Now any pre-op patient with half a brain would want to know what is on the other side; ie, what the situation is for themselves AFTER the life-saving operation – wouldn’t you? Many hospitals are very much on the side of post-op larys having the opportunity to talk through the situation to pre-op, extremely nervous patients, after all, losing one’s greatest form of communication is a terrifying prospect.
On the other hand, we have many hospitals who (somehow) think that post-ops talking to pre-ops is a bad move; ie, the opportunity to discuss with a post-op is simply is not entertained – WHY? What does a freshman out of medical school know about being a laryngectomee?
What does a fully qualified surgeon, even with 100 operation notches on his gunbelt, know about being a laryngectomee? The answer my friends is not ‘blowing in the wind‘ as the answer is simply NOTHING AT ALL. You cannot possibly have any idea what post-surgery feels like unless you have experienced it for yourself – and I would not advocate you try it just for the hell of it!
Hospitals that frown upon pre-ops being allowed the pearls of wisdom from post-ops are simply NOT doing their emotional bit for their patients; they are simply regressive, Luddites living in the dark ages thinking that a cheery smile and dismissive wave of the hand will suffice – I pity them and the numbskulls that sit behind desks in judgement!
Hospitals that fully support post-ops talking (counselling) pre-ops are progressive for they can easily see the benefits of the new, fearful patient having things explained to them by those that have already ‘been through the mill‘, those that know the pain, the heartache, the silence of self & the frustration of becoming a laryngectomee are the hospitals that you want to be with for they are the ones that WANT to help you to the best of THEIR ability whereas the regressive (above described) know the surgical side inside out but care not much about the emotional side of things for it is totally heartless to deny a pre-op the all calming knowledge that a post-op can impart.
The benefits of the pre-op knowledge (from a post-op) are simply endless with the main facet being that putting the pre-op’s mind at ease is the greatest benefit to that pre-op. To have someone take away the fear of being a laryngectomee is literally priceless for fear of the unknown has always been the dread of mankind. Think about these simple facts if you will please (you are the very nervous pre-op):
a… You are communicating with a laryngectomee in person
b… They have a robotic (Dalek) voice but still talk
c… They are sitting in front of you, so they survived
d… They travel to the hospital so they are not crippled or bedridden
e… They may be back at work which has to be amazing
f… They go out in public to a pub/restaurant
g… They answer your questions honestly
h… They simply put your mind at rest
OK, folks, there are a few positives – and there can be NO negatives to having the prior knowledge (unless you simply don’t want any prior knowledge of course)! We all know that ‘coming round’ after a major operation is a long & slow process and the first few days are not going to be that pleasant but the body is an amazing creation for it always seeks to repair itself.
Even better than that is the fact that your nurses know exactly what you have been through and check on you every 15 minutes through the first 24hrs (the reason we are buying this monitor for our local hospital Lary ward) & then every hour once the body has settled down. You can take tiny sips of water to freshen your teeth/gums up a bit and in the back of your mind, you know that many before you have survived to tell the tale. It’s all upwards & onwards from thereon my friends!
To be denied the opportunity of having the whole shebang explained to you by a post-op lady is simply cruel and no one facing this operation should be denied this opportunity. If you want to know then the knowledge is there but if you don’t and wish to remain in ignorance then at least that is YOUR freedom of choice!