Five Important Things to Think About After a Serious Diagnosis
It’s the type of thing you rarely consider until your doctor gives you that fateful call. Receiving a diagnosis that there could be something wrong with your liver, pancreas, or colon is disconcerting. Depending on the nature and extent of your condition, surgery on the liver, colon surgery, or pancreatic surgery might require extensive downtime and recovery, and your condition might have a long term impact on your health.
When colon or pancreatic surgery is looming ahead of you, you might be feeling a wide range of emotions: anxiety, uncertainty, anger, fear, and stress. While it’s up to the medical staff who treat you to attend to the colon or pancreatic surgery itself, by taking care of your emotional well-being, the process will be far easier on you. Please consider our tips of ways to prepare yourself emotionally for colon or pancreatic surgery, below.
Five Things to Consider Before Undergoing an Invasive Treatment of the Liver, Colon, or Pancreas
- Involve your support network in your medical care.
Choose a few people you have close relationships with and lean on them throughout your treatment. Perhaps your support network is your spouse, a sibling, or your children. Perhaps it’s just a dear friend or a member from your church. It might be difficult to put yourself in a position of dependency with other people, but it will make your treatment easier to handle.
Bring your support person or people to your appointments. Having another set of ears to discuss your options with the doctor will help you make the best choices for your care. It also gives your support team a better grasp of your condition and how to best support you through your treatment.
- Ask your doctor how quickly you need to get surgery or begin treatment.
When given a serious diagnoses, it is human nature to want to spring into action right away. Sometimes the nature of your condition does in fact need immediate action, but not always. If you are in a rush while making major (sometimes life-impacting) decisions about you’re medical treatment plan, it could lead you to make choices that are not in your best interest. While developing a medical treatment plan, make sure to ask your doctor the implications of taking your time, to make sure you are on a timeline that supports the best outcome.
- Keep a list of questions to ask at appointments.
Information is empowering. The more you understand about your condition and treatment, the less shrouded in mystery your care is and the less intimidating it is. Keep a notepad with you and jot down every single question that crosses your mind. There is no amount of information that is too much for you to know about your own health condition and treatment, and a good medical professional should embrace taking the time to talk to you about it.
- Do your own research on treatment options.
Your doctor is an expert the branch of medicine that you are being seen for. However, only you are an expert on your own lifestyle and particular needs. You should be heavily involved in developing a plan for your own care. Take time to research your medical treatment options. Perhaps there is a treatment or surgery option that is outside of the scope of what your doctor offers that better suits your needs. New medical treatments are being developed on a daily basis, some are still in the “trial” phase, but could be exactly what you need. Do your own research and so you come to the table with ideas for your treatment plan.
- Get more than one opinion.
Some surgeries or medical treatments may achieve the intended goal but come with long-lasting negative side effects. By no means should you undergo a serious and invasive treatment on the word of a single doctor. Take the time to get a second opinion, or even a third opinion, so you feel confident that the treatment you are receiving is necessary and the best course of action for your health condition.
Do you have any other tips about preparing yourself for liver, colon, or pancreatic surgery? Please share with us in the comment section below.