat no food. Third day onwards I was given 250ml of water per day. I am not a food fanatic, but I dreamt of drinking milo one night and it felt really good. Then I requested the Dr to allow me to drink Milo on the 3rd day, but got rejected, as I haven’t pass out gas after the operation.
On the 4th day, I got my Milo and later also porridge. Hurray!
The eating was really good. That said, many hours later, it was also my biggest pain too! After all, this is the first time to put the newly repaired intestine onto work!
My hand was also very swollen due to the drips. When changing drips, I have to be pierced several times, with blood oozing, before they identified the right veins.
Nurses are Angels
The nurses were all wonderful. I have absolutely no complains for them. Whenever I pressed a bell, they were quick to respond and all of them were so experienced and caring. I was told by someone working there that Mt Elizabeth Orchard (MEO) ensured strictly that the patient-to-nurse ratio is at the right number, and will not just accept patients because of business.
Without them, I seriously don’t know how I am going to get by, during my hospital stay.
They are definitely angels!
I opted a four-bedded ward instead of single room prior to the operation. I thought I will be not so lonely and I stayed before in a 4-bedder before in public hospital and all things were fine. Furthermore, I can save some money as a huge portion of my surgery bill is not claimable as my company insurance sucks so much. Personally, I tried many times in the past and all of my insurance applications got rejected.
It was not the most comfortable.
Yes, I did save some money, but the noise pollution were intense. 4 sets of drip machines ringing alarms, many visitors in / out talking and chit chatting. Other patients switching on speaker mode during calls on a regular basis, TV noise etc.
My neighbour patient is a foreigner and in quite critical condition. He had a helper literally staying in the hospital beside him all the time, and sleep there too. And can you imagine when they start to talk and just beside my bed separated by just a curtain.
And yes, while I can’t eat anything, I can only smell the food the others were having in the same room!
I was discharged on Day 6. My recovery was relatively good overall. Perhaps I am still young (at least that is what I wish to think).
The feeling back home is good, and finally I have peace away from noise, and uninterrupted sleep.
Once again, Thank you for all those who prayed and gave me the well wishes and utmost appreciation for those who visited and brought with them gifts.
Thank you to all my doctors.
Thank you to all the nurses! You all are really angels.
Thank you to my wife of course and my family, who has been up and down, while still needing to work and fetch the kids. Remembering that our maid is gone since ½ year ago.
The recovery has been very smooth, and I am now almost 90% recovered.
My tummy never feel so good before for as long as I am remember.
Thank God once again.